How We Met
The first time we met was my first day at my new job. Rich was offered as the go-to guy to help set up my workstation. He barely said two words while he worked before retreating to his desk. For weeks our interactions were limited to passing each other in the hall and cliché work conversations by the water cooler. He seemed like a social guy or at least a guy who was up for attending social gatherings. So, a few months later I asked my coworkers if anyone was interested in a grilled cheese and craft beer event in Philly.
The group of “yeses” quickly dwindled down to one. I wasn’t sure he would go as he would be the only one stuck with me for the whole night (which would be enough to scare many people away) but he did. While not a first real date, we spent 5 hours together chatting, drinking, and eating our way through a wonderful evening. A month after that outing, Rich officially asked me on a first date. Over the next five happy years, we went from dating to moving in together, sharing a small apartment to purchasing a home.
how they asked
We had plans to go for a hike in Hudson Valley on a summer day in July… a day in which the weather was predicted to be pretty terrible but we figured we would go for it. A storm was due to arrive and rain out the rest of the weekend. Fortunately, we got ourselves up and out of the house almost on schedule and the sun was shining when we arrived at our destination. We confirmed with a couple of parks guys that this was a scenic trail and started out on our journey.
About an hour in, we came to an overlook with a stunning view of the Hudson River. Rich told me to look out over the water and he would take our picture. While he put the bag down to grab his phone, I starred out over the water and waited. Not hearing anything from Rich for a while I turned around, I’m sure said something dumb, and was immediately silenced when I turned, in shock, to see Rich down on one knee holding the most beautiful diamond engagement ring sparkling in the sunlight. It took my breath away…the sight of him down on one knee and the realization of what this moment meant. I immediately started crying, shaking and fell to my knees wrapping my arms around him and sobbing while he sweetly and lovingly asked me to marry him.
After having not said a single word, Rich confirmed that my answer was of course “yes!” and he put the ring on my finger. A spectacular ring in and of itself, had even more sentimental value as the center stone was from his great grandmother’s engagement ring. It couldn’t have been more perfect and just made me love it even more. I wanted to live in that moment for as long as we could and remember every second of it. With more tears and even more smiles, we lingered at that overlook and didn’t want to leave. Ahead of us was 2 hours of clutching the ring to my heart and staring at it every moment I could to ensure I didn’t lose it on the way back. It also helped to reassure myself that this really just happened.
Once we made it back to the parking lot, we called the anxious family members who had been clued in that today was the big day and were waiting on the edge of their seats. At this point, I found out that a week earlier, Rich had driven 2 hours each way to make certain he had my parents’ blessing. I also discovered that his mom and sister helped him with the ring and planning of the proposal and that his dad’s work carpool had been updated on the status of the preparations from the beginning (since this was to be kept a surprise, no family or friends could know but strangers were permitted).
More calls and happy tears filled our car ride home. As this was one of the best-kept secrets, even my sister was absolutely floored when she heard the news. We were so happy to share the surprise with everyone. When we got back, the storm had arrived, but nothing could put a damper on this day. Rich had a romantic celebratory dinner planned at an amazing restaurant and we toasted the beginning of planning our happily ever after.
July 21, 2018, was the most romantic day and the biggest surprise of my life. I have a knack for accidentally ruining surprises, all of them…. all except for one. This was the best surprise, planned by the most wonderful person for one of the happiest moments.