Thursday, February 14, 2008

To My Valentine

Yeah, it's probably cliché to blog about love on Valentine's Day. know what? Sometimes I'm a little cliché. It's not that I'm not intelligent enough to come up with good ideas; it's that my ideas are great ideas that other people thought were great too!

Sometimes my great ideas are thwarted by others. I'm going to give a specific example and it relates to today, so don't think I'm getting off topic!

Let's go back about...oh...a little more than 8 years. Let's introduce Dustin - a Private First Class in the United States Army stationed on Camp Essayons in Uijongbu, South Korea. This is a soldier who, before he was a soldier, thought he had a pretty good idea of what kind of person he was going to end up marrying. In fact, even before he realized that girls were NOT icky, he had a dream one night about a girl that he just KNEW he would grow up to marry. For a time, this dream was forgotten, but when he got older and DID realize that girls were not icky, he remembered this dream. Since the dream was now several years was hard to tell if some of the details were a product of what he THOUGHT he wanted or if they were the original details. So, going through high school and even for the first little while in the Army, he was always on the lookout for this "dream girl". There were a couple of times when he thought he may have met her, but there were always things that just didn't seem right.

Enter Crystal.

Crystal was a college student who worked in a computer lab at her university. She was nowhere near Korea, but just happened to be the perfect time difference apart from Dustin that made it easy to catch him on instant messenger when he was not at work, because he worked at night. His schedule and the 15 hour time difference basically made it so that the two were online at the same time frequently. Dustin knew when he first saw her picture that there was something about this one. But...being cautious from several earlier wrongs, he didn't say anything right away. After all, he barely knew her at this point - it really was just an instant message friendship.

Then Dustin had to relocate for a few months. This was during monsoon season and the dial-up connection in his barracks was not all that great. He would frequently get kicked off line and all too frequently was unable to get back online again. While battling with monsoon season, Dustin shared with Crystal that there were already reports of a few soldiers who had drowned in flash floods while trying to help make things safer. When Dustin got kicked offline one day and could not sign back on...Crystal did not think anything out of the ordinary...this happened all the time. What DIDN'T happen all the time was that he didn't come back...for weeks. Well, he had to relocate to Seoul for about 3 weeks in September of that year to help usher in some new field equipment for his unit. He did not have his computer or an internet connection where he went and it wasn't long before Crystal began to think that this semi-cool guy she had met on instant messenger had fallen victim to the flash floods of monsoon season.

When Dustin finally got back to his barracks, he signed online and saw Crystal online. He came up with some lame line like "Hey there! Long time to see!" Crystal was almost in disbelief! She felt an almost unrecognizable flutter of her heart when she realized that his guy was NOT dead and exclaimed "YOU'RE ALIVE!" She went on to tell him what she'd thought happened and they both had a good chuckle over it. A few weeks later, as Dustin was getting ready to head home for a month on leave, he got a little bold as to probe to see if there was any interest in him on the part of this gal he'd grown to admire. Turns out...there was. Not that it meant anything at that moment. Where he was going on leave was roughly 1,700 miles from where she lived.

When he got home and as they chatted online, he realized that he was falling hard and fast for this cute red-head of whom he'd seen just a couple of pictures on her website. He thought it a LITTLE odd since up until recently he really didn't find himself attracted to girls with red hair...after all...his mother AND his brother both had red hair and he'd been around it all his didn't seem like anything that stood out to him. He shared with her, nonetheless, that he could tell he was falling for her. She kind of felt the same sentiment, but wasn't sure it would ever evolve into anything. Over the course of the next few days, by virtue of chat and phone calls, their relationship started to blossom into a romance, though the two had never met face-to-face. Dustin KNEW he had to fix that. So...he did.

He bought a plane ticket and flew to her town and spent a few days with her and her family. When Dustin first hugged her he knew one thing...THIS was the girl he'd dreamed about so many years ago. He could tell by the way she felt in his was identical to the feeling he'd had of hugging her in the dream. He was 6' tall, 200lbs and kind of solid from all those push-ups and sit-ups and running that the Army made him do. She was 5' tall, very small framed and fit JUST RIGHT in his embrace.

Fast forward to December. Back in South Korea.

Dustin decided he HAD to do it. He had to propose. was a little quick...but he already knew for a fact that THIS was the one he was going to marry. There was no doubt in his mind. He had a great plan. He was going to buy a ring (a promise ring so that she could have a chance to pick out what kind of engagement ring she wanted) and send it to her for Christmas. He would propose with a video tape and she would LOVE it!!! He ran the idea by Crystal's friend. She didn't seem to think Crystal would like it so much. With the best of intentions, she said she'd like it, but that she'd probably PREFER an in-person on-one-knee kind of proposal. So...he put it off (great idea thwarted).

Fast forward to February. Dustin decided that he couldn't wait until he saw her in person again to propose. He already knew he was going to marry her. He knew he was going to be stationed not too far from where she lived. He had to do it...for the sake of keeping true to his heart, he had to do it. So he went and bought a ring, bought a video tape and borrowed a friend's camcorder. He started the video by asking her parents for permission and finished the video by proposing to the girl he'd dreamed about when he was still very young. He packaged it, addressed it to her dad, called him to let him know what was coming and sent it so it would get there as quickly as possible.

The package actually arrived on Valentine's Day in the United States - which was Dustin's intent. It was already after Valentine's Day in South Korea by the time the package arrived, but that was ok. Of all torturous things, Crystal's parents sent her to get the package which was at the post office, or UPS, or FedEx, or wherever it was. She brought it home and gave it to her parents (knowing SOMETHING was inside for her). Her parents viewed the tape while Dustin was on the phone with Crystal. They came and told Crystal that they had something they wanted to show her. Before showing it to her, Crystal's dad asked to speak with Dustin and told him that he had his permission. Crystal got back on the phone and watched the video of Dustin proposing from South Korea and Crystal's dad gave her the ring Dustin sent. Overcome with emotion, Crystal whispered an almost inaudible "yes" that she would marry Dustin!

So there you have it. Eight years ago today, I proposed to my wife (and litereally, the girl of my dreams) by video tape from 15 time zones away. And...I tell you...I am so glad I did.

Crystal - I'm glad we've spent the last 8 years loving each other and I look forward to many many MANY more years to come! Happy Valentine's Day!


Crystal said...

*puddle of goo*

Aww, happy valentine's day to you too, babe. :)

Crystal said...

I tagged you!

Crystal said...


You've become a blog slacker. :)