Cassandra and Troy
How We Met
Troy and I met for the first time at a mutual friends wedding. One of my very best friends, Meggin, was marrying one of his closest friends, Doug, on a winery in Sonoma, California. I remember thinking how incredibly handsome and charismatic he was. We even bonded over our shared love for all things Harry Potter! Nothing came of that first meeting though, as Troy was actually attending the wedding with his then girlfriend. Fast forward about eight months and Meggin and Doug keep dropping hints to me that Troy is now single and has been asking them about me (he hadn’t). They were also telling Troy that I had been asking about him (which I wasn’t). They were quite the little matchmakers! On my 24th birthday, some girlfriends and I went to Winking Lizard to enjoy some drinks and sunshine. Out of nowhere and uninvited, Doug shows up and brings Troy. The butterflies in my stomach were instant, and I was blown away by how handsome and friendly he was. We enjoyed a few drinks together, some good conversation, and made plans to hang out later that week. That summer, we became inseparable and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with him!
There was only one catch; I was a pediatric nurse and had always planned on travel nursing. In fact, when Troy and I initially started seeing each other, plans for my first assignment in San Fransisco were already in motion. Telling Troy that I would be moving across the country in a few months was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. We decided to make the most of that summer and see what happened. The day I packed up my car and left was utterly heartbreaking. I tried to enjoy my new nursing assignment and the experiences I was having in California, but it was hard. I missed Troy so much! About three weeks after I had moved, he booked a flight and came out to visit for the weekend. We spent our time together exploring, finding new restaurants, and drinking wine. We even made a trip back to the winery where we first met! It was during that trip that I realized I didn’t want to keep traveling across the country if it meant being away from him. I decided to make my way back to Ohio after my contract ended and it was the best decision I have ever made. Troy fills my life with so much happiness and love; I couldn’t image him not being a part of it!
how they asked
When I finally had the opportunity to create the perfect engagement ring that Cassandra deserved, I knew the proposal was going to be exciting, surprising, and memorable! Aside from sealing it with the perfect ring, I knew I wanted our parents and her best friend there to share the special moment with us and take pictures for us – I read that was a must! The day I proposed started as any ‘stay-cation’ should – a trip to our favorite breakfast spot! Ours happens to be The Angry Baker in Columbus, where we indulge in a breakfast burrito and the specialty pancakes – always going halfsies with each other so we get the best of both worlds! The morning started off great as we got a table quickly and sat down to talk about the plans for our day. We were going to be busy – breakfast; quick stroll by Schiller Park as we make our way to The Book Loft to peruse their newest additions; a few drinks and dinner with friends before making our way to The Lumineers concert, which was a Christmas present for Cassandra. It was going to be the perfect day!
At least that was what I let her believe. Unbeknownst to her, I had planned for our parents and her best friend to be waiting for us in Schiller Park – hidden behind the amphitheater in the middle of the park. To be sure that no one ruined the surprise of the moment, I created a PowerPoint presentation with aerial snapshots of the park – thanks Google Earth! In the presentation, I carefully mapped out the ideal place to park along with a trail leading to the spot I would ask the question – complete with circles, arrows, and stars as needed for emphasis! I also had her best friend mark the spot of the proposal with a dozen red roses and a card. I had everything covered; there was no way anything could go wrong! Wrong! It started at breakfast, where we realized late that our order was lost. We sat talking and waiting at our table for 45 minutes as everyone else received their meals – even people who were seated after us.
This error and delay in sustenance resulted in a very hangry Cassandra! She was shooting daggers at the poor girl who broke the news to us that our order hadn’t even been started. We were offered a complimentary pastry to offset the experience and bring Cassandra back to normal – it worked for both! As if that wasn’t enough, my phone was blowing up with frantic text messages from our parents. The amphitheater that was shown as being surrounded by plush vegetation and flowers in the maps was desolate and bare in real life. I completely overlooked the fact that the images were from the summer and, considering it was winter, all of the trees and plants would be gone. Hiding would be a little more difficult now, but we would still move forward as is! Knowing that everyone was waiting for us in the park and it was only 30 degrees outside, I persuaded Cassandra to save the second half of our breakfast for later. Leaving The Angry Baker, I was overwhelmed with more text messages pleading for us to hurry – apparently everyone was getting really cold! We hurried to our Airbnb on the park and dropped off our food, before heading to the park.
I was at ease knowing everyone was in place, albeit dirty from laying on the ground, and the flowers were where I wanted them. Everything was really coming together! However, I did not figure to account for Cassandra or her lack of cooperation at my leisurely stroll request. As soon as we entered the park, I felt her teeth chattering and body shivering. I guess my idea for a walk in the park in 30 degree weather was pretty dumb! I literally had to half drag her through the park toward the statue just to get her to follow me. I knew I needed to find the flowers and quick! I made a beeline for the pond, dragging Cassandra through the grass, which I was quickly told was mud and would ruin her shoes. Whoops! I spotted the flowers and quickly led her to them. I pointed the beautiful flowers out to her, thinking she would find the gesture absolutely precious. Instead, she thought it was a mistake and wondered who in their right mind would leave a beautiful bouquet of flowers outside in the cold. She quickly looked around, taking in the fact that no one was in sight. I was grateful she had her back to the amphitheater and did not see our parents as they started coming out of hiding for a better view. I suggested she look a little closer as I thought a card was visible, maybe it had the owner’s name on it. It was followed with complaints of the cold and how dumb this was, until she realized it had her name on it. At once, her mood quickly changed and she was very excited. She didn’t understand how I had a chance to put the flowers here considering we spent our entire morning together.
She quickly read the card and looked up at me upon finish. At that point, she realized what was happening and quickly took a deep breath, which was followed by tears. I did not expect that to happen and was quickly thrown off. I had been working on my proposal speech for weeks, but immediately forgot how it began. I started mumbling something, fighting to be heard over her sobs, when I looked past her and noticed our parents, my brothers, and our friend walking towards us, cameras capturing everything. I was completely overwhelmed with appreciation for them, but more importantly, the greatest feeling of love and gratitude for this woman in front of me. Before I knew what was happening, I was crying with her, completely overcome by all of our emotions. I managed to get out some shortened version of my speech that culminated with me admitting that my life would be meaningless if I was not able to share every remaining moment with her. I got down on my knee and asked Cassandra to marry me, which was received with hysterical sobs and a big hug.
I remained down on my knee, hugging her, but awaiting an answer when our families began cheering. She pulled away from me and looked at our admirers, expecting strangers. Her reaction at recognizing our parents and her best friend was there is something I will remember for the rest of my life. That, and the pain I had in my kneecap because I was still waiting for my answer! Everyone realized what was happening and started yelling, ‘Is that a yes?’, which was quickly confirmed with multiple nods and the word I had been waiting forever to hear – YES! I was ecstatic and quickly scrambled to put the ring on her finger, beaming with adoration, pride, and more love than I ever thought possible. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend!