Jennifer and Michele

How We Met

Image 1 of Jennifer and Michele

Michele and I first met on the last week of his six-week business English course here in Toronto. Knowing that he was leaving shortly after to go back to Italy, I figured it would never go beyond a coffee date or two, and that we would part our separate ways, moving on with our lives.

On our first date, we spent 6 hours communicating via hand signals and broken English/Italian, as neither of us were fluent in each other’s mother tongues. After 6 hours, and a kiss (ok a couple kisses), it was pretty obvious that there was something there. Still, being realistic, we didn’t think it would last beyond a short romance.

For our second date, Michele pulled out all the stops. He researched the perfect restaurant, went a day earlier to make sure we would have a specific table, and dressed to impress, picking me up en route to the restaurant. The night was full of romance, and it felt as though we were celebrating an anniversary, rather than being on our second date.

After spending yet another 6 hours talking about life, Michele presented me with a small gift – a moleskin book. On the first page, was a beautifully written note, stating his feelings since meeting me, and his intention to take a risk, and come back to Canada to explore this newfound connection. He said he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life thinking “what if.” Because of the language barrier, we thought it would be nice to use the book to write back and forth to one another in each other’s languages.

Over the next few days, we were inseparable. The connection was something so surreal, that I hesitated to tell too many people, for fear of some serious eye-rolling. The day I drove him to the airport, we agreed to Skype every day until his return. That’s exactly what happened, and over the next month, we got to know each other on a strictly intellectual level, and fell completely head-over-heels in love.

In the months to follow, the two of us had moved in together, travelled back to Italy to meet his side of the family, and everyone in my life had fallen just as in love with him as I had.

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how they asked

Fast forward to our 9-month anniversary. Michele had mentioned we go out to the spot where we had our first date, and have a nice evening together. The day before however, he had an emergency root canal and was on pretty strong pain meds. Funnily enough, this worked out to his advantage. All the shaky, nervous energy he was experiencing that night was blamed on not feeling so well. Not thinking anything unusual about it all, I got dressed up and we headed out to dinner.

The moment we arrived at the resto-bar, I knew something was up. The host was smirking at us, our table wasn’t ready on time, and we had to wait at the bar, at which point the bartender served us complimentary drinks and shots. When the host finally came over to escort us to our table, my eyes grew wide when I spotted the champagne that was waiting atop our table. He quickly explained that it was compliments of the restaurant, as we had waited for our table longer than expected… All I could think was “Yeah. Right.”

Regardless of all the signs pointing to the obvious moment that was about to happen, we enjoyed a lovely dinner, and after hours of talking and laughing, I forgot all about the chance that it could be ‘the night.’ The moment we came home, Michele announced that he had a surprise for me and that he needed me to wait in the front hall for a minute. This was it. It was happening tonight.

A few minutes went by as he set up our kitchen table with momentos of our relationship including dried roses, the cork we had framed from the first bottle of wine we shared together, and the moleskin book. He called me in and asked me to read the new passage in the book aloud. It read:

“And now it’s been nine months since that wonderful date. I remember how I was embarrassed and shy at the same time, looking at your beautiful eyes. Everyday, I rest completely mesmerized and I get lost in thoughts about the future.

Future, this word is the word that jumps more often in my mind. A future with you, to build together, to create something unique and special.

I love you. You are the person that I always wanted. The perfect person that I thought existed only in my dreams.

Jennifer Menecola

Vuoi tu

Sposarmi? “

After barely getting through the words, blinded by my tears of pure bliss, I turned around to see my future husband on bend and knee, holding the most beautiful ring out in front of him.

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When telling the proposal story, he always explains to people how I never actually said “YES” until minutes later, because I was so caught up in all the emotion that all I could do was nod my head. After the initial moments, Michele went on to explain how he had asked my parents for my hand one day while I was working an event, and they had all been keeping it a huge secret for over a month!

We are now deep into the planning process of our Italian wedding for September this year, as well as a “happily ever after” soirée back here in Canada shortly after for friends and family who are not able to join us across the ocean. I am beyond happy that I found my person, my true love, and my soulmate in Michele. And I cannot wait to become Signora De Rossi.

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Special Thanks

Nikos Xanthopolous
 | Gemologist