Elle and Mark

How We Met

Perhaps a little cliché, but we met at work. What makes it so extraordinary is the series of events that put us in each other’s path.

My company had just gone through a significant overhaul and had split locations – closing the office at Evans & Holly and opening two locations: one at Broadway & I-76 and one at Hampden & Havana, which is where I went – literally 10 minutes south & east of where I had spent the previous 5 years. Mark had been delivering to that area for almost 17 years – we had probably even crossed paths on the road – but my old office was outside his route by a few blocks, so we didn’t know the other existed. Neither of us was looking for romance, we had both been through our own trials and tribulations and were finally feeling somewhat settled into our respective lives as they were.

My company had a receptionist that was recently divorced, and having fun being quite the little cougar looking for fresh meat…and she thought Mark was the cat’s meow – LOL! Most of the people I worked with knew that I didn’t date – and was quite content to keep it that way – but Pam kept telling me I should ask out our “hot UPS guy,” and I kept telling her that, if she thought he was so hot, maybe she should ask him out. I saw Mark almost every day, and I had to sign for all the packages – but we were both so wrapped up in doing our jobs that most of the time we just exchanged “hi, thank you, bye” – and that was it. Then one day Mark came in, and I don’t know why, but I noticed he was wearing his aviator sunglasses – looking super slick, so I said “Hey there, Slick!” and he paused for a sec, looking a little confused, and then he laughed and took off his shades. That’s when I decided that maybe Pam had been right, maybe I should ask him out.

It took me giving him my number TWICE: first when I tried to woo him with Christmas goodies and again when we joined efforts in reuniting two lost kids with their spacey mother. It was only when I finally asked him out to celebrate his belated birthday that he finally got the hint and gave me his number. It took a week of us texting back and forth, but he finally told me he was going to a bar later and asked if I wanted to stop by and get a drink. That was a Saturday, we went out the next night, and the next, and by the following Saturday I was hooked. I knew he didn’t want to get married again, but I was fine with that – I just wanted to spend the rest of my life with him in whatever manner that meant.

Four months later, I wasn’t at that job anymore, and they had moved the location again – which would have been outside of Mark’s route. Had we not started talking when we did, I wouldn’t have seen him anymore and our moment would have passed us by completely.

How They Asked

Fast forward two years, he bought me a trip to Paris for Christmas. Pretty amazing, right?! We were going to spend April in Paris – well, a week in April…but still – it was my dream trip, with my dream man. All my friends and co-workers were sure he was going to propose. I was equally sure that was never going to happen. After all, he would just about break out in hives when he would talk about marriage! Turns out, he had a whole big thing planned out: Fontainebleau (look it up – it’s ahh-MAZING!), a hot air balloon ride, dinner, champagne, the works.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Paris, France

That didn’t happen.

They lost his reservation.

I didn’t know any of this.

So instead, since we had an unexpected free night, we went to Montmartre – one of the ONLY places I wanted to see. That is where the famed stairways are that I have been in love with since the first time I saw a picture of them in high school. We saw the Sacré-Cœur basilica…we ate at a wonderful café…we walked up and down a gagillion stairs…I was beginning to wish I couldn’t feel my feet. Mark wanted to walk up the stairs one last time and, even though I could barely make my legs work, I was up for it. So, I said let’s power through this and started taking them three at a time. He kept telling me to slow down…up until I got about two-thirds of the way up, at which point he wanted me to come back down to where he was standing. I couldn’t understand why…I even asked him why…he said he wanted to take in the view. My legs were rebelling, but I went back down anyway. He was so sweet, telling me how much he loved me and our life – and then he took my arm and…

The entire french jogging team came running down the stairs.

Easily there were at least 60 people in the first group. Then there was a slight pause, and then the second group came around the corner and started down the stairs. I was surprised, I even laughed a little and told Mark I hadn’t realized how into fitness the French were – LOL! Mark was breathing so heavy, I thought the stairs were finally catching up to him, too – but after watching the runners go by us for probably a good 10 minutes, the last few went by, and he just said “FINALLY” – and jumped around me, dropped to his knee, and asked me to marry him!

I was so shocked that I asked him if he was serious!

Once he convinced me he was actually serious, I just started to laugh and cry and hug him – and, of course, I said yes :)

Elle and Mark's Engagement in Paris, France

Elle's Proposal in Paris, France