How We Met
I moved home to Pennsylvania after living in New Jersey for a year, I downloaded Bumble to meet new people. I matched with Dave and at first it was your normal online dating conversations. Tell me about yourself, what do you love, where do you want to travel. We learned that we had a few things in common; Harry Potter, The Philadelphia Phillies, and overall being nerds. I took a risk and gave him my number. We texted back and forth but failed to meet up. I was working with the Phillies and managing a waitress job with crazy hours all while suffering from terrible migraines. The one time we had made solid plans to meet up, but after I had worked another long shift waitressing, I decided to cancel. He was playing hockey and working long hours too, and he took it as me “blowing him off”, and we slowly began to talk less, until we weren’t really texting each other at all. A few months later, thanks to a little bit of luck or fate our paths would cross. I work for the Philadelphia Phillies Phanavision as an Instant Replay Operator. My workstation for the jumbotron is seated in the “Hall of Fame Club” and there’s a large glass window where fans can see me working.
One day after coming back from dinner I got a text message of my empty seat through the glass. Dave had gotten tickets to the game through his work. The ticket wasn’t even supposed to be his, but his coworker (who claimed he was at a birthday party though it was his anniversary) had given him the ticket since he couldn’t use it. Dave never told me this, but as I was walking to my spot, we crossed in the hallway, though I was in my own little world, he saw me and said to his friend “I think that’s the girl I’ve been chatting with”. Sure enough the picture was from Dave and we texted through most of the game. After that day, the stars aligned, and we would text constantly. While working away from home, Dave told discovered I was not just blowing him off, and he vowed to take me on an actual date. Our first date was to a minor league baseball game, the Reading Phillies (You could say we like baseball!). After the game ended I went home and my mom was mad that I was home from a first date so early, so I called up Dave to see if he wanted to do something else. We went out to a diner for our second first date and talked till 2 in the morning.
how they asked
The plan was to have a nice dinner with our friends Meg and Steve that night. Dave had been planning this dinner for months, which isn’t something he generally does, which made me a bit suspicious. However we don’t get a lot of couple time with them, and Meg had just informed us she was pregnant, so I didn’t think too much of it. The day of we got on our nice clothes and headed out. All week Dave had been acting weird. He travels for work now, but was home that week and usually does nothing when he is home. This week though he was cleaning the house top to bottom and going to a dinner with people from work but being very weird about when and where. Definitely feeding some of the suspicions I already had that something was going to happen. On our way to dinner, he said that our friends were running late. We were going to make a pit stop in Valley Forge Park so that he could play Pokemon Go. He plays Pokemon often, but he could have easily done it at the mall where the restaurant is.
Once we reached the National Memorial Arch (which is my favorite place in the park) he made me get out of the car. I gave him a hard time about getting out of the car because it was cold and I was wearing a dress, and at this point I knew. We walked up to the arch, which has the names of the Generals who served there on it, and he told me to see if Hamilton was there (I love the musical “Hamilton”) while he “played” more Pokemon. So I was standing in the middle of the arch when he came walking back with a book in his hands, it was a brand new copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. He handed it to me and said “he found it, but couldn’t find a name or anything in it”. I played with him a bit more by opening the front and back cover, before opening the page that had a ribbon tied to it.
As I opened it, marked to the chapter titled “The Wedding” he got down on one knee, and said “Courtney Ann McKain, There’s a million things I could say to you right now, but I’m just going to ask, Will You Marry Me?” Tied to the ribbon was a ring and the ticket to our first date baseball game with “Girls Who Love Baseball Are Rare, Wife ‘Em Up” written on it. Of course I said yes! After the tears, hugs and kisses, he, in the goofy way that only he can, waved to the photographer who had planted the book for him and taken our pictures.
Dave confessed later that he knew I knew it was coming, but he was ok with it because the second surprise of the day was still to come. We got back in the car, and I asked “Are we really going to dinner with Megan?”. He said yes, so I called my mom as we drove to the restaurant. After I hung up with her, I asked him who I should tell next. He told me he was going to wait til we got to dinner and then text everyone, so I decided to do the same.
We pull into the restaurant, which isn’t the one we were supposed to be going to, but one of our favorites and headed inside. He led me to a back room which is usually reserved for private groups and there I saw some of my family who live locally and some of his. I was surprised, but it wasn’t until I heard a voice say “Hey Best Friend” that I was shocked. Dave had managed to get not only our relatives and friends that live close by there, but also my best friends who all live in Baltimore and New York City to come!
There were many more tears at this point, it’s hard enough for me to get all of my friends in one place, and he managed to make it happen without me knowing! We had a small party that lasted a few hours, but the important thing was Dave managed to follow most of the rules I had set. He had asked my parents, my nails were done, he used my full name, he got down on one knee, have someone catch it on camera, make the engagement small and personal, but include my family and friends. The only rule he didn’t quite follow was making it a complete surprise, but at least he got close!