Recently, I've been thinking about marriage. Having just purchased a house, and possessing a most remarkable girlfriend, it seems to be the question on everyone's lips. Well, everyone not dating me - the Armoire applies no such pressure in the near term (one of the reasons she's so amazing). But friends, family and workmates lack such qualms and have been hassling me weekly with all of my female family members rolling their eyes and telling me I should wake up and get moving with the next phase of my life.
But as a friend of mine said when faced with a similar predicament, "it's the last major decision I'll ever get to make by myself, so I'm in no rush". And by predicament, I am of course not attempting to disparage the institute of marriage or suggest that it would be a bad thing, I'm just not certain I'm ready to settle down from my wild and crazy ways. As an example of how my life is much different from a few years ago, last night the big excitement was purchasing a "Honey Pomelo" without any idea of what it was, because buying strange ethnic fruit seemed like a fun way to spice up a grocery store excursion. Not quite making out with two women at once! It's not necessarily worse, just very different.
I lie - of course it's worse. But the rare occasions that I'm able to engage in some sort of sordid escapade are more than outweighed by the many, many times that I'm happy to have the Armoire at my side listening to my boring stories and making my life generally better in all ways. And the sex is fantastic.
So for the last few months (well, for years actually) I've been asking various men how they "knew" their wife was the right one. And I've been getting a lot of (often conflicting) answers that really haven't settled the issue for me one or another. This troubles me because as a computer guy, I like to think that everything eventually comes down to convenient true/false kind of solution so having to "just decide" is much more difficult than just "not" deciding. For now.
But then on Monday I read an article by Mark Rosewater, Head Designer of Magic the Gathering. Normally marriage is far from one's mind while reading a Magic article, but this article is entitled "Life Lessons, Part II" and involves Mark discussing how lessons he learned in his personal life apply to designing Magic cards. In particular, Lesson #8 details the reasoning behind Mark's decision to propose to his wife. Not only does he spell out exactly the dilemma I'm facing, but Mark's uncertainty and fears almost exactly match my own. And he went for it and is deliriously happy with three children.
I took it as a sign.
That night I called the Armoire and announced that the Internet had told me to marry her. At first she feared it was some sort of quiz and doubted it was the best method for determining one's future, but upon getting the full details she was delightedly relieved. However, she did indicate that she wanted a better motive for marriage than, "The Internet Told Me To".
So I made a bet.
You see, later on in the conversation, while discussing a hypothetical honeymoon, the Armoire indicated that for years she had been dreaming of going to Greece on her honeymoon. Conveniently, despite my many travels around the world playing Magic, I've never been to Greece and would really enjoy seeing the ruins and the beaches. On a related topic, the Armoire and I have often discussed how we would handle my tournament travels should we be hooked up in a permanent way. In particular, if I go anywhere exotic, she wants to come along and make a trip out of it, but this leads to further problems as she doesn't quite have the 20 weeks of vacation per year that I do. I tied it all in together by suggesting that it would be very time-efficient if we were to schedule our honeymoon around any major Greek Magic tournaments. The Armoire seemed skeptical yet open to the idea so I boldly stated:
"If Wizards of the Coast holds a major Magic tournament in Greece, I'll marry you."
Now, before you faint with delight, I should mention that not only has there never been a major tournament in Greece (I don't believe the market is large enough), I was pretty sure I knew the schedule for the rest of the 2006 season and there certainly wasn't any Greek tournaments on it. I figured at best, I would write about my gamble and imagine that upon reading it, WotC staff would see what they could do to arrange a Hellenic event just because it would be amusing for everyone involved and make for a good story.
About two hours ago I sat down to write this and thought, "I should probably check just to make sure I remember the schedule properly". Sure enough, there were no Greek tournaments in the 2006 schedule.
The 2007 schedule, on the other hand, had me falling out of my chair:
Hasselt, Belgium Jan 28-29, 2006 (Feeds Prague)
Richmond, USA Feb 4-5, 2006 (Feeds Prague)
Dortmund, Germany Feb 18-19, 2006 (Feeds Prague)
Manila, Philippines Mar 18-19, 2006 (Feeds Prague)
Cardiff, UK Mar 25-26, 2006 (Feeds Prague)
Madison, USA Mar 25-26, 2006 (Feeds Charleston)
Barcelona, Spain Apr 8-9, 2006 (Feeds Prague)
Hamamatsu, Japan Apr 8-9, 2006 (Feeds Charleston)
Torino, Italy TBD (Feeds Kobe)
Toronto, Canada June 3-4 2006 (Feeds Kobe)
Toulouse, France Jun 24-25, 2006 (Feeds Kobe)
Malmo, Sweden Jul 22-23, 2006 (Feeds Kobe)
Hiroshima, Japan Aug 5-6, 2006 (Feeds Kobe)
Athens, Greece Oct 14-15, 2006 (Feeds Pro Tour #1 2007)
Kooriyama, Japan Nov 4-5, 2006 (Feeds PT #1 2007)
Oh. My. God.
Anyone have any really cool, never before seen proposal ideas?