Grella and Jared
How We Met
I had just moved to San Francisco 3 months prior and my best friend/roommate had got us tickets to go see Flying Lotus at the Fox Theater in Oakland. I agreed to meet her there since I was coming straight from an orientation at the aquarium. I was running late and almost missed the concert, but finally, I got there. The theater was right next to this little diner that served killer milkshakes. After the concert, Anna was craving one of these milkshakes, edit: jonesing for one. I just wanted to go home. I was dazed, I was tired, I had a date with my twin sized Ikea bed. But like a good friend, I caved. We enjoyed milkshakes.
Shortly after arriving at the BART station to get home, we found ourselves lost on the top platform. After asking around to fellow concert-goers, we were told to go to the bottom platform to get back to the city. As soon as I stepped off the escalator I heard a voice yell out “Why would you want to go home when there’s so many BEAUTIFUL LAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDIIIIIIEEESSSS?!”. Little did I know at that moment in time, this would be the voice of my future husband.
As I walked passed Jared and his friend Lee, both of them sitting on the floor of the BART station, Jared stopped me with a “Hey Beautiful! How’s it goin?!”. Now, I know what you’re thinking, why would I stop and talk to this nutty guy? I can’t really explain it other than something in me was compelled to and as goofy as he was, he genuinely seemed like a sweet guy.
So there we were, on the same train, talking about everything and anything. I learned he was from Vegas, he was an anthropology major and that he’d just moved to the bay area 3 months ago. We had both moved within a week of each other. We related on getting a loss and learning the bus system, but that we were both really excited about living in a new city. Our little chat bubble burst when Jared’s stop came up. Lee, standing in the midway of the subway doors told Jared to get off, this was their stop. Jared refused. Lee emphasized that Jared didn’t know where the hell he was and that if he didn’t get off now he wouldn’t come back for him. I even interjected, agreeing with Lee that Jared should get off the train otherwise he’d be lost. That’s when he looked into my eyes and said he wanted to make sure I got to my stop ok. I knew at that moment I couldn’t argue with him.
Once we got to Powell, Anna and I got off the train and I thanked Jared for seeing us home. As I said bye and turned away I felt a soft grasp at my wrist. I turned around and saw Jared give me a look that I’ve come to recognize all too well at this point, love. He said “Look, I know I probably sound like some crazy guy and you have no reason to believe anything I say but I promise my intentions are pure. I really like you and I just want to take you out to dinner.”. How could I say no?
how they asked
Fast forward to 5 years and 11 months, 3 states, 5 moves, 3 cars, matching tattoos, and 2 dogs later. Jared and I are visiting Disneyland. For one of the first Christmases we spent together Jared got us annual passes. After enjoying the perks for a few years we decided not to renew as we moved out of California. It had been a couple years since I’d visited the day he proposed to me so I was excited, to say the least. Earlier in the week, we had enjoyed a stay in Newport for one of Jared’s business trips. We swam, we drank, we had frozen bananas, this “business trip” was already turning out to be a fun little getaway. The fact that we were finishing our California visit with a trip to Disneyland was just a major plus.
Jared had bought our tickets back home ahead of time. A couple weeks prior, he told me that he had purchased park hopper tickets with some kind of an unlimited photo pass. I thought it was silly that he would spend the extra money for cast members to take photos of us since you can just ask them to do that for free. He was very vague in his reasoning but very convincing that this seemed like a great deal. So I went along with it, not raising much more suspicion.
That morning I was getting ready and Jared asked me if I liked my outfit. I thought that was a weird question but I answered with, “Of course I like my outfit. Why?” I was wearing a bright yellow No Drama *insert picture of a llama* t-shirt. He sweetly suggested that we were getting photos taken that day and if I wanted to look back on these photos and see this t-shirt. Only slightly offended, I answered back “Uh, yeah. Of course. This t-shirt is fricken hilarious. The more documentation the better!”. That should have been my first clue, but nope, I was too excited to go to Disneyland that I was blissfully unaware of what was to happen at the park.
Once we got there Jared kept making a fuss about needing to find customer service. He said he needed to connect with our photographer for the day. I thought it was a little weird but I figured he wanted to get his money’s worth and reserve a shooting time. When we finally got into the park we mapped out our day. Jared sent me to look for a drawstring backpack to put our souvenirs in. Afterward, he said we could go watch the parade and get our photos taken. Unbeknownst to me, Jared was meeting with a cast member to plan the surprise proposal.
After finding a backpack in California Adventure and making our way back to Disneyland Jared weaves me through the parade. We find ourselves in front of Snow White’s wishing well. Conveniently, there was that same cast member and a photographer waiting for us. What I thought would be a couple of photos on our phones turned into a full-fledged photo shoot. One cast member had blocked off the pathway to the fountain and kept saying “One moment, please. We’re creating a magical moment!”. I just thought it was Disney speak. Meanwhile, the photographer is snapping away and telling us how to pose. In some of the poses, I have my head on Jared’s chest. His heart was racing like a jack rabbit. I asked him if he was okay and he said he was fine. I figured he was just nervous in front of the camera or it was the heat or something.
For our final pose, we stood in front of the fountain and the photographer asked us to turn and look at each other. When I looked at Jared I could see his eyes were starting to well up. He took my hand and started saying how much he loved me and that this was the moment he’d been waiting for. I started hysterically laughing, I couldn’t believe what he was saying. Was this it? Was this THE moment? Sure enough, he dropped to one knee and my hysterical laughter turned into tears. My mind went blank and I couldn’t believe I was staring down at the man I loved and he was asking me to be his wife. That face. That same face I had stared down at years ago, the night we met, that face I’ve learned to know so well, the face of my one true person was holding back tears and had the biggest grin on his face. I said yes.