So Derek got engaged, and despite his best efforts, did not burn down a forest in the process. A few weeks ago my big brother, Derek, asked his girlfriend, Aleks, to marry him, and what I imagine as the same tone as the Virgin Mary used with the angel Gabriel, she said yes. But unlike my visions of my own wedding - leap year, February 29, 2012 - Derek Till was romantic about it.
First, Derek contacted Aleks's favorite artist to paint her a picture asking, "Will you marry me?" Second, Derek met Aleks on a designers weekend festival thingy that Aleks was in charge of . . . an important weekend to her. Then he placed the original art on a conveniently (for purposes of proposals by original paintings) placed stone fireplace in the middle of the Minnesotan wilderness. Some other John-Cusiacian-Romantically-Minded individual had already arranged candles around said stone mantle, so Derek lit the candles and met Aleks for an autumn walk.
Now Derek is no fool, and he realized that leaving a load of lit candles in the middle of dry autumn wilderness surrounding an original piece of artwork that potentially defines the precise moment his future went from rolling 12-sided dies to rolling to Home Depot for domestic repairs, is a bad idea. So he b-lined it to the engagement site. And regardless of the awkwardness that followed, including pulling a ring out of his right hand coat pocket with his right arm was around his beloved - I'm still not sure how he did this - all is well that ends well, and my big brother is engaged.
Now comes the excitement of telling family and friends. My parents, who knew this was coming, gracefully overwhelmed the couple with a champagne toast. Then - I would assume - came telling Aleks's parents and sisters as well as Derek's two sisters and his only brother and future best man, me. Now, I'm aware of the day and age in which we live, but I am not apparently aware of the formalities of Facebook. And while I plan on getting married on leap year 2012 so that I only have to celebrate an anniversary once every four year, and as soon as I find a non-mingin' girl who's into getting married on this Wednesday, I will ask her to marry me, I will still let my immediate family know who said girl is by at least a phone call - I've already told them the date and they are not impressed, but my mom seems to like it a little more then when I was dead set on eloping. Anyway, back on subject, Smokey the Bear/my brother, chose to send me a beautifully worded, if misspelled, Facebook message about his engagement:
Subject: some big news
"Aleks and I got engaged on Saturday. Really don't haave much more info than that. Give me a call soon (612) 310 #### and we will talk. Love ya
I actually knew that this was coming because of the awkward goodbye my mother left on my message machine a few days eariler, "Hi B, it's Mom. I'm just calling to say hi. Give me a call if you want. Love you, bye . . . You might want to call your brother . . . ok, bye." But still. Come on. I'm the only brother involved here. And while 6 hours away, you could always call me in the middle of the night and plead ignorance to time zones. It's a good thing I'm never bitter.
But truth be told, in spite of his affinity for Facebook, everyone who knows Derek knows what an outstanding man he truly is. To me he's been the cool older brother who bought me Taco Bell when I was 12, the quirky dork whose been getting me hooked on nerdy sci-fi shows since I was 16, and the brother and friend I know at 26. More importantly, everyone who knows Aleks knows how good she is for, and with Derek. This engagement is a blessing for both of our families, and I'm honored to be able to expand my family with a cool new sister like Aleks, even if it does mean I will have to send one more Facebook message in 2012.
Fact about me #32
I want to have a baseball themed wedding where the bride wears a big white dress and looks like a baseball, I wear a tux that looks like a catchers mit, her father is a giant bat who hits her down the isle, and the priest is dressed as an umpire who has us say, "Strike!" insted of "I do." There will also be bunt cake.