[First of all, I didn’t even ask for permission to use these pictures but happiness…]
Frank and Alyssa are engaged!
YOU GUYS! …
Love is winning right in front of our very eyes [via Facebook post and some IG love…]
Okay, sorry, I’m rambling, let’s start from the very beginning. In west Philadelphia, born and raised…
…Rambling again. Sorry (again), I’m just super excited because something special happened.
Tony is one of my dearest friends. He may be the realest one I have on the team… We go way back, further, …a little more – Bingo! That Far back. Frank is Tony’s younger-not-youngest, brother, 1/3 of Tony’s heart. Because yuh-see – there weren’t [just] 2 dream boys, there were 3! Shout out to Jordan (Le bébé.)
C-L-E-O-P-A-T-R-A … (You’re ‘posed to sing this part if you know it)
The role of Alyssa will be played by late 90s-era Jennifer Love-Hewitt.
… Keep up.
Tony and I started our sisterhood on a fated whim –meeting at a party; in some dark corner of the universe known as _ _ P P _ _ _ _ R _ Palace –Miss Palace if ya nasty. I’ll spare you the background story, not because I’m a lazy stoory teller (shout out to Canada, too) rather, it’s due to the genius of Tony. There’s no sense in mentioning any others. When he walked into the room, like the very second, was sensory overload. Speaking to him was like being in the presence of the other smartest person at the sock-hop. His humor and quick quips were too advanced for our limited circle. Girlfriend was brilliant. He could dance, he was socially warm and inviting –but mentally, four days ahead of anyone else. Like me, here was an evolved mental catalog. I would reference films only he would know, and we would connect ever deeper over a love of 80s, 90s music.
He loved Beyoncé and he was real fun, y’all!
Social fresh meat, like m’self. He was convivial in all the best of ways. Although he was acquainted with quite a few of my friends, we had never met. I had never heard of him. He entered the party with a fool who, unfortunately, also knew many of my close guy pals as well. We were an obvious mix. Tony and I became like peas and Wu-Tang.
The Scene: Act One
We were new on the “scene.” It was 2006, just after high school graduation. I was in the armario at that time, but I had begun to frequent gay clurbs with m’gay friends, … SOLELY for the music, duh… At that time the D.C. gay scene was very much a bubble. You would see the same people at parties and then at other parties and at some other parties after that… mo money, mo parties. The cliques were diverse friend groups with complex inner/outer dynamics and alliances and there was a hierarchy. It was real time sociology and psychology practice. For a time, it seemed as though everyone was connected. Everyone knew someone who knew someone else that knew you, and it was a little society. My newfound civil surroundings were desperately refreshing to me, having spent most of my high school years drowning in anxiety and confusion, struggling to be accepted –killing myself to be accepted, actually.
We now return to As the World Tur– Something Special Happened …
Tony and I were instant family! Our mutual friends, anxious to present trial conversation topics to test our ability to connect, proved to have exhausted wasted efforts; because we didn’t need it. We just got each other. He would throw shade and I could instantly catch it, which is no easy feat because Tony is vastly and intricately intelligent. In our respective circles, we were following friends who were more known and had been out on the scene for far longer than either of us. Social spirit guides, if you will. Tony and I were supporting acts in other people’s stories when in reality, we were the real Heathers.
…Nah, the Moeshas. We were pure.
I cannot narrow Tony and my friendship down to one story or joke, and certainly not one time. It just isn’t possible, because ours [friendship] transcends selves. He’s been my rock through some of the darkest patches! Dark-dark… Hyenas marching on-beat in my soul and ish kind of dark… Through it all, he is always there for me. When other friendships proved to be flammable, at best, he and I became closer. We spoke our own language, we thought alike, and most importantly, we were ourselves with each other. We were surveillancing many of the same life experiences just parallel to the other. Each took a chance on trusting; because, when everyone around you turns out to be made-o-Silly Putty, you realize what and who a true friend is. We were each too intentional to open up to just anyone for the sake of surface-formality acquaintances.
But all I really want to talk about is family –his family… Oh, Brother, what a wonderful set of people those people are…
A family that has welcomed me whole, flaws and all, at a time when I didn’t know how to love myself. The Foreman-Nowaczek clan is some of the goodest, most-loving people I’ve ever been blessed to feel kindred to.
- Elaine – The Mom
- Tony “Dokey” – The Dad
- Tony – Friend
- Frank – Brother (#2)
- Jordan – Brother (#3)
- Alyssa – The Betrothed
- Alice N. – Grandma
- Uncle Rick – Uncle Rick (duh)
- Aunt Bean – You down with O-B-Bean
- Cousin Lauren – Cousin
- Cousin Matt – Cousin
- Cousin Sarah – Cousin
They’re like Chicken Noodle Kardashians for the Soul –They’re a big family.
For 12+ years, the Nowaczek-Forman bunch has welcomed me in and shown me what family truly looks and feels like. Family very different from what I experienced growing up. Here there are, family vacations, horse events, Football games, you name it! I’ve shared many truths with Elaine ions before I had the courage to say them to my actual mom.
I’m blessed to have them as part of my tribe. Truly, I face difficulty to really word it… It’s a heart chakra thing. These are my people.
Frank and Alyssa are engaged, which, for me, is something special. Being friends with Tony for as long as I have, I’ve literally watched his brothers grow into men; Frank in particular. Frank is all good vibrations, healing energy. My man is a kind and pleasant soul, although you may not jump to this conclusion upon meeting him for the first time. He’s BuilT, but loveable and open, just the same. He’s a smart and quietly wise being. I’d say he’s loyal, but they’re all loyal. It’s part of their family creed.
Alyssa is a magical being –a vision whom I have the great fortune to call my friend and a sister. She’s a solid Queen with a heart of gold. Though trill and gorgeous on the outside, her presence comes courtesy of a graceful personality and inner spice. She’s a special person. Like me, she is an outsider these people made an insider… Except, I don’t think Alyssa could ever be an outsider. Shorty is too dope! She’s the luxury item of humans. She’s never been outside of anywhere. #BubbleGirl
Here is where “real recognize real.” It’s the best way to describe their relationship… These are two people who have always kept their connection heavily weighted in mutual respect for, and a devout understanding of, the other. They’re an archetype for what true companionship can be and I couldn’t be happier to see two people step into their purpose with one another, together.
Congrats, Frank and Alyssa! I wish you 100 years overwhelmed in harmony. For now and forever, Ascend!