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Sunday, January 27, 2013

From Russia With Love

It's party time in Colorado Springs... Julie, my friend and co-worker, just got engaged. I've never been to an engagement party before, coming from Russia, where diamond rings aren't given out before weddings.

The party is right after work, which means I don't have an hour or three to get myself groomed and polished. I head to the fiance's house after a long day of staring into a computer screen. I'm wearing a questionable Chinese top (what was I thinking wearing it to work?or wearing it, period?). The house is packed and the majority of people is in the kitchen; the usual. This is where I head because I'm hungry. I hurry to greet a few friends,  force a smile at some acquaintances, and divert my full attention to a platter of nachos. Have I mentioned, I'm hungry? I dodge many a body as I struggle my way through to the mount of cheesy goo. I'm almost there when a tall lanky guy appears right above the platter and is already eying my food. I grab a paper plate, briskly move the platter toward me and help myself to a generous portion. The tall one doesn't seem to notice I'm not friendly.
Despite this he smiles and even asks me how I know the newly-engaged couple. I guess now that I took a bite, I'm becoming a little more human.
His name is Greg, he lives in that house with 4 other guys. We haven't even chatted for 5 minutes when he invites me to go to Denver to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with him and his friend Mark.
I like his straight-forwardness... and I covet his fab Joseph Abbaud  glasses. I have no other plans for Cinco de Mayo, I love Denver, so I hear myself say "yeah, sure, why not". Greg wonders off to inform his friend they have a new party attender. I see them chat and wonder if I'll have fun at all.
 * I found out later that the primary reason Greg was going to Denver was to meet up and hang out with a lady friend of Mark's. I was meant to keep Mark company... mmkay!
Denver trip is packed full with a Damien Rice concert, muchas margaritas, dancing at a shady club, and a random girl Greg's currant crush. The night gives me an insight into his awesome sense of humor and his awful sense of rhythm. The guy can't dance at all! The reason I notice is because he won't stop dancing!
It takes a few more hangouts, crashed parties, a trip to a destination wedding, and even his hilarious attempts to learn my native language, before he old-fashionably but oh-so sweetly, asks me to be his girlfriend. 

*We got married on Quatro de Mayo, 2008, a year and a day after we met. On Cinco de Mayo we were flying to Hawaii for a 2-week honeymoon. Nobody else was invited to that big party, thank goodness.
He still eats nachos from my platter and tries to learn my native language. Body parts seem to be the only words he ever remembers in Russian.
I have completely given up my attempts to teach him how to dance.
Lena Winn @