How we met: Three and a half years ago, I began a summer internship in my local downtown business association. I walked in my first day to meet the office and get a brief overview of my duties from my new boss and was greeted by the cutest office manager I’d ever seen. After Tim and I exchanged introductions and I waited for my (our) boss, I texted my roommate, Lauren, and told her that my goal of the summer was to get him to ask me out. Three years later, I got him to ask me out for the rest of his life.
We spent the summer as co-workers where we saw each other every day. We became “work” friends where he would sneak me ice cream and we would chat about dates we had been on the night before. As summer drew to a close, he still had not asked me out and I was about to leave to study in Rome, Italy – I would be gone for 10 months straight. The internship ended and he never asked me on a date.
The night before I left (I’m not even joking), Tim contacted me and told me that if we were both single when I returned, he’d really like to take me out to dinner. Mission accomplished! I remember thinking in that moment “Fat chance” but responded with a casual and ever-so-cool “Sure”.
I left for Rome the next day, e-mailed Tim that night – just in case he was worried I didn’t arrive safely – and thus began 4 months of daily messages and e-mails. When I say daily, I mean that by that November, we had exchanged over 40,000 Facebook messages through our daily chats. I never heard of anyone making such an effort. He even surprised me with a care package that included avocados that he had purchased extra unripe so they would be ready for me to eat when they arrived. It was equally amazing and scary and wonderful and unbelievable.
As Christmas drew near, I had no plans to come home. I was going to stay and travel throughout Europe and spend Christmas with my cousins in Tuscany. By some stroke of luck, my parents were able to arrange a flight for me home and I was returning for two and half weeks. All of a sudden, Tim and I had a chance to go on an actual date and see if all those messages would translate into something real.
Needless to say, after one date on the second day I was home, we were a done deal. It was a whirlwind but we both knew pretending that we were not a couple when I went back wasn’t going to work. Unlike me, Tim is wildly romantic and planned special dates for us the entire time I was home. The best was New Years Eve 2011. We bought sandwiches and drove out to the Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, CA where Tim whipped out lounge chairs and a cooler with champagne. A friend of Tim happened to be taking out-of-town friends there that day too and took a picture without our knowledge which he passed along to Tim that night.
We made it through with flying colors the rest of my term in Rome. Fast forward to winter of my senior year of college a year later and I had been accepted into graduate school in New York City. I was going to move but what would happen to us? Tim decided to move too. He quit his job, sold all his things, and moved across the country where he didn’t know a soul. At least I had relatives and friends from high school, but Tim didn’t; he just wanted us to be together and was willing to do whatever needed to be done to make it happen.
how they asked: Being the romantic he is, Tim planned to re-create the Big Sur date we had three years earlier for our third year anniversary. He was staying with my family for Christmas so without my knowledge, he arranged with my dad to get lounge chairs and a cooler (and I found out later, ask his permission) ready for our date.
That morning, he wouldn’t tell me where we were going but we stopped to get mimosa supplies along the way so I was able to figure it out. It was an amazingly beautiful day and pretty warm out for December 28th, but Tim’s hands were ice cold as we drove out. Considering Tim is usually burning up at all times, this was my first tip that something was up.
We got to the spot and set up our little picnic area. Like normal, there was a handful of tourists taking photos but I gave Tim his anniversary gift anyways. After opening it, he told me that he had forgotten my gift in the car and needed to go run and get it. A few minutes later, he came back and told me that I needed to stand and face the bridge for my gift. I definitely knew what was coming next and turned around a little too quick as I watched him get down on one knee. He presented me with a ring he designed and that my aunt made – seriously, how would I ever be able to say anything but “Yes!” to him?
After shaking and laughing for about two minutes, I finally responded. It’s still fairly new, but I will say that I didn’t know it was possible to have a goofy smile on my face for so long.