How We Met
John and I were placed on this earth to be with each other. It is as simple as that. Why else would God place him right across the street from me?
Let me start from the beginning. My parents and I moved into our rural/suburban neighborhood when I was 3 years old. We lived in a medium-sized white house with a big backyard a huge field behind it. It was literally a field of wheat. This is where my four siblings and I grew up. The neighborhood was an up and coming development, and at the time, our house was one of five in a cul-de-sac. I absolutely loved it.
Fast-forward 6 years. Our development has many new houses, which meant new neighbors. Just across the street from my house was a white house with pink trim outlining the windows. I could see the backyard and right into the back door of this “pink house” from my own house. At the time I did not know it, but I would spend almost as much time at this pink house as I did at my own. I was 9 years old when John and his family moved into this house. I did not realize I had new neighbors right away. My siblings and I went to private school, so we only knew the neighbors immediately next to us.
I do not remember when I noticed that John moved into the house, but all of a sudden, there was this group of boys walking through my backyard to get to the fields behind it. They did this almost every day in the summer and usually every weekend in the winter. I would watch them from my window. I had no idea what they were doing back there, but they would spend hours back in the fields (I later learned they built a huge fort back there). I was a pretty shy girl, so I never mustered up the courage to talk to them, but I wanted to. I had a secret crush on the tan boy with the dark hair. Once I realized this was the same boy from across the street, it was game over. I had a pair of binoculars and used to sit in the window sill watching him play lacrosse in his backyard (creepy, I know). I was so desperate to make contact with him but just had no idea how.
I eventually learned that the boy’s name was John, that he was a year older than me, and that he went to the local public school. I went through middle school and eventually entered my all-girls Catholic high school, all the while I was still watching John from my window. I dated a couple people. John was a crush, but I wasn’t fooling myself. I had never talked to him, and he didn’t even know who I was. So we continued to exist in our separate worlds.
That is until the summer of 2009. I was 16 years old. It was August 21, 2009, at the Blink 182 concert at Darien Lake. I was there with a bunch of my girlfriends when I saw John with a mutual neighbor. I had not seen this other neighbor in a really long time, but I went up to him and started talking. I remember John being shocked when he learned that we lived in the same neighborhood. I obviously did not reveal my stalker-ish tendencies and equally pretended to be shocked that we never met. He looked amazing. I can’t remember what he was wearing, but he had a mow-hawk that he bleached for football season. He was the typical “bad boy”, while I was the “good Catholic school girl”. He didn’t get my number or anything like that. He was just really nice and seemed genuinely happy to meet me. After that concert, the other neighbor started asking me to hang out more. I started joining the group of neighborhood kids I always saw walking through my backyard. I loved it. And I also loved being able to spend more time with John. We dated other people on and off and were truly just friends. Even though he was ridiculously good-looking, it was his personality that I fell in love with. I could talk to him for hours. He told me he never knew that a girl lived in my house, and I eventually admitted that I had already known about him for years.
When I was in my senior year of high school, he went away to college. I didn’t realize how much he really meant to me until he was gone. I don’t think he realized it either because when he came back that summer, we were inseparable. I would spend all night walking the neighborhood with him. We would go sit on the roof of a local fire hall and just watch the stars for hours. It was like it was a movie. Anyways, on August 3, 2011, John asked me to be his girlfriend on the shores of Lake Erie. Even though we would be in a long-distance relationship throughout college, I could not stand to be without him. And we never lost our faith, and here we are 7 years later planning the rest of our lives together :)
how they asked
It was April of 2018. I had just finished my last rotation of pharmacy school and was headed to Jamaica with John, my 2 best friends, and their significant others. John and I had been together for almost 7 years. Any other girl might have suspected a proposal was coming up. Not me- thanks to John. That kid has the best poker face, I swear. He had me convinced that he did not want to get married until he was at least 30 years old. He referred to it as the “m-word” and just had me convinced that we would be better off waiting. I believed him! I knew we would be together, and I was willing to wait. However, he is a hopeless romantic. All of my friends even said he is mischievous, and I would never know when it was coming. They were right.
The resort in Jamaica was absolutely breathtaking. We got there on a Saturday and had the absolute best time drinking at the swim-up bars, playing beach games, dancing, etc. Now John was extra secretive in that he did not tell any of the couples we went with that he was going to propose until we were down there. In fact, the only people who knew ahead of time were his mom and my parents (he asked for their permission to marry me at the same fire hall we used to walk to as kids). Looking back, it is funny because, on our first day in Jamaica, my friend Krissy asked John where my ring was and if I should start looking in the sand for it. We laugh because she obviously never would have said that if she knew he was really going to propose on the trip.
On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, we spent the day playing pool volleyball, listening to music, and playing tennis. We all kept saying we wanted to relax because there was a beach party that night. Around dinner, we all went back to our rooms to get ready for the beach party. John and I went to the bar to grab a drink before heading down to the beach. As we were sitting there, he told me his stomach was acting up and he left to go to the bathroom. He has a history of stomach issues and had been “complaining” about it all day (he later told me his stomach was fine). As I was sitting there, a Jamaican woman, who was obviously a worker, started talking to me. She asked how I was enjoying the vacation so far and then asked if I could take a walk with her. If it was anyone else, I would have been a little sketched out. I told her my boyfriend was going to be right back, but she said we would not be long. So I went. She kept asking me about how I liked the resort and what sort of activities we had planned for the rest of the trip. I thought maybe she was trying to sell me something or get me to review their services.
As we are walking, we come to a gazebo right on the ocean. In the gazebo is a table with a candle, two place settings, and John standing behind it with a rose. I was partially confused but remembered seeing an advertisement for a private dinner on the beach. I thought that John had gotten this for me as a graduation present. After he handed me the rose, he told me to look at how pretty the ocean was. It was beautiful. It was supposed to rain that night, but it held off. The sun was setting and it was just gorgeous. As we’re looking out into the horizon, I hear our song from a distance. Let me rewind- of course, our song is “The Rock Show” by Blink 182 because John “fell in love with the girl at the rock show”. So anyway, I hear our song and I turn around. Standing there are my four friends with a boombox playing the song.
Everything was happening so fast. I am looking at them, confused why they are there playing our song. I turn back to John and he is on one knee. I never thought I would cry when getting proposed to, but I bawled. It was the happiest moment of my life. He used my full name and I had never felt so many emotions at one time. John was crying too. We were just both so happy. I obviously said yes, in fact, it was an “OMG YES!”. Afterwards, I just kept saying “are you serious” over and over again. I was so happy my best girl friends and future maids of honor were there to help. I was also so happy he had someone take professional pictures and video tape it because I definitely blacked out for a second from all of the emotions. After congratulating us, they all left and we really did have a 5-course private dinner on the beach with our very own waitress (the woman who originally convinced me to take a walk with her). I think I only took a total of five bites because was so in shock as to what just happened.
John explained everything and looking back on it, I give him major props for getting an insanely beautiful and expensive ring into another country and for keeping it a secret for so long. One of my favorite parts of that night was FaceTiming our family and friends to tell them our good news. Some of them were just as shocked as I was because most had no idea it was coming. To celebrate our engagement, we spent the night drinking champagne and dancing with our friends. When we got back from Jamaica, we were able to celebrate with our friends and family at a local restaurant.
If I could go back and tell my 9 year old stuff all of the amazing things that were going to happen with the boy in the pink house, I do not think I would have believed it. John is truly the greatest man on earth. I know everyone says that, but I have truly found the one. I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with the boy next door.