Amber and Evan
How We Met
Where it all started…
The University of Southern California (USC)
I had been working at USC for about 5 years at the time. We were in search of a few new advisors to join our team. During the application review, my colleague mentioned that there was someone she was interested in interviewing from Chicago (mind you, she is from Chicago and my mom’s side of the family is from and is in Chicago). We all agreed to interview him and a few others. Evan walks into the interview room and my first thought was, “Oh! a Black man in higher education, Yes! we need more of ya’ll.” My second thought was “oh, and he’s handsome! added bonus” He carried himself well throughout the interview process.
A couple of months passed by before he began his new journey at USC. We only worked together for about 5 days as I was to begin a new position with a different school within USC. However, in that short time of working with one another, we became really close friends, like lunch together everyday close. We bonded over our families being from Chicago and food, lots of food. #Besties
Fast forward 2 and a half years: we travel the world, still go to food festivals, got engaged, but most importantly, WE HAVE FUN!
How They Asked
It’s Friday, December 27, 2019. We start the day by going to look at condos with his mom in Chicago. After viewing two, we head to TimeOut Chicago for lunch just blocks away from our hotel (The Hoxton). After lunch, his mom departs and we head back to the hotel to chill.
He says, “Hey! I really want to check out this cool place called the conservatory. I heard it’s really nice, especially at this time of year. We should go around 3 or 3:30 as it closes at 5p. Dinner is at 6p so we will need to get dressed before we leave as we won’t have time to come back to get dressed.” I replied, “ok, I’m gonna take this nap. Wake me when it’s time to get ready!” He wakes me. I get up to get ready.
We leave the hotel to head for the train to the conservatory. As we approach the conservatory, he says, “I’ve never been here but I heard it’s really nice. I’m excited to see inside.” We walk in and it smells so fresh! All of the plants and trees and flowers make for beautiful scenery. Now, there are multiple rooms in the conservatory, each with different plants, trees, and flowers; each a different temperature; each a different vibe. We walk through the Show House where the temperature is crisp and clean, the space decorated like Christmas. Past the Show House, we enter the Aroid House, beautiful and lush, with a pond, but also hot and humid! the first thing I say is “oh god! It’s hot AND humid in here?!? Oh god, my hair!! This is bad! Can we go to Desert House? I can survive in there” (My hair is straight, btw and I’m from LA). He says, “oh! Ok. Well, we can go to the Desert House in a bit. Let’s go back to the Show House, it’s much cooler in there.” I obliged.
We head back into the much cooler Show House to look at the plants and trees in the space (remember, it looks like Christmas!) we walk around for a bit, he then says, “let’s find someone to take our pic in here. It’s beautiful!” I said, “sure! It is really nice in here.” As we’re looking at plants and such, a dude walks by on the other side of the room with a camera in his hand and a dope hoodie on. I said. “Yo! His hoodie is hella dope!” (This hoodie is by one of our favorite artists) Evan says, “oh! It is! Maybe I’ll ask him later where he got it. But first, we should find someone to take our photo. Let’s go put our stuff down on this bench.” The bench sat in front of huge trees dressed as a Christmas tree. Beautiful and bright as ever. As we sit our things down, he says, “I’d like to take a moment to reflect on 2019. What are you grateful for? What are you most proud of?” (Now, we have these type of conversations ALL of the time. So it’s nothing out of the ordinary.) I begin to respond. I then finish and ask him the same questions! Not sure what happened, but this dude ended up on ONE KNEE!
Tiny box IN HAND! Asking ME to be his FOREVER!! Ok, so I have no idea what he actually said. But I was SHOOK! Like awkwardly stare and grab my face, SHOOK! He asked, “are you gonna say yes?!” To which I nodded my head. (ps. I still haven’t given him a verbal, yes) Then he asked if he can have my hand so that he can put the ring on, I slowly gave it to him. He got off his knee, I cried in his chest (I don’t cry for too many things, so this was a big deal for me), and kissed him over and over. Now, back to this dude with the dope hoodie and camera, turns out, Ev hired a photographer to capture the moment. The dope hoodie guy was our photographer!! He gave us a full photoshoot after the engagement.
Fun fact: he was going to pop the question in the Aroid House. The moment I said something about my hair, he texts the photographer to tell him, change of plans!