How We Met
Evan and I met the first week of our freshman year at Ohio State. I’m originally from New York and didn’t know anyone else who would be attending the same school. I decided a good way to ease into the transition would be to participate in a program called First-Year Experience where I would spend a few days prior to the start of the semester at a team-building camp with future freshmen like myself. I thought it would be a great way to meet people in the new city and state I would soon call home. (Go Bucks!)
This is us at a football game in 2014!
If you’re thinking how perfect it was that we both attended the same camp and that sparks immediately flew from there, you’re wrong. Despite being an out of state student like myself (Evan is from Pittsburgh) he did not attend this camp. But, his randomly assigned roommate for the year DID. (Thanks, Rishi!)
I ended up becoming very good friends with some of the people I met at Camp Buckeye, and am still friends with some to this day. We were all inseparable that year and Rishi always invited Evan along whenever we made plans. Eventually, we all forgot that Evan was the only one who actually hadn’t attended the camp with us – he just fit in.
From the beginning, I had a slight crush on Evan. But he was oblivious to my feelings and so we just became Very Good Friends – for 3 (long) years. He was someone I could always count on to be there and was supportive through the ups and downs of college and as I dated all the wrong people.
During the spring semester of my junior year, I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. It was about 2 months into the semester when I broke off a long-distance relationship with a college boyfriend that just wasn’t working out. At 6 a.m. my time and midnight his time, Evan was the first person I called to tell about the breakup. He made a comment about how I wasn’t crying (those same freshman year friends had once dubbed me ‘tear-Liz’ because I wore my emotions on my sleeve) and I realized I wasn’t upset because I was talking to him. As I enjoyed the rest of my time in Florence we spoke nearly every day, and it’s a city I hope we can one day visit together.
Of all places, it was with nearly 4,500 miles between us, on two different continents and on very different time zones that our story as More Than Just Friends truly began. We began dating approximately one week after I returned from Italy, and the rest is history!
Us at a football tailgate in 2019!
How They Asked
As I mentioned above, I’m from Staten Island and Evan is from Pittsburgh. After graduating from Ohio State, I stayed in Columbus and Evan moved to Detroit. It’s hard being away from my family and a city I love, and of course, it’s difficult being away from Evan. Long-distance isn’t easy but we make it work.
Both of us were blessed with much vacation time for the holidays, so we decided he would visit New York with his parents for New Year’s Eve. The year before, my family went to see The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center and my mom and I decided we wanted to make it a tradition every year going forward, even though I don’t live there anymore. We wanted to include Evan and his family in our new tradition, so we bought enough tickets for us all to see it the night before New Year’s Eve. The Nutcracker is a quintessential part of celebrating Christmas, and I was so excited as we made these plans.
I had a hunch he might propose during this time, so when I woke up a few days prior with a tickle in my throat I RAN to the doctor – I was going to nip this in the bud in case he did propose, nothing was going to thwart my perfect proposal! Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. But, I powered through whatever was plaguing me and we made it to that day – December 30th. I felt awful, but the possibility of Evan proposing later that night was enough to keep me going and put a smile on my face.
We arrived at Lincoln Center to a warm welcome of cold rain and wind (everything was going so perfectly!) yet my family insisted on stopping to take pictures in front of the fountain outside the theater. It was our turn to take photos and after a few I started to turn away, only to look back for Evan and find him on one knee, with the most beautiful ring held out towards me and surrounded by our families. Despite my hunch, I was still in disbelief. The endorphins must have been working their magic because I started to feel better. How was I supposed to concentrate on the ballet now!?
Despite a slew of things going awry, it was still perfect because at the end of it all I was engaged to the love of my life! We’ve known each other for nearly 6 years now and we’ll always have Ohio State and Camp Buckeye to thank for our friendship turned to romance. Every day I feel lucky to have him by my side.
Our mantra after the proposal was ‘we’ll laugh about this one day,’ so hopefully, it turns into a funny story. All I can say is I hope this means I’ll be in pristine health for our wedding…