It’s Super Bowl Sunday – which is a huge weekend for just about everyone in the US. But this weekend is huge for me in a way that has NOTHING to do with the Super Bowl.
This weekend marks the fifth anniversary of one of the best days of my life. The day that I met Cherise. I’m just going to let you know ahead of time that this is going to be a long post. I hope you’ll stick with it, because it should be pretty fun, too. I always tell everyone that marrying Cherise was the best thing I have ever done and having Jacob was the best thing WE have ever done. I stand by that, and always will. I owe so much of who I am today, to her. Cherise has taught me the meaning of true friendship, unconditional love and acceptance, and she has truly made me a better person.
And so, in honor of the fifth anniversary of the day that I was blessed with my angel, my heart and soulmate, I want to tell you about the night that we first met. Buckle up and enjoy the ride…
It was December of 2009, and I had just decided that I was finished with dating and didn’t care whether or not I would ever get married again and have kids. I was focused on my career and dreams, and working hard at making them come true. I was on stage performing at least 5 days/week and constantly growing as an artist. I was living on my own and working events on the weekends and I was barely getting by, but I was happy and felt complete.
One day, I found an ad on craigslist looking for a comedian/MC – on craigslist there’s a lot of crap, and most it is a complete waste of time, but this posting was different. She was looking for someone who could keep a variety show going, AND there was pay. Decent, proper pay. I did a double-take. Usually, these things offer drinks or exposure as pay, which are always helpful in paying the rent and buying groceries… I responded to the ad with my materials, and the woman wrote back that she wanted to meet. I got the feeling that I was going to meet someone important through this, which was interesting, because I wasn’t interested in meeting anybody…
Anyway, I went to meet with her and as I sat down I thought to myself:
Nope. She’s not the one I’m supposed to meet. Then I thought: Wait. What? I don’t wanna meet anybody…
We had a great meeting and she decided that she wanted to hire me. I was excited. The show was a dance show with celebrity impersonators from all decades. My job was to open the show with 5-7 minutes of comedy, introduce the show and all the acts/decades and entertain the crowd while the dancers changed costumes. She told me that the show was for a private party on January 31st 2009 and that there would be a run-through for the show in mid-January. I told her I’d be happy to come to the run-through. I went home ecstatic. I still couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more at play, but I dismissed the feeling.
New Year’s Eve 2009 came and went without much fuss, then came my birthday – also without much fuss.
The rehearsal happened the week before the show. On my way down, I still had a feeling that I was going to meet someone important and I was anxious and a little giddy, but again, I dismissed the feelings. I walked into the rehearsal space and met everyone except the Britney Spears impersonator. I thought to myself:
Well, it’s nobody here that’s for sure. It can’t be the ‘Britney’ – how hot can she possibly be? (I know how moronic that statement is, but if I’m being honest, that was what I thought. Also, I couldn’t have been more wrong…)
I left the rehearsal and went home. I still had that nagging feeling that something monumental was about to happen to me and I couldn’t shake it. Would someone be in attendance that wanted to hire me? Was my big break coming? I really couldn’t pinpoint it.
Saturday, January 31st 2009 came up fast. I got ready for the show, and drove down to Marina Del Rey (the event was taking place on a yacht for 4 hours while it sailed around the marina). I got out of my car and waited for the woman who hired me.
She pulled up, and I could see there were other people in the car with her – one of the male dancers I met at rehearsal was sitting shotgun. She pulled closer and then I saw her. Sitting in the back seat right behind the dude I already met was the most beautiful face I had ever seen.
We locked eyes as the car pulled up and time seemed to stop. I felt like I was frozen in time for both an eternity and a split second simultaneously. I was literally lost in her eyes.
And then it hit me.
Oh crap! I hope she didn’t notice that I just fell out of my own face staring at her… (In case you’re wondering, she did)
By this time, the car pulled up, and this ethereal being stepped out: 5’9″ tall, and stunning. Also, she was dressed as school-girl Britney, which made me almost faint.
I said hi and introduced myself. Then I offered to carry her bags. Funny, I didn’t want to meet anybody, but I couldn’t stay away from her. As we walked and talked I thought to myself: There’s no way she’ll be interested in me – I’m too short (I’m about 5’10”) She probably dates guys that are 6’3″ and up.. And then: Why do I even care? I don’t want to be with anyone anyway!
We boarded the boat and I did everything I could to just be around her. We talked as we waited for the guests to arrive and board. And then the show happened. I flew through the whole thing. I nailed all of the introductions, had the audience laughing and kept the show to time. Then we hit the 90’s, and my jaw hit the floor and my tongue rolled out…
When I introduced her, I was at a loss for words; completely flustered. I watched her perform, completely in awe with my mouth agape (interestingly enough, we have the whole thing recorded and we showed it at our wedding). The show ended and I retreated to the green room. The dancers were asked to dance with the guests for the remaining half hour of the evening. I was sitting in the green room and she came in and asked if I’d come and dance with her. Good sign, I thought. We danced for a while and enjoyed ourselves. The boat came back to port and docked. I knew I had to act quickly. I went over to her and gave her my card, hoping that she’d give me hers. She didn’t. She said she’d call, and at that moment I wanted nothing more than for that to be true.
We parted ways and as I drove home there was only a single, solitary thought running through my head: Cherise.
I got home and looked her up on Facebook. (I also added everyone else from the show so I didn’t seem like some creepy stalker dude) She accepted my friend request within minutes – Another good sign, I thought. I decided I’d do one more thing and then let go. I wrote on her wall.
“It was a pleasure meeting you tonight! You really know how to captivate an audience. Hope to work with you again soon!”
I woke up the next morning, and she was still on my mind. It was Sunday, February 1st 2009 and only yesterday I had met the most amazing person I know. I thought about her all day and replayed the events of the night before in my head: How did you not get her number?! What if she doesn’t call? I decided it was best to let it go. If it was meant to be, it would be.
That night, I was driving to see a friend and my phone rang. It wasn’t a number I recognized. I answered and there was Cherise. She called to see if I wanted to go out (I know, cool right?). We set our date for the following Friday, and the rest, as they say is history.
That night (or rather, this weekend) five years ago changed the trajectory of my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined back then. I’m so blessed to have her in my life and I thank God for her every day.
Thanks for reading!