Angelica and James
How We Met
Jimmy and I met at work during the summer of 2017. Jimmy is a detective for the homicide unit at the Prosecutor’s Office and I am a trial prosecutor. Our jobs can be pretty stressful so it was a rarity to see a person come to work with a huge smile every day. Apart from his smile, the most notable thing about Jim was the coffee mug that he ALWAYS carried around. I remember that he came into my office one day to ask me about a case I was working on. The first time he came to my office I remember his face being bright red and noticed that he wouldn’t loosen his grip on that mug he was holding. It was pretty clear that he was incredibly nervous. I thought to myself that it was so weird that this super talented detective who had done countless interviews with dangerous people would suddenly get so nervous around me. But he didn’t let his nerves get the best of him. Our conversations quickly drifted from talks about cases to talks about travel (he and his sister have been all over Asia while I lived in Spain for a year), food, and the problems that encompass the justice system. I discovered that he was an incredibly dynamic person with an extremely diverse background. He bartended for a couple of years prior to becoming a police officer and eventually becoming a detective, he is a huge fan of Electronic music and lives in charming little house in the woods with his two cats and two dogs. I felt comfortable enough around him to admit my obsession with the Supreme Court (nerd alert), my love for impressionist art and Washington, D.C., the city that had been my home for the past eight years while in college and law school before moving back to New Jersey. I also found out that our degrees of social separation weren’t very large as we both grew up in the same small town in South Jersey and even attended the same high school. (He was class of 2000 and I graduated 20008). Soon my day didn’t seem complete unless he came into my office for our daily talks or “debriefing” as we would call them. One of our first dates included a trip to Ikea followed by a trip to devour hot bowls of ramen at a tiny restaurant in Philadelphia where he poked fun when I added way too much spice to my bowl and ended up chugging almost a gallon of water (not my brightest moment). Days turned into weeks and suddenly we were six months deep into what I can only describe as a burst of relief and comfort. Although our meeting was short, I feel like our souls instantly connected. He was there rooting for me during my first major criminal trial and is my go-to man when I need navigating the waters of adulthood (who evens knows what kind of chemicals to put into in-ground pools or how to pick the perfect watermelon??) Apparently he does. Jimmy is the embodiment of sweetness and strength that only becomes more generous and loving through adversity. I am never letting go.
how they asked
He told me to pack my bags for D.C. I remember telling him that I was way too busy to just pick up and go to on a day trip to D.C. However when he told me he had bought tickets to go see the last day of the Renoir exhibit at the Phillips Collection, my next question was “Will I need a raincoat?” So we headed out to D.C. where he convinced me that the reason for this impromptu trip was to celebrate eight months of dating and told me he had made reservations at the “Iron Gate”. I am sort of a food snob and he apparently had a very hard time finding a restaurant I had not been to. When we arrived at D.C. it seemed like everything was going wrong. We figured it would be easier to park our car and just travel the city on the metro. However, that plan quickly discarded since shortly after getting there it started to pour. We ordered an Uber instead which ended up getting lost (curse you D.C. Rotundas) causing us to wait in the rain. We were soaked by the time it found us and picked us up. The Phillips collection closed at 8:00pm so the plan was to get there at around 6:45, tour the collection and then head over to dinner. The Uber dropped us off at the entrance and we quickly made our way up the cobblestone stairs only to tug on the entrance doors and discover the doors they were locked.
I will admit, I started to get a little annoyed at this point but Jimmy, being the cool and relaxed person he is, assured me that he had checked the times on the tickets and that the collection was open. At that moment, a couple approached us also trying to find their way inside and directed us to the other side of the building where there was another entrance. To my relief, this entrance was open and we quickly shook off the droplets of rain and hurried up the stairs to the exhibit. I guess I was just really excited to see the collection that I didn’t notice that the entire level was empty. I wanted to go straight to my favorite Renoir painting “Luncheon of the Boating Party” but Jimmy insisted we through the entire collection and save that one for last. So we made our way through the Rothko Room and took in the colors of the Manets until finally arriving in front of the Renoir I was waiting for. I stool there for a couple of seconds just savoring the rich colors and facial expressions of each character inside. I suddenly hear the crinkling of what sounds
to be plastic coming from Jimmy’s bag. He starts pulling out a box containing an assortment of macaroons. Jimmy turned to me and said “now it wouldn’t be fitting to look at a French painting without French macaroons.” Although I thought it was such a sweet gesture my main concern was not getting kicked out for bringing food into the museum! Last thing I needed was to get escorted out by an angry security guard. But before I could say anything else Jimmy was already on one knee holding a green, macaroon shaped box in his hand. When he opened it I saw the most beautiful ring I had ever seen. I later found out it belonged to Jimmy’s mother which was passed down to him after she passed away. All I remember was standing there unable to move before jumping into his arms and saying “yes.” One of the best parts about this surprise? Remember the couple who directed us to the right entrance? Turns out, they were the photographers Jimmy had hired to take our engagement pictures.