Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Congratulations Bethany and Andrew!

Some background: For a couple of years, I had the most fantastic carpool ever.

When I moved to Portland in 2003, I got a job an hour south in Salem. One problem: Chris and I owned one car and his job was significantly north of where we lived. Moving close enough for him to walk would have added a half hour to my commute.

Dan: Transportation Wonk, Bon Vivant

Luckily, through carpoolmatchnw.org I found Dan. Dan worked in Salem and had a car. Not only that, since his job involved encouraging "transportation alternatives," he was so thrilled to get a carpool mate that he was willing to do most of the driving during those first few months that I didn't have a car. Eventually I got to the top of the Prius waiting list and helped out more with driving. Shortly after this, we found Glenn, then Allison. We were four Portlanders shlepping to Salem to work for State government. We clicked immediately and had as great a time as someone can be expected to have on an interstate at 7am.

Glenn and Sweetie Laurie
Glenn and his sweetie


Four is a good number for a carpool. Everyone gets elbow room but no one has to drive too much. When Glenn was contacted by Bethany, I was initially skeptical about how a fifth would fit in. Despite my concerns, it seemed fated. Bethany lived around the corner from me, so I could not say it was inconvenient to pick her up. Her car only smelled a little like wet dog, and only when it rained. Most importantly, by adding Bethany we got BETHANY, and our happy four became a very happy five. (Rather than getting too gushy, let me just say that Bethany is smart, funny - even at 7am - and a great cook.)

Our carpool was many things to us: entertainment, solace, a bad-pun testing ground, therapy.* Our group went through numerous personal changes during our time together, including more than one break up, a wedding, my struggles to get pregnant, and Bethany's decision to leave Oregon to pursue a relationship with an old friend who inconveniently for the rest of us happened to live in South Africa. We were sad to say good bye to Bethany, but supported her decision to move across the world for love.

Bethany and Andrew: cute, no?
(photo credit: A&B)

Since she moved away, the rest of the carpool has kept in touch with Bethany, and she's visited us on her U.S. vacations. Earlier this month we got an email from Bethany with the subject "We're Engaged!" We, her Portland carpool mates, were thrilled and used the happy news as an excuse to get together to eat, drink and take pictures. And speaking of pictures, see this charming evidence of Andrew's proposal. Oh, and the carpool's attempt to show Bethany how much we love her and how glad we are that she and Andrew will be getting married.

Andrew rushed down to the beach to write this
before taking Bethany down for a walk
(photo credit: A&B)

We took about 47 pictures in an attempt to get us all looking in the same direction with our eyes open.

Attempt 5
Dan's eyes aren't closed, he's just had too many of Glenn's chartreuse martinis.

In case it isn't clear what our little sign says:
Congratulations!  Bethany and Andrew

We love you and miss you and are so thrilled for your happiness!

*We also stalked one of the other cars we routinely saw commuting with us. The young man, with huge mutton chops, driving notably under the speed limit in a lexus coupe (and later a red Toyota Echo). We dubbed him "sideburn guy" and speculated about his job, his life, his choice of facial hair. Once Dan and I even followed him in the slow lane all the way to his exit. We didn't exit when he did, but we agreed that if we saw him on the way to work we'd follow him there. We never did see him heading to work after that, and eventually we lost track of him.
(But not before I snapped a fuzzy cell phone image of him as we sped by)


  1. Great historical summary of our carpool, Nora! Just to add a P.S., Glenn left a message on my cell phone yesterday that he had just had a "Zentra" sighting. That, or maybe the fad of animal-print cars is spreading?

  2. Sideburn Guy! I love that you had stories about Sideburn Guy.

  3. (un)relaxeddad5/01/2008 10:39 PM

    I love the idea of the car-pooling custom, especially facing another standing room only trek up the Northern line to the West End! And I love a happy ending (or beginning) even more.

    Re the last para - you're actually a spy, aren't you?

  4. Hilarious! Loved the whole story. A carpool never sounded so fun before....

  5. Ok, I am so jealous...things like this just aren't supposed to happen. Lucky for you they did. I don't know them, but they seem like lovely people so what the hay....."Congrats Bethany and Andrew!