30 for 30: Day 18


We usually don’t host NYE parties. For one, the pressure is too great. For two, you have to stay up until midnight! Today’s 3F3 is from the time I pleaded, bargained, and begged Dom to let us have a NYE get-together with a couple of friends. Of course, that was only the beginning of the deception. I remember…

The year is 2015 for a few more minutes. I’m 35 years old.

I do enjoy lying to Dom – lying in general, in fact. These days, I do it mostly in book form, but honestly there’s nothing more exciting to me than setting expectations and then smashing them with a hammer. And sometimes, maybe a few times in a lifetime, you get to use a sledgehammer instead.

The first step of my devious plan was to gather an audience, which is difficult when you’re just trying to pitch a simple NYE party. Some people had to drive in from other cities… others didn’t want to commit, but somehow, I managed to get everyone on board. I needed an audience because I was going to make a speech.

2015 Toast, ladies and gentlemen. First of all, thank you all for being here. I’m so glad you could make it.

You should be there, I remember saying to Mel. And when she continued to waver, You should be there.

The second step was to not drink too much, which was difficult, because I was insanely nervous. Luckily, there was a ton of food and drinks and it wasn’t too hard to pretend to drink from the same glass all night long. I honestly don’t remember too much of the evening, the hours leading up to midnight. I’m sure it was fun though.

As we get closer to midnight, it’s time we all start thinking about the future: what we want to accomplish, where we want to go, and who we want to go there with.

The third step was a prepared speech. My nerves weren’t ready to give it. You can hear my voice tremble. You can see me sway awkwardly in place, trying to find some comfort. Everyone was looking at me… everyone knew something was coming.

I have a feeling 2016 is going to be our best year ever. [hold for applause] [clear throat]

The fourth step was finding a way to get Dom next to me during the speech. I racked my brain for a long time, and eventually got the idea that since I was using index cards to read my speech, she should have a card too. You know, since technically, we were both hosting the party, she should say a few words too.

That’s just ettitiquite.

This, if you haven’t met her, is my girlfriend Dominique. We’ve grown so close over the years, that we’re even finishing each other’s… [Dom reads from card] … sentences.

Dom pointed to her watch. Time was running out.

I’m not ready to start 2016. I’m not ready for this year to be over, not while there’s still one last thing I have to do.

She probably thought I was making a bad joke when I got down on one knee and asked her to be my wife. But I was serious, and after a few seconds, she realized I meant every stammered word of it.

The rest of the night was kind of a blur.

All I really remember is that I got to count down to 2016 with my fiancé, and at the stroke of midnight, we kissed.

I’ve mentioned in other posts about how lives can fracture, change course, or shift irrevocably. This was not one of those moments. Instead, when I woke the next morning, it was with the comforting feeling that my life had not fundamentally changed at all, but it had begun to pick up speed.

Life had begun to accelerate.

Little did I know I would live more in the next four years than in the entirety of my life up until that point.

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