“Have you heard this song before?” My wife asks as she turns up the radio a little for me to hear the lyrics. “It’s so weird.”
“No, I’ve… Wait… What’s he singing?”
“I’d catch a grenade for ya.”
“Really? Wow. Why?”
“I don’t know but it sounds like a nice song until you listen to the lyrics. Then it just gets creepy.”
“Why would he… Oh my god! What was that one? I’d jump in front of a train for ya? Take a bullet straight through my brain?” I say, repeating the words I have just heard. “Under what normal daily circumstances does he expect he would need to do all this?”
A few moments later we have pulled into a petrol station and are crowded around the car radio, analysing the lyrics.
“For the sake of argument, if we said he was catching grenades and taking bullets to save the one he loves I still fail to see how jumping in front of a train would accomplish anything. At that point he really is just committing suicide.”
“And then complaining that she won’t do the same for him.” My wife adds.
“Yeah. Maybe he just really desires a girlfriend who lacks even the most basic of self preservation and survival skills. I think he should lower his expectations a little. He needs to come up with some more reasonable and realistic things to do for love, stuff like; I’d make a midnight snack for ya. Put the toilet seat down for ya.”
“You are such a romantic.”
“Wait… What was that one? I’d throw my head on a plane for ya?”
“No. I think it’s put my head on a plate for ya.”
“Well that’s just stupid. How is that going to help anything?”
(We later found out the line was in fact; I’d throw my hands on a blade for ya… which is still stupid.)
“He sounds a bit stalker-ish if you ask me,” I inform my wife “I bet he is the weird silent one at the office. I bet you it’s three in the morning and he’s just suddenly shown up on the doorstep of a girl from accounting who he’s never spoken to and started singing this stuff.”
“Are you trying to say you would not catch a grenade for me?”
“I’d catch a grenade for you.”
“I’d throw it away again quickly of course. I’m not stupid.”
“I would hope not.”
Spotted sellotaped to the tram stop at Koningspein in Amsterdam:
I foresee two possible outcomes.
One will result in a very touching scene between a father and son a few years from now when the inquisitive young boy asks how mummy met daddy. The proud father will put his paper and pipe down, pick up the young boy and sit him down on his knee. As they sit together next to the fire in the father’s favourite old leather armchair he starts to tell his son a most wonderful story about a romantic search across an entire city to find the girl who had quite unexpectedly taken his breath away one summer day on tram number five. It is the kind of epic love story that poems and novels are written about. It is a story that stays with the young boy. It shapes and forms many of his own thoughts and ideas about love which eventually lead to him meeting his own wife many more years later… and then, a few more years later still, it is a story he tells to his own children about how grandmother met grandfather…
That or a lengthy court case resulting in a restraining order. It could go either way.
(Down on one knee)
“Will you marry me?”
(After a full minute of hyperventilating like a girl)
I just have to hope she stops singing, “All the women who are independent. Throw your hands up at me,” before the wedding. Either way, I guess I made a good impression on that first date.
Kiki: “I just want to marry someone who won’t try to make out with me.”
Me: “You could do what I did and put an announcement out on the internet that you are looking for someone.”
Kiki: “You asked the whole internet but you did not ask me? What is up with that?”
Me: “Well… we could…”
Kiki: “Well… Ok… You want to get married?”
Kiki: “Yay! So much awesome!”
This was immediately followed by a high five.
It was not exactly the traditional ‘getting down on one knee’ but this was how I became engaged to my friend Kiki for the one night only Wed & Walk event.
The next day we both changed our Facebook relationship status to ‘engaged’ and sat back to watch the flood of shocked messages from friends that soon filled our in boxes. Through this I discovered how many people I know display their shock through the use of phrases such as, “Dude?” and, “WTF!” or simply with, “?”
The night of the 14th quickly arrived and it was time for us to get married. We arrived at the place where we were to be joined in holy-micro-matrimony to discover that it was a small clothing boutique. Inside another wedding was about to start so we were asked to act as witnesses. It was during this that I realized there was a slight problem that did not involve the temperature of my feet. The service was in Dutch. Even after seven years of living in Holland I am still Dutch linguistically challenged.
If we had been ordering food at a fast food restaurant I would have been fine speaking and understanding Dutch. However, we were about to do something that was a little more complex and involved a bit more commitment then deciding weather I would like fries with my burger or not (even though I can answer, “I do,” to that question as well). I quickly realized that it was probably not a good idea to compare my relationship with my future wife to a happy meal no matter how good the free toy that comes with it is.
It just so happens that my short term spouse is very good at speaking and understanding Dutch. It was looking very likely that I would have to ask her to poke or kick me when it was time for me to say, “I do.” I just had to hope that with the fast food analogy still floating around in my head that I would not suddenly blurt out, “Yes, I will super size that,” instead by mistake.
As it turns out I was in luck because they soon realized I was not Dutch and offered to do the service in English.
Our friend Jen who was to be our photographer and bridesmaid arrived shortly before the service began. She had brought a wedding gift for us. A packet of Shrek first aid plasters because, as she stated, “love can be hard, sometimes people get hurt and that is why you need a band-aid to help you get through it. I believe that with the help of this wedding gift your love will grow just like that of Shrek and Fiona.”
After this it was almost time for the service to begin. While my wife to be was getting changed into her dress I was given the task of picking out the rings. A Russian wedding ring for me and a blue flower ring for her which I instantly knew was just right from all the others. Both of the rings were looked after by Trista our ring barer (Sadly, I forgot to make any Frodo jokes at the time).
Then the music started to play and my bride to be stepped out (of the changing room where she had been hiding) and looked stunning in her white dress and Ugg boots. What followed was truly magical and commandeered both our hearts.
The registrar told us to hold hands. We held hands.
The registrar told us to look deeply into each others eyes. Kiki looked deeply into my eyes. I looked deeply into her one eye because the vale kept on slipping and getting in the way of the other.
The registrar read the vows and told us to each say, “I do.” We each said, “I do.”
The registrar told us to exchange the rings. We exchanged the rings.
The registrar told us it was time to, “kiss the bride.” We looked awkwardly at each other wondering what to do next.
I was a very lucky man because my bride was (and is) very attractive and as (luck would have it) is also a member of the opposite sex. This alone ticks most of the boxes required for the go ahead to enjoy a good bit of snogging. However, we are also friends and that puts a big tick next to the ‘this is weird’ box.
Attempt number one: Kiss each other on the cheek: Fail. The registrar wanted to see us kiss in the wedding photo.
Attempt number two: Hide behind the bouquet and pretend to kiss: Fail. The registrar takes the bouquet away from us.
Attempt number three: Perform a very convincing stage kiss with out really kissing: Success. Everyone is fooled. The photo is taken and when it is developed it really does look like we got it on.
Everyone cheered and our few ours of marriage began. However we still had not thought about what we should do for our honeymoon. We only had until the sun came up again, and then our marriage would dissolve. We thought about going to Australia so I could enjoy part of my wife’s culture but it was too far. By this I mean we were going to go to the Australian Ice-Cream place on Leidseplein but we did not want to walk all that way. So, instead we decided to go to Ireland and by this I mean we went to the closest Irish bar. We enjoyed our few hours of matrimonial bliss over a veggie burger and a beef stew (and no, that is not a euphemism) as we discussed our future plans for our family of five children that we would all give ghetto names to.
But sadly the time for us to part came all too soon and we went our separate ways. I think a little part of both of us died inside that night. As the sun came up the next morning I became single again.
However, when I feel sorrow about the end of our marriage I simply have to remember one of the funniest things that happened during that magical night.
Ten minutes before we were to be wed, as we shared a last drink in a near by bar as un-married people, Kiki took the time to inform her father of the impending wedding. Neither of her parents knew about her plans before this moment and so she sent the following text message to her father who was traveling to Singapore at the time:
“It is traditional for the father of the bride to pay for the wedding. You owe me 20 euros.”
To which he simply replied: