Through Dubai and over the North Pole we go…

This weekend marks the start of busy season in my life as it signals the two and half month sprint to the wedding on June 4. I am also embarking on a two week journey back to the United States that will take me from Las Vegas to Washington, D.C. to Mount Vernon, Alabama to Los Angeles, California and back to Abuja Nigeria. As usually, it will be another world wind visit back to the homeland. I am returning to the United States for two reasons. First, there are wedding details that I need to take care of and the Easter break presented a good time to spend time with my family and do some wedding cake testing. (SMILE) Secondly, a dear friend is also “jumping the broom” (which I have learned is a tradition that probably should be retired) or getting hitched as others say.

(Left) Vartan, Myal and myself at a Washington Wizards basketball game in 2004. For three months in 2003, we all worked in the office of Congressman Tom Feeney. (Right) Andrew, myself and Vartan at the Guinness Factory in Dublin Ireland. 

In some ways, Vartan and I have been in a race to get to “the alter.” I say that jokingly but as I think back to our conversations over the past two years, we have been coaching each other in various aspects of our dating relationship – discussing dating, engagement rings, weddings, etc. We started our dating relationships around the same time and have been encouraging each other through the process. I pulled the trigger first and got engaged in November and planned a wedding for June. Vartan got engaged in January but made sure that he would beat me to “the alter” by planning an April wedding.

Subconsciously, Vartan and I, along with our other friend Andrew have been competing against each other since the day I met them in 2003. It has now become a running joke among us. I met Vartan in the Spring of 2003. I had just moved to Washington, D.C. and was looking for a job. I applied for an internship in the office of Rep. Randy Forbes but they had enough interns and forwarded my resume to Congressman Tom Feeney’s office. When I got the call from Vartan to come in for an interview, I didn’t know who Tom Feeney was and had no clue who I was talking to on the phone. Obviously my interview went well because they eventually brought me into the office and I quickly befriended Vartan. Vartan is a very talented person and it was clear that he was on the move. After a few months, Vartan left the office to take on the role of press secretary for a Member of Congress from California and the office promoted me from unpaid intern to full time staffer. Thanks to Vartan, I got my foot in the door on Capitol Hill.

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At the Reagan Library in 2012. Vartan was showing me around Los Angeles.

Over the years, Vartan and I have seen the highs and lows in each other’s life. We were accosted by drunk gypsies in Ireland in 2008 and witnessed amazing scenery along the New Zealand coast. I traveled around the world to meet up with him in 2014 and I am flying across the North Pole to meet up with him in Las Vegas. He slept on my couch as he was transitioning between political campaigns and comforted me as I was trying to find employment after leaving Congressman Duffy’s office. Now, we will be privileged spectators as we both take the next step in our lives. I am truly glad to call Vartan a friend and watch him marry the love of his life.

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