At the end of 2009 I was convinced that I would live the rest of my days alone, dying quietly without ever making another romantic connection. By that point it had been almost a year since Helen and I filed for divorce, and I'd rushed into dating too quickly. Two relationships had ended, I was having little luck on Match.com, and was generally moping about. That holiday season, in Phoenix, Mom noticed that all of my pants were badly frayed. She hemmed them because she knew I would never do it myself or even pay someone who could. (Thank you, Mom!) This was the kind of mood I was in.
So as 2010 arrived I was not particularly hopeful. Pi Wen and I met by chance on February 12, at the end of a reception at the Press Club. Had we arrived at the check-out stand just 2 minutes differently our paths would never have crossed. But we did meet, and in a brief conversation realized we had a lot in common--living in Ohio, living in Evanston, and both newcomers to the Bay Area in 2007.
And thus a romance was born. It was rocky in its early days, with break-ups followed by reuniting. We had very different ways of processing disagreements--I wanted to talk it out up till reaching exhaustion, Pi Wen needed time to simmer and not think about it.
The important thing, though, was that we worked through these bumps and learned from them. Here was the secret to success, and why I knew that the relationship with Pi Wen would go the distance--we both had the ability to examine, reflect, and modify our behavior.
We moved quickly, through that tumultuous start and right on to marriage. On Wednesday, August 25, 2010, three years ago today, I proposed to Pi Wen and she said yes! I was supposed to wait till that Friday, when we had reservations at Bay Wolf. But I couldn't wait once the ring was in my hands. We still went to Bay Wolf, but as a celebration rather than a time to "pop the question."
On that August 25 we moved in together. The next six and a half months were a whirlwind of wedding planning, including my first trip to Kuala Lumpur where we enjoyed an amazing Chinese banquet that served as our wedding in Malaysia (invitation below). Our United States wedding, overlooking Lake Merritt, took place on March 19, 2011.
This is a great day to recognize how very grateful I am that we met. All my friends and relatives love Pi Wen, and I do too. My Aunt Linda speaks for that group: "To know Pi Wen is to love her." Since meeting Pi Wen I've become a much more confident and relaxed person, someone who is now able to cook and run half marathons. I'm not nearly as much in my head as I once was, although I'm now and forevermore an absent-minded type. Today I'm more balanced, light, and much more happy than I've ever been before. Thank you, my love, and here's to many more joyful years together.