This year was the most-important year of my life. That’s how I’m going to remember 2016. Now more than ever, while hope diminishes, it’s important to acknowledge the good in the world. Alfred told Bruce Wayne in “Batman Begins” that we fall so we can get up. And we all need to rise to the occassion in 2017.
There’s mounds of terribleness from the past year. Bad, racist police officers dodged proper prosecution. News writers penned obituary after obituary recognizing the lost lives of the talented and the famous. The Cubs won the World Series (kidding, I’m a White Sox fan). And then that horrible election.
But I’m not one to fall victim to a narrative. Every month I had something to celebrate. Allow me to indulge. Have a safe and happy New Year. And don’t give up hope.
After nearly two years of searching, interviewing and going slowly insane, I’m hired full time over at Eater Chicago as the site’s first-ever senior editor. My start date coincides with my girlfriend’s first day in her role after she received a promotion.
It was a sunny, unseasonably warm morning on February 20. That’s when I proposed to my girlfriend along the lakefront, near North Avenue. She said yes, then we went back to my parents’ house where her family and friends were waiting. Suprise!
The Syracuse Orange made the Final Four while playing at the United Center. I watched my alma mater clinch in my hometown while attending the game.
Baseball season starts in Chicago. The White Sox fool dumb people into thinking that they’re a real team. The Cubs start their imperial march toward a championship. I turn to my fiance for solace.
We pack up the car with my parents and head to Michigan and the in laws for our official engagement party. Shilpa danced, and a couple of close friends from Chicago made the trip. Even my sister flew from DC to celebrate.
I successfully avoided going to see Phish at Wrigley. Derrek Rose gets traded and I decided I don’t need to be a Bulls’ season ticket holder anymore. The lack of burden is a serious weight off my shoulders.
Jollibee opens in Skokie, as I’ve been learning a lot about Filipino food this year. We’re deep into wedding planning and food tasting. Oh, we get a new car. It’s not only a shared purchase, but my first new car in eight years.
The best month of the year, obviously, featuring my birthday. Sure, it might be a little obscured by the fact that we’re planning a wedding, but that still happened.
Plans are being finalized for the wedding and big travel news drops. All my dad’s brothers and his sister are coming to America for the wedding. They’re also bringing a cousin. My mom’s sister, husband and daughter are coming, too. I haven’t seen these folks since 1997. I’m pretty stoked at this once in a life time opportunity. The majority have never been to the U.S. It’s a good thing I got married before a certain ass-clown enforces xenophobic immigration policies that would stifle my family from earning visiting visas.
We get hitched. The party is epic. My sister gives a speech and miraculously sprinklers activate in my immediate vicinity; nowhere else. My wife looks stunning when she performs a dance at the sangeet. I give my groomsmen swords. We drink Malort and Bourbon County Stout.
For the first time in my life I celebrate Thanksgiving the way it’s meant—with a large family. We had Thanksgiving for 18 and I smoked a leg of lamb. The Indians leave the day after and we brace for the post-wedding crash.
I’m spending my first New Year’s Eve as a married man. It’s a lot more relaxing. A guy could get used to this.