I remember vividly the day that JFK Jr died. No, I wouldn't give two thoughts about him otherwise but I remember the day because that was the day I had my ill-fated engagement party with my fiance.
I was in a relationship with a woman that was about to enter its sixth year. I had made the decision that it was time for us to get married. She waited too long for me to do the right thing and I was in my most financially secure at this point in our relationship. The time was now.
I proposed to her on Mt. Rainier and yes she accepted. I was relieved. It was late May 1999 and we had plans to get married in August of 2000. We were in our 30s and it made sense to start a family. I'm old fashioned enough to think marriage comes before kids. Not necessarily 9+ months before kids. Just before the kids.
We decided to have a party to celebrate our commitment to each other. We set a date in July and invited our friends to a party at our house in Federal Way. It was to be on a Sunday. This made it possible to have my co-workers at Billy McHales restaurant to attend since Sunday is a slow day. All was going according to plan but my fiance's co-worker Matt, a person I have mentioned in a previous blog entry, decided that Sunday wasn't good for him, and we had to scramble and re-invite everyone to come on Saturday. We gained Matt but lost everyone I had invited from work because Saturday was the busiest day of our week. I had to beg for the day off of work.So we had a net loss of about 6 of my friends.
Oh, well. So, the party was on, filled with co-workers of my fiance's, mutual friends from the Jaycees and old friends of my fiance's. Who was missing? Well, anyone I had made friends of independent of my fiance. My friends were from my school years and were on the east coast or in San Fransisco. My co-workers were the only friends I had at the time in the area. So that meant the only people at the party were my ex's friends from work, people we knew from the Jaycees (Yeah, I know) and her old school friends.
The party was was on his way when we heard the news that JFK Jr. had crashed his plane and was likely dead. Some of the guests were watching the news but it didn't really affect the party. I was the cook of the bar-b-q set up. Matt was the wit of the party, commenting on the large bottle of olive oil I had in the kitchen. Oh, the bafflement he expressed how one person could use so much olive oil. Of course being a cook and using it to cook at home might not have occurred to him.
So, the party goes on with people split off in their little groups. One of the groups were My ex's co-workers. This group didn't include Matt but it did include a young punk ass who fancied himself a rock star. I wasn't a fan of his tuneless music and he shunned me at the party. Just as well, he was a dullard and I ignored him. Turns out I should have kept my eye on him.
Well, unknown to me at the time, he had designs on my fiance and was in the process of breaking up my relationship with her. They worked together at a software company who was best known for a game involving a pervert known as "Leisure Suit Larry". He was a programmer and my ex checked for bugs. Her job paid pretty well for the time but involved lots of hours during crunch time. So, she wasn't home much during the this time and my theory is that she fell away from me and went to rockstar. This must have been visible at the offices and I now believe that I was the laughing stock at the party and it wasn't because Matt pointed out I was wearing slippers.
The party was fine otherwise but for the next few weeks, something was in the air I couldn't define. It came to a head a few weeks the night before my ex broke up with me after a disastrous party we attended.
I might tell that story but it's very uncomfortable.
So, yeah that's why any reminder of JFK Jr's death sets me on edge.