I left that job after a major lay off and it was time to move on to something new. I took a position as the only woman on an all male team. There were twelve of them and we were what I felt like as the elite group. We moved millions of dollars of product all over the country and I worked for a man who could make shoveling manure seem like we were changing the world. I sat at a cubicle across from my three partners in crime and we made magic happen. We were told once “You are not saving babies people, but always remember, you are Christmas!” Pretty powerful words. And I took it very seriously. My four teammates and I made things happen, got the impossible done and did it all with grace and ease. We were like the stage managers, behind the scenes making the entire show come together. One particular teammate of mine ended up becoming one of my very good friends. He was smart and funny and cute and we had a lot in common. He was the first person that met my children after Gingham. He hung around, played barbies, taught them how to play tennis. Our friendship soon grew into something more and although I was leary of where it would go we had a full three year relationship that was fun, light, and filled with love and laughter. He was a remarkable man. Our heritage was very different and upbringing was as far away from each other’s as humanly possible, but being I was an equal opportunity lender, he had his shot and he took it. Somehwere after year two he asked me to marry him. We sat on my front porch on an old rattan couch and he proposed. And I said no. Why? I’m not really sure, but I knew that the timing wasn’t right. It wasn’t him, it was me and I thought we needed more time to really get to know one another. So the following year, somewhere around my birthday my friends come to my house and blind folded me. They told me it was a surprise for my birthday and that I had to go with it. I had had my share of surprises in life already and I was not all that interested in doing any fun, silly thing and taking off my blindfold to find myself at a strip club or something like that. When I took off that blindfold, I was standing in my favorite restaurant surrounded by my family and friends and my children. There were at least 40 people there and it was all planned by him. It was beautiful and I felt warm and loved and closer to him than I thought I could to anyone. Towards the end of the night he got up in front of everyone to thank them for coming. And he then did something I know I would not have the guts to do. In front of 40 people and even some he didn’t know, he got down on one knee and he proposed to me. Then he proposed to my children. I used to say that one day I would grow up and go to my daughters houses for the holidays when they had families of their own and I’d be the woman in a bad brown suit with terrible brown shoes, with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth and half lit. The ring was in a box, inside a pair of bad brown shoes….it was clever and heartwarming and I said yes. That moment will stay with me forever. It was beautiful. Over the next few weeks, we started planning our wedding and my parents had his parents over to discuss arrangements. I can remember his mother sitting on the couch and looking right at my mother when she said “We do not approve of our son marrying your daughter.” HUH? You were at the proposal. You gave me a hug and a kiss and told me how happy you were. Now….you don’t approve? This was going to make things a bit more difficult, but he and I were stranger than that. It was going to be he and I against the world. Right? It’s the moment when you realize that all of a sudden what you think is happening isn’t really happening at all. It’s like you wake up one day and see that the entire world has turned against you and there’s very little grip you have on anything. You have no control over anything in life really. You only have control over yourself and sometimes not even that. How many times are you working towards something when a curve ball is thrown right in your way? Well…I was NOT going to let this statement, those few words change what I was working toward. Or was I? The worst feeling for a control freak is being out of control…and things were just about to get out of control. AGAIN!