KamIlah and Marvin

How We Met: Our story is proof that nothing happens before its time. We met 10 years before we officially started dating. We lived in the same neighborhood in Brooklyn and had a similar commute to work. After seeing eachother for the 100th time on the same bus and train route, much to his surprise, I, the woman, spoke first. It was nothing beyond NYC subway talk or the weather and it was definitely far from romantic. I was dating someone so I didn’t even bother to ask his dating situation because it didn’t matter. I honestly just wanted him to stop staring at me.

It was better to speak to familiar faces rather than give the usual Brooklyn mean mug. Eventually we stopped seeing eachother on the train because I moved but then years later we randomly bumped into eachother during lunch hour near my job in Manhattan’s Diamond district. We simply pointed at eachother and smiled and kept it moving. My friend asked “So who was that?” I said “Some guy I met years ago at a bus stop in Brooklyn…can I have the rest of your fries?!”

Then we saw eachother again at an after work event in Manhattan. And again at a bowling event in Brooklyn. Then again, at a park event. The pattern sparked convo and a sarcastic battle that one of us was following the other. I was no longer in the relationship I was in when we initially met so we exchanged information. We turned our casual run-ins into formal dates and the rest, as they say, is history.

Image 1 of KamIlah and Marvin

how they asked: There was a point in my 30s when it seemed like every woman I knew was looking for a man or looking for a ring from her man. Yet, I was in a steady relationship and all I was “looking” for was cheap travel deals for us to take our next trip. I didn’t understand what the rush or pressure was to be married or get a ring. However I had an unfair advantage and was kind of numb to the bling of rings because I worked in the jewelry industry. Every day I spent a lot time with gems, diamonds and yes, engagement rings.

At my desk with one luxury brands I worked with, I would try on their ridiculously big fancy colored stones laughing with my co worker saying “This size looks about right!” However, the truth is I have never been the “I have to get married!!” girl. It just wasn’t the focal point of my existence. Besides, getting married just seemed like something to fantasize about with other women my age, not something that would actually happen. Yet, here I was, with Marvin for 3 years thinking, wow, maybe I could spend my lifetime with someone.

Marvin is traditional, so the topic of marriage came up a few times and I knew it was something he wanted but I told him I was fine either way. One day, in a conversation about one of the diamond pieces I inspected, he brought up engagement rings and asked what type of ring I liked. I didn’t give it much thought but after working with enough loose stones I did make a few observations. I told him for starters I knew I didn’t want a diamond because, well, I just knew better. A lot of ladies just don’t understand how costly it is for that “fat rock” they put on their vision boards.

I would much rather a beautiful colored stone with diamond accents. Furthermore, I have long fingers so I explained the size diamond I would need to compliment my hand would suredly break his bank. He simply said “Oh, ok. Interesting.” Months later, it’s New Years Eve. I am rushing to finish dressing because as soon as the ball drops we needed to be out the door for a birthday party. “5…4…3…2…1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!” I turn to kiss him and he is on one knee. I’m thinking, when did you get there? He says “Babe, it’s a new year and I want us to start it off right. To start the year off official and take us to the next level. I love you…will you marry me?”

Image 2 of KamIlah and Marvin

He reaches behind me and pulls out a box from the couch and opens it. It is a Green amythyst stone in yellow gold set with small diamonds around it. I laughed and said “Are you serious?!” He said “You don’t like it?” I said “I do!!! But are you serious you want to marry me!” He said yes, and so did I. As he put the ring on all I could think was wow, he really paid attention, it’s perfect! I did not see this coming. I admired my ring dancing in my seat. I was engaged! Imagine that! As I thought to myself I have to call my parents, my best friends, he asked again, “Are you sure you like the ring?” I confirmed, “Yes!

It is exactly what I wanted!” Yet he was still on his knee and looked worried. “I’m just asking because if you won’t marry me with that ring, will you marry me with this?” From his pocket he pulled out another box. When he opened that box, inside was a beautiful diamond cushion cut ring with a diamond halo. “OH MY GOSH! TWO RINGS MARVIN??” He smiled, “Yes, two babe.

I got you what you wanted, and I got you what I wanted. I love you.” I took off the Green amythyst and put on the diamond. Another perfect fit. When I told my parents, close friends and family, everyone exclaimed the same thing, “He gave you TWO rings?!!” It was and still is unbelievable! They all wanted to know but how did you get him to get you two and why?! But I had no control over that. All I could say is I guess sometimes what you are looking for comes when you aren’t looking at all.

Photos by: Island Boi Photography