Issue #66 – “Fools of Engagement” – April 25th, 2005

-Last Saturday, I had some friends over to booze and christen my new apartment.  Everyone brought the requisite sixer.  When my former roommate Brian arrived with his girlfriend, I noticed they were carrying a six-pack as well as a bottle of champagne.  Immediately, my spider-sense began tingling.  Brian would never shell out for a bottle of bubbly just because I got a new place.  Instinctively, I glanced over at his girlfriend – and happened to spot a rock on her finger.  And that’s when I figured out that Brian had gotten engaged.  Holy shit!  Engaged?  Dom Perignon?  What happened to the Brian we all know and love?  Then he whipped out some cheap, plastic, disposable champagne glasses and I thought – oh, there he is.

-At first I was a little miffed because Brian didn’t give me any indication when he was going to pop the question.  Afterward, he told me he just really wanted to keep it a secret and that I have a tendency to get drunk, say things I shouldn’t, and break everything.  I protested but Brian said, “Honestly Karo, we call you the Human Security Deposit.”

-I just want to point out that Brian got engaged about three months after we stopped living together, but he’s known he’d be marrying his girlfriend for quite some time.  So in essence, I lived with a married couple for at least a year.  You know how fucking weird and unhealthy that was?  I actually used to yell at Brian for keeping the toilet seat…down!

-Of course, with an engagement party, a bachelor party, a bachelorette party, a bridal shower, a rehearsal dinner, and then the actual wedding, the engagement is just the beginning of a yearlong series of events celebrating every incremental step of the process.  It’s like Billy Madison is getting married.

-As I said, Brian’s getting engaged has pretty much been a done deal for a while.  But do you have that friend that has been dating someone for like eight years but refuses to even discuss the possibility of marriage?  I love talking to them because they always get so overly defensive.  I’m like, “So, heard about Brian?  I guess you’re next, huh?”  And they’re like, “Whoah, whoah, whoah, not even close!  We’re not even thinking of considering even maybe getting engaged!  Possibly a few years from now.  I want to take it slow.  Very slow.  Really, really slow.  Like unnecessarily, painfully protracted, drawn-out slow – that’s the kind of slow I’m looking for.”

-I think the strangest situation will be after the wedding, when I hang out with Brian and his fiancee as husband and wife.  Hanging out with married people my own age is really awkward.  You know, because they’re married and I’m still human.

-This Labor Day, I’ll be attending my frat buddy Joey’s wedding.  He’s the first guy in our pledge class to get married.  Fraternity weddings (or “freddings”) have to be a lot different than your run-of-the mill wedding.  I imagine freddings to involve a lot more drinking and perhaps some streaking.  I know for a fact that Joey had to hire a special fredding photographer skilled in the art of shooting human pyramids.

-And let me just say, Brian, dear old friend, congratulations on your engagement.  I couldn’t be happier for you.  But you might want to stock up on those plastic glasses for the wedding.  They don’t call me the Human Security Deposit for nothing!

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Pre-engaged Brian shared with me an interesting theory a few weeks ago: bad basketball games are a great place to pick up girls.  His thinking goes like this: when two bad teams are playing, dads who have season tickets often give their tickets away, presumably to their hot daughters.  Ergo, bad basketball games are often filled with hot chicks.  Hey, at least the Lakers and Knicks had one thing going for them this season.

-When I first moved into my new apartment, Brian asked me if I brought my high school yearbook.  I said no, because I’m only subletting the apartment.  And then Brian shared with me yet another of his theories: whether or not you have your high school yearbook in your current abode is the real test of whether you’re going to be staying there for a while.  Not bad, right?  Before I compared Brian to Billy Madison, but really he’s like Albert Einstein.  You know, if Einstein’s theories employed faulty logic and made no real useful contribution to society.

-People love to tell me how big a place they could get in their town for the price of my studio apartment in New York City.  Listen, if I really wanted a four-story townhouse with private pool, I’d live in Omaha.  But I mean, come on, you guys don’t even have a basketball team, let alone one that sucks enough to attract hot girls!

-My first few weeks in my new apartment were strange because the doormen didn’t recognize me yet and thus asked suspiciously, “Can I help you, sir?” every time I walked in.  And nothing says “welcome home” like a burly guy in a poorly-tailored uniform blocking your path when you really have to take a shit.

-As my longtime fans know, I fucking hate slow walkers.  I hated them in college when they’d stroll leisurely in front of me, blocking my path when I was late for class.  And I hate them in New York, clogging the sidewalks as they stop to take pictures every half-block.  But now I’ve witnessed a new, horrible breed of slow-walker that’s only 1/8 the size.  That’s right: “mini-walkers.”  Seriously parents, when you’re walking down a narrow stairway to catch a subway train that’s about to take off and I’m right behind you, PICK UP your fucking little toddler and carry that snot-nosed brat.  If you haven’t noticed, your kid is three.  He can’t fucking reach the handrail.  He walks one step every minute.  And I can’t squeeze by because then I’ll crush him.  Seriously, it’s like walking behind a giant, broken slinky.

-And, finally, one of the most uncomfortable aspects of living with Brian and his girlfriend was jockeying for couch position.  If I’d come home and the two of them were already on the couch, caressing each other, there would really be nowhere for me to sit comfortably.  Sometimes I’d even plant myself on the couch long before Brian and his girlfriend came home, just to ensure that I had a spot in front of the TV for the night.  Living in my own place is glorious because I have the couch all to myself.  And that was one of my first thoughts the morning I woke up after the night of debauchery that followed Brian’s engagement announcement.  But as I gleefully reclined on my very own couch, I felt a horrific, shooting pain in my leg.  And that’s when I saw what I’d sat on – a jagged piece of a cheap, plastic, disposable champagne glass.  Fuck me!