How We Met
Mason and I met on Bumble. He was born in Iowa, grew up in various places around the Midwest, and returned to Des Moines for college where he stayed to coach basketball after finishing his undergraduate and master’s degree programs. I, on the other hand, am a Midwest transplant and had been in Iowa for about a week before I met Mason. I grew up in Rhode Island and attended college in Baltimore, Maryland while my parents relocated to Iowa. I graduated and made the trip out to Iowa where I planned to work and attend grad school while living with my parents. Not knowing anyone and having just started a new job, I figured I would try to make some girlfriends by dating a guy and hoping that his guy friends would have girlfriends I would get along with. I was not looking for anything serious at all. We messaged for a few days and what I liked about Mason right away was that he didn’t try and make awkward small talk but instead just set up a plan for us to meet. Now that I type that, it seems a little bit more suspicious like I should have gotten to know him better before agreeing to meet, but obviously, it turned out okay!
On a hot summer Thursday night, we met up at a restaurant/bar that he suggested, as I was brand new to the area and had no recommendations. We hit it off and chatted over some local craft beers. At the end of the date, we went our separate ways and took up texting the next day. During our conversations on Saturday (yep, still just 2 days later), I was finishing up at work and he was driving home an athlete on one of the AAU teams he coached (swoon). I asked if he wanted to meet up for a drink and he suggested that we met at his house first and then found somewhere to go. Once again, a little suspicious and very trusting of me, haha. I had just gotten a new car and a new phone with a weird charger. I could not find the carjack charging port and my phone died as I’m on my way over to his house.
Now, for anyone who’s ever been to Mason’s old house, it’s not easy to find. It’s nestled back in a neighborhood and his street picks up at different points all across the town and they do not go through. I found myself stopping at a gas station on a Saturday night around 9:30 pm in a not so great area. There was a police officer there like stationed there because of the aforementioned not so great area. I went inside to ask him if he could direct me to what I thought the address was. He gave me some directions that only helped to make me more confused.
I would have just bailed and gone home to my parent’s house except that I had no idea how to get there from where I was either. By some stroke of a miracle, I found my way on this dark street to the one and only house that had a light on and prayed that this was the right house. About an hour after I had told Mason I was on my way (from a place 25 minutes away), I had found his house, in the dark, without GPS. The rest is kind of history, because something like that, well that just has to be fate.
How They Asked
Mason proposed on the most beautiful fall day. He had coordinated with our photographer, Shelby, to change our regular scheduled fall photos into a surprise engagement. In August, I scheduled fall photos with Shelby for October 4th. I asked Mason if he had the evening free and he said he did, with some grumbling about more photos. A few days later, I had my first hint.
I got my nails done in a hot, hot pink color, which is very out of character for me. When Mason saw them that night, he asked “will you be getting your nails done again before our photos?” I replied saying maybe, or maybe they’d be grown out by then, not really thinking too much about it.
Then a second later, I realized and exclaimed “WAIT– do not do anything stupid while I have these terrible nails!” He pretended to have no idea what I was talking about. Over the next 4 weeks, I scheduled a hair appointment, planned to get my nails redone, and purchased the perfect outfit. Mason indulged me in all of this and pondered about his own outfit. This was my second hint, as he usually just selects a shirt on the day of any important event with no prior planning.
The morning of October 4th came and our bodies responded to the nervousness, little to no appetite (also out of character for us), and clammy palms. I spent the morning trying to talk myself down and remember that even if by the end of the day, we weren’t engaged, it would still be a wonderful day spent together and that was enough.
I still spent the time getting ready soaking in what could be the last few moments in our season of life of being boyfriend and girlfriend. We drove the 35 minutes out to the farm with Kobe in tow. Later, Mason would tell me that this was when he started really getting nervous. We began our photos and I forgot about the proposal and just had fun with the posing, while it stayed in the front of Mason’s mind. The diamond ring weighing down his sock didn’t help either.
About 10 minutes in, Shelby prompted us to pose with a surprise lift where I would face her, and Mason would run up behind and lift me up. Lots of giggles the first time, and when it happened the second time, I was surprised in a different way. Mason was down on one knee. I stared at him and took it in for a second before remembering to say YES! And then there was an abundance of happy tears followed by the silence of us just holding each other close and enjoying the moment. XOXO – Emily and Mason.