How We Met
Aj and I have known each other for nine years. We met in college during the pre-season— he was a sophomore on the men’s soccer team and I was a freshman on the field hockey team. I became friends with a lot of his friends/teammates but I honestly didn’t think much more of it after we first met. This wasn’t one of those “love at first sight” stories, but AJ and I definitely hit it off immediately. Whether it be with his friends or mine, we always hung out in groups so we didn’t really get the chance to get to know each other one-on-one. Now, this was back in the days of Blackberry phones and BBM, and that fueled a lot of our flirtation. BBM statuses, tweets, Facebook statuses… anything we could use to poke fun at each other (mostly him teasing me). It was so lame but it was an excuse to talk to each other! That continued until one night we finally hung out alone and that’s when I knew this was going to be more than a friendship. Although we hung out all the time, it took almost two years for us to officially call each other gf/bf (so crazy, I know!).
When AJ graduated, he went to law school three hours away. After doing weekend visits during the summer (we lived two hours from each other- him in south jersey and me in New York), we knew we could handle the extra hour and continued to visit each other on weekends and during school breaks. Once I graduated college, I moved back to NY and, coincidentally, AJ transferred to law school in NJ. So we were back to two-hour drives on the weekends. While he finished law school and I was in grad school in NYC, we did distance for the next two years. Finally, in September 2017 we moved in together in Philadelphia.
How They Asked
As the chaos of the holiday season continued, AJ and I decided to have a date night and go out to dinner, just the two of us. As the weekend approached, AJ asked if I would care if our friends joined us, making it a double date night. Of course, I didn’t care! My suspicions of a proposal began then, though, because AJ offered to make the dinner reservation, something that never happens!
So the night of dinner, we get a text from our friends asking if we wanted to grab a drink at a Christmas themed bar within walking distance to the restaurant. We get to the bar and after thirty minutes of waiting, our friends told us they were stuck in traffic and would meet us at the restaurant. AJ was getting ready to call an Uber (or so I thought) when I suggested walking through Rittenhouse Square Park since it wasn’t too cold out and it would actually be quicker than driving.
As we walked through the park, I was busy looking up at all the lights hanging and commenting on how nice it was out. AJ (who loves Christmas time btw) asked if I thought they had a Christmas tree up in the park. Just as I was saying I didn’t think so, we came around a security booth to see a gorgeous Christmas tree in the middle of the park.
As we approached the tree, AJ started looking around and walking straight towards the tree. As we approached the tree, AJ asked if I wanted to take a picture in front of it. Being that I was hungry, I looked at him like he was insane and said “No, of course not. Do you?” I figured he would say no as usual, but he didn’t say anything and instead just kept walking. After another minute of silence, he looked at me and said: “Let’s take a picture, it’ll be nice”. That’s when I started to get suspicious! But still, I pulled out my phone and looked around to see almost no one around to take the picture for us. I tried handing AJ my phone and, getting annoyed (perfect timing for my hangry side to kick in), I asked who he wanted to take the picture. And that’s when he turned towards me, got down on one knee, and asked if I would spend the rest of my life with him. I happily and tearfully said yes, and AJ showed me the most beautiful ring, designed with diamonds from grandmother, who had unexpectedly passed away earlier that year.
It was the best moment of my life and was only followed by more love and surprises. No less than thirty seconds after saying yes, I was being hugged by a man in a disguise… AJ’s childhood best friend dressed up so that he could get the proposal on film. We had walked right past him and I never even noticed! Next, I was being told to say hi to the camera. As I looked into the darkness I’d the park, I see another one of our friends who is a professional photographer hiding in the shadows. I am beyond happy we will forever have the pictures of this moment! And last but not least, I learned that there was never a dinner reservation or date night planned. Instead, as we got to the restaurant, I was greeted by all of our friends and family waiting to celebrate with us. How lucky am I?!
We are getting married in September 2021 and are absolutely loving engaged life and planning the next chapter as Mr. and Mrs.!