I fell in love with my fiancé at Disneyland.
No joke. It was completely and totally unexpected but for two animation nerds, there couldn’t have been a more perfect first date.
It was in line for the Finding Nemo ride. By the time the ride was over, I realized she was the one. My heart knew before my head and my poor head’s been racing to catch up ever since.
You see, I must make a confession that perhaps only the closest to me may have ever suspected but no one ever really knew and that’s that I had given up. I’d given up on things like fairy tales and true love and magic,….all the things , ironically enough, that led me into my career of choice,…..animation.
As I hit thirty-seven with Forty rearing it’s ugly head, a kind of fateful pragmatism settled upon me. A sort of reverse midlife crisis where instead of breaking away from life, I was convinced that I’d missed it somehow. True love wasn’t always true and wasn’t always love. The type of happiness so lavishly rendered in the animated movies I loved was just "Hollywood Magic"and as I was getting ready to settle into, as Henry Higgins may have put it, “Confirmed old bachelorhood!” and trying to figure out exactly how I was feeling about my dubious new role, I turned around,….and there she was.
When I realized Kelly was the one I wanted to first shout “YAY!” and then ask, “Where the Hell have you been and couldn’t you have stopped to ask directions?” Truthfully, I could have been the one who was late but it’s funnier the other way ;)
So there we were, at the Magic Kingdom, with a jaded former dreamer who didn’t believe in wishing on stars contradicting himself by saying…”we’re both animation nerds so I guess we SHOULD go.”
So we went.
And it was the most perfect date ever. The weather was perfect, the crowds were thin, the lines were short! It was easy, it was effortless, I was more myself than I’d ever felt with anyone. It was just so,….different.
It just fit.
While waiting for Space Mountain to open up, we wandered into The House of Tomorrow, and shortly after that into the living room of tomorrow where a gigantic widescreen TV was playing the restored print of our favorite Disney film of all time,…Sleeping Beauty.
I’d never seen the film so big and beautiful! Every frame a work of art! Kelly and I had the place to ourselves. We settled in on the big leather couch and began to try to one up each other on the films trivia and animation knowledge in general. By the time we were done, we had drawn a crowd, including a few cast members who left there that day a little better informed about the medium that built the park they work in.
Continuing our tour of cloud nine “Disney-style”, we walked right into the Blue Bayou restaurant, without a reservation mind you, for a late dinner,…watching fireflies dance over the heads of the people in the boats,…sailing off to rougher waters and perhaps a glimpse of a pirate or two, (“dead men tell no tales!”).
We ended the night holding hands roaming the back alleys of Roger Rabbit’s Toontown wishing the real world was a lot more Toony and a lot less gloomy. After the lazy train ride back, we caught the fireworks from the parking lot before driving home as I realized that the Magic Kingdom had given me back my magic.
I couldn't have been more surprised,...or delighted.
When Kelly suggested we have our engagement photos taken in LA’s Union Station and in forties period costume, I knew I was marrying the right girl. We arrived with antique suitcases in hand and once we got a good look at ourselves I said, “My God, we look like we stepped out of Who Framed Roger Rabbit!”
We both smiled,….both thinking the same thing at the same time. So there were a few photos we selected for,…alterations.
Not sure how many I’m gonna do but this first one was our proof of concept and it’s a doozie.
When I proposed to Kelly, I told her I wanted to build her a fairy tale one dream at a time. I’m starting with these photos, because I am sensible of how rare it is. What we have together.
As rare as true magic, or fairy dust,….or wishing upon a star.
If you sat through this whole story,…I appreciate you taking the time, and I wish the happiness I’ve been blessed enough to experience upon you a thousand fold, and if you just came to look at the picture,…well , same to you lazy bastards.
I kid because I love.
But seriously, you are a little lazy. ;)
MORE LOONINESS TO COME!
Note: The amazing photography you see in these pics is courtesy of the killer husband and wife team at Callaway/Gable.
Check their stuff out here! http://www.callawaygable.com/