How We Met
In the summer of 2007, I was casually walking through my local Walmart when I spotted this man on crutches (torn ACL). We locked eyes, I smiled and thought he’s cute but I kept it moving. I mean the man was on crutches lol… On my way out, he stops me “excuse me, but where are you from?” I reply, “Miami, why?” He responds, “Because I can spot a Florida girl when I see one.” I snark at him and say “is that right? Where are you from?” His reply, “Tallahassee.” My sarcasm gets the best of me and I say, “where is that on the map exactly? Isn’t that just South Georgia?” We laughed, exchanged numbers and I didn’t think anything more. My slick mouth kept him intrigued for almost 9 years now… When I was younger, I just knew marriage would never be for me. I didn’t have good examples that inspired me enough to commit myself and the ones that were slightly there only led to disappointment. I was downright stubborn and when someone got too close, I ended it. I was a runner, I kept running from every great man with a strong potential. But then I met him, and he told me that the example I sought had to start with us! I thank him for loving me while I’m still learning how to love, myself.
how they asked
Growing up in Miami, my first friends were my cousins. My entire world was Miami, Florida. I was 15 when my mom decided to move to Atlanta and I was devastated. To be so far away from my hometown and most importantly my family made me extremely sad the first year. Since then, my cousins and I always kept up with one another. If there was a birthday, anniversary, or graduation to be celebrated, everyone in the family would always make the trips. Cousins in California to Texas, from Georgia to North Florida, we always celebrated one another and each other’s accomplishment. That’s why it was no surprise that I would be there when my cousin told us she was expecting and planning a baby shower in Miami.
Two months before the shower, my boyfriend, Idus, buys us tickets to a Miami Heat game while they’re at home. We are big basketball fans, especially the Miami Heat, so when we got an opportunity to go down to South Florida, we just knew we wanted to go to a home game. We always go to the Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks game when they come to Atlanta but never had we done a game at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. The day of the game, Idus suggests going to the mall to buy some apparel for the game. While at the mall, my cousins start showing up one by one. It’s literally a table of 8 at 3pm on Thursday at Dolphin Mall’s TGIF. As the time starts dwindling down, Idus suggests we start heading back to my aunt’s house to freshen up, get ready and head to the game. My cousins were upset we planned to go to the game alone without inviting them but I didn’t think much of it– I mean this was OUR thing.
My aunt’s drops us off at the game (to avoid paying high parking rates) and we’re literally soaking it all in. I’ve never seen my city more beautiful than that night. We were out on the bay taking pictures, admiring the high-rises and enjoying the nice almost-spring breeze out on the balcony. Once the game starts, I notice Idus having to use the restroom multiple times! On the 6th time, I’m like ok you basically missed the entire first half. As soon as halftime hit, I was ready to get something to eat. He grabs me by my waist and tells me that there is a performance he heard about and he wants to see it. I ask him well what does that performance have to do with me getting something to eat (LOL i laugh now thinking how rude I was). I finally sit back down, annoyed, when I noticed that there were some announcements going across on the jumbo torn. At this point, it’s mostly “Happy Birthdays”, “Happy Anniversaries”, and other shout-outs. Then while looking down at my phone, Idus says “babe, can you read what that says?” I look up and everything moves in slow motion. I mutter the words, “Jeannelly, will you marry me?– Idus. At that moment, it was like an out of body experience. I stand up slowly and look down at him as he is wrestling with his pockets to get the little red box out. I’m thinking, ok Jeannelly– you’re on camera, make sure to smile, make sure you say yes. I’m basically processing everything because now we’re on the screen, everyone is walking back to their seats from getting something to eat and I’m being proposed to at the Miami Heat game. But while processing, I hear loud screams and people running towards me, when I zero-in on their faces, I absolutely lose it. What i didn’t expect, the one thing that brought me to tears, was that the same group of cousins that I had left at the mall a few hours back, were there jumping up and down. They had all purchased their tickets that week to be at the same game but in a totally different section. Once the proposal happened, they bum-rushed me and I absolutely could not fight back the tears. I was speechless. All I ever asked Idus was that if he did propose, to please have my family there, someway and somehow. We all live in different cities now and it becomes really hard to get together like we use to when we were once kids, but when I saw my brother and cousins smiling and cheering at my proposal at the Miami Heat game, I couldn’t say yes quick enough to the man who pulled this all together. Needless to say, we missed the entire second half to our very first at home Miami Heat game… Guess that just means we have a good excuse to always go back!