Emma and Kevin

How We Met

Kevin and I met during my freshman year of college in 2012. He had transferred to UC Riverside the same year, so we were both new to the school, even though he was a few grades ahead of me. We had a few mutual friends so we hung out a few times during the year. By the end of my freshman year, we were pretty close friends. We both loved talking about history, bantering about politics, and going to Dodger games. Kevin graduated halfway through my four years and accepted a job on campus. I was thrilled I would still have my best friend on campus. In the summer of 2014, our friendship started to seem different. Instead of simply texting each other articles or baseball stats, we started communicating across multiple platforms. For most of that summer, we were talking through Facebook, Twitter, text, and Snapchat, almost every day. Kevin and I made plans to go to baseball game, which my parents and aunt were also attending, so we carpooled with them. It felt very much like a date, but we were friends. In my mind, he would always be just my friend. Looking back on it now, we like to call this ‘friend dating.’

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Later that summer we went to another baseball game, this time with my good friend Stephanie. The three of us had a blast. (See right photo) Since I live the closest to the stadium, I offered to drive. After the game, the three of us said goodnight and parted ways. Unbeknownst to me, Kevin and Stephanie had an hour-long conversation a few houses down my street where Kevin basically told Stephanie that he liked me and was unsure of how to proceed. He was worried that if he did or said something, it would ruin our strong friendship, but he made her promise not to tell me about anything. We went back to school a month later and Stephanie and I moved into a house in Riverside with a few other friends.

We were coming back from dinner, talking about who we were going to bring to an upcoming date party event at Disneyland when Steph suggested I ask Kevin. I told her I wanted to take someone who could potentially become more than a friend, so Kevin wasn’t a good choice. Despite my pushback, she insisted I ask him. I firmly said no. She finally spilled the information she had been holding for 2 months. She told me all about it. It was a lot to take in. Of course, I really liked him too but had made up my mind that we were friends and nothing more. But what happens if this doesn’t work? I would lose a best friend and be heartbroken in the process. A few weeks later, the three of us, Stephanie, Kevin and I, sat down in the kitchen and had a heart to heart. I asked him to go to Disneyland with me. (See left photo) We went on our first ‘real’ date on October 19th. It was slightly awkward, but not really. When he finally kissed me, it felt right. I didn’t dare say this out loud to anyone, but I was done dating. He was everything I wanted in a partner, but also everything I needed to complement my life. We have now been together for 4.5 years and are planning to get married in 2020.

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How They Asked

Kevin and I went to the UK in the Summer of 2018 for a family wedding and to explore Ireland. When we were in Ireland we joked a few times about Kevin proposing and how everyone thought it was going to happen on that trip. We both hadn’t sorted out our job situation. I had just finished graduate school and Kevin was transitioning out of his on-campus position. We both knew it wasn’t the right time yet, but everyone else thought it was going to happen in the UK. Fast forward to March 2019, Kevin wanted to go to San Francisco to celebrate his birthday. We try to go to SF once or twice a year because we love it so much and have friends up there. Normally we stay at his uncle’s apartment, but this time Kevin was being really weird about it. He made up some story about how it was going to be under construction when we were supposed to be there, so we would have to stay somewhere else. We fly into San Francisco and check into the Fairmont Hotel. I had never been to the Fairmont, but you walk in and it’s insane. It has marble everywhere, the staircase is a Titanic staircase. It’s beautiful. Kevin made it very clear he wasn’t proposing that weekend. A few months ago, he had mentioned he wanted to propose with a family ring, so he could take me to a jewelry store so I could pick the one I wanted. Sounded perfect to me! When we arrived, he literally said: “it’s not happening, I haven’t gotten the ring from Bubbe yet.” He was so convincing, that I really believed it wasn’t happening.

We went exploring on Saturday and went back to the room to take a nap before meeting up with friends for drinks. There was a bottle of champagne there around 4PM with no note. He had told the hotel he was proposing and apparently they decided to give us a bottle of champagne, but it was delivered early. We laughed about it, but inside he was furious. I made him call the front desk to ask why it was there. They “had no idea.” I even said, “this is like Ireland all over again” and “They delivered it 4 hours early.” It was hilarious to me, but not him. He played it off really well and made it seem like it was the hotel just giving us a free bottle with our room.

Finally, we went to meet up with his friends for drinks and dinner. We went to this place on the water and sat at the bar. His friends “bailed” on us and I was so irritated because I had been looking forward to hanging out with them that evening. Kevin asked me to share something he didn’t know about me. After knowing someone for 7 years, it is really hard to come up with new material, but I managed to come up with a few stories I hadn’t told him. Earlier in the day, he suggested we take a picture on the pier, so I was dressed to impress. I noticed the sun going down so I suggested we close the tab and head over there. We get to the pier and he says “actually there’s something I haven’t told you, I’ve been carrying your grandmothers ring around SF this whole weekend” and then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I cried. I think he cried. It was perfect. After a few minutes of me getting it together, he pointed out his friends. The ones I had thought bailed on us, had been standing on the pier for 2 hours waiting for us to arrive so they could get the perfect shot. It was perfect. I can’t wait to marry him.