Abbie and Paul

How We Met

Paul and I met at an event he was DJing in downtown, Chattanooga on August 7th, 2014. I didn’t actually see him perform but my friend pointed him out and told me that he was hot stuff at Covenant College (where  he went to school), which at the very least peaked my interest. Somehow we ended up chatting and later that night I had a Facebook friend request. The next day he sent me a message saying he enjoyed talking and eventually he asked for my number and proceeded to ask me out for drinks.

We met up for drinks at the Terminal Brewhouse right off of Main Street. We sat outside on the patio and chatted and while the date was fine neither of us left with the feeling of a future or that it would be going anywhere. I was planning on moving to Colorado by the end of the year and he was planning on moving to New York. Not exactly compatible….

We didn’t talk after the date but about a week later ran into each other at Nightfall. I was with a guy friend and he was with a group of people. We had a brief, awkward, conversation and continued on with our crews. Later in the night he came up to me and asked if I wanted to go to The Bitter Alibi with him and his friends. I was planning on meeting some girlfriends there anyways so I agreed to go. We ended up talking a lot and just had a blast being together. From that night on we quickly became pretty inseparable.

how they asked

There are two things that Abbie loves: breakfast dates and hiking.

So when I asked her if she wanted to do both on the same day, I thought for sure she would be suspicious. But thankfully, Abbie knows that I am a procrastinator and didn’t think that I even had the ring (turning weaknesses into strengths). Blissfully unaware of what was to come, Abbie agreed to my Friday plan and away we went.

First stop: The Farmer’s Daughter. Again, I thought my plan would unravel when I suggested we should get a mimosa just for fun (I’m not usually this fun and nice). But my cover of perceived incompetence was rock solid. After breakfast, we headed to Prentice Cooper for our hike to Snooper’s Rock, deciding NOT to stop at the grocery store for food or drinks (important plot point for later.)

As soon as we got there I thought, “This couldn’t have worked out any better.” There was absolutely no one else there and the weather was perfect. So we started along, Abbie leading the way because she had been there before. About an hour later, the hike seemed longer than she remembered and our lack of food and water was starting to show. But we pressed on with Marlin at our heels. In a master stroke of deception, I talked about whether or not we should go to Costco later. Such a boring idea only solidified the idea in Abbie’s mind, “I guess Paul won’t propose until Christmas.”

Right as we started to worry that we would never reach Snooper’s Rock, we spotted a sign. “1.8 miles this way.” Thank goodness. 1.8 miles later we arrived, realizing that we had taken the long way. But I couldn’t care less. Abbie was still in good spirits with no idea of what was about to happen and the view was incredible.

In another brilliant move I said, “Hey, look that way with Marlin so I can take a picture.” This was the final action scene of the movie. The ring was in my coat pocket, but it was hidden too deeply in my glove for secrecy. My left hand fumbled frantically within the pocket, terrified that she would turn around, all the while calling out, “Keep looking that way. Gotta turn on my phone. Looks great. One second!” And then, it was free, Abbie looking into the valley and the ring in my hands. So I got down on one knee, opened that sucker up and said, “Hey babe. Turn around.”

She turned around and started laughing hysterically, which was great, because whatever I said next that was supposed to sound natural and not memorized was sounding awfully memorized. But it worked, and when I said, “Abbie Townsend Holt, will you marry me?” she said YES!


We hugged and kissed and laughed and jumped around, and when I was sure that nothing could dampen her mood I asked, “Can I say my signature phrase just this once?”

“Yeah,” she said with a smirk.

So with a smile and as much love as I could muster, I said, “Gotchu sucka.”