What’s more fun than your friend calling to congratulate you on your engagement? Your friend calling you, saying that and adding, “We got engaged, too!”
My friends Jerry Rivard and Claudia were engaged in December, but because I was—like everyone else on the planet during the Holidays—so busy, somehow the news never reached me.
Back in the summer of 2003, I founded Pencils! Writing Workshop at a nearby Barnes & Noble. Nathan was the Community Resource Manager at the time, so he was the person with whom I worked to get our little group established—and, yes, that is how we met. We didn’t start dating until January of 2004, but were in touch a great deal from June 2003 through the end of that year.
Jerry joined the group in January of 2007 despite a huge misunderstanding and some misdirected e-mails (really, it’s such a long story I’m not going into it here). And I’m really glad he persisted. Jerry, not only a fine writer (see his short story “Faith” here: http://www.readshortfiction.com/2010/06/faith-by-gerald-rivard/), is also one of the people I rely on to give me solid critique. In terms of discussions, we’ve had some doozies—but we’ve laughed like hell plenty of times, too, and we’ve become pretty close.
Jerry had met Claudia elsewhere and brought her to a Pencils! meeting, but they were just friends at the time. Over the years, they came to meetings and all kinds of events together, and things changed.
When Jerry called me to wish us congratulations, he realized I didn’t know. It was the most awesome news! The four of us got together for antipasta, pizza, wine and a little (okay, a LOT) of wedding talk—and fun with engagement rings—on January 14. It was a great way to kick off 2012.
Congratulations, Jerry and Claudia!