About twenty years ago, Luís wanted a miracle at Christmas. He wanted Jessica to fall in love with him. The only problem was, in Luís’s own words:
“I was a big dork.”
Hey, it happens to the best of us. Many of us spend half our lives being dorks. Though Luís believes he was a dork simply because when it came to ideas for winning Jessica he had none.
Luís was Jessica’s friend. They weren’t close, but they were casual pals. Sometimes he would give her rides home after work. He took her out to the movies occasionally, but that was pretty much it.
“Somehow,” says Luís, “I felt like I had become her brother. I was stuck in the friend zone.”
This is not uncommon for people whose DNA comes from Dorkish descent. Luís was experiencing what many of us dorks have suffered before. Namely, Luís wanted Jessica to see him the way many women might see George Clooney or Leonardo DiCaprio. Instead, she viewed him as Norm from “Cheers.”
But everyone has to start somewhere. So that’s what Luís did. He developed a plan. This romantic plan was called “Operation Woo Her.”
Luís’s thinking was: “Hey, if I’m gonna ask Jessica to be my girlfriend, I’m gonna go all out. If I fail, I’m failing BIG TIME.”
It was a plan of dork-like proportions, a little juvenile, very off-the-wall, but romantic nonetheless. Here was his plan:
Late one night, Luís would arrive on Jessica’s lawn with a mariachi band. He would sing a Spanish song until either his lungs popped or Jessica agreed to bear his children. I asked Luís where he got this level headed idea.
“My mom is Mexican,” he said.
Luís goes on, “All the leading guys on her Mexican soap operas sing to girls outside their windows, and it always works on TV.”
The only problem was—and this was just a minor issue—Luís had a singing voice like a chain smoking billy goat. It took weeks for his mother to teach him a simple song in Spanish. He practiced every day. Luís practiced so hard that he wasn’t sure if he was getting better or worse.
When his moment of truth came he was sweaty palmed and trembling. It was a Friday night. He wore a rented tux.
A mariachi band arrived in a minivan. Six musicians crawled out into the cold, wearing charro suits and bowties. There were trumpets, guitarónnes, violins, vihuelas, and one very fat bill.
Luís says, “Mariachi bands ain’t cheap.”
So the way a classic romantic serenade works is pretty straightforward. A gentleman sings beneath his true love’s balcony in the middle of the night. Whereupon one of two things will happen: (a) Either a light will flip on in her bedroom and she will come to the window and fall madly in love with him, or (b) her parents will shoot him.
He sang his song with the band. But no light in the window. Maybe she didn’t hear him. So he sang again, louder. Nothing. He tried a third time. No response. Luís was sick to his stomach.
“I just turned around and was gonna go home.”
Someone knocked on his vehicle window before he drove away. It was a neighbor woman who said, “Are you looking for Jessica?”
Luís told her he was.
The woman said, “Jessica is at the hospital, they took her there after she had an accident. By the way, loved your music, do you guys do any Skynyrd?”
So that night our hero and his band of merry men drove to the hospital. Luís found out that Jessica had broken her leg while volunteering at youth group that afternoon. Which raises a very good question: What in God’s name were these kids doing at youth group? And how do I join?
The lady at the main desk said Jessica’s room was on the fourth floor. So Luís and the band took an elevator.
Luís says there were other people in this elevator. And I, for one, wish I could have seen this. Perhaps some of these elevator passengers had just finished having an important medical procedure such as, say, a colonoscopy. Suddenly, here come a bunch of mariachis in glittery clothes and very tight pants and a band leader says, “Fourth floor, please, ma’am.”
“I was nervous,” says Luís. “I didn’t think I could do it. But one of the band guys said, ‘No matter what happens, you can never go wrong by making a woman feel like a princess.’”
Thus emboldened, Luís stepped onto the fourth floor, followed by some brave musicians, many of whom Luís says were at least five feet tall. And when they reached Jessica’s room, Luís entered singing the song his mother taught him.
“It came off great,” says Luis. “She was laying there with her leg up, and I was hitting all the right notes.”
The song ended with a grand finish, just like he had practiced. And Luís is happy to report that he nailed it.
“I was Celine Dion, baby.”
Jessica began to cry and laugh. Not only because Luís had demonstrated his love, not only because he had made her feel like a princess, but because she was on some hardcore pain meds.
After Luís’s song, the nurses applauded, so did a few onlookers in hospital gowns gathered by the door. Luís says everything became very awkward after that. The room went silent.
He didn’t know what to do. So he just said, “I love you, Jessica. I always will.”
Luís might be a dork. But today he’s a dork who is married to Jessica. And I just thought you should know about it.