Abby and Johannes
How We Met
Johannes was an exchange student from Germany at my high school in 2007-2008. I was 15 and a sophomore, he was 16 and considered a senior. At the time, our high school allowed off-campus lunch. I made plans to go to lunch with some friends with whom Johannes happened to be on the same cross-country team. I remember he was really shy, and I threw cauliflower across the table to get him to talk to me. This was in October. We started getting really close towards the end of November, but we did not start hanging out until around mid-December. Near the end of December, some of our exchange student friends from South Korea were preparing to go back home and hosted a going away party. That party was so intense! I think it was obvious to everyone except for us how strong our chemistry actually was. The party was followed by snow days watching movies at my house, exchanging snowy pictures over Facebook, and just generally flirting and chatting like sixteen year olds do! We officially got together the day after New Year’s in 2008. The rest of his exchange year flew by, and at the beginning of June we finally sat down and had the “we are sixteen are we really going to do long-distance” talk. We both decided to just go for it, we had nothing to lose and my family planned on visiting him in Germany that summer. In 2009, I went on an exchange year (after his parents so graciously and, for my small town, somewhat scandalously, offered to host me at their house) to Germany. After that year, we endured two more greuling years of long-distance. Both of us graduated from high school, he started medical school, and I started a degree in German in the states. Neither of us planned on me staying in the U.S., so I moved to Germany to be with him and attend college in 2012, just before my twentieth birthday. The rest, as they say, is history…
how they asked
Talk of proposals actually started on our eighth anniversary. We had gone on a weekend trip to Leipzig together to celebrate New Years. We had this tin of potato rings with us as snacks, and after talking about when we might want to get married, Johannes jokingly put the potato ring on my finger and from then on we started really talking about. I had no idea what was coming or when. The day it happened was really just like any other day! I was at work and wanted to go to the library afterwards, but he convinced me to come hang out, go shopping, and then go to dinner. In the evening we decided to go restaurant hopping for dinner – appetizer here, dinner there, dessert somewhere else. We had our soup at restaurant 1, then stumbled upon this really cool, lively Mexican restaurant. I suspected absolutely nothing, Johannes was playing it cool the entire time even though he had been carrying the ring around for two days waiting for the perfect moment. After we had dinner, we ordered cocktails and just enjoyed a normal date night. Eventually Johannes convinced me not to stay for another round of cocktails, but to take a walk through the park and find dessert on the way. It was around 11 p.m. at this point, and I was a little suspicious that something could maybe happen when we stopped at the pond in the lake and looked for the big dipper together. What I was unaware of at this point were all of the Pokemon-Go players in the park unknowingly preventing a proposal! There were so many people that Johannes just took my hand and said ok, lets go. We walked around a little more until we found another park with this really big, beautiful fountain that was totally lit up. Johannes just kept walking, but I pulled in his hand and swiveled around and asked him to dance with me. Again, I didn’t think much of it – we took ballroom lessons together and randomly break out into a disco-fox in our kitchen all the time! He pulled me to the other side of the fountain where there were less people (a.k.a. fewer Pokemon players), we threw our stuff down, put on “Dancing in the Moonlight” by Toploader, and just danced. After the song was over and pulled me close to him and told me how much he loved me and how excited he was to dance with me forever, pulled out the ring, and asked me to marry him. Our dessert was a glass of champagne. It was totally perfect, and totally us.