How We Met
Zachary and I met 6 years before we started dating. We both worked at Target, but never spoke a word directly to each other. Still, there was a spark between us and we both later admitted to having mutual crushes on each other during that time. As life happens when you are young, we both went our separate ways, but every now and then I would wonder where that blue-eyed boy had ended up. Fast forward 6 years, we were both living in MA again, had done our fair share of growing up and were both ready to try something new in the dating world – enter the dating app, Bumble, where the woman is empowered to make the first move. If it wasn’t for Bumble, we never would have reconnected and our love story would have never began. Heck! Even with the help of technology, our story almost never happened.
Zachary and I proceeded to match several times, but I could not get out of my own way. Each time we would match, I would recognize his blue eyes and think “Oh crap! I know that guy!”; so much had changed since we used to work together as teenagers, what if we met up and I wasn’t the person he remembered?! I would psych myself out so badly that I would never make the crucial first connection on the app, letting our time and our match expire. Zachary realized that he needed to take matters into his own hands and found me on social media (we had previously been connected from all those years ago) and he sent me a private message, which read: “Hi there – this may be a bit unorthodox but I noticed that we matched on Bumble a few times, and unfortunately it never went any farther than that. Maybe we could talk, get to know each other and grab a coffee sometime?”
I admired his courage and figured I couldn’t continue to snub this guy, he clearly wanted to connect. We started talking and the promise of coffee turned into a first date, but we substituted the coffee for whiskey and wine. Any anxiety or apprehension I still had melted away 15 minutes into our first date. The spark from 6 years ago was still present but our chemistry was free-flowing and natural and every day of our relationship since has been as easy as breathing. There is that cliche Pinterest quote that says “and then my soul saw you and it kind of went ‘Oh there you are. I’ve been looking for you.'”; but that is truly how our relationship came to be. From the moment we reconnected, I just felt this all-consuming peace and I knew this was it – the thing I had been searching for all along: true love, partnership and a best friend all in one person.
How They Asked
I grew up by the ocean and my hometown is a huge part of my identity – every now and again I will get this overwhelming desire to see the water and to go “home” even though I haven’t lived there for many years and my parents now live elsewhere. But whenever this urge strikes, I drive down to Mattapoisett and visit all my hometown landmarks – my favorite of those being Ned’s Point Light. This pandemic had been putting me through the emotional ringer and I just needed to see the water, so Zachary and I decided that the first nice weekend we would drive down to Mattapoisett for the day; it would get us out of the house, I would get to see the water and we would still be following all the social distancing guidelines. It seemed like the perfect thing to do during this time and since I had a hand in planning it, I never suspected anything more than a day spent in my favorite place.
The first weekend in April rolled around and the weather was as good as we had seen it, so we decided to load up the car with a picnic and our dog, Ramble, and head to the water. Zachary let me call all the shots for the day and was exceedingly patient when I insisted that we go for a (very long) walk around town to see what had changed, which (spoiler alert!) was nothing. I was blissfully unaware that anything was going on. I was just so thrilled to be back in my happy place with my favorite person; a lovely break from the uncertainties of the Coronavirus.
After our walk around town, we had a picnic in the trunk of the car (social distancing and all that), complete with snacks and our favorite wine. It wasn’t until he suggested that we go take a picture in front of the lighthouse that I thought something was strange; Zachary is not the biggest fan of pictures and although we take them, he is rarely the one to suggest them. But we have been making an effort to document more of our time together, so again I didn’t think too much of it. We took a short walk over to the lighthouse that I had played on and in front of my entire life. Appropriately, I reminisced on my childhood memories of running along the rocks and flying kites on the grass. I sat down at the base of the lighthouse with Zachary standing in front of me; he asked if I had a good day, I assured him that it had been a perfect day but little did I know the day was about to become all the more perfect. In the blink of an eye, Zachary was down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of our lives together.
In an antique, wooden ring box was a gorgeous ring that I recognized instantly; it was a family ring that my mom, grandmother and aunt had picked out together and to me had always symbolized the female strength that runs through my family along with successful, happy marriages – I was so thrilled that this was going to be the ring symbolizing Zachary and I’s next chapter.
I couldn’t believe it and just kept saying “is this really a thing?!” but then I remembered that I needed to actually accept his proposal, so I said “Of course! Yes!” we kissed and all the cars around us clapped and cheered. We snapped a few quick ring selfies and went to return the car, but not before a kind stranger called to me and said that they had taken a few pictures of the proposal and wanted to send them to me. It turns out that Zachary had arranged for us to have a photographer capture this moment, but days before the proposal he was involved in a horrible motorcycle accident.
Thankfully he lived, but was in no condition to hide in the bushes and snap a few pictures; so these grainy photos meant more to the two of us than we could put into words of thanks to the kind stranger. After shouting my phone number to her, we returned to the car where Zachary unveiled a bottle of champagne that he had strategically hidden in the picnic basket. It was then that the shock subsided and with tears in my eyes I asked for the whole backstory of how this had come to be. It turns out that while the day felt completely organic and orchestrated by me, Zachary had been planning this for seven months. It was not his intention to propose in the middle of a pandemic, but it has been this beautiful light in the midst of all this darkness – and if there’s anyone I’d want to walk through life challenges with, such as being quarantined for 30+ days, it would undoubtedly be Zachary.