How We Met
One day, I was running on the treadmill in the faculty gym at the college I worked for when I saw this perfect specimen of a man in the weight area. I nearly ran off the treadmill when he started doing this crazy Ab thing on the bench. When I asked my coworkers about him, they told me he was the new faculty member hired that fall. I tried over the next month or so to engage him in conversation at the gym with no luck. His focus in the gym, while frustrating, was also a great quality I could appreciate. After a while, I gave up trying to get Dustin to talk and went back to focusing on trying to breathe while running and avoiding the stair stepper at all costs. Then one sunny day in April (a rarity in Ohio), I was alone in the gym when Dustin walked in. Clearly being the only two crazies inside on such a beautiful day meant we were made for each other, but I was in the middle of a fierce battle with a barbell that insisted on following the laws of gravity so I wasn’t paying too much attention to destiny. Dustin, it seems, was paying attention though as he interrupted my attempts at regular breathing by commenting on the weather and mentioning we were the only two in the gym. Obviously, all attempts to breathe stopped. As he continued making conversation, I stumbled and mumbled and made a complete fool of myself. I still look back and cringe; Dustin says he didn’t notice because he was too nervous, finally talking to the girl he had been eyeing for months. Over the next few weeks, we would work out together and go running together. On a sunny Saturday, much like the day we met, we went for a run and decided to get food after. The food turned into a movie and the movie turned into a long, nerdy conversation about superheroes, math, politics, and neuroscience. And the conversation has turned into a lifetime of love.
How They Asked
Dustin and I began looking for houses together to take the next step in our relationship in September 2018. We obsessed over Zillow searches, number of bedrooms, location, and saw several houses that didn’t quite fit the bill. About a month into our search, I received a Zillow alert that a house in my ideal neighborhood was for sale. Although I knew Dustin really wouldn’t like the house (it was built in 1912) and even though it was out of our price range, I just had to see it. We met up with a realtor and viewed the house. I fell instantly in love but agreed with Dustin that it was not practical. We moved on and I tried to put my dream house out of my mind. We kept looking, but not as intensely, thinking perhaps we should wait a year or so. The fall turned to winter and holidays past. We had a perfect, quiet New Years Eve together in a cabin far from civilization.
We played board games and hung out in the hot tub. My best friend was convinced he was going to propose, but each day ended without a ring. I cannot describe how content and happy I was there, just the two of us together. The day we left the cabin, Dustin said he had a surprise for me, but I had to be blindfolded as soon as we got to town. So, with a growing sense of excitement, I slipped a blindfold on when we exited the highway. We drove a few minutes, passing a couple of places I knew.
Even though he tried to throw me off, I was pretty sure I knew where we were in town. Then we turned onto the road of my dream house and I knew. We parked and got out of the car, Dustin leading me to the house. When I took the blindfold off, our whole family was there. Thinking the house was the entire surprise, I was completely undone when I turned to see Dustin on one knee, asking me to marry him. I could not speak, I just nodded my head yes, and held onto him while I cried. He not only gave me the gift of a lifetime together but a life together in our dream home.