New year, new union

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

As some of you know, Gideon and I will be having a wedding in the very near future. We will be officially wed on New Year's Eve, with all our friends and family there to ring in 2017.

Of course New Year's Eve is a special day to get married. It's all about change and new beginnings, which is pretty perfect for a wedding day. It's special to me and Gideon for another reason, though. Some of our best moments have happened on New Year's Eve. I'm talking about those moments you never forget ... the kind of moments that are ingrained in your memory forever.

It started in 2013 at the House of Blues in Dallas. Gideon and I began casually dating that fall but didn't feel comfortable fully committing for a few reasons. We lived long distance. We had both just ended long-term relationships. Most importantly, we had been friends for years and didn't want that to change because of some wayward romantic relationship.

We ended up spending New Year's Eve in Dallas after I discovered that a band we liked would be playing there. Gideon introduced me to the band the first year we became friends. I liked them so much that I bought the tickets to their New Year's Eve show without asking Gideon if he wanted to come. Luckily, he agreed and we went.

It was a phenomenal show. Even the opening acts had the type of energy you can't describe in words. About five minutes before midnight, the lead singer announced that they'd start counting down soon. That was when I realized you're supposed to kiss somebody at midnight. I had been so excited about the show that I didn't think about the way people typically celebrate New Year's Eve. I got ready for an awkward kiss, hopefully one that wouldn't last too long.

But it wasn't awkward at all. Though I'm about as far from sappy as it gets, the best way I can describe the kiss is magical. It felt like that kiss you see at the end of a romantic comedy when the lead actors finally figure out they're supposed to be together and go for it. It felt like we should have been doing that since the day we met.

What happened after the kiss wasn't so magical. We needed to get back to our hotel, but someone took our designated parking spot. That led to more than an hour of driving around Dallas, looking for a parking spot in New Year's Eve traffic and trying to avoid hitting drunk people. At first, I acted like I was OK with it. I kept making jokes about how we'd find a parking spot eventually. Gideon had never seen me upset, and I didn't want him to.

Around 1:30 a.m., I realized that we were running low on gas. Predictably, I lost my mind. I mean that literally. I had a panic attack and can't remember what happened after that. According to Gideon, he helped me find a parking spot and we walked for about 45 minutes back to the hotel. He said he held my hand the whole way and tucked me into bed once we got there. He even took my earrings off so they wouldn't stab the side of my head while I was sleeping.

We consider that night the beginning of our relationship. Four days later, we began officially dating. Two years after that, we got engaged, also on New Year's Eve. Some of you might remember that story; it was the topic of a column earlier this year. For those of you who don't, Gideon and I had some really good wine, he gave me a really nice ring and asked me to stay with him forever.

A couple of weeks from now, we'll cement that bond in Eureka Springs, the town that has become home to us over the past two years. Last year, Gideon told me he was excited about New Year's Eve because everything would be new again.

We have even more to look forward to this year, and I can't wait.

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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com