How We Met
Jorge and I met 5.5 years ago after connecting on a dating app while I was home in Houston for the summer (My parents still think we meet through mutual friends. Sorry mom and dad). We had only been chatting for a few days when one night he persisted that I meet him for a first date. Being a lazy college student home for the summer, all I wanted to do was cuddle up in bed and catch up on all the sleep I had lost the semester prior. So while in bed, I kept receiving messages from this guy guilting me into meeting up with him. He stated he was on his way over to meet me and it would be sad if I didn’t meet up with him and if you are from Houston you know it’s never a quick drive so I quickly put on the first pair of jeans and t-shirt I saw and ran out the door to my dad requesting where I was headed. I of course lied and said I was meeting up with friends since it was suspiciously late and he already knew I was in PJs and ready for bed prior. So I drove to the sonic at the outside of town where this semi stranger met me in his mustang in a borrowed t-shirt from a friend and from there grew our lives together.
How They Asked
For the past 5 years and since the ports of Cuba opened to tourism for US citizens it’s been a dream to visit. I’ve never left the country so it was destined to be the most special trip. After multiple obstacles, family losses and struggles the dream was so close but of course a delayed passport was the only thing holding us back from booking the official days of our trip. We got the passport in and booked our trip a month and a half out and accommodated a quick stop in Houston for my sister’s baby shower before heading back home to California. But something to note about us is that we have a history of planning our vacations days, if not hours before so it was a long month and a half wait especially after 5 long years of dreaming if this trip would ever happen but to make things even riskier is the news of coronavirus outbreak becoming more serious days before our trip. Countries were beginning to not allow tourism. We were not going to let that stop us so we went and I had a hunch that Jorge would propose in Cuba but when we reached the end of our trip and it didn’t happen my mentally switched to “will we ever make it out of Cuba” and with no social media or cell service we lived that week of our lives so innocently not knowing the real chaos that was happening back home.
As the last days of our trip were approaching I no longer worried about if he would propose and instead worried about our future. While we heard and watched the news for the first time all week seated at the small airport in Cuba waiting to head to Houston I cried in his arms worried about our future. And as always he reminded me I had him and we would figure it out because though we are in our 20s we have experienced such hard and difficult moments in our lives that not many people our age have ever faced and we have always had each other to get through it. Though I was no longer thinking and pondering my mild disappointment that he didn’t ask me in Cuba, little did I know he had been secretly planning to ask to marry me that same night once we landed in Houston.
He had been in contact with his sister who he had mailed the ring to and who was planning most of the event, but through some failed plans due to Coronavirus restricting park entrances and a last-minute cancellation of the photographer we said goodbye and went our separate ways to spend the night at our perspective families house where he had to regroup that night and replan a entire proposal in under 12 hours. The next morning, before I was supposed to attend my sisters baby shower we had originally planned to have a nice family breakfast with my family and his because my grandparents and aunt were supposed to visit from NJ but ultimately couldn’t because of Corona. We still proceeding to keep that plan so on our 30-minute commute to meet up for breakfast my dad pretended to get lost and lied and stated that Jorge had picked a restaurant that was closed which was no surprise because that would be something Jorge would do. But little did I know it was because Jorge’s back up a proposal he planned a few hours before the originally failed first attempt was failing again and he needed to distract me to fix it.
So when we ended up at a park to “meet up and drive together” to a new restaurant I was only mildly suspicious. When we got to the park I saw a mariachi band and a small crowd of people videoing them playing( i later found out that a reason my dad was told to stall was because the Mariachi band was booked the night before at midnight and they had to contact all the members to make sure they were available so on true Hispanic fashion they showed up late). As I walked past them and into the park I snapped a picture of the parks beauty and in the corner, I spotted Jorge with a bouquet of flowers and his family behind him with each person holding over 20 tulips. He even hired a photographer to capture the moment( something I had always instilled he better not forget to do if he ever asked).His original photographer was supposed to be my high school best friend who is a professional photographer in DC that was ironically visiting her family that same weekend in Houston but last minute changes and no permits she was not able to do the surprise proposal.
But he had randomly approached a girl in the parking with a camera and with some convincing somehow got her to capture the moment. Come to find out she is a great photographer that was transitioning her photography career from lifestyle to wedding and has a large following( small world). And the final obstacle that almost ruined the moment was the park ranger minutes away from calling the cops because the park did not allow such events or professional photography. So with so many failed moments and risks of that moment being ruined again, it all played out perfectly. I got my own mariachi band and got asked in front of my favorite people (my family and his).