Jessica and Kevin
How We Met
I was in the last semester of my first year as a clinical psychology doctorate student and I had become very good friends with my dear friend, Jorge. We had just presented posters in a research forum, that I had been sure to post pictures of. The next day, I noticed this guy with the Facebook account name “Strickland Kevin” had liked one of the picture I posted of the forum. I saw his profile picture and immediately wanted to know who our mutual Facebook friend was; it was Jorge! I proceeded to ask Jorge about Kevin, informing Jorge how cute I thought Kevin was. Jorge, being the good friend he is, talked Kevin up, telling me how loyal and amazing he was. It was nice to hear of such an amazing guy, as I was in the midst of an awful breakup. A few days later our semester ended, and I said goodbye to Jorge for the summer. Flash forward several weeks and we are now in the middle of July 2016. I had decided to take a road trip with two of my high school friends to Boston, MA. I was stressed, aggravated, and hurt over my previous relationship, and needed a girls weekend. I realized a few days before we left that Jorge grew up near Boston, so I decided to see if he’d be around that weekend. To my luck, he was visiting his family and suggested we meet up! It’s now the Friday of our “Wicked Wild Weekend” – the title we have given that weekend in July – and my friends and I were driving up from NJ to Boston. Jorge texted me to see what time we wanted to meet up later that night.
We agreed on a time, however, Jorge told me that he’d most likely be late because his friend, Kevin, was his ride. I instantly freaked out. The time came to meet Jorge at the bar in the Fenway area of Boston. I was with three of my friends and we had already started to drink. Jorge finally arrives with his brother and Kevin. I got one look at Kevin and I melted. I instantly ran across the bar to where my other friends were sitting, slapped the table with both hands and yelled, “he’s so HOT!” Needless to say, the rest of the night was filled with alcohol, pictures, and fun. Kevin and I hit it off immediately. We exchanged numbers and texted the entire day after we had met. We made plans to hand out the Saturday of that weekend, and we ended up staying out until 3am, sifting in a park talking and getting to known one another. I was incredibly straight forward with Kevin, telling him if he was just looking to “get in my pants” to look elsewhere. He must have appreciated my bluntness because he then took off of work for a second day in a row to see me again before I left for NJ. We spent the entire Sunday of that weekend together, visiting Harpoon Brewery, eating in the North End, and sitting by the harbor with my friends. Kevin was so nervous to hold my hand in front of my friends! He would walk close next to me and brush his shoulder against my mine, but then quickly put distance between us. He then tickled my side, causing me to grab his hands, and then I just never let go.
The time came for us to leave Boston that weekend. He helped my friends and me pack up my car to head home. My friends were in the car and I was closing my trunk. He leaned down to hug me, and then he kissed me. It was without a doubt the most amazing kiss I’ve ever received. I lost my breath and had butterflies. He then reassured me that he wouldn’t “go ghost” on me and that he’d text me the next day. As we said our final goodbyes, he turned to walk to his car, and grabbed my booty! We continued to talk via text message, phone calls, and FaceTime for the rest of the summer. In August 2016, I decided to take the trip from school (Washington, DC) to Providence, RI to visit Kevin. He planned an amazing weekend filled with top-rated hotels, amazing food, and a beautiful setting; Newport, RI. After that weekend, we pretty much knew we were going to be together in an exclusive relationship. Several months later, he came to visit me in DC, which was close to the time he told me he wanted to move to DC. After nearly a year of a LDR, we finally moved in together in May 2017. He moved to DC to be with me! We have since traveled together, adopted a kitten, and got engaged!!!
how they asked
It was Christmas weekend of 2017. We had an insane weekend ahead of us, and of course I was getting sick! We travelled from DC to Rhode Island in less than 12 hours, with a quick stop in NJ. That weekend we had the following planned: see Kevin’s mom and get dinner with his dad’s sister and father on Friday; drive up to Boston to see a Boston Bruins hokey game, walk around the city, and get a nice dinner on Saturday; and on Sunday travel to Foxboro, MA to see the Christmas Eve New England Patriots game, see Kevin’s mom and his extended family, then drive back to NJ all before Christmas Day!
Friday passed, leaving us extremely exhausted and me even sicker. We woke up Saturday morning, I was so sick, but we had an agenda and I wanted to get to the Bruins game! We got coffee/tea and breakfast sandwiches to go, and then we began our drive to Boston. It was hailing and snowing on our drive up, and we could tell it was going to be a gloomy day. We finally got to TD Garden and went in to find our seats. Kevin got us AMAZING seats for the game; we sat six rows from the ice. The game was awesome, with a Bruins win!!!
After the game we went to the Omni Parker House to check in for the night. After an hour of relaxing we decided to get dressed for dinner and then walk around the historic area of Quincy Market in Boston. It was raining, freezing, and slick outside. We were on a mission to find my mom a gift. The entire time Kevin was acting weird! He kept stopping and looking around. He was definitely nervous and I completely blew it off to him being stressed about finding my parents Christmas gifts. After about 45 minutes of braving the cold and ice we decided to go back to the hotel and find a place to have dinner.
Kevin suggested eating at the Parker House restaurant in the Omni Parker House. It’s the very same restaurant that JFK announced his intentions of running for Congress, and where Malcom X was a busboy. Halfway through dinner Kevin asked if I wanted to go back to Quincy Market for cookies after dinner. I was super confused as he had already said he wanted to try the famous Boston Creme Pie of the Parker House. I asked why he wanted both cookies and pie and he came up with some funny explanation that struck me as odd. He was acting weird all throughout dinner, and I was starting to wonder what his deal was.
So, in an attempt to lighten the mood, I started interrogating him about what he got me for Christmas and when he would give me the gift. He started smiling from ear to ear and turned red, he started chuckling, and he began to act nervous and suspicious again. He asked if I wanted my gift then and there at dinner; I of course said yes! He told me I had to close my eyes, so I complied. He then took my left hand in his, told me to open my eyes, and as he slid a beautiful rose gold solitaire diamond ring onto my finger asked, “Will you marry me?” I was so excited, shocked, and a mix of many other emotions. I asked, “Are you serious?!” about five times before I was able to say, “YES!!!”
He immediately looked relieved and we obviously kissed a bunch of times. The busboy asked if we were celebrating anything, so we told him. The restaurant gave us a beautiful plate of Boston Creme Pie, a display of heart-shaped cream and raspberry sauce, two chocolate covered strawberries, and two cappuccinos to celebrate! We then celebrated by calling our families and friends, and going to bed at about 9:30pm because we were exhausted!
Kevin told me that he intended to propose outside in Quincy Market by the Christmas tree in the square. He said he wasn’t sure it would have been a good idea as I looked miserable and could barely walk (I was wearing heels and am still recovering from ankle surgery). Even though his original plan didn’t work out, I think his proposal was intimate and romantic all the same. I am so incredibly happy to be marrying my best friend! He truly gets me, and allows me to be the independent woman I am, while helping me to realize it’s okay to depend on others sometimes. I’m the luckiest girl, and I cannot wait to begin the planning process with the man of my dreams!