Oct 09, 2006, 8:05pm
And... I didn't mention this here on Spiffle?
Coulda sworn I did, the very next day after it happened! I think the server gobbled it up. But yeah, I asked the most amazing woman I've ever known to marry me. And she said yes.
I met Beata by accident - it certainly wasn't at a time I was looking for anyone in my life romantically, and that's probably the best time to meet someone special, in retrospect. I met her just over 2 years ago now, and saw her for the first time at JJ Bean on Commercial Drive.
That first meeting ended up with us talking for hours. In my mind, I thought I was just fortunate to have met this person who seemed so full of life, so different from what I'd experienced in the past, and so intelligent, thoughtful, full of common sense, and so beautiful.
I didn't think I had a chance in heck of getting her to agree to date me. So I casually suggested we should "hook up" again some time for coffee. And she said yes. And that night when I got home, she found me on IM chat, and we chatted through the night.
She agreed to go out again, and this time, it was definitely a date. I just couldn't believe it. In fact, I was in a dream world. So much had gone wrong in my personal life over the previous several years, and I had been so unhappy for so long, this was just too good to be true.
I was so nervous, and really didn't know what to do. So I just tried to be myself - casual, a bit aloof, fun. I guess it worked. When I dropped her off at her apartment, and got out of the car to say goodbye with a hug, she kissed me, ever so gently first, then again with an amazing... fierceness. Looking back, I knew she had to take that first step - I mean I had no experience "dating" for some twelve years, and in fact my last serious relationship didn't even start with dating per se - it was more of a case of a friend of mine being interested in someone, but that someone ended up being more interested in me.
We spent a long time dating - months passed by, and I was almost in this state of shock over my fortunes. I knew I loved her early on, but I had felt hurt in love in the not so distant past, and the word "love" is one of my three words that I simply won't say unless I mean them (the others are promise and sorry), so it took me some time to actually blurt it out - but one night, I just couldn't hold it in any longer, and said it to her. She's so much like me in many ways, she expressed the same thing - she'd been hurt in love, and didn't want to say what she truly felt... until she knew I felt the same way. Yikes - how could she not? ;) But I said it, she said it back.
She moved in last January - it seems almost like yesterday - and those who know me know that on some things, I like to move slow and cautiously (though on other things, I'm very quick to react and act). I never lost the feeling that this was the right person for me, the most amazing person I've ever had in my life, and that I wanted to spend a lifetime with her.
In the past, I was never entirely sure of that. I did propose once before, but in my deepest thoughts, I did it partially because of love, but mainly because I knew that was what the other person wanted. I didn't want marriage then. Basically, I just wanted things to get better - I wanted to get a sense of "yes, this is what I have in store for the rest of my life, and I can't believe how fortunate I am". I didn't have that sense.
With Beata, I almost knew that from the beginning. I definitely knew it within a few short weeks. But I was cautious, and still in shock - right through the first full year of being with this amazing woman. I knew before I asked her to move in with me that I wanted to be with her the rest of my life. I joked about her moving in, because she was spending so much time here anyway, and the joke was, well, taken with a nervous lightness. But soon, she agreed - let's live together. And I knew then that I was going to marry this person... almost a year ago now.
But I still kept it secret for a while. I still couldn't believe my fortune in life. I wrote before on this blog before that I believed Beata was a gift from my departed Mother - that she had a few wishes in her stockpile at St. Peter's Gate, and one of them was that I would find happiness in life with a true soulmate. I still believe this even more to this day, and I didn't want to lose it. I basically didn't want to wake up from this spectacular dream. So I waited, and wanted to know if it was all real - and I think finally living together, it became even more real for me.
So within a short span after she moved in, I set in motion a search for the perfect ring to present to her. Beata is not someone overly concerned with fashion plates, brand names, or things like huge diamonds, but she is perfection to me, and I had to find something that came at least within a lightyear of that perfection. A good friend of mine, Rob, worked in the diamond trade in the past, and generously offered to help me source a near flawless 1 carat diamond through his contacts in the business.
It took some time, and I saved my pennies for a few months. I also arranged (quite slyly, I like to think) for Beata's Mom to come and spend time with us from Poland. When Beata said they couldn't afford the flight, I bought the ticket. It was important for me to do this while the other most important person in her life was here.
And she arrived, and I was about to make a purchase based on Rob's help, when some financial issues arose - and for a short span, I didn't have enough saved up. So I scrimped, saved, took on some work I really didn't want to do, and Rob, bless him, found another stone that was just perfect for what I wanted. I put so much into this - so did Rob! - and I was able to finally set things in motion only a few days before her Mother was to go back to Poland.
I schemed... oh did I scheme. I arranged for an amazing five course dinner at one of Vancouver's best restaurants, arranged it through my contacts in the foodie biz, but also took advantage of that restaurant's "early bird" prix fixe menu to make Beata think that a) we were going out for a fancy dinner, but b) we were only doing it because a summer special was on at this place. Little did she know that the fix was in. We had a one-of-a-kind menu, we had the service of three of the top employees in the place, and we had the best seat in the house.
I wanted to propose to her at Spanish Banks while the sun set. But I worked it out so that she actually made this suggestion... or picked that suggestion from a list of suggested things I casually (nervous wreck inside) said we could do after dinner. I knew her first choice would be watching the sun set. She was still in the dark.
So, we found a secluded spot, and I told her a well-rehearsed story about romance and dreams and fortunes and gifts. Then I got down on bended knee, and for the first time in my life, asked the question with all of my heart behind it: "will you marry me, and continue to make me the happiest man in the world?"
And she said yes.
10 months after I knew I should do it... 9 months after I thought she would say yes... and five months after I first started planning for it... she said yes.
We don't have a date set yet. We want to wait until Christmas to figure that out. We have distant family, both of us, and that plays a big factor.
But I am the luckiest guy in the world. I've met my soul mate.
|Previous Ten Daily Rants
|The continued fallout on auto gratuities
|| 5:35pm, 08/09
|Final thougths on price gouging, auto gratuities coming soon
|| 12:50am, 03/04
|The Real Reasons for Olympics Auto Gratuities
|| 7:20pm, 02/19
|Vancouver Olympics - Nice Prices, Profiteer (gouger) Restaurant Listings
|| 12:15am, 02/18
|More on Auto Gratuities
|| 6:45pm, 02/16
|Price Gouging in Vancouver During Olympics (and Price Heroes!)
|| 12:20am, 02/16
|Ideal Mac (or any pc) netbook....
|| 8:05pm, 12/22
|NetMacBook Hackintosh Update
|| 12:20am, 12/20
|NetMac... er Hackintosh... er NetMacBook. Yeah
|| 5:20pm, 12/17
|Balance Board Wii Game I'd like to see - Boxing!
|| 4:00pm, 07/26
Photos from Algonquin Park
Photos from my trip to Algonquin Park this fall with my Mom and two brothers.
Making Snow for the Fortress
One of the worst jobs I ever had... till I got out.
Tools I Use
The tools I use to build websites and lead a tech life.
iPod and iTunes Offline
iMark's iTunes and iPod isn't iPlaying anything right iNow.
Most Recent Songs
Fiddlers Green by The Tragically Hip
Around The Bend by Pearl Jam
Here With Me (Rollo's Chillin' With the Family Mix) by Dido
With arms open wide by Creed
truffle pigs by Matthew Good Band
In the News
Burundi and Beyond - NY Times
Great article by Peter Meehan - provided some background.
St. Petersburg Times
Side mention in an article about good machines
AP Story on Espresso
Background and information provided
NY Times - Grinders Article
Especially proud of this one - got the reporter to focus on grinders
Globe and Mail
LOL - showing bad reporting, dude says I'm an American-based site!
The Olympian, WA
Talks about my love for the El Sal Siberia Pacamara
Seattle Times - Clover
Interviewed for comments on the Clover brewer
NY Times - How it Works
Background and information for various espresso machines
Time Mag Article
Just a brief mention, article about roasting beans.
Front page article about consumers getting into specialty coffee.
Quoted reference to what I wrote in an article at CoffeeGeek.
USA Today - Barista Jam
Intereviewed for my thoughts on what the epitome of espresso is.
The Wall Street Journal has interviewed me 3 times. This is the first time my name got in a story.
Interview with Reuters, Jan 2 - this is the USA Today version.
My Other Stuff
Launched Dec 22, 2001, this is THE online community for espresso and coffee fanatics.
It's all new, as of March, 2002. My personal coffee obsession site.
My company's site - needs an update!
Hey, if you feel the need to buy me something, check here!
Great gadget site run by the guy who used to do Gizmodo.
This is how I get my daily news fix.
The most active forums for digital photography online today.
Need my Daily Zen fix!
A blog about car stuff. Vroom Vroom.
An industrial design blog. Very cool stuff.
Friends and Family Plan
Beata's got her own blog! She updates it most days.
Riddla on Flickr
Matt Riddle's flickr account, updated regularly
Irdy, my friend from Jakharta, on Flickr
Canon EF 24-105 f4 L Lens
The best lens I've ever owned. Super sharp and quick.
A full frame dSLR, with luscious colour reproduction.
Alzo Digital Lights
Some amazing florescent cold lights for product photography
Canon Xsi dSLR
Amazing technology and image quality in a tiny package.
Latest prosumer camera from Canon - a much better upgrade than the 30D
Great 2.2lb computer that does most of my travel / writing needs
28mm f1.8 Lens
A great lens for closeup work and full picture photography
Finally got the right tools for freezing green coffee.
Canon 50mm 1.4
Most amazing lens I've ever owned. Produces stellar photos.
Super wide angle (full frame fisheye) zoom for my Canon 20D