FROM BOB SEGER to RING FINGER
How Timmy & Megan got engaged.
I am taking a required graduate course for my MFA in Film and Video at Columbia College Chicago: Documentary I. The film I make, Bob Seger Rocks, the story of my cousin, Luke Casey, becomes a much better film than I could have ever imagined. It goes on to win awards in multiple film festivals. IT also garners the attention of a certain big company. Little did I know, it would help me with my love life . . .
I’ve taken an internship with Josephson Entertainment in Los Angeles for two months. Patrick and I are doing We Have An Uncle Dick shows and I’m progressing my career. However, this is also the longest I’ve ever spent away from Megan. It’s also when the seed is planted in my head – if I miss this girl this much, maybe she’s the one . . .
In no little part to my friend DANIELLE UHLARIK, Bob Seger Rocks is asked to be part of YouTube’s Screening Room, YouTube’s Professionally Curated Film Site. Danielle really worked hard to get this to happen. With the contract also comes a sizable payment. And with this payment, I am reminded of how much I have thought about proposing to Megan. Money is no longer an excuse. I can finally afford a real ring. However, I am still in some denial about my feelings . . . that is until —
APRIL 24th 2010
— I go home for Spring Break and have dinner and drinks with two, dear old friends: JULIE KOTSIOPULOS (now Hernandez) and LANA BRORERMANN (now LeGrand). These two fine ladies were camp councilors with me at Camp Foster YMCA in Spirit Lake, IA – Lake Okoboji for your soccer nuts and those of you who watched the first season of The X-Files. I get a little drunk and let it slip that I’m thinking of asking Megan to marry me. Well, now it’s in the open. Once you say it, it becomes truth — now Lana and Julie have become de-facto conspirators in the proposal process. They both had worked at Boreshiems in Omaha – a fancy schmancy jewelry store. The perfect place to buy a ring. Now, the ball is set in motion. As soon as I get the YouTube money, I’m set.
JUNE 16th, 2010
Megan and I move in together, Oooooohhhhh, It’s getting serious! I thought I would have proposed before we moved in together but . . .
The money was supposed to arrive in June. Where is it? Crap. Postponement.
Oh my god! Where is the money? YouTube, come on! If I were a utility company, you’d be in collections now. Danielle is doing her best to help, but she no longer works for the company, so I’m on my own.
I am making my Thesis Film, (Super) Dan, spending plenty of money in the process and wondering – will I ever have money for a ring? I’m thinking, wouldn’t it be great to propose to Megan on Thanksgiving? We had already invited my whole family to Chicago for the holiday. It would be perfect. But I am missing an important piece of the puzzle – THE RING. Ahhhhhhh!
LATE OCTOBER 2010
I am planning a trip to Los Angeles to do a rough cut of (Super) Dan with my brilliant editor, LAUREN WALSH. I haven’t money for a ring yet, but I pay for a 1.5 day stopover in Omaha, hoping to god Google/YouTube gets me my money. I call JULIE KOTSIOPULOS and she gets the ball rolling in Omaha. She has an appointment all set for me with her contact at Boresheilms. We’ll meet up and get the ring on November 16th – 9 days from Operation Ring Finger . . . I still can’t afford a ring.
NOVEMBER 3rd, 2010
Fed up with being ignored by Google and YouTube, I employ the one person I know can scare the pamnts out of a multi-billiion dollar company — my cousin KERRY ANN SCHULTZ (now Spitzer). Kerry is a lawyer in Pensacola. But she’s not just a lawyer – she a freaking barracuda! Let me help you get a handle on this. In high school, Kerry didn’t carry her books in a book back – she had a brief case. I e-mail Kerry the contract and my concerns that the payment is 4 months overdue. I end the e-mail saying, “I can’t tell you what the money is supposed to be used for, but I can guarantee its worth the trouble :)” STUPID! She replies, “Are you going to propose to miss. Greene??????” I deny everything.
NOVEMBER 5th, 2010
I call Megan’s mom, Linda, and ask her blessing and she was exstatic. She told Megan’s step-dad and the two promised to keep it under wraps. Now 4 people know! I am thinking, man, I hope I’m not putting the horse before the cart – that money better come in soon.
NOVEMBER 8th, 2010 7:35 AM CST
Kerry drafts a letter to Google/YouTube and sends it to my contact. All I can say is she ends it with, “GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.” Awwwwesome.
NOVEMBER 8th, 2010 8:00 AM CST
I depart for LA. Still no money.
NOVEMBER 8th, 2010 12:31 PM CST / 10:31 PST
After months of silence, I get an e-mail conforming that payment will be sent within the next two weeks. Ah-ha! Suck it! Operation Ring Finger commences. I’m so excited that I got the money that I let it slip to my friend ANGIE PARRISH that I’m proposing. Now 5 people in the world know – not counting me. FYI: Megan and I have never, ever, ever ever, never ever discussed marriage.
NOVEMBER 15th, 2010
I’m in Omaha for a measly day and a half. My family is not one bit suspicious. I mean, taking a detour to Omaha on a flight from LA to Chicago – for a day and half – that’s weird.
NOVEMBER 16th, 2010
I tell my parents that I’m having lunch with an old friend from camp – a name they haven’t heard in many years. They’re none the wiser, though. Kots (as we camp councilors called her) picks me up at my Dad’s house and we race to Borshiems. Kots had her iPad ready like a gunslinger has his six shooter ready – she pulled up all the diamonds in my price range and we went over the 3 Cs – carat, cut, and clarity. When all was said and done, I chose the diamond, the band and paid for it all in about an hour. I knew exactly what I wanted. I am told it should arrive in Chicago via Fed-Ex on Monday, November 22nd – 3 days from Operation Ring Finger. This is good as my dad arrives for Thanksgiving on the 23rd. I just want it to come without anyone knowing – so the sooner the better.
NOVEMBER 19th, 2010
It’s was VERY important for me to get Megan’s dad’s blessing. He was in town to see Megan in a play so the timing is perfect. He was staying at The Roosevelt Hotel downtown and this was my only chance to ask him. I called him and asked if he wanted to get some dinner. Nope, the guest he brought with him wasn’t feeling well. Well, screw it, I’m going down there to ask him. I got on the train and went to the lobby. I called Leo and said:
ME: “Leo, It’s Timmy. I was downtown and thought I’d stop by. I’m in the lobby.”
Leo was kinda weirded out that I was being so persistent about seeing him. But, he was coming down. I waited. I was terrified. This was harder than the actual proposal. I tried to go over what I was going to say but then I got a call. I shouldn’t have answered it. It was someone from Columbia College’s Smeseter in LA program asking if they could interview me. I don’t remember what questions I answered, but I did do the interview. Idiot. The interviwer concluded by asking if I had any questions. I said:
ME: “No. I gotta go. I’m sorry. I’m about to ask my girlfriend’s dad for permission to marry her.”
Leo came down. We chatted. Small talk. And then I asked. He was so happy. He bought me a Guinness in the Hotel bar and we celebrated the coming nuptial. I was glad that was over. Now 6 people know. I made him promise not to tell a soul.
NOVEMBER 20th, 2010
Leo told his guest. Now 7 people know.
NOVEMBER 22nd, 2010
No ring. Storms in Georgia delay all cargo traffic.
NOVEMBER 23rd, 2010.
It’s dark out. I’ve waited home all day for the package. I’ve called Borsheims. I’ve called Fed-Ex. My dad arrives at approximately 7:30pm. It’s 6:00pm. At 6:30pm, a Fed-Ex truck pulls up across the street. I run out to catch the driver as he’s taking out some large boxes from the back. He says this is his last delvery for the day – he’s Fed-Ex Ground and my package is Fed-Ex Express. His truck has the Orange lettering – I’m looking for Green lettering. He says that Fed-Ex Express is done for the day. Shit.
NOVEMBER 23rd, 2010 Approximately 7:30pm CST
Dad called. He’s 20 minutes away. This sucks. Suddenly, a Fed-Ex truck with Green lettering pulls up. I rush out to meet the driver. He has my PACKAGE!!!! My dad is pulling up. Crap. I run upstairs and check the merchandise. It’s perfect. Just as I put it in the back of my desk drawer and slam it shut – DING DONG. Dad’s here. Holy Cow.
NOVEMBER 25th, 2010 THANKSGIVING
My whole family is in town (minus my brother Sean – who had to study for his finals. Since he couldn’t come, I let him know my plans – now 8 people in the world know.) The dinner guests include, Mom, Dad, Larry (my step-dad), brothers Chris and Pat, Pat’s girlfriend, Uncle Mike, Cousin Lyndsay and Husband Max and Daughter Penny. I’m making the turkey and trying to figure out how the hell I’m gonna pull this off. I’m hosting a bunch of people for the holidays, cooking the meal and having minor seismic actvity in my heart. Ugh.
I know I want to do it after dinner and outside away from family eyes. Miraculously, I have eaten without getting sick. Dinner is done, people are cleaning up – no one knows – he he.
GOAL 1: Get Megan out of the apartment without raising suspicion.
I think, “Okay, I’ll make a beer run.” So I go to my trusty beer drinker, Uncle Mike, to have an excuse to get some beer.
ME: “Hey, Mike, you want any beer, I’m gonna make a run.”
MIKE: “No. Wine’s good.”
CRAP! Thanks Mike.
LYNDSAY: “Max can go. Max?”
Son of a —
MAX: “II don’t need any beer. Thanks. Besides, it’s freezing out.”
Thank god for Max. Well, then, I could use a beer. So I grab Megan and ask her to help me. She’s in the kitchen helping my Mom and Larry wash dishes.
ME: “Megan, will you go with me to the corner store to get some beer and ice?”
MOM: “Oh, no, Larry will go. Larry! Go with Tim to get some groceries.”
Damn it, Mom.
ME: “No, no, no – um, you guys are guests. Megan and I will go. Relax.”
LARRY: “No, I can go -”
I grab Megan and head for the door.
ME: “We’re going to the grocery store to get some beer.”
PAT’S GIRLFRIEND: “Oh, I’ll go. I want to get some air anyway.”
You have to be kidding me!
ME: “No, it’s really far away. We’ll go – you stay here.”
It’s a block and a half away.
PAT’S GIRFRIEND: “You sure?”
We rush out. I’m sure Megan is wondering why we need beer so bad. I’ve been drinking whisky all day. GOAL 1 ACCOMPLISHED.
GOAL 2: We’re not really getting beer.
ME: Sorry, we’re not really getting beer . . . I just . . . . needed to get away from my family They were annoying me.
MEGAN: Okay, let’s go for a walk.
For crying out loud, that was easy. GOAL 2 ACCOMPLISHED!
GOAL 3: Find the right location.
So, I’m getting paranoid. I don’t want to ask her on the sidewalk. I mean, it’s like 15 degrees out and no one is mucking about looking for a proposal to ruin, but I feel prying eyes from the windows of other apartments. Where can I do this? Where can I do this? Someplace quiet and private. Oh, the alley up the street – duh. (Mind you – I’m in mild state of panic. This seemed like a good choice at the time.)
ME: “Hey, let’s go over here. Nevre been down here.”
MEGAN: “Really? Um, okay.”
ME: “Yeah, I just want to see what’s down here.”
MEGAN” “All right.”
We walk down the alley towards the entrance to St. Boniface Cemetery. Oh, yeah, this is gonna be romantic. We end up right at the side entrance; trash bins on one side, dead people on the other. Quiet and private. Yeah, I’m that good . . . GOAL 3 ACCOMPLISHED!
GOAL 4: Find a clever way to propose.
Well, now, I’m in a pickle. I’m thought, “I’m an improvisor, I can improvise.” But here we are, in an alley next to a cemetery and I’m about to ask the woman I love with every ounce of my being to be my partner for life. I should have just bought two plots in the cemetery and put our names on the headstones – “See that, we’re gonna be together forever . . . .”
But then I remember, I gave Megan a Claddagh Ring for Christmas a few years back. I had thought about using it as a jumping off point for the proposal – you know, switching it out for the new ring. But I feel for it as we’re holding hands and it’s not there. “God? Do you hate me?” Well, here goes nothing:
ME: “Hey, where’s your Claddagh?”
MEGAN” “Oh, I took it off to wash the dishes.”
ME: “Oh . . . ”
MEGAN” “I’m sorry? I didn’t want it to go down the drain.”
ME: “That’s okay.”
MEGAN: “Are you mad.”
ME: “No . . . “
Oh, yeah. An opening. Here we go! I am holding that damn Borsheims box with the death grip of a thousand of those corpses in that Cemetary 2 feet away. I pull it out, open it and present it to Megan with these words:
ME: “I just thought this would look better.”
Megan’s face is red and frozen in shock – partly from the bitter cold and partly because — shit — I have the ring box upside down. For all she knows, she’s getting some cheap earrings from Hot Topic. I hurridly flip it back around.
ME: “I mean – I thought this would look better.”
MEGAN: “What does this mean?”
Let me rewind that . . . . . . .
MEGAN: “What does this mean?”
ME: “It means I want you to be my wife – marry me.”
I put the ring on, starting with the wrong hand and then the wrong finger. She assists me like a good partner does. And despite getting up at the butt crack of dawn before I left for LA and sneaking to her jewelry box and sizing her claddagh by making a loop with my index and thumb — it was still too big. Oh well. Then I remember:
ME: “Oh, crap. Um. I should have gotten on one knee. You want me to do this over?”
So I propose again. I stand up and Megan is shivering and crying and she’s in shock. I look at her cute little frozen face and say:
ME: “So, what do you think?”
MEGAN: “I gotta pee.”
GOAL 4 ACCOMPLISHED.
Operation RING FINGER COMPLETE.
We go back to the apartment hoping to gather everyone into one room for the announcement.
LYNDSAY: “Where’s the beer.”
ME: “Oh, man, they were out.”
LYNDSAY: “Out of beer. That’s weird.”
ME: “I know.”
Megan goes to a corner, desperately trying to hide her ring finger. We gather everyone (which takes an extra 10 freaking minutes) into the front room. With out much decorum, I just say:
ME: “Everyone, I just asked Megan to marry me.”
LYNDSAY: “I knew it!”
My mom is in utter shock as Megan reveals her finger. My poor mother. She has raised 5 boys and has waited for this day for 40 years — but, you must remember, she raised Tamisiea boys. So, naturtally, her response is:
MOM: “Is this a joke?”
No mom, it’s not. Your invitation’s in the mail.