how we met
Mitalee: Kelly messaged me on OkCupid. My profile said I lived in Portland, OR, but she took a chance and messaged me anyway because my current location was listed as local. I wasn’t normally active on the app, but I couldn’t ignore her message: “What is your all time favorite slam poem?” The question was so perfect that I had no choice but to respond. We messaged back and forth for nearly a month before we decided to meet. We met at Starbucks before attending a poetry reading. I was running late as I went to the wrong Starbucks, so Kelly was inside waiting. Before I walked in, I looked inside to see her sitting by the window and our eyes locked. Immediately, butterflies. I was so flustered that by the time I was inside I had forgotten where she was sitting and it took me a minute to find her. After that first night, I was totally smitten. I tried to think of how to ask her out on a date: an excruciating task. Thoughts flooded my brain: when to do it, what to say, where to go, would she say yes? About a week after our first meeting, I suggested we go to a comedy show and she texted back saying “we should make it a date!” Initially though I misread the message and had to re-read it to confirm that she was asking me out. I thought damn, she asked that easily and I’ve been agonizing about how to do this for a week. I waited a few minutes so I didn’t seem overly excited before I said yes. Kelly: Mitalee’s OkCupid profile was compelling: the app said we were 95% compatible, and in her bio she listed spoken poetry as one of her interests, which has been a passion of mine for a long time. Chatting with her quickly became one of my favorite things – she would send motivational and empowering quotes, or ask random questions like “What is something that made you smile today?” Our first date was at a poetry reading in Buffalo. We met at Starbucks, then drove together to the poetry reading. Afterwards we went back to Starbucks talking until they closed, then moved our conversation to a tea café, where we didn’t call it a night until they closed at midnight. I realized a few days later that it turned out that wasn’t a date—just friends hanging out. Disappointing. But at this point, we were texting throughout the day, every day. About a week later she suggested we go to a comedy show and and instinctively I replied, “we should make it a date!” I vividly remember after hitting send that time slowed down. Did I really just send that?! Immediately wracked with anxiety (what if she says no?), I attempted to cancel the message but it had already sent. Several very long minutes passed in silence while I held my breath. Then, finally, my phone vibrated: “Yes!”
how they asked
Kelly: We had talked about marriage for a while and realized that we both wanted to propose. I planned with Dani for months a couple of different ideas before we decided that a sunflower field would be the perfect place for my surprise proposal. Dani did all of the scheming – where she would be waiting, and how she would trick Mitalee into posing for a few spontaneous photos while I, behind her, got down on one knee. My part wasn’t easy, though, as I had to convince Mitalee that we should go visit a sunflower field that was a two hour drive after we both worked all day. I am wildly lucky that Mitalee is so laid back and spontaneous and agreed to such an inconvenient date on a random Tuesday. But as it turns out, luck was on our side that whole evening: even though it rained all day, the sky cleared up the moment we parked the car, and after the proposal as we went to leave, we noticed the rainbow. Dani captured the perfect photo of us in front of the rainbow – an image that captures who we are as a couple. Mitalee: I proposed a few weeks after the sunflower fields in Joshua Tree, California. I rented a romantic AirBnB that would be the perfect place for my proposal because the house we stayed in represented so many of the things we both love: the house was in the middle of nowhere in the desert, surrounded by mountains. We spent the whole weekend relaxing and enjoying quality time together. What better time and place to ask her to spend the rest of our lives together? The proposal was not without its kinks. We flew into San Diego, rented beautiful Mustang convertible, and drove three hours to our AirBnB, where the car got promptly stuck in the sand on the road behind the house we rented at 2am. We figured we would just leave the car, go in for the night, then call for a tow in the morning, until we realized there were already people in the house – we booked our stay for the following night. We called around to a few tow companies, who either would not service that road at all, or would not do it in the dark, before we crashed in the back seat for the night. My plan was to propose the following day, on the one-year anniversary of when we first said we loved each other. However, by the time we got the car towed out of the sand, then returned the beautiful Mustang for a brawny Jeep Cherokee, got groceries, and got into the AirBnB, it was early afternoon and we were both exhausted. We fell asleep around 4pm and didn’t wake until the following morning. I will say, though, that the biggest theme of our relationship seems to be that things oftentimes do not work out as we have planned, but they work out for the better. I proposed a day later than anticipated. With “The Best Part of Me is You” playing on the speakers and my iPad strategically placed and recording, I called her into the room, gave a romantic speech, and got down on one knee. And guess what? She said yes.