We live in a world of bigger and better. I’m not complaining, just simply making an observation. After all, living in a climate controlled home has to be far more comfortable than living in one without. Technology being what it is, you can now manage the thermostat in your home from anywhere as long as you have access to the Internet and have the hardware and gadgets at home to make it work.
When it comes to high-tech, my son-in-law pretty much chooses to embraces it all. Why you need all that stuff, I don’t know. I’m pretty much my father’s son. He didn’t opt to purchase a car with air-conditioning until it was almost impossible to buy a vehicle without one. Of course, it just took his first air-conditioned vehicle to raise the standard to the point of no return. He would never have opted to buy another vehicle without air-conditioning even if it was an option.
Getting back to bigger and better, I recently read that the average cost of a wedding today is $35,000.00. If the General and I had needed that kind of money to orchestrate a venue where we both said “I do” and promised to love for the long haul, some might have questioned if it was really worth it. Actually, knowing what she now knows, the General might have said it wasn’t worth it. After all, I’m obviously a slow learner. We turn the corner on forty-nine years in two and a half weeks and even after all this time, I’m still a husband in training.
For whatever reason, the General refuses to give up or acknowledge defeat. I suspect her mother once told her: “Quitters never win.” She also told her: “Pigs don’t pick up after themselves.” I’ve heard that line on a multiple of occasions as part of my perpetual “how to succeed in marriage” training. Depending on the number of times I hear it in a week, it doesn’t always come across as gentle redirection.
Yet there is something about a love story that captures the imagination of even the most callous or hard hearted of men. “Love Story” was the title of the 1970 classic film about an upper class East Coast young man in college who fell for a quick witted college girl from a working class family. In the process of making it work for them, the boy’s father disowned his son because he was marrying “beneath himself”. After all, class distinction can’t be merged without forfeiture of some level of distinction or uniqueness that sets one apart. Despite the odds, love conquered all and the couple moved forward in happiness and harmony.
Sadly, it ended way too early when illness took the young woman’s life. In the closing scene, the father who had rejected his son rushes to the hospital to make some kind of amends. Hearing the news from his son that his wife died, the father, says: “I’m sorry”. The son remarked: “Love –Love means never having to say you’re sorry”. It was a memorable film and a memorable line. It was a love story indeed. Doesn’t that tug at your heartstrings?
Fast forward to 2004. It was another love story chronicled in the form of a book and a movie by the same name. “The Notebook” beautifully chronicles the power of love, even one-sided love. It is a movie that captures the essence of two stories. One where the young couple fully embrace every dimension of love and the satisfaction and fulfillment it provides. The other is a husband’s valiant and unfaltering attempt to connect with the love of his life even though she has lost the cognitive ability to reflect on what they once shared. Yet there are glimpses in the story of the older couple’s life when the wife seemingly remembers even for a fraction of a minute the connectivity of love. Even in the briefest of moments, it is enough for the husband who commits himself day in and day out to be there for her. It is a story of love. That, too, tugs at your heartstrings.
Most of you may be unfamiliar with the love story of Caroline and Josh. You may want to jot their names down. I suspect that in the years ahead the two names linked together could become as familiar as Romeo and Juliet. I used Caroline’s name first because it was her mother who shared her story…their story with me. The story lays out the details associated with her future son-in-law’s marriage proposal to her daughter.
The groom-to-be was undeterred by the interrogation provided him by the mother’s current son-in-law. The groom-to-be was found faultless. Even the current son-in-law agreed. He was welcomed by the bride-to-be’s family.
I suspect that the current son-in-law has no idea how the new guy on the block is going to raise the standard of what it means to win a mother-in-law’s favor. I say that tongue-in-cheek, even though they are not yet married. The groom-to-be could be pushing the envelope of “favorite son-in-law status” already. Of course, the bride’s mother would never admit that love has limits or that she could favor one son-in-law over another.
At any rate, Josh, the new guy on the block, is a man for all seasons. He brings to romance and thoughtfulness, what The Dos Equis Man brings to life. After all, the Dos Equis man didn’t get the distinction of being the most interesting man in the world because he was like every other guy. You know the drill:
- His passport requires no photograph
- When he drives a car off the lot, its price increases in value
- Once a rattlesnake bit him, after 5 days of excruciating pain, the snake finally died
Let me tell you about Josh. In fact, he is good enough that I’m reordering their names (Okay, so I’m old school). This is the story of Josh and Caroline. When it comes to proposing, Josh raised the bar way over the top and established a new standard for all time. Like I said: “We live in a world of bigger and better” and Josh has all of that to his credit. He invested the time, organized the scenario, recruited the right volunteers to assist and never thought for a moment that Caroline would say anything other than “Yes”. He was right. She did say, “Yes”.
When I tell you the story, I suspect you will agree. His attention to detail, his poetry and his organizational skills all-surrounding the big question: “Will You Marry Me?” are second to none.
It was a Saturday morning just like any other Saturday morning, except that Caroline was having brunch at a nice restaurant with her good friend Devon. She is the girlfriend that introduced her to Josh three years ago. When the waiter brought the check, he also handed a note to Caroline. She intuitively thought the waiter was hitting on her. After all, how many waiters hand a note to someone dining at one of the tables they’re serving? She had this guy figured out. He obviously was asking for her telephone number or providing his. Who would have thought?
The note was interesting, but it was not written by the waiter. The waiter was simply the messenger. The note was from Josh to his beloved Caroline. It included a poem about the two of them and an invitation for Caroline to embark on a scavenger hunt.
I told you the guy is a romanticist. He left instructions for Caroline to proceed to Top Golf, the location of their first date. The fact that they had a second date is some indication that for Josh it was love at first site. Whether knowingly or otherwise, Caroline showed up with her own clubs and demonstrated that her golfing game was better than his. Some would suggest that proper etiquette would have dictated she let the game go the other way, but competitive successful people have difficulty throwing a game for any reason. Perhaps that is one of many of the things that Josh values about Caroline? Either that or he wants an opportunity to go a second round?
Caroline is a competitive girl and a skillful golfer. At Top Golf, during the scavenger hunt, Caroline had to hit a certain target in order to receive the next clue. The next clue was another poem making reference to the duplex that they gutted and remodeled, with a line about “how many trips to the hardware store does it take…”
Caroline is smart. She immediately connected the dots and headed to Home Depot. There the manager presented her with a hammer with her name on it. She had to pull a nail out of a board in order to receive the next clue.
She later told her mother: “Mom, that was really hard!” The clue after that told her that she deserved to be treated like a queen and so she and her friend proceeded to the nail salon for a mani and pedi (your nails have to look good if you’re about to put a ring on it!)
The conclusion of the nail salon trip yielded a clue about going home. When they arrived at home, Caroline thought Josh would be there. Instead, there was a bottle of “JOSH” wine on the counter and the Monopoly game was out (their favorite game).
The Monopoly game contained a map with directions to White Rock Lake. From White Rock Lake the clues became easier. I mean, how could you not notice a rose-petal strewn pathway? On the pathway, Knox – their chocolate lab greeted Caroline. Knox came running around the corner with a bow tie on and then led her to Josh who was standing on a picnic blanket with a dozen roses and a bottle of champagne. He dropped to one knee…. and she said YES!!!!
The next day, both Josh and Knox woke up itching…. they had chiggers. The only thing Caroline got at White Rock Lake was a ring!
The story of “Josh and Caroline” or “Caroline and Josh” is a story to remember. It is the love story of 2017. Doesn’t that tug at your heartstrings?
All My Best!