I Do.

The other day the mother of my very oldest, very dearest and very best friend dropped off an engagement gift for Evan and I at the cafe, the Le Creuset casserole dish you see pictured above. This particular gift is dear to my heart because the woman who gave us this present met Evan when he was a spry 12 year old, and I was 11. In other words, she is one of those people in our lives that has watched this whole thing happen. It truly is quite amazing. The whole me knowing Evan for over half our lives thing.

For my nineteenth birthday party I had a "Where Will You be in 10 years" themed party. Guests were asked to dress and act accordingly for the evening. At the time (as I had for most of my life) I fancied myself a writer. Supposedly living in New York, dressed head to toe in all black, pack of cigarettes stuffed in my back pocket and a long cigarette holder pressed firmly to my lips All. Night. Long. A sort of Audrey Hepburn crossed with a Charles Bukowski. Evan was an Outward Bound Instructor, long-sleeve button-down over a generic t-shirt, wearing loose-fitting khaki pants and hiking boots, a Nalgene water bottle hooked to his pants by the oh-so-appropriate carabiner. Obviously it was clear that we didn't see each other in our respective futures. Or did we? Was Evan leading backpacking expeditions during the summer months and wintering in the icicles of NYC? Was I an avid chain-smoking, Pulitzer-prize coveting rock climber? It certainly didn't look like it.

Well, we are shy of that 10 year marker but from the looks of it, Evan isn't heading off to the Bigelow Mountain Range any time soon, and my long-standing fascination with certain self-deprecating lifestyles has faded with maturity. Yes, things worked out differently for us. Six years after that party we are still together. Not rock climbing (though we did our fair share in New Zealand). Not spending afternoons writing in Central Park (though many afternoons are spent dedicated to this blog). But Together. The most important thing of all.

Tonight I will take this lovely engagement gift and I make a White Bean Cassoulet for me and my fiance. We will light a fire, drink French wine and I will have the great fortune of reminding myself that in 9 short months I get the opportunity to marry this man.


Unknown said...

Beautiful post, beautiful couple, lucky Moo. Thanks, Susan for giving such a thoughtful gift, one that inspired/rekindled Joey's muse as well as helped house a special meal.

Joe said...

Wow... even though I had just a minute or two to play around, I found your blog by accident and got sucked into it. Now, as usual, I'm running behind, but it was well worth the read... Had to comment just so that you know all of your readers aren't from Oregon. Good luck with the cafe, it looks great...

Ryan and Emma said...

My wife and I stopped in to get a treat and coffee recently and we are very excited about the cafe. Good luck and we really loved the coffee!

Anonymous said...

i was just in there today and i had no idea!!! congratulations to both of you! ali it was so nice to talk with you this morning. we are both usually so busy when i come by, but what a luxury today was! i feel lucky that i get to be involved with you and evan, and all the little red bike staff! thanks guys!