July 14, 2010

The Monkey Card

Talk about bad timing.  Let me elaborate, this is a continuation of when I found out that Chris and I had won the bid on the house that we wanted.  Click here to go back to the beginning. Since I started this story way back on the 7th of July, I'll go ahead and give you the rest of the story today!

So, for some reason on the day of my 31st Birthday (capitalized because it's my personal holiday) I felt like something really good was going to happen, something big like maybe a little itty bitty proposal (wink wink). I woke up on the right side of the bed, Chris had coffee and breakfast for me, I looked cute at work that day ...wait, what was I doing at work? I never go to work on my birthday! Well I have no clue why on this particular birthday I was at work but I digress.

While I was at work I received a call from my cousin Jessica to wish me a happy birthday. I know she had been on Chris's back because she just like many others was ready for him to pop the question. When she called that morning (mind you she lives in California) she was rather excited for me and asked if I had any big plans. Though Jess and I talk on occasion I was completely surprised to hear from her, especially given the time difference. That call was a pleasant surprise but I let my mind think that it was a sign that she knew something that I didn't. Needless to say I barely got any work done and I was eager for the day to end because I was looking forward to going to my parents house for our traditional cake, ice cream and gifts.

Finally at the end of the day Chris and I get together and head to my parents'. Since we were early we decided to stop by my oldest sister Calista's house first and hang out there for a while until they were ready to leave. While we were there I felt a bit anxious and had butterflies in my belly and it really seemed like my sister was a bit giddy as if she too knew something! Then Chris gets a call and suddenly has an errand to run. I didn't question him because if in fact there was a possibility that he was preparing for an itty bitty little thing called a proposal, I certainly didn't want to be made privy to it.

When Chris does return he stays in the car a for a while on the phone. In my mind he's finalizing the big announcement!!! When he comes inside he too seems a bit uneasy heightening my butterflies even more, causing me to be freaking out on the inside!! We finally head to my parents where the rest of my siblings are showing up as they usually do. However, when my middle sister Vonetta shows up she comes in with a dozen red balloons and says "Hey everybody today we're going to start a new birthday tradition".  So now I'm certain! What are the chances that we'd be starting this "new birthday tradition" on my birthday? You're not fooling me! I'm getting engaged!

Well this new tradition called for everyone in the family to write a special wish on their balloon for the birthday girl. Then, we would all go out into my parents backyard and after each person read their wish to me they would release the helium filled balloon into the Heavens! It's a beautiful new tradition. So by this point my stomach is turning flips because I can't believe that this is the day!

Now of course I have it all played out in my mind. Each of my family members would read their balloon wish first which coincidentally they would all say "I wish that you get engaged" and when it's Chris's turn he'd say his engagement speech which would end in Will You Marry Me! I of course would say yes! We'd share a dreamy moment and we'd celebrate with the family all night.

Now, that engagement wish did come from a couple of them because as previously stated many were ready for us to seal the deal. When the other wishes were normal 'good health', 'lottery win', 'prosperous life' wishes, the butterflies and  I knew something was askew at which point they stop fluttering. The cou de gras came when Chris's wish, albeit a sweet very much appreciated wish was... just as normal. Wah Wah Wah...I was so wrong, I was not getting engaged.  Only now I had all of this emotion built up inside of me from anticipating a proposal and I had no where to put it. I kind of swallowed and thought, it's o.k. it's been a great day none the less now lets go in and open gifts and eat cake! Though I was going through the motions of opening my gifts I was struggling a bit to keep my bearings because I had let myself believe that today was the day.

I had received such wonderful gifts and cards from my parents, brothers, sisters and nephews and the evening was a lot of fun. However, here's where I will forever be haunted. Again, I was overwhelmed with emotion that only I knew about and unfortunately it began to boil over at the exact wrong time and I began to kind of tear up, right when I got to my brother in law Andy's card, The Monkey Card!

I love Monkeys so he chose well, but at this point everyone is wondering what was wrong, what was it about The Monkey Card that sparked such an emotion. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! I'll admit the message in the card was very sweet but it had nothing to do with my emotion at the time. However, in true Andy fashion he let his ego convince him that it was because he was victorious and had struck Monkey Card gold. Now my brother in law is an amazing and funny person. We get along very well but he can be such a nuisance to me and my oldest sister, all in fun of course. He pokes us in the side when we least expect it, he'll make fun of our cooking when our food is absolutely fabulous, he'll step in our way right as we go to walk, he'll try to trip us! Yet our middle sister Von still found something that she loves about him.  Well the whole family loves him actually.

It's been almost 2 years and he still feels the need to bring up this momentary breakdown at the reading of The Monkey Card and tell people just how special his card was.

Now back to reality, once The Monkey Card fiasco ended Chris gave me his gift bag. In that bag I pulled out a card, a digital camera and a Kays Jewelers bag. Again, my defeated mind allowed me to think for a brief moment, maybe there's a ring in this bag! He's holding the card so of course I open the package with the digital camera first because if there is a ring in the bag I would have never gotten to the camera. After the camera, I reach for the Kays bag and I pull out... a rectangular shaped box.  Here I go again, in my mind I start to say to myself just maybe he's trying to fool me by putting the ring in the long box. I open the box and I see a beautiful white gold and diamond bracelet. The bracelet was beautiful but any girl knows just how anticlimactic a gift like that can be when you are really hoping for a little square box.

I was extremely happy with my gifts from Chris and then he handed me the card. I opened the card but was unable to read it aloud because I immediately turned into a sobbing water-head. Remember, we had been waiting for over a month to find out if we got the house and the wait was insufferable. Here is what the card said: On your birthday, I'd like to give you the world... but my heart will have to do. Only there was a line going through the word heart and the word home was written in above it. Attached to the inside of the card was a key chain with our new address on it... yep that's right, WE GOT THE HOUSE!!!! The end of the card said Happy Birthday, Love you Babydoll (that's what he calls me) signed, Christopher.

The key chain is turned over so that other home stalkers who wanted our home can't find us :-)

That phone call that he had received earlier was our Realtor delivering to him the happy news. The errand was the trip to get the perfect card to deliver that news to me, on my birthday. What great timing!!

My family knew that we were thinking about purchasing a home, but did not know that we were actively pursuing. We kept it mainly to ourselves because we were a bit nervous and uncertain that we would come out on top. So since I was unable to read the card because I was crying and Chris was comforting me, my mother took the card from my hand and read it aloud. Everyone was so excited for us that they were practically in tears. And just like that, The Monkey Card was trumped.

Every time I tell this story, and just as I write it today, it takes me back to that moment and I'm filled with emotions of love and joy all over again.

So, my instincts were accurate that day. Something big did happen. Our first home.



Anonymous said...

Looks like someone's in denial (denial said with an Oprah/Gayle King inflection)...it was all about the monkey card...house keys, schmouse keys...the monkey card rules :) ...Andy...P.S. Calista's Macaroni & Cheese can chip a tooth.

Christopher said...

Ooooh babe!!! I would have given you 10 rings if I had a clue you felt that way! I was working on the house deal all day. I should hit myself over the head with a Calista Macaroni Brick!

 Tatum said...

Lol, Andy and Chris you both are nut cases!!! Andy, the monkey card was adorable...think what you want, whatever makes you happy.

Chris, it's o.k. babe. I appreciate how you worked on the house deal by harassing our Realtor.

You both need to leave poor Calista out of this!


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