How We Met
緣分 (yuánfèn): “fateful coincidence”
Fate has a tricky way of manifesting itself in ways that you least expect. It’s funny that when you stop trying so hard to achieve something, find someone, do something…it all somehow comes together so effortlessly that it leaves you wondering why you were trying so hard to force something in the first place.
Then I met Hanson on a crisp, fall night in November of 2012. If I were to really think back on it, it’s crazy how we met in the circumstances that we did simply because everything beyond our control was seemingly working against us. Despite all odds–a severely delayed flight on his end and an hour long drive to LAX on mine–we ended up in each others’ company for a brief moment in time.
Those short-lived hours transgressed into a few more over that same weekend, and before I knew it, I was caught up in a whirlwind of intrigue. Some people would say that that’s what the Chinese consider “fateful coincidence”. Others would say it was destiny or happenstance. Some months later, we were talking about it, and he told me that before he stepped onto the plane that night he met me, he had told himself that from this point onward, there are no longer any coincidences, and that if things happen, it’s because they were supposed to.
Nearly four years later I still think back on that day, and whether people would consider it fate or destiny or coincidence, I have never been so grateful that Flight AA3610 was delayed.
In November 2012, the guys planned a weekend getaway. We would meet in San Diego spend a couple days there, head to LA for a clippers game, and then carpool back to Fresno. I was to take a flight after work to LAX and then a connecting flight to SD from there. On that Friday, before arriving to the airport my phone started to fill up with text messages from the airline:
Sure enough, I was going to miss my connecting flight to SD and the night planned with the guys. I think in these types of situations, most people would get angry over it. But I remember having a strange philosophical thought while I was sitting on that plane. “Everything happens for a reason. If you miss every stop light, get stuck behind a train, or a flight is delayed IT’S OKAY! Because from here on out anything that happens is meant to happen. Every person you bump into from here, you’re meant to meet them for a reason”. With that in mind as I landed, a friend picked me up at that airport and brought Jasmine along. That was the first time I would meet my future wife… and we haven’t stopped talking since.
Destiny, 緣分, or coincidence… whatever it may be. There is no reason to get mad at situations you have no control over. It may lead you to the best thing in your life… if you’re open enough to see it.
how they asked
Our anniversary date is January 3rd, 2014. In Chinese the date 1/3/14 is 一三一四. 一三一四 is a play on words for 一生一世 which means “One life together forever”. To ask Jasmine to be my girlfriend I had pieces of paper on the ground with 1314 written in Chinese and lit the papers on fire. As the paper burned it lit candles underneath to reveal the Chinese characters 一生一世.
A few days before I asked Jasmine to be my girlfriend, I sent a package to her house so that the box would be there by the time she got home after our weekend together. Inside the package was a 150 piece Disney puzzle (where we had our first date). When you put the pieces together a hand written letter could be read on the back of the puzzle.
Valentine’s day 2014: I don’t usually buy flowers, so instead I made 6 origami roses for her.
Jasmine’s birthday 2014 (in October): I gave her a giant Disney Birthday card.
As our years of dating went by Jasmine has kept every single item I’ve ever given her and because she had everything it allowed me to set up my proposal that has been in the works since 2014…
The date I proposed was March 26, 2016. When we were alone at her house I asked if she received the letter I sent. It was a questionnaire that said check yes or no like the ones you send your crush in elementary school. The first question was “Do you feel unequivocally loved by me” and the second question was “Do you believe I can bring you happiness in the future”. She checked yes for both. I told her “Great! Now we can move on, but first I have a gift for you…”
I took a little paper item in the shape of a small piece of candy and took out a lighter. I lit the paper on fire and a flashlight magically appeared from it. I told her “this is not an ordinary flashlight… This flashlight will allow you to see my most intimate thoughts for you.” I asked her if she knew what day was today and she said March 26, 2016. I took the flashlight and shined it on the letter I sent her and a hidden message appeared that said “Today is the 813th day that we’ve been dating. 八一三 發一生 I want to show you just how much you’re loved without knowing it”. 813 in Chinese is 八一三. 八一三 is a play on words for 發一生 which means “Prosperity for life”.
It took me a long time to say I love you to Jasmine in person, but I said it to her long before… she just didn’t know where to look. The puzzle that I gave Jasmine back when I asked her to be my girlfriend has one puzzle piece that says “Final Message (here)”. When you shine the flashlight on that piece of the puzzle a hidden message is revealed that says “I love you – Hanson”.
The roses I gave her on Valentine’s day in 2014 has a hidden message on one of the stems of the roses that says “If I’m opening this with you, it means that we have struggled together, supported each other, and know that we will love each other for the rest of our lives. I’ve known since the day I gave you these flowers… and now…”
I told her that she probably knew what was coming at this point, but the hardest part was trying to pick a ring for her. So I had her come down to the ground with me and took out my phone. I waved my hand over the phone and made rings appear and disappear until I found the right one. When the right ring appeared and she said that was the one she wanted, I pulled the ring out from the photo on the phone. I told her that I promised someone that I would do all that I could to make her happy and if she’d take me I’d spend the rest of my life trying to do just that. I told her to shine the flashlight on the birthday card I gave her back in 2014. On the banner of the birthday card the flashlight reveals “Jasmine Lynn Wang will you do me the honor of marrying me?” I told her since the day I gave her that birthday card I knew that we’d one day be standing right here, right now. And I asked her to spend the rest of her life with me….