Annastasia and John
how they asked: I thought I’d always know… I mean, I know he gets antsy when he’s excited or nervous. It’s because everything he does, he does with his whole heart- Just one of the reasons why I love him so much. I was sure his body language would give the surprise away when the time came.
To be honest, I would have married John seven years ago, with my braces on and everything. I knew he was the one, and it was no secret we’d be heading down the aisle one day…
Fast forward five long years of a long distance relationship, at two different colleges, in two different states, throw in lots of mileage accrued on Route 88 (did I mention, I cant drive?), two big- ever growing- families, and some more friends acquired along the way, and we made it to the start of the rest of our lives TOGETHER! AT LAST!
It was so exciting for us to make the move from our hometown to Brooklyn. It made sense for us- him the financial man and me an artist relying on all the opportunities NYC has to offer. It was our plan and here we were – living it! That’s what we were in the middle of doing the day he asked- living the life we hoped for. I was already so happy.
Sleeping in on Saturdays is a luxury for us both. I started cleaning up from a lazy morning while John put on a concert in the shower. Little did I know he was just warming up.
It was definitely time to start getting ready for John’s work party once we got back from picking up our farm share. I don’t exactly have the fastest record for getting ready- a fact John never fails to remind me of! Except for that day… Not once did he come into the room singing his songs of tardiness. He left me alone to get ready in my own time, until I needed his opinion.
As a side note- earlier in the week, I walked into Steve Madden by chance, looking for a new pair of black heels for a wedding. They were amazingly on sale, so I went back an splurged on a pair of mint green stilettos. They are definitely standing shoes only, not in any way for walking the streets of the city, but why not get two pairs for the same price as one!
Thinking John’s work party would be the perfect occasion to christen my new mint shoes, I slipped them on just before we left for the train. On the way into Manhattan, I teasingly looked at John and said, “ Man, a beautiful ring would look fantastic with my outfit!” Mr. cool guy gave nothing away…
We got to Columbus Circle and only then did John inform me that we’d be meeting his work friends at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, in order to walk to the restaurant together. Considering the discomfort I was already in simply wearing the shoes, I was certainly not a happy camper about walking through Central Park and I was definitely sharing my disgruntled feelings with John. However, we arrived at the top of the staircase to peer at the fountain from above, and by then all was forgiven. It was a site right out of a movie, beautiful and joyous. John’s friends hadn’t arrived yet, but I could hear a Barber Shop Quartet singing so I asked if we could go listen while we waited.
The Quartet was great. The large crowd of people assembled around would agree! At some point they started singing Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, by Frankie Valle and The Four Seasons- one of my favorites. Naturally I started to sing along.
I had my arm wrapped around his, when John started shifting away from me.. I thought nothing of it at first, but suddenly he walked away. Before I knew it, the Quartet had flocked around him in a V-formation, boy band style, with John leading the group at the point. Even as he sang with them I anticipated nothing of what was to come. I rationalized it as, “Oh he must be friends with these guys, naturally he’d sing in public.” Honestly, it’s not out of character for him. At that moment I was the only person in the crowd unaware of what was really happening.
The crowd knew before I did and parted like the Red Sea, leaving me standing alone. As I watched the men serenade me, John pulled a little red box from his left pocket, and like a faucet switched on, up and out came the tears.
I immediately covered my face with my hands and unconsciously stepped backwards, in my mind thinking, “I didn’t have a dress rehearsal, I don’t know where to be.” That’s when John grabbed my hand and got down on one knee. The crowd cheered as I stared into his green eyes and in that moment everything was right.
Time stood still and all I could think was, “Wow this is it, it’s happening; what have I done to be this loved?” I couldn’t even get out a simple “yes”, silenced by the overwhelming sense of love, peace, happiness, and bliss. All I could manage was a nod and a grin from ear to ear. I smiled and cried with thousands of questions flooding my mind: Does our family know? Did he ask my mom? How long has he been secretly planning!?! It was definitely the surprise of a lifetime. When I finally slipped some words out, the first thing I said was: “You sneaky bastard!” and with those words, John knew he had done well! If you know John, you’d know that seeing him happy and proud is infectious. To see him feeling so, made me even happier.
To top it off, my sweetheart had hired a photographer who captured the moment from start to finish! We even spent the next hour posing around Central Park! Dinner reservations over looking the park came next and when I asked to top the night off with a carriage ride (I mean seriously, when would be a more fitting time!?!) my love agreed! I spent the evening floating in a land of complete bliss, in awe of the gentleman beside me, knowing that I am and forever will be the luckiest girl in the world. The day he asked is certainly one I will cherish always!
Photos by: Anthony Migliorino