Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Boo Bop BopBop Bop

Earth Mama, not my Mama. My Mama
has more understated taste in jewelry.
After yesterday's post, Mama insisted that the quote I attributed to her is not, in fact, what she always says. She's usually right about everything, so I'm sure she is speaking the truth, but whenever I remind myself that whenever God closes a door, he opens a window, I hear it in her voice. So, kudos Mama! It's yours now!

She reiterated that her favorite of her own Mama-isms is "Whenever you hear a no, remember that the yes will always be bigger." I'm paraphrasing, Mama, so if you want accuracy, you have to start Mama's Pearls O Wisdom Blog yourself. Seriously. I'd read that blog!

I promised to share the meet cute story between my fiance, Tom, and I. Considering that after a lot of nos, Tom is the single biggest yes that has come along in my life, I thought that now would be a good time. Plus, talking about him just makes me happy and, as I said before, our meeting is Disney-related (as a lot about our relationship is) and therefore topical. So gird your loins, here we go!

Last summer I worked running events at a big box book retailer. I had been with the company for ten years, working my way up to a position that I enjoyed, working with a great team in my department and making a decent wage. After months of fishiness from management, the bomb dropped. Our location was closing. Out of the blue. Lease is up, we are out. I have a lot of feelings associated with this happening. The biggest one was disappointment. We had an amazing events team who were respected, both within the company and outside of it, who had collectively given twenty-five years of our lives to this retailer, but somehow, on the whole island of Manhattan, they couldn't find positions for any of the three of us. They made excuses. I have suspicions. Now, I say bump 'em. But at the time I was beyond upset. Remember- I'm not always so good with change. And my life was about to change more than I knew it.

I did look quite this hip. Maybe I
should have worn a black turtleneck.
The day that we found out that we'd be jobless in four months, I called my roommate (who has since run out on me, leaving a legacy of $1200 in bad checks) and told him I needed to drink. And vent. We went to an outdoor restaurant and bar. I had a pack of cigarettes (I don't smoke) and a steady stream of margaritas (I rarely drink) and I was ready to let loose. I called another friend of mine who has an apartment across from the bar, inviting him to participate in the 2010 Anthony Got Laid Off, So Let's Get Wasted Festival. He said sure. He was meeting a friend who had just moved to NYC from California and asked if the friend could come along. I said sure. I was drunk. He could have said he was bringing along a swarthy pirate king who wanted to sack and loot midtown and I would have said sure.

A swarthy pirate Tom is not. Through my inebriated haze, between puffs and gulps, I saw this adorable guy in glasses (who I thought was way out of my league) sit down across the table from me, deflecting obvious advances from the cheapskate roommate. Romance was the last thing on my mind, so I kept on bemoaning my life. Magically, this guy Tom materialized in the chair beside me. Through my drunken haze I realized that he was not only listening to me and laughing at my jokes, but being really clever when he could get a word in edgewise. I was a bit smitten despite myself, but with my track record, thought little of it.

The party moved to my friend's apartment. We played drunken Mario Kart on Wii. I was being a bad drunk Wii driver, standing up, jumping, yelling at the telly, and sticking out my tongue slightly as if that would somehow improve my skills. It did not. Finally, I realized it was late, I was three sheets to the wind and I needed to catch a train home.

As I crossed the street walking towards the train, I realized that Tom was still with me. I had assumed that he had gone elsewhere with Cheapo McGoo roomie. I was useless by this point. Tom filled me in later on the details. He had to run to catch up with me and get me home, wanting to make sure that I would be OK. I continued to talk incessantly. Mostly about Robyn and how her songs would make an amazing musical because they tell such great stories. I still think this is true and tell Tom all the time that we should write it. Now we will pause to enjoy a piece of pop music perfection from our Swedish indie dance goddess, Robyn. Please to enjoy "Call Your Girlfriend".

How awesome was that?!?! Please take the time to check out her music if you haven't already. She is not longer the factory made Britney Spears-alike from the 90's who sang "Show Me Love". She used to be a guilty pleasure. Now she's just full on, no bones about it musical bliss. But I digress. Where was I? Oh!

Brazzle Dazzle indeed!
At some point Tom and I had discussed Disney. We are both huge, unabashed Disney geeks and so I was a bit taken aback that he had never seen one of my favorites- Pete's Dragon. When I launch into the review portion of this endeavor, which will be soon, I will go into more depth about my deep love for this underrated hybrid of live-action and animation starring Helen Reddy, Jim Dale, Mickey Rooney, a cute little redheaded boy named Pete and his friend Elliot the Dragon. It is one of my favorite Disney films and now holds an even more special place in my heart.

I want to see this parade again so badly! It's been years.
Are Pete and Elliot still in it?
When we got to my apartment, the first thing I did was put Pete's Dragon into the DVD player, hunker down on the couch and let the movie wash over me. Disney is my comfort food and after the craziness of the day, I needed comfort. And I got it from Pete's Dragon that night. And from Tom. He watched me light up. I'm sure I sang along, talked nonstop about what I loved about it and did my Helen Reddy as Nora voice. Seriously. Ask me to sing "There's Room For Everyone in This World" next time you see me. It's uncanny.

Tom has been by my side ever since then. That night, when I least expected it, the man I will love for the rest of my days walked into my life. He showed me two things that made me realize by the time I went to sleep that he was the one: a) he was willing to let himself be a big, silly kid, which was a trait that had revealed itself to be increasingly important in my life in the last few years and 2) he had seen me at my lowest and cared for me through it. He's been taking care of me ever since, bless his sweet lil' soul.

On the first mix CD I ever made for him (yes, I still make them and they're always fully awesome), I included a song from Pete's Dragon and to this day both the song and the movie instantly remind me of him. Early in the film Pete and Elliot sing a simple song ("Boo Bop BopBop Bop") to each other about the love between a boy and his pet. Elliot doesn't speak words but makes adorable noises that are fun to sing along with. Here is the song in English and in French, just to prove that this song is huggable in any language.

The night I met Tom, I sang to him in my best Elliot the Dragon voice. Somehow, luckily for me, he found it charming. The song has taken on a much greater resonance lately, reminding me that love can be simple. It doesn't have to be overwrought and full of drama and can exist in the small, everyday things. Ever since that night, Tom has shown me love in the simple things. He has been my candle on the water.

Boo bop bopbop bop, Tom Tom. Je t'aime beaucoup.

1 comment:

  1. I love "how we met" stories! I've always wondered how you two met. :) I grew up watching Pete's Dragon too and now really want to watch it again with my daughter. Thanks for reminding me how fun it is! :)