September 28, 2005
I got married to Nazanin on July 30, 2004; the stories I would like to share with you are from the first year of our union, but to truly appreciate a story like ours you better join us from the day of our engagement.
October 13th, 2003 seemed like it was going to be a great day. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the weather was cool, and it was Columbus Day. Being a banker means that I have a lot of official holidays, including useless ones. Columbus Day is one of them. So on this wonderful day, I thought it would be the perfect time to take my soon to be fiancée to Disneyland and ask her hand in marriage.
I had the whole thing planned in my head and of course the test run in my head went smoothly. No one was going to be at Disneyland on Columbus Day since only banks recognize it as an official holiday. And on top of it I could probably even get a picture with Mickey and Minnie as soon as Nazanin said yes.
Now being a novice at getting engaged and having practically no romantic notions, I had planned to do my proposing right under Sleeping Beauty's castle or rather on the bridge because no one else has ever thought of it and of course what is more magical.
We got to the parking lot and were greeted by a tsunami of patrons packing into the trams that drop off the Disney loving group to the park. Suddenly a wave of terror hit me: did the schools also get this day off? To my sad surprise not only did some schools get the day off but so did all government agencies and of course the parents of the children who got Columbus Day off decided to take that day off too.
As we wedged our bodies across the sardine packed rides and walkways I started panicking. I noticed that there were no good places to propose to my girlfriend. With sweat forming in my right palm and the left palm holding dearly to the ring, I dragged Naz from one corner of Disneyland to the next. The sun was beating on our heads, the cool weather had turned hot, and the damn blue sky didn't have a cloud in it to make it cooler. I looked over at Naz and saw that her normally white skin was turning red and that she was looking rather hot in her long sleeved shirt and black pants.
We got to the bridge but it was too packed; the central park was filled with little kids who had come out for a school excursion and Snow White's Wishing Well was taped off. I had to think fast, where could I take her? What's her favorite ride? Oh god, will this day ever end?
I looked to my left and saw a sign for Fantasyland and remembered how much I loved going there as a kid; once I spun the teacup so fast that I made my brother puke. FANTASYLAND MUST BE THE PLACE I ASK NAZ TO MARRY ME!!
We made it inside Fantasyland and I see King Arthur's Carousal. As I eyed the carousal, I noticed Naz getting impatient. I grabbed her hand and told her we should go on the carousel. I must have had one crazy look on my face because she just looked at me and gave me an "I'm scared of you" smile and walked to the line.
The carousal had one bench and it had been empty from the second I spotted it. Finally our turn comes up and we jumped onto the carousal and made it to the bench. Of course with my luck, a woman and her three kids decided that they too want to sit on the bench. Look I'm all for people liking whatever they like but come on, if you're going to go on a carousel, wouldn't you ride on one of the horses that go up and down? Who the hell wants to sit on a damn stationary bench?
As I sat there squeezed by the screaming mother and her three children, I nervously thought that this was not a good idea and that a beach proposal would be better. However, after the third round on the carousel and the evil queen from Snow White watching me from her castle, I mustered enough courage to ask Naz to marry me. To my surprise and relief she said yes. I knew that if she put up with that crappy of a proposal she really did love me.
I tried to slide the ring on her finger, but it wouldn't go on; the heat had swelled up her fingers. As soon as we got off the ride, she found an ice bucket filled with fruit and shoved her hand in to cool it down. Luckily the swelling went down and she was able to wear the ring, although in the process a 10-year-old got pushed into the bushes as she was getting to the ice.
It was now time to celebrate our now official engagement. With no alcohol being allowed at the park, we couldn't get a glass of champagne and drink to our future marriage. Poor planning once again bungled my efforts at a smooth and memorable engagement. So we did the next best thing. We purchased a couple of churros to toast to our future.
I thought -- rather naively -- that the hard part on my end was done. With the proposal behind us, the next part would be the wedding and that part I am not going to be involved in whatsoever. After years of watching Hollywood movies where the guy proposes and the next scene is of the happy couple getting married in a beautiful flawless ceremony, I thought ours was going to be just as easy. Not a chance!
Alas nothing about an Iranian wedding is easy. That is when the games begin >>> Part 2