How We Met
Paige and I met at church in April 2016. I had just moved to the Nashville area from Indiana, and I didn’t know anyone. I decided I would try a new church as a way to get involved and meet new people. I was first greeted by one of the discipleship pastors who then showed me all of what the church had to offer. He told me about a young adult group that met after the first service and suggested I try it out. Taking his advice was one of the best decisions I’ve made. After a very enjoyable sermon, I walked into the young adults group, and there it was that I met Paige. She instantly caught my eye as she was easily the most beautiful girl in the room. I introduced myself to the group and felt welcomed right away. We all had great conversation and enjoyed getting to know one another and each other’s story. At the conclusion of the group meeting time, we all started exchanging numbers. Paige was one of the last numbers I hadn’t yet gotten when she nervously asked if I wanted hers, too. What she didn’t know was hers was the only one I really wanted to begin with. We began talking daily and spending time together whenever time would allow. As we grew closer to each other, I thought it would be fun for Paige to join me at an annual family reunion event in Indiana over Memorial Day weekend. We made the 5-hour road trip from Nashville to Indianapolis and my family instantly fell in love with her.
Having survived meeting my very large and crazy family, we decided it was time to consider ourselves an official couple in a committed relationship. Over the next several months of summer and into fall, we spent all of our free time together going on all sorts of adventures. We did everything from renaissance festivals to hiking, concerts to glass blowing, and even found ourselves spelunking in a cave on one particular adventure. I knew that Paige was my best friend and first true love, but I didn’t have any idea what our road ahead would be like. Shortly after Christmas, Paige had been applying for jobs and was given the opportunity to interview with Delta Air Lines to become a flight attendant! While I was extremely proud of her for pursing her dreams, I’ll be the first to admit I was a bit skeptical and uneasy about the idea of Paige flying all the time, potentially having to move, and not being able to spend the time we were used to together. The interview could not have gone better, and she was given a job offer conditional upon passing 8 weeks of training in Atlanta! One year to the day after Paige and I met, she took off for 8 weeks of grueling and exhausting training. We knew the time apart would be a test to our relationship, but we were both determined to make it work. At this point I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Paige, but we were both still unsure how it would all work with the new job and potential of moving. I continued to be Paige’s biggest supporter through many stressful nights of studying and countless mental breakdowns trying to learn the emergency commands and door drills for every aircraft in the Delta fleet – by no means an easy task. With Paige away at training, that gave me a lot of time to think about our future, and more specifically, how I would propose to her. I thought about what it would be like to propose on an airplane given her new job, but I had no idea how to make it happen. I decided to table that idea and come up with something a bit easier to plan. After 8 weeks in Atlanta, Paige graduated Delta training at the top of her class and earned her wings! Nobody in the world was as proud of her as I was in that moment! Her new home would be in Minneapolis, as this is where her base assignment was that she received in training. Just 3 days after earning her wings, she was off to her new apartment in her new home. We still did not know what the future had in store for us, but knew we wanted to spend it with each other. The flight benefits I got as her travel companion made living in different cities more doable, as neither of us had to pay to fly and see each other. Over the next several weeks I used my new flight benefits several times. First to travel back to Indiana with Paige to see my newborn nephew, and a few weeks after that to visit her in New York during her long layover. Things were working out better than I had hoped given the distance between our two cities! I could probably navigate my way through BNA or MSP with my eyes closed at this point.
After all of that flying and getting more familiar with the whole standby flight process, that idea I had tabled before about proposing on a plane started to come back to me. I began ring shopping (which was made much harder due to Paige never telling me a single thing about what she would want in a ring). The only thing I knew for sure was that it had to be rose gold. Paige is OBSESSED with rose gold. So, with that information, I went to one of my close friends who works at a jewelry store in Indianapolis. I told him my plans of proposing and together we custom designed what I was hoping would be the perfect ring for Paige. Over the next several weeks I continued figuring out how exactly I would pop the question. The ring had since then been completed and looked stunning; I couldn’t wait to put it on Paige’s finger! I contemplated trying to work out a vacation together to celebrate her upcoming birthday, but I was afraid she would be too suspicious and suspect a proposal. I also didn’t want to do something simple like asking her to marry me while out for a nice dinner. That was too normal, and our relationship is anything but normal. I had to think of something she would never expect. It had been a month since Paige and I had seen each other due to our busy schedules. We decided that I would fly to Minneapolis to visit her for the weekend before we both headed back to Nashville for the week to celebrate her birthday with her family. Paige had to work Friday evening, so we decided I would meet her in Minneapolis after her flights. It was at that moment, just 5 days before our plans to visit each other, that a lightbulb went on for me, and I began making some secret plans for my Friday evening…
how they asked
THIS is where the story gets good. On Friday 8/25/2017, Paige worked flights from MSP to DTW, DTW to TPA, then finished the day going from TPA back to her home in MSP. I decided that I would take a personal day from work on Friday and surprise her on that last flight home. With just a backpack full of clothes for three days and the ring safely stowed away, I headed to the airport. I left Thursday evening after work to fly to Atlanta to get one leg of my standby trips out of the way. Flying standby can be difficult and full of uncertainty, so I thought I better not risk not getting on one of the flights to Tampa Friday morning and ruining my plans. I stayed with my cousin for the evening in Atlanta and got on the first flight to Tampa in the morning. I arrived in Tampa at 10AM, and the clock immediately began counting down to the time I would board Paige’s flight. I had roughly 8 hours to plan a very intricate proposal with lots of moving parts. Until this point, one could say my plans were a bit “up in the air” (pun intended). I began by finding a Delta ticketing agent to help me figure out which gate Paige’s plane would be boarding from later that evening. I told the agent my plans to propose to my flight attendant girlfriend mid-flight while she was working, and at that moment my mission also became his. I gave him my name, Paige’s name, and all the details I had about her flight coming in. In turn, he found out which gate, gate agent, and crew would be involved in my plans.
I wanted to make sure the gate agent knew not to call my name over the speaker for a seat assignment, as Paige would still be under the impression that I was in Nashville about to meet her in Minneapolis. After exchanging details about the plans, the Delta ticketing agent told me he would take it from here. As I still had nearly 7 hours before the flight, I decided to I would enjoy my day in the Florida sun. I got some computer work done at a Starbucks and found a nice lunch spot with some fresh Gulf seafood. Every stop I made I double checked that the ring was still safely stowed away in my backpack. Time seemed to move very slowly as I was playing out in my head the events to come in a few hours. I returned to TPA and made my way through security and out to my gate by around 5:30PM. When the gate agent arrived, I approached her and began to explain the plans. Me: Hi, my girlfriend is a flight attendant on the plane that is coming in right now. I’m planning on prop- Gate agent: (cutting me off mid-sentence) Sweetie, I already know. We’ve got you covered. I breathed a sigh of relief that everything so far was falling into place. I told the gate agent I would sit at the next gate over so I could keep an eye on my gate but not be seen if Paige decided to come off the plane between flights for some reason. I watched all of the passengers from the previous flight deplane and waited for the Captain to come off.
When I spotted him at the gate gathering paperwork for the next flight, I cautiously approached him as I tried not to blow my cover with Paige being so close. I introduced myself to the Captain and said, “Sir, I don’t know if you’ve been briefed on the mission, but I’m about to propose to one of your flight attendants during this next flight. I would love if you could make an announcement of some sort and get the rest of the crew in on it without Paige knowing.” The Captain was more than happy to help and asked what I would like him to say. I was surprised to have even made it this far in my plans without a hitch, so I hadn’t even thought about what sort of announcement he should make. I hadn’t even thought about what I would say to Paige when it all went down! Just then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Paige coming up the jet bridge. She still had no idea I was in Tampa, so I ducked behind the Captain and a large pillar until she passed by. I could’ve sworn we made eye contact, but she had her mind set on finding the closest restroom to use between flights. I turned to one of the passengers seated waiting to board and asked if Paige had gone to the restroom. She whispered, “Yeah! I think I’m catching on to what’s going on! You’re clear!” I turned back to the Captain and said, “I gotta go!” and ran back to where I had been previously seated at the next gate over. That was a close encounter that could’ve ruined the whole surprise.
I waited until everyone else had boarded so that I would be the last on the plane to take my seat. The gate agents were incredibly helpful and gave me the exact seat I wanted! I had an aisle seat towards the middle of the plane with the whole row to myself. I could have gotten on the plane and taken my seat without Paige seeing me, but I decided I didn’t want to have to hide under a blanket for the first two hours of the flight and then surprise her with the proposal. Plus, I knew she would be surprised enough at me being on her flight that she wouldn’t have any idea a much bigger surprise was in store. Paige was standing in the doorway of the plane as I turned around the last corner of the jet bridge. She had to do a double take when she realized it was me! This was the first time we had seen each other in a month, so we shared a big hug before I headed to my seat. At this point, she still thought that I had gone to work in the morning and instead of flying from BNA to MSP, I had flown to TPA first to get on her flight back home with her. She was surprised, but not alarmed that something was up. Everything was working perfectly. Once I took my seat, I still was not sure if the Captain had successfully relayed the mission to the other flight attendants. I was relieved when one of the flight attendants from the back walked by me and said, “hello, Adam,” with a slight smirk on her face.
That was the confirmation I was hoping for that the crew was now in on it all. I tried to calm my nerves and enjoy getting to watch Paige do her job. We took off on the 737 and made our way toward Minneapolis. It was an ordinary flight for all of the other passengers. We reached our cruising altitude, people started watching their movies, and the flight attendants came through the cabin for the snack and beverage service. Every so often I would catch Paige’s eye and just smile and wave. Whenever the other flight attendants were near me they would give me updates and tell me how excited they were to be a part of my plans! One of them even gave me a free adult beverage to help calm my nerves. The first half of the flight was the longest 90 minutes of my life! As the beverage service was finishing and the crew was going through the cabin collecting trash, one of the flight attendants stopped the beverage cart beside me and bent down as if she were making a drink. She whispered to me, “Okay, the Captain is about to make the announcement in 10 minutes. What would you like to do?” Up until this point, I still had no idea how I was actually going to get Paige to my seat and propose to her. I handed the flight attendant my phone and said, “Alright, as soon as you call the Captain and tell him it’s time, start recording a video of the announcement on my phone. As he’s making the announcement, I will press the call button and have the other two flight attendants send Paige to meet me at my seat. That’s when I will stand up to meet her, pull out the ring, and ask her to marry me.” With that, the plan was finally coming all together. Just when I didn’t think my heart could race any faster, the Captain began his announcement.
I waited a few moments and then pressed the call button. I turned around while still seated to see Paige being nudged towards me with a confused look on her face. As I stood up she still had no idea what was going on! I held both of her hands as I professed my love to her. Slightly choked up, I pulled the ring from my back pocket and fell to one knee. As I asked Paige if she would marry me, her knees went weak and I thought for a moment she was going to join me on the ground. I slipped the ring onto her finger and it fit perfectly!
As we stood up and embraced each other the whole plane was clapping and cheering for us. It was the most special moment of my life, and I could not have imagined it with anyone else. Every detail of the highly-complicated plan worked out perfectly. I could not have done it without the help of the AMAZING Delta crew. Paige and I are now busy planning our wedding and the rest of our lives together. I am so glad she said YES! Love was most definitely in the air that night.