How We Met
A lot of people have amazing, timeless stories of how they met, whether it be as friends forever who finally became something more, or a chance encounter on a plane or in a cafe. Our story is very much of the 21st Century, and the kind of story our kids probably will need a lot of help understanding, when we tell them we met each other through Tinder. The irony being that if you asked our friends and family we are maybe the two people least likely to be found on Tinder. I’ve found that I have a gift for creating puns, something Kim has come to refer to as a “spiritual gift.” While swiping left through Tinder as I often found myself doing, I stumbled across the profile of a girl who stood out from many of the others I had come across. She mentioned a love of corny jokes, and a lot of other qualities that seemed to be in line with my own. So I swiped right. It was a match! Due to my selective nature (or perhaps the selective nature of everybody else on the app), she was my first match. I quickly thought of the best pickup line I could summon: “I saw that you like corny jokes, I’m having a hard time COBBLING one together.”
Despite this obvious miss on the pickup line scale, she found it amusing enough to respond. We wound up talking back and forth constantly over the next week and a half or so before finally meeting in person. We agreed to meet at a Starbucks, but horrified at my potential inability to maintain conversation and knowing her love at books, we met at a Starbucks inside of a Barnes & Noble. She had mentioned a love of Oreos, and in an attempt to deflect any potential awkward greeting, I brought a small sleeve as Oreos as a gift. We wound up spending the next 3 hours enjoying our non-coffee drinks and then walked around the store, as she continually impressed me with the number of books she had read compared to me, because as she lovingly put it “you don’t read.”
That meeting went better than either of us expected, and from there we quickly started to spend more and more time together, discovering just how many things we had in common and how similar we were. She continued to laugh at my terrible punny jokes, or groaning at them and then laughing because of their cheesiness. When she left for the summer to help lead at Kanakuk Kamp, I wrote her every day, and sent her a package every day, in hopes of showing her how much she meant to me. And to help with the five hour distance between us. For both of us it was our first serious relationship, but we both knew it was something special. Which is what led to my proposal.
how they asked
I’m a bit of a grand romantic. I love big gestures (see above regarding my writing letters daily, or a trip to Italy as a Christmas gift). Which is why I had always regretted how we handled some of the big moments in our relationship. Don’t get me wrong, they were all wonderful memories and moments I wouldn’t change for the world, but becoming “official” in my Xterra and saying “I love you” before digging into Smash Burger for dinner weren’t quite the candles around the lake or hot air balloon moments I was hoping for.
She went to look at rings in April, under the stipulation from me that this didn’t mean a proposal would soon be coming. I had refused to give her a timeline as to when it could come, mainly because I was determined to keep that as big of a surprise as possible. Of course I went back that next weekend, and looked at a variety of rings she had picked out. Fortunately for her, and unfortunately for my wallet, I gravitated towards the priciest option she had selected.
She had given me specific instructions for “whenever that time comes,” which was that her parents, and her two best friends who live in different states, must be in attendance when the proposal took place. Determined to keep the proposal completely under wraps, I offered to fly out her two best friends (one from Tampa, one from Houston) under the guise of throwing Kim a surprise birthday party. I figured this would be the best way to get people to a central location without giving away the true nature of the event, that this was actually an engagement party!
Knowing I wanted the moment to be captured with pictures at the very least, as well as Kim’s requests for a picnic and the proximity to the party location, I decided to propose at a pond in front of my neighborhood. In an amazing twist of fate for a late June day in Oklahoma, for the first time in weeks the weather cooled off (relatively speaking) and there was cloud cover for the entire day! With Kim dressed up for a date night, I surprised her by parking with a picnic basket to be pulled out. Sure I had caught her off guard, she responded by saying “why is my heart beating so fast?” Thinking quickly, I responded with a cool “I don’t know.” (clever, right?) I set up our blanket and took out a small vase of sunflowers, her favorite, and we began to enjoy some light snacks. Suddenly, a pair of photographers who we both know approached us, and informed us they were taking practice shots for an engagement photo shoot that next day.
They asked if we would like to stand in for a few photos, and I made sure we obliged. We took a few pictures, and then I asked them if the photo shoot was an engagement shoot or a proposal shoot. They informed me it was a proposal shoot, and as I got down on a knee I asked them if the guy would be getting on a knee like I was. I then pulled out a box and asked if he would be pulling a ring box out of his shorts like I was.
I remember very little of what I said, and that I had been completely cool and collected until I was on a knee and it felt like an earthquake was happening. Thankfully she said yes! We took more pictures and then the photographers went to inform the people at the party we were soon to follow.
Knowing her love of monograms, I presented Kim with a heart shaped locket with her new future initials, and we then made our way to the party. She had managed to have a sense about the engagement, but the party completely caught her off guard. It was a perfect capper to a perfect day.