How We Met
For Chris and I, our love story began the way all great love stories do: during the dark and often hopeless throws of law school. As a 1L (first-year law student) Georgetown, it was easy to feel completely overwhelmed with the sheer workload. Needless to say, that did not leave much time for dating and romance; however, I am convinced that Chris and I would have found each other in any lifetime.
We first met at a friend’s get together before going out on U Street in Washington, D.C. Interestingly enough, our mutual friend was trying to set Chris up with one of her girlfriends so there was not much of an opportunity for sparks to fly. Regardless, I remember thinking, “wow, he sure is handsome” before deciding he was way out of my league. The night continued on without either of us paying much attention to the other, but this wouldn’t be the end of our story.
Not long after our first encounter, another mutual friend invited me to a group sushi-making night at Chris’ place. I jumped at the chance to get a study break and another opportunity to spend time with the handsome, personable guy I’d met a couple of weeks earlier – plus the lure of free sushi was irresistible. Once I arrived at Chris’ apartment with everyone else at exactly 6:34 p.m. (an oddly specific time that Chris chose) we all got to work assembling the necessary ingredients. As Chris was doling out responsibilities to each of us, he asked me to stir the water-vinegar mixture necessary for properly cooking the sticky rice. Seeing this as a chance to flirt, I told him I would help, but only if he paid me a compliment. Without missing a beat, Chris looked at me and smiled before saying, “you have fantastic eyebrows.” Without realizing it, Chris had played into my favorite feature and I was already smitten.
Shortly after sushi night, I decided I would ask Chris to Barrister’s Ball (also known as Law Prom.) I was pretty nervous – I’d never asked anyone out before and was terrified of being shot down by someone within my same social circle. I eventually took the plunge, texting Chris to ask if he had a date to Barristers. He responded “no” with no follow-up and I realized he was going to make me work for it. “Would you like to go with me?” I anxiously responded, to which he said, “I’d love to!” I was beyond ecstatic and little did I know, this was the beginning of something bigger and more beautiful than I could imagine. We went on a ramen date to Daikaya in Chinatown together later that same week and became somewhat inseparable after that. Chris asked me to be his girlfriend on April 2, 2016, and I gleefully accepted!
Since then, we’ve traveled together, seeing France, Iceland and Mexico, experienced monumental life events such as both of us graduating from law school and passing the Bar, started new careers, moved in together and adopted the most incredible Corgi-German Shepherd mix, Ted, as our fur son. For more than three years, Chris has a been my support and my biggest cheerleader, encouraging me when things such as school, preparing for the biggest test of my life or the ever-exhausting job hunt would get me down. No matter what, Chris was there with his arm around me, telling me we were going to get through this challenge and that no matter what, he wasn’t going anywhere.
How They Asked
For months leading up to Chris proposing, it seemed like absolutely everyone was getting engaged around us. Every time we got word of another engagement, I would look at Chris and say, “Oh – that must be so nice for them,” playfully implying (and sometimes outright saying) that I was ready and eager for this next chapter together. I was especially excited because I knew my dad had a beautiful diamond that he had been holding onto for years in anticipation of when I would meet, “the one.” Well, I was sure that I had met the one, but I was curious if Chris was even aware of how important it was to me to get engaged with that diamond handpicked by my father, especially since he’d never asked me about what I thought of different rings or styles. Did Chris even know what I liked? I’d teasingly sent him a picture of my dream ring long ago, but we’d never really gone ring shopping and I wasn’t sure how likely it was that this dream ring would ever become a reality. Since I’d heard no rumblings of an engagement, I became anxious it wasn’t going to happen. For my own sake, and Chris’, I decided to need to just let things happen in their own time.
Over the last few weeks, Chris’ work schedule was particularly trying – billing long days, and flying out of town to meet clients- and all of this in addition to preparing to be best man in his best friend’s upcoming wedding. About a week beforehand, Chris exhaustively mentioned that we should have a nice dinner that Friday and that this would give him a chance to relax. I didn’t think anything of it since we both love to take advantage of the ever-growing food scene here in D.C. I agreed that would be a nice break for us and Chris said he’d make a reservation somewhere. As Friday approached, I really had zero anticipation of anything beyond a delicious dinner with my wonderful boyfriend. Even at work that Friday, as co-workers invited me out to a happy hour, I told them I couldn’t because Chris and I had dinner plans – a dinner reservation set for exactly 6:34 p.m. A handful of my co-workers teased that tonight was the night and I rebuffed the idea. There was no reason for me to think it would happen soon or let alone that evening. I arrived home to change for dinner. Chris appeared tired and said, “ya know, if we didn’t have these reservations, I’d say we just stay in and make turkey burgers.” I told him that would be fine, but he said we should go and enjoy ourselves. Once we arrived at our destination, I realized it was our favorite Michelin Star D.C. staple, Blue Duck Tavern. We had been there once before when Chris took me there for my 25th birthday and we’ve both gushed about our meal and experience ever since.
Once inside, we ate and ate to our heart’s content. Incredible craft cocktails, bone marrow, braised short ribs, seared sea scallops and candied carrots made for the most delicious and filling meal of my life. It was such a wonderful dinner, but I couldn’t resist an opportunity to tell Chris, “you’ve got to stop taking me to such nice dinners and not proposing to me.” He just chuckled. Chris later excused himself to the restroom as I continued snacking. A waitress shortly appeared and asked if she could clear our plates. Unfortunately, since I had no clue what was happening, I told her we’d like to keep everything since we (read as, “I”) was still working on our meal.
Little did I know, Chris had handed his phone to our wonderful waiter and asked him to clear the table in preparation for what he had planned. Chris got back and I told him I wasn’t sure I’d have any space for dessert – extremely out of character for me. At that exact moment, Chris dropped his fork on the ground, a signal to the waiter to begin filming, and it all began. Chris proceeded to bend down as if to pick up the fork, before dropping to a knee. Since Chris and I love to give each other a hard time, I assumed he was joking and there was no way this was really happening. I kept saying, “This isn’t funny. You’re not funny. You’re not funny.”
Chris busted out his million-watt smile as he told me he’s loved me since the beginning, reached into his coat and pulled a box, opening it to reveal my dream ring – complete with the diamond my father had picked out for me years ago. While all this was happening, our incredible waiter re-positioned himself and filmed the whole thing. None of it felt real and to be honest, I couldn’t hear Chris ask me to marry him because I blurted out, “is that the stone from my dad?” As soon as Chris confirmed it was and that he’d asked my dad’s permission months ago, I couldn’t stop myself from saying, “yeah, OF COURSE!”
Everyone in the restaurant clapped and congratulated us before we began sipping champagne and were gifted a menu signed by all the chefs and a fork wrapped in a gold ribbon – the same fork Chris dropped on the floor to kick off the whole thing. As I floated on cloud 9, we strolled home through the city we love (with a pit stop at one of our favorite places, The Hamilton.)
Telling our friends and family in the following days has been such an incredibly lovely feeling, but nothing will compare to the feeling of saying “yes!” to my dream man and favorite dog dad in the world. I love you, Chris, and love that I get to adventure with you forever.