May 1, 2015 was the best day of my life. I realized it after the initial emotional shock wore off, and I will never forget the date as long as I live.
Myself, my boyfriend Bryan and my sister Kelly were taking our annual trip to the Texas Frightmare Weekend convention in Dallas, where horror icons and fans congregate every year to celebrate love of the fandom.
On Friday night, a “Phantasm Ball,” a party with the theme of the 1979 cult film “Phantasm” was held. Hundreds of people attended. There were drinks, food and even a photo op with a replica of the killer silver flying ball from the movie.
Bryan and I take a photo with the killer ball from “Phantasm.” Photo by Bryan Patti.
All of us were having a great time on the dance floor, but Bryan kept looking nervous and was getting distracted by his phone. I started to get upset.
“Are you okay?,” I asked. “Who do you keep texting?”
He quickly said he was telling his sister how the party was going. I thought it was a bit odd, but nothing to worry myself over.
Then, the MC stopped the music. “Ok, everyone,” he said, “there’s a guy here who’d like to propose to his girlfriend.” Bryan headed toward the stage.
“NO, NO, NO,” I initially thought, hating being the center of attention in a situation I could not control. I tried to stay as calm as I could muster.
I was in so much shock, I don’t remember what Bryan specifically said to me as he knelt down on one knee. All I know is he proposed and I said yes.
Bryan and I celebrate our engagement at the Texas Frightmare Weekend convention. Photo by Kelly Agee.
I do remember feeling a sense of numbness. Bryan and I had been together almost five years and the convention was a meaningful place to us both, so the proposal was not totally unexpected.
Still, I didn’t know how to deal with the conflicting range of strong emotions inside me. I quickly and discreetly snuck out to collect myself.
Sitting on a bench outside, I cried. I didn’t feel worthy of being engaged and felt lots of pressure. At the same time, I was excited a new phase of my life was starting.
Bryan and Kelly came out and consoled me. Kelly knew I was mainly upset because of my hate of being the center of attention. Bryan understood this was a big step in our lives, and held me to calm me down. WE eventually mae ou way back to the party, and had an amazing night.
Bryan and I show off my engagement ring in front of the Phantasm Ball poster. Photo by Bryan Patti.
Now, almost a year later, Bryan and I are still engaged. Not much else in our life has changed, but now I look more forward to Texas Frightmare Weekend this year than ever because of the special place it holds now in my heart.