Our bathroom is filthy.
This is partly my fault. Well, mostly my fault. The vast majority of the floor and toilet seat urine comes from me. But it usually gets cleaned up in a relatively timely fashion. Cleaning at the Justin and Danielle house is usually done on weekends. But, we were out of town every weekend for much of the last month.
Last week, though, the schedule was finally clear. It was the perfect time to scrub a toilet or snake a shower drain. But, I screwed it all up. I did this by proposing marriage.
(See what I did there? We in the news biz call that burying the lede. It’s a terrible idea. Seriously, that’s, like, day 1 in Journalism school stuff. “Don’t bury the lede!” Oh well. Too late now.)
As it turns out, I am not the first man to have proposed marriage to a lady. In fact, it’s quite common. In hindsight, I’m actually somewhat surprised by how common it is, because the days leading up to the proposal are THE MOST STRESSFUL DAYS EVER!
There’s an expensive ring sitting IN MY HOUSE and I’m not supposed to say anything? That’s insane. I proposed Sunday morning. But I ALMOST proposed Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday night. A loving, solid marriage is based on trust and honesty, yet a successful proposal is rooted in lies, misdirections and half truths.
But those lies don’t even begin until you get the ring from the store to your house. I rode home with this thing in my bag on the subway. You know, the place where mole people try to sell you fruit chews for 2 dollars so they can pay for uniforms for their non existent basketball teams and crazies slash your pockets to steal your IPhone when you dare to blink. THAT SUBWAY! It was a 15 minute ride. I must have checked my bag 37 times to make sure the ring was still in there.
“Well, why didn’t you take a cab, Justin?”
First of all, don’t be a dick. I’m trying to tell a story here. Second of all, it’s because I’m a New Yorker. I refuse to admit how abjectly terrified I am of the subway, even in the middle of the day on a Wednesday in Midtown Manhattan.
So, let’s fast forward back to the big day. I decided to propse first thing in the morning. Obviously I couldn’t sleep, so my morning started pretty early. I got out of bed around 8:30 and sat on the couch, waiting for Danielle to wake up. That didn’t happen until about 10. That gave me an hour and a half to try to map out what I was going to do and what I was going to say. I could have used some more time. At about 9:55, I realized I wasn’t sure which knee I was supposed to get down on when I asked. So, I decided to give it a dry run. I rolled off the coach and knelt down. And AT THAT EXACT SECOND, the bedroom door opened and Danielle walked out. Since I’m a very cool customer, I scurried back onto the couch as if nothing was going on. (Later, she told me she saw me on the floor, but assumed I had just dropped something.)
So, she’s up. She came out and sat with me on the couch. I got up without saying anything, went to the bedroom to get the ring and came back to the living room.
“Do me a favor,” I said, “Can you get up and stand over there,” as I pointed to the area in front of the window. (I had decided this was better kneeling territory. There’s no coffee table to get in the way and no area rug. I assumed the worst thing that could happen while kneeling would be to have your knee half on the carpet and half off. That’s uneven terrain!)
She moved to the appropriate location, I got down on my knee and started talking. I honestly don’t remember exactly what I said. I do remember the look on her face. More accurately, I remember the lack of a look on her face. It was a complete blank stare. And for the first time since I started this process, I had the terrifying thought that she might be into this. But, fear not, loyal reader, that stare was not disgust or sadness, it was surprise. She was simply trying to process what was happening. Her mind caught up with reality just in time for me to slip the ring onto her finger.
And so I grabbed her right hand.
“Wrong hand!” she said.
I grabbed her left hand and stared at it for a second.
“WHICH FINGER????” I was panicking out loud now. Again, I don’t exactly remember what happened, but I think she took the ring and slipped it onto the correct finger herself. It fit. It looks beautiful. I’m good. So, I got up.
Then I remembered something important- I had never actually asked the question.
So, I got back down on the knee and asked, “Will you marry me?” and then I waited. And waited. It seemed like an hour. It was probably 20 seconds. But then I broke the silence with his gem:
“You’ve got to give me an answer. My knee is starting to hurt.”
And then she said yes and now we are engaged and that is the happiest news I’ve ever shared in my life.
And so I shared it with a lot of people. My favorite response came from a group text I sent to SCP readers John, Kevin and Dave, “Hello friends, I am engaged now:”
I didn’t know that Dodger 2nd baseman Dee Gordon is Tom “Flash” Gordon’s son. Did you know that Dee Gordon already has 36 steals this season? Can he steal 100 bases? That would be amazing. Anyway, I like that Tom Gordon had all these kids with all these different moms living throughout the Kansas City area. It sounds a little like the show “Big Love,” which I watched for a grand total of 7 minutes, up until they showed one of the wives peeing in the pilot episode. No thank you, HBO. I don’t want to watch ladies peeing.
Party like Its 1994 by Michael Farber
This week’s cover is a takeoff on my favorite SI cover of all time:
Although this article actually has almost nothing to do about the NBA, just a shitty sidebar from Phil Taylor that makes no impact at all. As for the Farber piece about the Stanley Cup Finals, it was actually rather prescient. The article was published after games 1 and 2, but summed up the entire 5 game series pretty well. The Kings were just too good. And while a lot of my Ranger fan brethren are blaming the refs for missing calls or Dan Girardi for making myriad shitty plays in his own end, I would like to blame someone else: those same fans. Did you buy an Eastern Conference champions t-shirt or hat? Did you get overly excited when the Rangers won the Eastern Conference? Then it’s your fault. YOU JINXED IT. You never get excited until it’s over. That’s bad karma.
The Finals in 3-D by Lee Jenkins
Here is a boring article about how both the Heat and Spurs shoot a lot of 3’s. I did not watch one second the NBA finals.
Highway To Hell by Greg Bishop and Thayer Evans
This was a really good profile of OJ Simpson, 20 years after the murders. I know, I’m as surprised as you. I didn’t think I would have any interest in revisiting this story, but I was actually very interested once I started reading. Good job, Greg Bishop and Thayer Evans.
The American Ideal by Brian Straus
Only one World Cup article this week. That’s good. I skipped it
In A Tough Spot by Tom Verducci
I can not give an unbiased opinion about a profile of Don Mattingly. Obviously, it was great and he is great and can do no wrong.
Point After by Joe Torre
Torre writes a really sweet remembrance of Don Zimmer. My favorite story: In 1996, Zimmer convinced Torre that there was no reason to require players to wear ties while they traveled. But during that conversation, Zim never revealed his real motivation. He didn’t know how to tie a tie.