Once upon a time, I took a beautiful and interesting woman out on a first date. Very close to the time that Donald Trump got elected president of the United States of America. I’ll never forget that night, not because that major event happened, but because it was an incredible first date, and led me on a path that I was not expecting.
The path where I met my former girlfriend, current fiancée, and future wife. But while some of you might disagree with me on the timing of this current step, the engagement actually started at the beginning and not in the midst of our relationship.
One of the textbook definitions of engagement is an arrangement to meet or be present at a specified time and place. Mysticque and I agreed to meet each other for a first date, and we both showed up at the cafe. But more importantly we were both emotionally involved in the date.
I asked her questions, a lot of them, and she answered the questions to the best of her ability. We talked, a lot. For about two hours, before I decided to move the date to the next location. She reciprocated and followed me to the UofA campus, even though she was unsure of what to expect, and as she later told me, was nervous about walking in the dark with a stranger down a creepy path (actually a well lit path, but near a parking lot and steel sculpture garden, so I can see what she means).
Then we stopped at the Arts and Business Quad on top of the hill overlooking the manmade ponds and pathways. I had brought a bottle of Bodacious blended red wine, two glasses, and a blanket. It was intentional, I love romance, and I wanted to do something romantic. Mysticque reciprocated once more. We talked for another hour or so.
Then we got up, and I kissed her.
She wasn’t ready to go home just yet, so I took her for frozen yogurt at Menchies, and we played many rounds of Connect 4. She won a lot of them. But I reciprocated.
Then I walked her back to her car, and we kissed one more time. I later found out that she told many people about this wonderful date, and how I had managed to make her life feel like the movies. That was the point I knew I would probably fall in love with her and marry her. She constantly reminds me that I still make her feel this way every day. It’s a mutual reciprocation.
Engagement with anything comes down to showing up, being present and being who you are. Mysticque and I met way back in juniour high, and had the fortune to reconnect later in life when we were both ready to engage in a healthy relationship. Part of me wishes I had saved the story she wrote about our first date, but I do have a copy of what she wrote when I proposed to her, and she accepted. I think it demonstrates the importance of authentic, personal interactions when you make creative things. People appreciate creativity, but it’s not until you put yourself out there that you risk failure and eventually success.
Thursday (November 9th, 2017) marked a significant and special day in our lives. The evening started with Tim recreating of our first date filled with all the same locations, cheesy lines, and romance. During our date, Tim deviated and brought me down to the Old Arts building and showed me a canvas with a projected movie on it. This movie (lovingly made by Tim) captured whale love songs, 27 romantic love scenes, and brief explanation of Tim’s love. Moments thereafter he proposed to me and our close family & friends were there all along watching and capturing our special day! Later in the evening Tim surprised me for a second time with more family and friends waiting back at his house. It was truly the most amazing proposal. On the weekend Tim re-proposed to me with Miguel and made the experience even more special. Thank you to all our family and friends who helped Tim with his elaborate plans and being part of our lives. And thank you to my fiancee who has made my life better than the movies.
I wouldn’t have been able to create something like this one my own. It required effort, communication, and asking for support from others. I’ve always found that family and friends show up because you show up, people can sense when your heart isn’t into it. I hope one day that I can create something as beautiful as the love I have for Mysticque, and I cannot believe I was able to capture a significant moment in our he(art). What an engagement. And it was reciprocated.
It might not always seem like your life is headed in a positive direction dear readers, but I shared this story not to brag about how lucky I’ve been, but to emphasize for you the importance of engagement. Love takes practice, failure, and a willingness to put yourself out there… just like making art. But at some point you are going to realize your purpose in life, and you’ll make something really special to reflect that.
And THAT is a theory I’ll take to the bank.