The Tale of a Techno Pallbearer

Today is my “date-aversary” which, according to my wife, if when you celebrate when you started dating since our wedding date is our new anniversary. It is now nine years that Zahnah and I have been officially together. I asked her to be my girlfriend at the Nature Hill Intermediate School Eight Grade Dance.

I remember that day quite clearly. My hair was freshly cut and styled in what I refer to now as a “coconut swoop.” My braces were tight, my face acne laden, and my eyes shielded by a pair of white rimmed sunglasses - an absolutely necessity for my evening in a dimly lit gymnasium. I sported a black dress shirt, black dress pants, black socks and black shoes. Had it not been for my pink polka-dot tie, I would’ve looked like I was on my way to the funeral for one of Justin Bieber’s back up dancers.

I arrived early and made it my prerogative to pay for her entry ticket, you know, like a gentleman. She arrived around twenty minutes after me in a yellow sundress that not only clashed with her pale skin and platinum blonde hair, but also my techno-pallbearer look. From this point forward, I ask that you simply imagine that every verb is either preceded or succeeded by the word “awkwardly” as that is the only way to describe everything that happens next.

We head for the dance floor and jam to the greatest hits of 2010 which include “Low” by Flo Rida and of course “Forever” by Chris Brown, you know, before he was banned from the United Kingdom. Between songs, other girls would come up to Zahnah and compliment her on her dress or her hair. Zahnah would then do the same leaving me to stand beside her a smile. Zahnah was, and still is, several rungs above me on the social ladder and, unbeknownst to me, I would spending a great deal of my life standing aside and watching her exchange pleasantries.

During these breaks, I would try and muster the courage to ask her out. It’s interesting to think about it now because I actually never wanted to ask her out in the first place. Her taking a liking to me at all came as a surprise and I’d never considered her more than a close friend. But, given the immense pressure from her friends and my friends, I suppose I felt some sort of obligation to do so. Plus, I figured that since it was the summer between eighth grade and high school, I would have plenty of time to revamp my reputation if I had to break up with her. What else was high school for anyway?

Even still, I knew that the moment had to be perfect so, like the little Romeo I thought myself to be, I asked the DJ to play a song she liked : “You and Me” by Lifehouse. I then waited song after song for it to play, but it never did. It wasn’t until our mutual acquaintance, Duffy whispered to me “Hey you should ask her out” that I finally decided to. She said yes, we hugged and continued our slow rocking back and forth. Then the gym lights came on, I walked her to her mother’s car and went home feeling, oddly no different than I had before.

Now, nine years of color clashes, bad haircuts and awkward pictures later we are on the eve of our honeymoon to Iceland. Why Iceland? Blame the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and it’s enthralling scenes of Ben Stiller tearing through the Icelandic countryside on a long board. We have plenty of things planned such as cave tours (one of ice and the other of lava), hikes over tectonic plates and soaks in geothermal pools. I expect only 75% of these to occur but I am sure that we’ll have fun regardless. If nothing else, we can use the vacation as an excuse to read books in silence. Either way, we’ll have fun and you can expect a lengthy and picture laden post in the near future. Perhaps a video, who knows.

Till then, Svo lengi og þú munt heyra frá mér fljótlega!

-N.T. Finco