How We Met
Michael and I met in high school, when we both attended Oshkosh Lourdes. It all started one day in Spanish class when I was eating raw brownie batter, out of a bowl (naturally). Michael turned around and sweetly said, “That’s disgusting.” And that’s where it ended… until Michael’s senior year when he had surgery on his foot . During his recovery he was stuck at home with nothing to do, so he started messaging everyone he was friends with on Facebook.
I never would have guessed that a simple Facebook message saying “Hey, what’s up?” would turn into our forever. After many conversations on Facebook, AOL Instant Messenger and the Mancala game app, we decided to “hang out”. This date consisted of watching a movie at my dad’s house and lots of awkward conversation. This was then followed by more awkward dates, and conversations at school.
Eventually the awkwardness went away, and it became natural. Throughout the past 8 years, a lot has changed. We graduated high school, I moved to Eau Claire for four years, we both graduated college, got jobs, bought a house, and adopted a dog and two cats. Now? We’re counting down the days until we finally get to say “I Do!”
how they asked
Kate thought this was a good thing for me to write, and I can promise you that all of the details are to the best of my knowledge, free of fabrication. This short story is about to get told the long way, grab a cup of coffee, maybe a beer..for the quick part, start scrolling towards the bottom. If you read the “How We Met” you will note that the first time I ever spoke to Kate was when I witnessed her eating raw brownie batter from a bowl during Spanish class. Why I didn’t say, “Will you marry me?” right then and there is beyond me. It took me forever to try to dream up a way to propose, probably a few years. When it came down to it, we have countless memories related to music whether it be me asking her to prom through a song or just a long car ride singing every song together, we love music. Then it hit me, perhaps I could find a song that painted a picture of how I felt. But what song? In 2012, three years before I proposed, the perfect song came out, “A Woman Like You” by Lee Brice.
If you aren’t a country fan or don’t know the song, it starts with a woman asking “Honey, what would you do if you’d have never met me?” The guy returns by saying he would fish and golf more often, eat out more, and be a better football fan, but most of all he would be looking “for a woman like you.” Listen to the song, it is one of my favorites. Now I had to figure a few things out, can I sing this? Do I need to learn it on my guitar? How am I going to sneak a guitar into the proposal, okay, A cappella , I can do this. When? Where? I am probably going to need a ring… I spent months practicing the song; on the way to work, in the car, any chance I got. I had to have it just right, but I could never do it when she was around, I had to be sneaky. Kate went along with her sister, the matron of honor, Meagan, to look at rings. Whether they were looking for her or for her sister, I am not sure. I just happened to have a friend who worked at the jewelry store they went to and he got me in contact with the right people. I bought the ring and waited to pick it up until she wouldn’t be around, then I had to figure out where to hide it. She left and I went to pick it up, I got home and hid it in the best place I could think of, right along with the ammo and guns, hidden in a box of shotgun shells. I thought of one thousand places to propose, many of them were in Eau Claire, where she was going to school and where we made millions of memories. Kate had graduation weekend coming up, she was singing the national anthem for the ceremony and I knew her mind was focused on that. On top of it, time was ticking away to propose at the location I wanted to do it, Carson Park. Many of her family members and friends made comments that I shouldn’t do it then (without prompting from me) because there was too much going on. Meanwhile, I thought “what’s a better day to do it than the day before graduation, she will never see it coming”. I asked her if she wanted to take a walk before our families came into town for the ceremony.
I casually said we should go to Carson Park, one of the first places we walked our dog, Leinenkugel, and a place that we had picnics when I lived in Eau Claire. She had practice that morning so I went to pick up coffee while she was there and later picked her up from rehearsal. I told her I had a surprise and some gifts, an early graduation gift. It was snowing and cold, the gift I had (a hat and mittens) was perfect for this December walk, as snow had been falling all morning. Now,I was hoping that she would still not be thinking anything was out of the ordinary, but she claims that she still had a feeling she knew what was going on. The stage was set. Coffee, toasty mittens, and a fresh snow falling. I parked far from the spot I was planning to get down on one knee at and we talked as we walked up to the bench where we had sat in the past. I prefaced a little bit, because breaking out into song as a one man group is a little out of my day to day operations. I began to sing as we sat down, she watched me, smiling, I knew she knew what was happening at this point, and I had three minutes of singing left! I stumbled somewhat through the song, nerves I suppose. She also claims that I started to tear up, did I mention it was cold? The wind was blowing and I have sensitive eyes. I changed the last line of the song from “Cause honestly I don’t know what I’d do, if I never met a woman like you” to “So now I’m asking you Kathryn Lee, will you marry me?” I dropped to a knee and the wind must have got her too, she had a few tears and with a shaky voice said, “Yes!” I couldn’t be happier. For those of you wondering, I asked Mike’s (her dad’s) permission before asking Kate. I think he responded with a “Yes” quicker than she did.