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love at first write
an intrepid love story
by heather m. millen

Intrepid Media has been a part of my life for a good five years now. In February of 2001, it saw me through my hardest breakup to date. It was along for the ride when I spent several years in LA swearing off all Mr. Rights and having a fabulous time with more than a few Mr. Right Nows. And when I swooped myself off to Vegas in a faux-wedding just for kicks, Intrepid was there to throw the proverbial rice. Overall, I've had an Intrepid lovelife. Not just because the Intrepid Media family has been there for many steps along the while, but because it's been intrepid in its own right, if I do say so myself.

Nothing more illustrates this than a weekend in September of 2004. I attended IMV in Washington DC, the annual get-together and drunk-tank of sorts for Intrepid writers and imbibers. That night, I met an Angry Young Man. Admittedly, I was already a fan of his work... Long before I wrote for Intrepid Media, I would visit and read his columns, laughing out loud and feeling dirty all the while. We'd become phone pals and he knew way more about my love life than he would ever care to find himself knowing now.

But it was that September that I met Intrepid Staff Writer and hater of all things sacred, Mike Julianelle, face-to-face. I was mildly unimpressed. But by the end of the night, I had warmed up to a tepid "meh." And by morning I was, dare I say? smitten. He went home to Boston, I to North Carolina. But we had an inkling, and not long after, met halfway in Philadelphia for the world's scariest first date. There's no leaving after drinks if we were horribly incredibly wrong. But I guess we weren't. And within six months, I would move to Boston. I really should have a greater degree of restraint and/or common sense.

Or should I?

This past weekend was fairly normal for me. Dinner and a movie with my boyfriend on Friday. Lying by the pool drinking wine Saturday. Hitting the town with the girls Saturday night, downing my body weight in champagne, didn't make it home til nearly 4:00pm on Sunday. It's really hard being a Golden Goddess.

But little did I know that Sunday afternoon, while laying in bed watching "Without Limits" on Starz, my life was going to take a turn toward intrepid again. Mike asked me to read his upcoming column about turning 30. I put him off for a good ten minutes before I finally obliged.

The first half of the column? Typical Mike Julianelle. Ubiquitous pop culture references and the propensity to ZING! himself. But the second half took a turn, and my heart began to race as I realized this would be the most important column I would ever read. It was all a ploy... and by the end of those 1000 words he was on his knee proposing. I was crying and forgetting to say yes. And forgetting that I was the girl who was never going to get married. The girl who never wanted any of this.

And I realize now that maybe I haven't been that intrepid at all. Because it's easy to focus your entire life on self-fulfillment. It's easy to commit to nothing other than your own whim. What's challenging is making your world mesh with someone else's to create a product better than any one life alone. What's challenging is surrendering to an emotion that comes with no guarantees. What's challenging is committing to a lifetime of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and Star Wars movies.

Wait. Can I resubmit my answer?

But truly, forget all that hub-bub about me never getting married. I've always been a girl who wants to try it all. How can I overlook one of the world's most popular institutions? It would be like never checking into the Betty Ford Clinic.

Speaking of which, where did I put my daily hourly celebratory glass of champagne?

There's plenty to celebrate. My fancy new ring. My snappy new fiance. My new life chapter... This time NEW AND IMPROVED with someone to drag along for all of my craziest ideas.

For the next few weeks at least, I apologize in advance for morphing into the type of blushing bride-to-be that normally makes me want to vomit just a little. I apologize if I walk into traffic because I'm too busy staring at my new sparkly accoutrement. And if I assault you with the occasional glittery confetti... well, actually that's just what I do.

I hope you'll celebrate with us, Intrepid. Grab your cocktail of choice and raise a glass. Cheers to all you've done! And if this ends badly, I place ALL BLAME on Joe Procopio.

[Editor's Note: Me too!]

But I think we've got a damn good shot.

So, as I've said recently to the waiter at The Hungry I, the slightly inebriated patrons at Sevens Pub in Beacon Hill, (2) cabbies, at least 7 innocent passersby and my cat Rilo on numerous occasions....



For ring and engagement celebration pictures, click here!


Heather has a penchant for drama, both personally and professionally. She secretly wishes people spoke in song and wholeheartedly believes that everyone deserves a standing ovation now and again. She finds it appalling that people reserve champagne only for special occasions, when champagne is clearly best on a Tuesday, while riding the subway, accompanying a slice of kick-ass pizza.

more about heather m. millen


sugarplum dream
an experiment
by heather m. millen
topic: writing
published: 12.26.03

the heathers
four shades of me
by heather m. millen
topic: writing
published: 6.26.06


robert melos
9.4.06 @ 2:03a

Congrats! I look forward to reading your take on all that leads up to marriage and eventually on marriage itself. It should be fascinating. And best of luck to both of you.

russ carr
9.4.06 @ 3:00a

You're pregnant?

Cead mile failte, both of you wonderful people -- a hundred thousand blessings.

Mike, I'll send you a velvet Crown Royal bag soon. It's perfect.

lisa r
9.4.06 @ 8:42a

Congratulations, you two!

sandra thompson
9.4.06 @ 10:34a

Congratulations and best wishes for a long and happy life. That you've changed your mind about ever getting married proves only one thing: You've fallen in love. There's nothing so glorious in all of life than being in love. There's nothing that makes us so "stupid happy" as being in love. ("Stupid happy" is not a bad thing BTW.) In our culture, getting married is a no brainer after the really big step of falling in love at all. If some of your family and friends don't like him as much as you do that's normal and mostly THEIR problem. Just remember that love is necessary but not sufficient for a happy marriage. My only advice is that you spend the money and the effort and the time for some professional pre-marital counseling. I don't care how smart we are or how good we are or how loving we are there are always issues which are best addressed in the company of a disinterested third party, and sooner rather than later. (Of course, as a retired counselor I'm definitely biased in this regard, so take it for what it's worth.)

I'm very happy for you! It further reinforces my faith in the human race that we can still love and believe in a future.

sandra thompson
9.4.06 @ 10:42a

Oh, I almost forgot: since each of you are as pretty as you are, you WILL post pictures of any offspring if and as they arrive, right?

michael driscoll
9.4.06 @ 10:49a

Wha? Whe? How? omg...does this mean mike is straight afterall? Congrats to you both!

erik myers
9.4.06 @ 11:12a

Hey congrats!

This is fantastic and brilliant news.

(Saw it coming a MILE away, but fantastic and brilliant, nonetheless!)

sarah ficke
9.4.06 @ 11:21a

Congratulations! Being married is fun. Oh, and make sure you get a video of the special day. It's the only way you'll see all of the little things you'll be too excited to notice then.

katie morris
9.4.06 @ 12:19p

Congratulations, you two! That is huge, happy news. Champagne and glitter for everyone!

michelle von euw
9.4.06 @ 1:12p

Ohhh, I *thought* this is what the teaser was, er, teasing! Congratulations to you both!!

tracey kelley
9.4.06 @ 6:11p

Awwwww! How wonderful! Congratulations! Big hugs and smooches!

I -just- deleted Mike and Heather's Early Dating Period E-Mails from my inbox two weeks ago. I should have saved one, just for the giggles of it.

jael mchenry
9.5.06 @ 9:26a


I've been wanting to tell people this for DAYS.

This should prove that nerdy guys who obsess about movies on the internet can parlay that obsession into snagging a gorgeous wife... in a fairly convoluted and roundabout way.

Congrats, kids. Your wedding better be fan-glittery-tastic.

heather millen
9.5.06 @ 10:19a

Fan-glittery-tastic, indeed!

Thanks, all, for the well-wishes. Would have responded sooner but have been out celebrating. Drag queens and bull-riding and Mike's parent... OH - MY!

Pictures to follow.

The proposal was wonderful and I was so happy that Intrepid Media was a part of it. A part of all of it really. And now I've got COLUMN GOLD that I can hang over my future husband's head at all times. I can see it now, a heated debate and me screaming, "I swear to God, I'll hit PUBLISH!"

brian anderson
9.5.06 @ 10:34a

Best Wishes, Heather! And I congratulate your Angry Young Man on his good taste.

juli mccarthy
9.5.06 @ 1:01p

Holy cats.

Best to you both! That's wonderful!

heather millen
9.5.06 @ 1:40p

Thanks, guys. For some of my friends, this has served as an announcement. Hope you're not too shocked!

Also, I added some pics. Just to clarify, some gal friends of mine kidnapped me for a "Celebration Night: No Boys Allowed." Hence all the Mike-less pictures.

But I assure you, Mike and I have taken every opportunity to celebrate as well. Engagement week should never end!

adam kraemer
9.5.06 @ 1:47p

Mazel Tov! I couldn't be happier for the both of you.


roger striffler
9.5.06 @ 2:27p

Woooooooo Hooooooo!! I'm so happy that Mike is such a copy-cat ;o)

I'm sorry we weren't around to get the pre-announcement call, but I couldn't be happier for you. Who would ever have guessed that a couple hundred text messages from the back seat of a VW Beetle would lead to this? (well, who other than Erik...)

Very happy for you kids.


katie kilgariff
9.5.06 @ 2:37p

this is so exciting! i wish i were nearby for some celebratory champagne...ah- well, i can't wait to come see you and celebrate!!!!!!!

congratulations a million times- i just love you and am so happy for you both!

katie kilgariff
9.5.06 @ 2:41p

that ring is beautiful, and most importantly- very very heather.

joe procopio
9.5.06 @ 2:52p

I'm very happy for Heather.

I'm sure Mike knows something like this will never come along again.

I'm beyond flattered that Intrepid Media was a part of your engagement.

mike julianelle
9.5.06 @ 3:32p

I'm sure Mike knows something like this will never come along again.

Whereas I'm a dime-a-dozen?

Katie, thanks. We'll see you and Shawn soon, I hope. And Hobbes!

I have several friends that all got/are getting engaged around this same time, and I am glad that the ring is as unique and original as the person who is wearing it.

And that statement there forever ends any and all public displays of cheesiness from yours truly.

bruce boyle
9.5.06 @ 6:21p

Hi. I think you are making a huge mistake. Mike only cares about one thing, ruining other people's lives. He is a terrible Fantasy Football player and a dicey option as my 307th best friend. In addition, I have been married for 6 years and it is not all it is cracked up to be. I hate my wife and I hate myself more than ever. Some people may think that proposing online is cute, I am not one of them. I hate this website, you should all try and do something more constructive with your lives.

Thank you,

Matt Stewart

heather millen
9.6.06 @ 10:07a

I am glad that the ring is as unique and original as the person who is wearing it.

AWWW.... how sweet is that? I mean, I'm out to single-handedly destroy the "Angry Young Man" rep once and for all.

Of the Intrepidites who were there when we first met at IMV, who could have seen this coming?!

dan gonzalez
9.7.06 @ 9:45a

Matt Stewart

Word! This guy needs to show up around here more often, the truth shall set us free!

And what's that dollar doin' up there, huh? Very fishy, stowing a bone in the cleavage shortly after saying 'yes'. Sharon Stone in Casino anyone?!?

rachel milim
9.11.06 @ 3:35p

Congratulations! You've found yourself a great guy, but believe me, he knows he's the lucky one. The ring is beautiful and I absolutely love the way Mike proposed. Let's give him credit where credit is due. Again, congratulations. All the best!


maigen thomas
9.12.06 @ 12:25a

you are too adorable. I'm sorry that I haven't had time to focus on reading anyone else's words lately - I'm glad I had a glass of wine and the evening to focus on reading. This is very exciting news, and I know (firsthand, now!) how awesome it is being married to your most-favourite, bestest ever friend in the the world. Very many congrats and lots of happily ever afters. Muah.

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