Happy Engage-iversary to Me!


Best day of my life.

It was the closing night of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," undoubtedly the best show I have ever been a part of. If you're not familiar with the show, it's been running off-Broadway for over a decade, it's been translated into about a dozen languages, and it has been performed in over 400 cities worldwide.

Comprised of only a four-person cast and a two-person orchestra, it's an intimate, heart-warming, and hilarious show about the joys and disasters of love, dating, marriage, kids, and old age. Do yourself a favor and see if it's playing in your area!

(Here's the only decent picture I have from that night. The opening scene involves the four actors chronicling the history of love in the form of a chant, hence the monks' robes...)

Our version was put together in less than 10 weeks' worth of rehearsals, with a budget of less than $500. We directed, choreographed, and costumed the whole thing ourselves, with help from a few other friends. Everyone was so impressed by the fact that it was entirely student-run, and we received so many compliments on our professionalism.

But nothing could top what happened on closing night.

Curt had watched the show on the previous night, for the first time. He had not seen any of our rehearsals and I had told him very little about the show. There's a scene near the end where an older married couple (portrayed be me and my friend Paul) walks into their kitchen and goes through their entire morning routine with complete fluidity, without ever making eye contact. The couple has been together for so long that life has become a comfortable routine, and their movements are so habitual that they can function without thinking about it. As they are sitting down with their newspaper and morning coffee, the husband suddenly looks at his wife and realizes how much, and how deeply, he still loves her, and he sings this song:

The experts say it does not last.
The experts say it's fleeting.
The experts bray love fades so fast
Then tell me, why is my heart still beating?

Shouldn't I be less in love with you?
Shouldn't I address what time can do?
Shouldn't I be more inclined to flee?
Shouldn't I explore all I can be?

Shouldn't I confess a sordid fling?
Shouldn't I caress a cute young thing?
Shouldn't I asses what we've been through?
Shouldn't I be less in love with you?

After 30 years together
All those brutal fights
those futile fights
then the sleepless nights

Shouldn't I have quit 'cause marriage ends?
Shouldn't we have split like all our friends?
Shouldn't I profess it's time to go?
Shouldn't I be less in love with you?

The way Curt tells it, he was struck by a sudden, urgent awareness that he wanted to experience every stage of life with me. He wanted to get to that point where, after 30 years, he woke up amazed at the strength and depth of our love for each other.

After curtain call that night, he walked up to me and held me tighter than he ever had before. He had tears in his eyes (he hardly ever cries!) and I asked him what was wrong. He just smiled, shook his head, and said, "I just love you so much and I'm so proud of you. That's all."

Apparently, he didn't sleep a wink that night. He called his mom at 2 in the morning and explained that he was going to propose to me after the closing show. He stopped by my apartment early the next morning and asked my mom for permission to marry me (she was in town to see the show) and then called my dad to get his permission as well. When his family arrived in San Diego, Curt found a ring, had it sized, and bought it, all within the span of a few hours.

The entire cast, crew, and orchestra was in on it, and I was completely oblivious to Curt's plans. Being actors, they held their composure really well, and didn't give away the secret.

At the end of the curtain call of the final performance, my friend and cast mate Rachelle made an announcement: "In honor of closing night," she said, "We'd like to do something really special to close the show."

The other 3 members of the cast walked offstage, leaving me completely confused. I saw Curt get up from his seat in the front row, and I heard our song start playing.

The rest is kind of a blur. I remember him talking about how much he loved me, and how he was certain that we were meant to share the rest of our lives. He bent down on one knee and pulled the ring box out of his pocket. I'll never forget what he said next:

"I love you. You're perfect. Will you marry me?"

I said "Yes!" and the audience erupted with applause and cheers. Curt put the (gorgeous!) ring on my finger, and we stood there together in the middle of the empty stage, just holding each other and taking in the moment.

I couldn't have dreamed up a more perfect proposal.

Happy engage-iversary baby! I love you more than I could attempt to put into words, and I can't wait till the day I become your wife. 11 months to go!!! whoo-hoo!!!

1 comment:

Almost Her said...

Just happened upon your blog...this one made me cry!