How We Met
When I was 17, I had just gotten out of a bad relationship. An ex-boyfriend cheated on me and my trust level was at an all-time low. Not to mention, I wasn’t looking for anything serious. I found Joe’s profile on Facebook under the “People You May Know” section and I thought he was so handsome. I also noticed that he went to the same high school as my cousin. Because we had mutual friends in common, I took a chance and requested him on Facebook. He later messaged me asking if he knew me. I thought oh my gosh I can’t tell this kid that I requested him because I thought he was good looking AND that I didn’t even know him in real life. I actually lied and said that I saw him at a local basketball game. He then said he thought I was cute and gave me his number.
I tried to play it cool and wait awhile before I texted but I couldn’t help myself. We texted for hours and talked on the phone for hours. We had everything in common, especially our love for sports. I even found out he hung around the same group of friends as my cousin, and that his mother and my mother went to high school together, and that his aunt when to high school with my aunt, AND our grandfathers were friends in high school. SMALL WORLD! We hung out for the first time at my house and I was so nervous because I had met him on Facebook. He got out of the car and planted a kiss on me! I was thought wow this kid has guts!
After hanging out a few times in group settings he took me on our first “official” date to Olive Garden on the day before Valentine’s Day. It was a Sunday. We went to different high schools and we had school the next day. The waiter thought we were older than we were, offering us some wine at the meal, which we thought was hilarious. I remember that he was such a gentleman (still is) and the conversation flowed so easily. After we ate, we walked back to the parking lot and got in the car. I saw him pull out something from the back seat – and it was a giant Valentine’s Day gift basket filled with chocolates, stuffed animals, etc. It was then in the car that he asked me to be his girlfriend. We had only been “talking” for about a month, but without hesitation I said yes. I went home beaming to my parents and it was then that I knew this was the boy I was going to marry. Joe was unlike any boy I had ever dated. He looked at me in the eyes when he spoke to me, especially when he would tell me I was beautiful. If we walked near oncoming traffic he would always tell me to switch with him to protect me. He opened doors, held my hand, and was just overall affectionate. I could see that he cared about me deeply, but most importantly, we laughed (and still do) a lot! I look back and hope that if I have a daughter she will be as lucky as I was – to find the whole package: handsome, kind, honest, loving, and funny, even at 17 years old.
how they asked
Joe and I had gone ring shopping in early December. We agreed that it was strictly for educational purposes – for Joe to see what I liked and know my ring size. Truthfully, I was OK with that. I had been with Joe for almost 7 years and we knew very early on in our relationship that we were going to get married. He was also very aware of my “wish list”: 1) Ask my Father’s permission to marry me. 2) Get a photographer to capture the moment and 3) Involve my mother in some way. We had a great time looking at rings and I picked out one that I really liked – a Vera Wang 3.25 diamond ring. When I saw the price I almost fainted, so I told Joe it would be great if I had something similar some day. Three weeks later Joe and I arrive in Punta Cana with my family. On our first night we made dinner reservations at one of the restaurants at the resort. Joe told me that before we went to eat he wanted to take a walk. Once I was ready, we talked towards the beach, where I saw my family casually sitting on pool changes, claiming they were waiting for my sisters boyfriend to get ready. I thought nothing of it. He led me to a bridge that arched over a pool and overlooked the beach. He told me he wanted to show me something and as I looked out to the ocean, Joe proceeded to tell me three sentence I will remember for the rest of my life…he got down on one knee and said,”I love you so much. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” I looked at him and looked at the ring and noticed it was the ring that I had picked out when we had went ring shopping. I said “YES!” My family cheered and guests at the resort cheered for us too. After the hugs and kisses, I was whisked away by a photographer Joe hired to capture the moment. He led us to the beach where we took our first engagement photos. Joe did exactly what was on my wish list and I was thrilled! It was perfect in every way. I found out later that before our trip when he told me he had a dentist appointment back in RI (we moved in together to Somerville, MA right after college), he really drove down to ask my dads permission. Before the trip he told all of our friends and family his plans and my mom helped him arrange the proposal. I get to marry the man I fell quickly in love with at 17 and he proposed to be in paradise. How lucky am I?!