Here’s the story of Nathan and Megan that I told at their wedding reception on April 9, 2016 at the Marine Drive Golf Club.
In 2011, a young intern for the BC Catholic, looking for some information about a priest, picked up the phone and called a Chancery employee. The Chancery employee – for whatever reason – didn’t really give much of an answer and in the BC Catholic intern’s words, stone-walled him. And that, my friends, is how the wedding story of Megan and Nathan begins.
Fast forward a few months to when Nathan was a full-time employee with the BC Catholic. Megan was still working in the Chancery, and taking a few lunch-time shifts at the main reception desk. It was here they had their first real encounter.
Nathan was returning from lunch one day and passed by Megan and she rang the high-tech buzzer to unlock the high-tech door. Before going through the door, Nathan turned around and asked Megan, “Have we met before? Was it at a pro-life event?”
Megan replied with a quick “No”.
Not prepared for a non-affirmative answer, Nathan’s brain quickly went to work to produce a more open-ended question: one that would surely lead to more conversation and a chance to go deeper. Thus, he went to his go-to line:
“How old are you?”
To herself, Megan thought that this was quite a bold question. To himself, Nathan was hoping he wouldn’t have to resort to his other bold go-to line of “How much do you weigh?”
Megan told him that she was under 30 years old.
“So am I,” Nathan replied, pressing for an actual answer to his question. Must have been the reporter in him. Finally, he got one. She was the same age as him: 28 years old. This was much older than he thought. Must be that Asian gene.
Megan’s first impression was that Nathan was cute, and likely the only young guy in the building that wasn’t married…or a priest. Nathan thought that Megan was cute, nice, and sweet. And he was also glad that Megan wasn’t married nor a priest.
Soon afterwards, they agreed to go out for lunch. Nathan spent the entire meal ranting about everything from politics to food trucks to why Asian women look younger than their actual age. While Megan was slightly put off by the ranting and raving, she was still intrigued by Nathan and wanted to continue to get to know him.
They spent some quality time together on June 30 and July 1 of that year, with Megan driving Nathan home to Coquitlam from downtown Vancouver on both evenings. It was on the evening of July 1, 2012 when Nathan proclaimed an eloquent summation of their budding relationship: “I like you and I think you like me.”
Megan and Nathan got to know each other by doing a lot of walking and a lot of taking. Their favourite thing to do was to take road trips to Seattle (they drove, they didn’t walk) and despite loading up on podcasts and music for the drive, they would often just spend the entire time chatting.
In 2015, their relationship was getting more and more serious and they started to openly talk about getting married. Nathan was hardly certain as to when he would pose the big question, as he would often say to Megan, “You do not know the day nor the hour.” Truth be told, it’s because Nathan himself did know the day nor the hour.
But at least he had a plan. First, Nathan needed to ask permission from Megan’s parents. He used a private Facebook message to invite her parents to an important dinner at their family’s favourite restaurant – White Spot. A couple days before the dinner, Megan, Nathan and her parents were at another family gathering. As they were parting ways, Megan’s dad says to Nathan, “See you on Wednesday!” to which Nathan immediately shot him a look and prayed that Megan did not hear him.
Of course, Megan did, but she could also read Nathan’s face and knew right away that this was not something that she was meant to know about. It was very similar to the face Nathan makes when he has to go to the bathroom very badly…also something she’d prefer not to know about. Anyway, both of them just smiled at each other and changed the subject.
Two weeks later, Megan’s suspicions were further heightened when, at a lunch just before Megan’s parents left for the Philippines, Megan’s mother Corinna was keen on getting Nathan’s phone number. So she could text him while they were away. Viber him. Whatsapp him. Skype him. Tweet him. Periscope him. And Shapchat him. Man, that’s creepy.
Nothing happened while Megan’s parents were gone, making opening all of those social media applications moot. Instead, after consultation with his Mom, Nathan decided he would propose to Megan during Megan’s busiest week of the year: the Catholic Women’s League National Convention downtown Vancouver.
Nathan surmised that this would be a good chance to spend time with Megan, giving her a break from all of the crazy older women at the Convention. Sorry Barb. And sorry Corinna.
Anyway, once Nathan arrived downtown, Megan could sense that something was up. Even if Megan wasn’t the most intuitive and observant woman in the entire world, she would have sensed something. Nathan was distracted looking for parking. Nathan was distracted paying for parking, using a credit card he never uses. And as they walked around Canada Place, where they had spent that memorable Canada Day together 3 years prior, Nathan was distracted by his cell phone that was constantly buzzing with text messages.
Nathan told Megan it was Owen who was texting. That part was correct. Nathan also said that Owen kept texting because he needed advice for his date that night. That part was not so correct.
The texting suddenly stopped because Owen appeared right in front of them. Megan knew that this was indeed the day and the hour. Heck, even Stevie Wonder would have seen this coming.
Owen and Nathan engaged in a very contrived and scripted conversation that probably sounded a lot like they were robots enrolled in an “English as a second language” course in a local college.
“Hey look it’s Owen!”
“Hi Nathan…what a surprise to see you here.”
“Yes. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Surprise indeed.”
Owen proceeded to tell Nathan that he had forgotten something. He reached into his backpack and handed Nathan the ring box.
Nathan got down on one knee and embarked on a soliloquy that would have made William Shakespeare proud. Sadly, neither Nathan nor Megan can remember what Nathan actually said, aside from staring with “So I was wondering…” and ending with “Will you marry me?” In between was a whole bunch of mumbling, blubbering, and jibberish.
While an older couple nearby started applauding at the proposal, another guy yelled out “Don’t do it!”
Thankfully, Megan deferred to the elderly couple and said YES. As August 18, they were engaged to be married.
Megan and Nathan: look at this room and at all the people who are here to celebrate with you tonight. And what a beautiful celebration it has been…starting with the wonderful Mass. In journeying with you over the past few months, it’s very clear that you’ve always kept God at the centre of everything you are doing.
Your love for one another is an amazing witness to all of us, regardless of our vocation or life stage.
And that isn’t a rumour. It’s the absolute truth.
May God bless you.