I know what the guy was saying, though I don't think any of us actually believes that God was laughing him- or herself into fits over all the plans that unravelled this past week because of the 6500 plane flights that had to be cancelled due to snow and ice storms.
I sure wasn't too happy when my flight and subsequently my trip to visit my mother in Seaford, Delaware, was cancelled. I was supposed to leave Thursday morning; the phone messages from the airline started Wednesday afternoon. My first flight was cancelled, I rescheduled, then the second flight was cancelled and rescheduled, then the third was cancelled - well, after that I just folded. A trip to visit my mother on February 13, 2014 wasn't in the cards.
But something else was.
I spent Thursday in a state of semi-bummedness until my friend Marianne invited me over to watch a TIVO of last Sunday's tribute to the Beatles. (A must-see, of course, and though I was warmed by the fact that both Sir Paul and Ringo are still on their game - while watching them perform I imagined them still faithfully practicing their music every day, and I cheered that Sir Paul and Ringo wore black sneakers for their performances, which makes total sense and sends the message that if Sir Paul and Ringo can wear black sneakers to a gala event then so can I, though I'm many astral planes blow them in their musical ability. But maybe if I practice and work as hard as I can at my craft then I, too, will be as worthy as they are to wear black sneakers anywhere I want to...um, I think I'm digressing. What I was about to say is that while Marianne and I were watching the Beatles tribute I couldn't help wishing that we were watching old Beatles performances instead of interpretive covers by contemporary artists. I guess I'm just a purist like that. With few exceptions, I do prefer my Beatles, my ABBA, and my Four Seasons, authentic unless performed by a really good impersonator group, like the local Columbus band called The British Invasion. I also like my bagels plain, my ice cream vanilla, and please, no fruity sauces on my meat. I don't wear make-up, nail polish, perfume or hair color. Or jewelry except for my watch, wedding rings and earrings to fill my pierced ears, which I got only at my mother's behest back when I was young. Am I digressing again?)
So Thursday night after I got home from Marianne's I received a call from Will, boyfriend of my niece Cassie. Will was at that moment here in Columbus on business, and earlier in the day while walking through a shopping mall he passed by the display window of a jewelry store where a sparkling diamond engagement ring caught his eye, hypnotized him, then pulled him into the store.
When Will came to he had a gorgeous round halo diamond ring in his pocket and a question to pop.
The next day being Valentine's Day, he had a burst of inspiration. He'd propose to his sweetheart old-school-style, down on one knee, on Valentine's Day.
It was a lovely plan except for one little glitch: he was here in Columbus, Ohio and Cassie was back home in Raleigh, North Carolina.
So he made up a story to get her to drop everything and fly out the next day to Columbus: he told her he'd won tickets to a George Strait concert in Columbus,then he bought tickets to the George Strait concert. His plan worked: she bought a plane ticket (miraculously, the flights out of Raleigh were were running smooth as Jello with Cool Whip), cancelled work, and packed her bag.
Will's plan was to propose to Cassie in the airport as she stepped into the baggage claim area and that's where I was needed. He wanted me to snap the photo of the Big Moment.
Of course I said yes, and soared immediately into a state of high anxiety over blowing the photo of the Big Moment.
When Will and I met up on Friday morning I told him that I was really nervous.
"You're nervous!" he said, "I couldn't sleep all night!"
So Will and I were two nervous people when we arrived at the baggage claim area of Port Columbus shortly before Cassie's plane. Will scoped out the area pretty quick and told me where he planned to stand then handed me his Ipad with a few simple instructions on how to work the camera. And it was my intention to follow his directions, but in my jitteryness I started yammering all this advice about where he should stand, where I should stand, wouldn't over here be a nice back drop? How about the lighting over there? Are you sure you don't like this corner better?
I was being annoying, I knew I was being annoying, but somehow I couldn't stop , it was like I'd shifted into auto-annoying gear.
I snapped out of it when I heard, "Okay, here she comes!"
I started snapping as Will held up a sign that said "Cassie Rupp". Then he turned the sign over to where it read, "Will you marry me?"
Then he was down on one knee offering her the beautiful ring, then slipping it on her finger.
The crowd at the airport broke into applause while I snapped away, filled with gratitude for the gift of being part of this happy moment.
Will's plans worked out perfectly. God had to be smiling.