Jenan and Saif
How We Met
I know everyone thinks they have the best story BUT we definitely take the cake for fairy tale meet ups! Saif and I met back in November 2015 for the first time, but our families have known each other for 60+ years! Our great grandmothers were best friends – his great grandmother set up my mother’s parents back in Jordan, and my great grandmother was the only person in the delivery room with Saif’s mom when he was born! She used to visit him every Saturday and bring biscuits. He grew up in Jordan for the first 13 years of his life and then moved to the States. The rest of his mother’s family moved here way before them, so his aunts and uncles were/are all best friends with my aunts and uncles and my mother and his aunt are great friends till this day! Our grandmothers were/are best friends, his mother is best friends with my grandmother now that her mom has passed. It’s just a long line of best friends but no one ever thought to set us up. We were in the same place at the same time on so many odd occasions – holidays, bridal showers (there’s a photo of me and his sister – who is now my maid of honor – holding hands at 2 years old at their aunts bridal shower in the 90s!), weddings, etc. Every day we find out we were somewhere at the same time and never crossed paths – I guess the timing was never right.
His dad passed away last year – and my parents asked me if I wanted to attend the funeral with them and I said no way because I didn’t know who they were – when they got home my uncle said to check Saif out online and thought that I’d like him. When I stalked his Facebook (I love stalking) I saw he had a girlfriend and completely erased that idea in my head! Fast forward to about 6 months later – my grandmother’s brother passed away (lots of death in this story I never realized that until just now ha but I promise it’s a happy ending!) and we held a funeral service at my grandmother’s house on November 1st. I saw his mom walk in (who I realized I’ve known forever but never knew her two kids) and then he followed behind her and I pointed him out to my friend and mentioned how handsome I thought he was.
It’s customary in Arab tradition at funerals for the grandchildren to serve dates and Turkish coffee (symbolic) to the guests. Men and women are always separated at these things. I nudged my girlfriend and said, “I’m going to go serve him coffee and say hi.” She thought I was nuts hah. There were a few men in front of him that I had to serve first and RIGHT before I got to him (two guys before) I ran out of coffee!! I had to run back to the kitchen to refill the thermos and when I tried to hurry back over to serve him – an older woman (very conservative) stole the tray of coffee and dates from me and told me it was inappropriate as a single woman to serve the men! He ended up leaving about 10 minutes after that and I never got to say hello :( (at this point I didn’t make the connection that this was the guy my uncle made me stalk on Facebook).
Fast forward to about 2 – 3 weeks later, I was done with trying to date someone of the same cultural background that I came from – I was really frustrated with everything (so was he apparently) and then out of the blue, a mutual friend sent me his photo and said, “I think you’d like this guy, can I connect you two?” At that moment I literally had flashes of everything and realized that he was the person mentioned in all of the situations above. I obviously immediately agreed. We talked on the phone for two days – and then met up for the first time for breakfast at Turning Point in Hoboken. After our date – we found out that the entire city was shut down because of some massive water main break and flooding everywhere except for where we met up that day. We hit it off immediately and haven’t gone a single day without speaking since. Everything was flawless and effortless and just so wonderful from the very beginning. He sent me flowers the day after our date – and continues to send me a beautiful bouquet of flowers every single month (I post them all and hashtag on Instagram so that I can keep an album of them – #JMmonthlyflowers) – and every month is a different color bouquet with a special note. He said he knew right away because he liked my eye twitch and that I laughed the entire first date – I knew there was something special about him the moment I met him but I think it was on our 3rd date, I caught a glimpse of his profile and thought, “I’d like to wake up next to that every day.”
how they asked
The day he proposed was the happiest, most emotional day of my life. I have never been so surprised and excited! A few weeks before he made me reserve July 24th in my calendar as a day just for us – he said we don’t spend enough time alone together anymore and that he wanted to take me out on a date. He picked me up from my parents beach house and we took a 25 min drive to some harbor (Ocean Port NJ). We pulled up to these beautiful boats and I got so excited – I love being around the water. He had booked this beautiful yacht for just the two of us.
We got on the boat and I still didn’t think anything was happening because he does these special things all the time for me! The captain introduced himself and started going over safety things and then said we had to go downstairs to watch a safety video (silly me fell for that). When we got downstairs the TV turned on and Saif’s face started talking to me through the TV! He knows how important my family is to me and wanted to make sure they were all a part of the process.