Becky Perkovich correctly gave 1 of the 4 possible correct answers to the Christopher D. Bennett Trivia Question:
Q: What is Christopher D. Bennett’s favorite movie?
A: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
“Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible.”
Your idea of happiness:
Proust Questionnaire Number Ten
When Becky chose her question she said that she hoped to get a “real answer”. It is the kind of disrespect that would normally cause me to cancel her email subscription to this journal. However, since it is the Christmas season, I will allow it to slide. All of my answers are real and real is a stupid word.
Actually, it has nothing to do with the Christmas season. I just sat through an Advent Study where there was frequent discussion about how we become “better people” and have more “peace” during the Christmas season. I couldn’t really relate to the conversations and hardly ever contributed because I don’t feel that I have more peace or become a better person during Christmas.
I can’t figure out if that makes me an absolutely terrible person or a person of unsurpassed greatness. These are the only two options.
As this question relates to 2010, this question will need to be thought of as “what made you happiest in 2010?”
That is an easy question to answer: Evie.
To extend the answer to this question just a little bit, let me tell you a few tales.
I’ve known for quite some time that Jen and Derrick were trying to have a baby, but the thoughts of me seeing them as parents didn’t really start to materialize until early January.
I was at Derrick and Jill’s parent’s house for Marla’s birthday party. Sort of. I was kind of a late addition to the invite list.
Nothing earth-shattering happened while I was there. I would find out later that before my arrival Derrick and Jen had told his parents and Jill that they were pregnant on that night, but my arrival had extinguished all the conversation about the baby. They must have hated me for showing up, but this story is about me and my happiness. It was the first time that I noticed that Jen was not smoking. I noted it, but didn’t jump to a conclusion.
Later in January Derrick, Jen, Sara, and I attended a Brandi Carlile concert. It was the time of year where we were starting to make plans for the big Iowa State-Kansas State game in Kansas City. We had attended the game the previous year. Despite some awkwardness to the previous year’s trip (staying at the Bates Hotel, my cousin offering us drugs), I was looking forward to making the trip this year. Possibly with the addition of a couple of new people.
I was talking about how we would make this year’s trip better while we were parked in Sara’s driveway when Derrick utter the following cryptic line:
“I’m not sure if we will be able to make the trip to Kansas City this year.”
He would offer no explanation.
Before the Brandi Carlile concert we dined at the Gateway Market. I noted that Jen drank water. Jen still was not smoking. In fact, Derrick had yet to have a cigarette.
During the Brandi Carlile concert, Jen went to the bathroom about 14 times.
I was certain now that Jen was pregnant. I waited for the rest of the night for the announcement. I was certain that this was the perfect night to make the announcement. I was certain that they wanted to tell Sara and I together.
The night ended without an announcement. I went to bed confused.
That week I met noted filmmaker H. Richard Stauffer. He is Frank’s friend. He was working on a musical number in the area. He invited Jesse and I to come watch him in action on his set. We agreed.
The next day, Sara announced that she would be in Ames for clinicals on the exact same day that Jesse and I were going to be watching the great H. Richard Stauffer in action. I have had a goal of photographing him since I first met him, but that is a story for another day.
We set up a lunch meeting with Jen and Derrick. I resolved to shaft H. Richard Stauffer because I was pretty sure that at this meeting Jen and Derrick would announce a pregnancy.
I was right, as I sat down at the table, Derrick said: “Hey Chris, we won’t be able to go to the Kansas State game this year. Jen is pregnant.”
There was merriment.
We made an appointment to photograph the happy couple before they became a couple “plus one”.
The next happy moment came a few months later. I’m not sure of the exact month, but I know that it happened before Jen, Derrick, Sara, Cousin Amy and I ate at The Open Flame.
I plopped down on the chair in the Gorshe living room and for the first time I saw a blob on the television that would turn out to be Evie.
While we waited for Sara and Cousin Amy to arrive, we watched the video 3 times. Then we watched it twice with Sara in the room and Cousin Amy waiting for us in the car due to her cat allergies.
I would watch the video a few more times a few weeks later when Jill was back in town. It never really got old. Nor did the gnawing feeling that the video could use background music ever go away.
The next joyous moment came in late August. I have never been to a baby shower, but I got talked into co-hosting a shower with Sara.
My part of the shower was to make sure it was cool enough for guys to attend plus make whatever Sara wanted to happen magically happen. I believe I came through on both fronts.
We found time to cram in one last photo shoot of the Gorshes before the blessed day occurred.
Then there was nothing but waiting.
The Iowa State-Kansas State football game came. This was very close to the due date. I was worried that the baby would come while I went down to Kansas City to watch the game. Not really sure why I was worried. It is not like I had a job in this process, but I was antsy nonetheless.
Then my fears seemed to be coming true.
Derrick texted me: “Are you in Kansas City?”
I texted Jill that I was in Kansas City and never heard back.
These two incidents are seemingly innocuous, but in the mind of a…. well in my mind, they spelled “baby on the way”. Let me explain.
Derrick never texts. Derrick is the Chris Bennett of 2007. He hates texting. He can’t stand it when other people text him. It costs him money because he doesn’t have a text messaging plan.
Only once before this day had he text messaged me. That text consisted of scatological humor. In fairness, it was a parody of scatological humor. I believe Jen had to help him send this text.
It seemed very strange to me that out of the blue he would send me a text message. I responded back in the affirmative. He never wrote me back.
Why had he texted me?
I also make a habit of sending text updates about Iowa State games to Jill. She always texts back with appropriate responses: “Yay!!!” or “That’s terrible.”
Why had she not texted me back?
The answer seemed obvious to me. Somewhere in the Mary Greeley birthing center, Jen was bringing the newest Gorshe into the world. Somewhere on I-35, Jill was speeding down to Ames to see her niece or nephew for the first time.
I watched the entire game with this feeling in the back of my head that as soon as the game was over I needed to get back to Ames.
After the conclusion of the game I called Derrick. To my great surprise he answered his phone. He didn’t have any news. He was just genuinely interested in whether or not I had went to Kansas City.
The great rush back to Ames was called off. Jason and I went to Oklahoma Joe’s for supper and the best barbecue I’ve had in my entire life.
I had made plans with Jen and Derrick and Sara for the following Tuesday night. We were going to give them the baby advice book that Sara and I had put together with pictures from the Baby Shower.
Then Tuesday came along. I spent the morning at work texting Jill about the new Maroon 5 album.
Then Derrick called.
“We aren’t going to be able to do dinner tonight.”
“Why is that?”
“We’re at the hospital. Jen’s having the baby.”
I spent the rest of the day texting Jill, all the while dancing around the only topic that could possibly be on either of our minds.
A little after 4 Derrick called with the joyous news. Evie was born healthy (like a lot babies) and adorable (like very few babies).
I just kind of stared at the clock at work for the next couple of hours waiting for Sara to arrive.
Finally 6 o’clock came. Sara showed up. I sent 1 last text to Jill that I was leaving work and going to the hospital. I figured that was safe ground.
She texted back how excited she was to be an aunt and it was a relief to finally be able to talk about it.
Sara and I got to the hospital and got to see and hold Evie. This was my happiest moment of 2010.
Of course we also got to take this picture too:
This concludes the wordy portion of the Proust Questionnaire for 2010. Congratulations to Jen. She just became the 5th person to reach the 100 journal entries about her plateau.