A Fairy Tale Romance
A Love Story Begins
Strolling down Mickey Avenue in my snappy white uniform I reprise my daily role of Custodial Host. Sure I empty barrels in the sweltering Florida sun and I sweep up more popcorn than the guy who sits behind Roger Ebert at the movies, but the pay is really bad too. If I can make just one child then it is all worth it. Besides I sure know how to party. It took the convincing of my roommates to have a St. Patrick's Day party at our Vista Way apartment complex. One of my roommates is from Norway, two are from the Mid-West, and the other is from even worse, Brockton, Massachusetts. After a brief explanation of the holiday "You just wear green and drink," it was settled the St. Patrick's Day party would happen. One problem however, nobody likes me. I'd better find some people to go to this party or I'll end up like Peter Brady.
Speak of the Angel, a stunning girl with long black hair, bronze skin, and a fantastic smile is working The Little Mermaid ride. I've never seen her before, which is perfect because that means I still have a chance. I strut on over broom in hand and smile. She smiles back. My heart Flutters. I look over my shoulder, she is smiling at me. Now just calm down, she's probably just smirking at the ice-cream man-style wardrobe. Besides, this is the South and people down here smile at you for no reason. Unlike up here in Massachusetts where a smile means I just stole your wallet or your fly is down. For the rest of the day I make sure The Little Mermaid ride is the cleanest place on earth in the happiest place on earth. My sweeping gets so obvious I'm scooping popcorn out of mid air before it touches the ground. Her shift is up and she is heading for the exit. Now is my chance to use my James Bond charm.
"Hi, I'm Rob Chella." Don't extend the hand! Nobody wants to shake hands with barrel boy!
"Hi." She is still smiling unbelievably.
"And your name is..." Read the name tag genius, Y-D-A...What the hell!
"...An eye chart." Smooth, but she is laughing.
"My name is Ydana!"
"What a pretty name, Ydana. So were those the only letters left over?"
"No." She's laughing again, I knew Mad Magazine would pay dividends.
"So are you here on College Program?"
"I'm just heading home, can I give you a ride? I don't want to brag but I do drive a '79 Chevy Malibu."
"Oh, no I can't, I brought my own car. Thanks."
"All right. Anyway, my roommates and I are having a big St. Patrick's Day party on Friday, if you or your roommates want to go."
"That sounds good. I'll try to make it. Bye."
She's still smiling, she'll never go to the party, but it's a start.
Our romance began in Walt Disney World in 1993. We were both working on the Walt Disney World College Program. One morning while I was working as a tour attractions hostess at The Little Mermaid, Rob, who was a custodial host, approached me and introduced himself. We talked for a few minutes and he invited me to a St. Patrick's Day party. As soon as he asked me I was positive I would go. As the party approached, I found a few friends who would go with me. I don't think he really believed that I would show up, but I sought him out as soon as I got there. We talked, I drank (a little), he didn't drink, and later that evening, we kissed.
We started dating one another exclusively about one month later. As cliché as it sounds, I was falling in love with Rob. One day, again at work, we were talking and I said, "Rob I love you." The words were out of my mouth before I could think about what I was saying. I surprised myself almost as much as I surprised him. But I knew that my feelings were genuine, the real thing, True Love.
Our fairy tale romance turned bittersweet as Rob returned home to Boston and I remained to work in Walt Disney World for the summer. I had been auditioning for a role in entertainment and was striving for the character of Jasmine from the movie Aladdin. This was an uncertain period in our relationship due to the great distance. By the end of summer I had lost interest in my dream job and moved back to my home state of Connecticut. From that point we were involved in a long distance relationship from Connecticut to Massachusetts. Although we have experienced many bumps along the way, our relationship has been strong and if possible, I fell more in love with Rob.
Our romance continued on the Fourth of July 1997. We went on a harbor cruise to celebrate the holiday. The cruise included dinner, cocktails, and a one hour fireworks show. When the fireworks began, Rob took me by the hands, got down on his knee, and proposed. I could not tell you what he said, because I was crying from sheer elation. As you may guess, I said yes!
This is the beginning of a fairy tale that will never end.
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