JJ and Jay
How We Met
Few people truly know the story of JJ and I .
Almost 4 years ago I found him.. at a pet store, of all places. I was at one of the darkest points of my life, and right as I had decided to give up.. my glimmer of light stood before be.. right next to the kibble and bits. I laid eyes on him, and in those moments, nothing mattered. I was hooked. And he knew it. I was lost, and he was just beginning to figure out who he was.
I had just taken a new job in Dallas, and you were gearing up to move to LA. I was 26, you were 18. The timing was far from “ideal”. But through the years.. through distance.. through our own missteps, and mistakes.. our own pain.. we managed to find our way back to each other.
In 2017 we decided to take a leap of faith, and though it has been a journey to get here, I am forever grateful to have been given a chance again. We took our time. We became friends. We worked on ourselves. We Traveled. We experienced life. We healed each other.
How They Asked
JJ had just finished his last class in school, and I told him that to celebrate we were going on a trip to the Maldives. Typically when we travel, it is very adventurous, very time consuming, and stressful. This time, I told him we were going to relax. Enjoy the views on the water, and get some much-needed relaxation.
The day comes. We are in our uber to the airport, and I tell him “I think I have a better place to celebrate your graduation. How about we go to Paris?” I have the video. He was stunned. Paris is one of his favorite places on earth. He had said he wanted to go all year, but we just couldn’t make it happen.
In Paris, I tell him that I’m going to give him an experience he couldn’t have possibly had. We privately toured the Chateau De Versailles and visited the king’s private apartments. The Louis Vuitton Foundation. Had a private helicopter ride over Paris. Had a culinary immersion at a Michelin star restaurant where we saw and helped create world-renowned dishes.
And on the final day, I told him we were going to a very fancy gala, and we were going to get all dressed up and have a night on the town. We got downstairs, were greeted by a classic car and given a “Midnight in Paris” themed tour around Paris. With each stop, we viewed some of JJ’s favorite places while we gathered quite a crowd.
Finally, it ended at JJ’s favorite bridge. I walked us over and we stood to wait for the Eiffel Tower to turn its lights on and begin to sparkle. We shut our eyes and started talking about some of our favorite moments with each other. I ended by saying, “You know.. I think we can make an even better memory”. He opened his eyes, and I was on one knee.
The Eiffel Tower sparkled, we embraced, we cried, and we drew a huge crowd. I said, “Love, look up” and when he did, his and my parents stood waiting to congratulate and embrace us. There was a lot of emotion.
After taking photos at the Eiffel Tower, we all hopped in the car and made our way to dinner. I played JJ videos of all his friends who knew of my surprise and wished us congratulations from back in the states.
We made our way up the staircase to the dining room, opened the doors, and to his surprise, 20 of his closest friends and family all wait to surprise him. It was phenomenal. We ate, we laughed, we danced.. It is one of the most memorable times of my life, and I am the happiest man in the world.