Please, Partake of my Lameness.

Funny stories of yesteryear – Part 3

Written April 18, 2007

I am a strong believer in the ability to laugh at oneself.

THAT, my friends, is the introduction to this incredible story:

It was the year of our Lord 2006. Eric and I were a week away from our one year dating anniversary. A few weeks prior I surprised him with tickets to the World Baseball Classic and now the event was almost here! I also made him a scrapbook of our memories as a couple (I know, how girlie…) But then I had a thought. There is a Tim McGraw song called “My Best Friend” that gets me weepy everytime I hear it and I decided to learn it on the guitar and play it for him the night of the baseball game. So I went to my guitar saavy dad and brother and learned the chords. Finally the night arrived.

The evening was quite perfect… He took me to dinner at Market City Cafe, I gave him the scrapbook, and he gave me a gorgeous dark wood jewelry box with a diamond and sapphire tennis bracelet inside. Do I have an AMAZING man or what??? We continued on to the World Baseball Classic, and had a wonderful time.

Fast forward to after the baseball game. We’re in the car at the park ‘n’ ride in Brea ready to say goodnight, and I’m suddenly reminded of the guitar in my backseat. THE SONG! I had almost forgotten. My heart begins to beat very quickly. As Eric is telling me what a wonderful night he had, I begin a very anxious inner dialogue that went something like this: “Miriam, you’re such an idiot, DON’T play him the song, you’ll look totally dumb. But… right now IS your only chance to do it! The words are so good, he will LOVE it! But it’s so cold outside, and you don’t play guitar very well… are you sure you…..”

“BABY!” I say very abruptly, interrupting my thoughts and his words. He looks at me curiously. “There’s still one more part to this evening,” I say, “but you’ll have to cover your eyes.” He smiles wondering what is coming next and covers his eyes saying, “What is going on babe?” I say, “Just wait here for a minute.”

He was sitting in the driver seat with his eyes covered and I go over to my car, open the trunk, which opens like the back of a minivan where the entire door swings up. I think, “He and I can just sit under the shelter of my trunk door, on the back bumper, and I’ll play the song.” Here goes nothin!

I open his door, “Ok, ready.” Eric goes, “Baby what is going on here? Why do I have to cover my eyes?” I reply, “Because I don’t want to ruin the surprise!” I take his hands and begin to lead him blindly over to the back of my car. We’re walking slowly and I begin to get less nervous, thinking, “He is going to love this!”

We’re finally to my trunk and I step forward under the door and BAAMM!!!! Surprise! Remember that trunk that opens like the back of a minivan? Well my 5’7″ self fits nicely under it, but I had been concentrating so much on the song ahead of me, I forgot about the height of my 6’4″ boyfriend directly behind me. He walked full speed into my trunk door and bent over, grunting and so confused… He was indeed VERY Surprised. There is now a sizable lump on Eric’s forehead. So the song was forgotten about for a moment while I tend to Eric’s wound, feeling like a total retard for leading him trustingly into the trunk of my car.

After a moment he’s feeling well enough to continue on to the REAL surprise. So I told him to open his eyes, which he had faithfully kept closed even with the newborn lump on his head. Tadaa!!! There I am with the guitar in my hand. He kindly smiles and says, “Baby, are you gonna play me a song?” I say, “Sssshhh, just listen.”

15 or 20 seconds of awkward silence pass as I get my correct finger positioning for the first chord, then I begin. Struuummmm.

Oh. My. Gosh. What was that hideous sound? The D chord, did not sound like the D chord. I check my fingers again. They were in all the right places! Struuummmm.

GROSSEST! Why does this dang guitar sound so bad? It’s the same one I practiced on! I look at Eric who is still smiling and holding his forehead and I laugh perhaps the most awkward laugh you could imagine.

It turns out, my Dashboard Confessional-loving little brother had been playing his guitar the day before my big solo. He decided to tune every single string differently so an open strum played a chord. The song would sound wretched if I tried to play it on this whacked out tuning!!!

Things were falling apart quickly. I looked at Eric. Being a guitar player himself he knew the quitar had been tuned completely wrong. He said nicely, “Want me to tune it for you?” I looked down and smiled, “I guess so…”

So there, freezing cold, at 12:30am in a park ‘n’ ride parking lot, my loving boyfriend sat with an ever-growing lump on his head tuning my brother’s guitar. I looked out away from this disasterous scene, and my inner dialogue returned: “Wow Mir, this is pretty romantic. Great job.” I looked back at Eric and I could have sworn I saw a vein throbbing in his forehead. Why, oh WHY did I go through with this???

The guitar was tuned.

I took it back from him and hit the first chord. Wrong. I looked up and smiled sheepishly and tried again.

As I began to sing I was suddenly aware of how much I had screamed at the baseball game, because my voice was quite hoarse. It was not a good match with my feeble guitar playing. I have no rhythym for strumming so I just hit a random chord every once in a while. I got through the first verse and looked at Eric. He was so wounded and adorable. I started to tear up and forgot what I was playing. I momentarily stopped, and just sang a cappella except for an occasional chord to keep things moving:

You’re more than a lover,
There could never be another
To make me feel the way you do
Oh, we just get closer, I fall in love all over
Every time I look at you
I don’t know where I’d be, without you here with me
Life with you makes perfect sense
You’re my best friend.

As I sang Eric took the guitar and the music and began playing where I left off. Of course he sounded PERFECT so I settled on letting him play while I sang:

You stand by me, and you believe in me
Like nobody ever has
When my world goes crazy, you’re right there to save me
You make me see how much I have

We both started to sing and we could hardly get out a word without laughing. Everything had been such a disaster, and we both knew it. But I think Eric’s forehead was most aware of this fact.

We laughed and kissed and said goodnight.

I’m so thankful for Eric’s great sense of humor. I’m pretty positive every time his head throbbed for the next 3 days he let out a little chuckle in honor of the lame attempts of his sentimental girlfriend.

Was it perfectly horrible, or horribly perfect? Perhaps both… and among the most embarrasing moments of my life. So embarrassing in fact, that I felt more people should be laughing than just Eric and I. Thank you, and goodnight.

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