How We Met
I decided to try a dating app – Coffee Meets Bagel – after my sister swore by it. Doug was on Coffee Meets Bagel looking diligently for Chula’s momma. He swiped right on me first, and then I soon followed. We connected in the middle of May 2017. After a couple of days of texting back and forth, Doug went for the plunge and asked me out. Our first date was at Playa Provisions in Playa Del Rey (just one block from my place) on May 21, 2017.
The story can end after the first date because the rest is history, but I will indulge y’all a tad! We continued to see each other date after date after date, and after about a month, Doug had me over for a special dinner and asked me to go steady (which was quick, but it felt right). We became an official couple on June 18, 2017.
During this time, our dates included – sporting events, music festivals, and exposing Doug to my favorite foods (which Doug was not always a fan of, but he was a good sport). Despite both of us being extremely busy, we spent what little free time we had with each other. During this time, Doug was maintaining 3 jobs and had night classes twice a week working on his second Master’s, and I was working a new position at Sony so I was very busy at work and continued to maintain my active social life! Everything felt perfect, and we were fascinated with each other. So we decided to move in together on February 1, 2018, just one apartment complex down the street from where Doug lived, ha ha. Flash forward a few more months and the wedding is all set! We’ll be tying the knot on Sunday, April 14, 2019.
how they asked
March 16: We were out celebrating Steph’s (Doug’s sister) birthday when Doug asked me if I had plans on Friday, May 11. I didn’t so he told me to save the day for a surprise date. At the time, I didn’t think anything of our special date. Doug was traveling for a month to Colorado for the Air Force Reserves the following Monday (May 14), and I thought he would do something nice for us before he left. As the day approached, Doug started inquiring on things he doesn’t normally ask about: What are you gonna wear? Do you wanna know what I’m gonna wear? How long do your nails last? What is the most expensive bottle of champagne we have?
When I asked Doug if I should go buy a dress and he didn’t say no, I should have known then that something was up because his typical response is “I’m sure you have something in your closet that you look beautiful in.”
May 11: The plan was to be ready by 4 PM. To make sure that I wouldn’t run late, I worked from home. Around 2:30 p.m., I started getting ready, and I was ready at 4PM … on … the … dot. A few minutes after 4 PM, the doorbell rang. When I answered the door, Doug was standing there, handsome as ever, in his navy suit with a bouquet of gorgeous hydrangeas (my favorite).
I placed the flowers in water and headed downstairs. While I was downstairs, Doug snuck back upstairs with some lame excuse. But what I found out later was that he was putting champagne in the fridge for a late-night celebration. It was obvious that we were both super excited for our date.
I was not able to guess where our surprise date was but I thought that was maybe going to the Pantages theater since we were driving towards Hollywood. The surprise was gone, however, once we turned onto Orange Drive because one of my favorite places is on that street – THE MAGIC CASTLE!. We both became immediately excited when I realized it was the Magic Castle, which has been a place of so much fun and joy for us, but more for me since I dream about being a magician (seriously!).
Once at the Magic Castle, I established one rule- we were NOT leaving early this time! (the previous two times Doug had taken me, we left early because we had to wake up early the next day. Uh, Doug must always be responsible.)
We were having a great time, enjoying the show after show. I was mesmerized by the magicians, and Doug was mesmerized by Jen. Same, same.
After dinner, I went to the restroom and when I came out, I met Doug with a kiss. This is pretty normal except a man with a camera happened to be there as well and complimented us. He then asked if we would be interested in joining him for a private show with the “Magician of the Year!” He even said he would like to snap of few photos of us while the magician was doing his act for the Magic Castle’s monthly newsletter. We happily obliged, of course.
We went into a private room and sat down to wait for the magician. The show ensued. The proposal excitement is the only thing I remember about that hour.
Trick: The magician begins his magic show with some cool tricks and he finishes the most important trick of all. The magician pulls out five $100-dollar bills and asks me to pick one. When I put out my hand and pulled on the bill, a gorgeous diamond ring fell into my hand. What?!?!
Doug got down on one knee and delivered a beautiful speech that he practiced for a week (the speech was repeated about 8x that night because I also forgot the speech), and I was speechless! When it was my turn to answer, I wanted to blurt out “I DO!” but I knew that was wrong. Although numb from the overwhelming feelings of joy, I was able to shout: “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!”