My name is Rudy. And this is the story how one evil genius (yeah, that's you Brad) helped me pop the question:
It was very early in our relationship that my girlfriend, Deanna, and I developed a special code. We wouldn't exactly finish each other's sentences but we would have the same thought at almost the exact same time.
Among one of the first conversations we had was the premise for this strip. We had spoken about our intent to spend the rest of our lives together ... well, at least till the age of 80. Beyond that, it's still in question. But 80 is definitely the goal.
So when it became clear that was what we both wanted, I purchased a ring. But then what?
I stared at it endlessly searching for clues as to how to present it to her. It just sat there quietly. Mocking me even.
I carried it for days. Teased her that I had it. But never knowing how to ask.
"Here, will ya'?" That might've been memorable, but for all the wrong reasons.
I asked friends. They were as bad as the ring. But as I surfed through a mile of Facebook status updates I stumbled upon a name and face that gave me a thought.
Brad and I had been colleagues and I'd always been a fan of his humor (I can still hear that hearty, bellyful laugh) and his work (dating back to "Greystone Inn" days). I had shown my girlfriend "Evil Inc." and she enjoyed it as much as I did.
So I plotted. I sent Brad a message asking if he'd draw something up for me. I sent him words and pictures (by the way, what happened to our George Clooney discussion?). Within a week I had a rough sketch and a week after that I had the original in my hands.
I stared at it for answers. Nothing. I let it and the ring talk it over. They shared nothing with me. I asked friends. Again, nada. (I need new friends.)
I framed the strip. And I wrapped it. Twice. I clutched the ring in my pocket. Waiting. Waiting for opportunity to strike.
Finally, I decided that moment wasn't coming. I had to make it happen.
I walked up to her house ... clutching frame and ring. She was getting ready for our dinner date. I hid the frame out of sight and ran through the words I was going to say in my head.
I still had no idea how I was going to present it to her.
"Here, will ya'?"
Well, it was something close to that.
I stopped her as we were about to walk out the door. I told her I had a present for her.
"Well, do you want me to open it now?"
"Why, yes, that's why I am giving it to you now, silly."
She sat at the end of the sofa. She began to rip through the paper.
The strip began to appear. But it upside down! She quickly turned it over. She got half way through the strip and began to cry. She put her shivering had over her mouth.
I fumbled for the ring. And stumbled through what was a very awkward set of words. Nothing like I what I had planned to say.
But she said yes anyway.
We are planning a December wedding in Las Vegas. And I'm thinking I'll have Brad recreate that moment as well for a gallery of the brightest moments of our life together.
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