How We Met
The day we met will forever be ingrained in my memory for two reasons: 1.) The restaurant I was getting ready to help open ended up doing over $30,000 in sales over 12 hours and 2.) a man named Jack decided to flag me over and blatantly hit on me during said $30,000 day. Now, to put it into better perspective, I was working for a restaurant corporation and was a part of their regional trainer team who would fly out to location after location to help with the staffing and training for 3 weeks at a time. See them off through the grand opening, and head off to the next one. This all started when I was flown out to Nanuet, NY in January of 2015. It soon became the busiest opening I had ever done. Fast forward to February 12th. Full bar. Full restaurant. 45 names on the wait list. 28 minute ticket times. I’m watching the cocktail area and the hospitality desk. My eye catches a table being sat. Server has two minutes to greet them. Check watch. Server is talking to bartender. Check watch. Two minutes go by. Server laughing with bartender. Check watch. Another minute goes by. Okay, time to intervene. **fast walk with a pained smile through the cocktail area** I see an arm go up with a simultaneous “um excuse me, miss? Do you work here?” That follows it. I stop and slowly turn around (now being taken away from my previous plan of action). “Hi, yes I do. My name is Krystina, how can I help you?” Now this is where it went from being a possible “my food has taken way too long” to something I wasn’t prepared for in the least bit.
He replied, “yeah, you can. What time do you get off?” Not knowing how to respond, my facial expression led him to repeat the question. It clicked. He was hitting on me. He flagged me over to hit on me! Does he not see how busy we are?! Did he not sense the urgency in my steps before stopping me to insult me at my place of work?! Who. Does. He. Think. He. Is. I answered with a scoff, “Um. 10 o’clock. Why?” the corners of his mouth curled up and he smirked as he responded, “Well, what are you doing at 10:05? Grabbing a drink with me? Good call.” Clapped his hands together. Pointed at me. And looked at his friends as if he had closed the deal. Oh. Heck. No. “Uh no. I’m not. I’m going back to my hotel, getting into pajamas, making hot tea and going to bed. I don’t have time to grab a drink with you.” His smirk faded quicker than it appeared but he bounced back with, “you’re saying you don’t HAVE time?” At this point the table had been neglected but the server eventually made it over and was taking care of it. I looked at him again and confirmed that yes, I do not have time. I’m busy. By that time I had noticed smaller details about this man engaging in conversation with me. He was drinking one of our amber draft beers and eating appetizers with the group he was sitting with. His jacket had the 24 hour fitness logo. Before I could take anything else in during those split seconds he said, “hear me out.” I widened my stance and propped my head up with my hands and elbows on the table, go ahead spiel me. After he did simple subtraction out loud with my answers to each question, “how many hours are in a day, how many hours do you work, how many hours are you sleeping, etc.” It came down to his closing statement. “Two hours. you have two hours left in your day to do whatever you want and you’re saying you ‘don’t have time’ to grab a drink with me?” Although he was mathematically correct, I wasn’t going to let him win. My response caused an uproar, “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. I don’t have time for that.” The confidence in his eyes diminished as his jaw was left slightly open I followed his expression with, “Like I said before, my name is krystina and if you need anything pertaining to your meal, please let me know. Have a great night.” His eyes widened. “WAIT! Can I at least have your number?!” (Man this guy really doesn’t know when to quit) Me knowing my three week stay was coming to an end in just a few days and also wanting him to just leave me alone, I let him know I was returning to Las Vegas on Monday anyway, so sure. And I saved my number in his phone. That was on Thursday. I didn’t hear from him Friday. Or Saturday. Sunday’s shift was like every other one but all of us instructors were saying our goodbyes and reminiscing about the ups and downs this one had for us when my boss pulled me aside.
He had a call for me from the corporate office and the request for me to extend my stay three more weeks to further help management with post dining training. I agreed and took back my goodbyes and went throughout my day. As the instructors are leaving for the night, I decided to stay back and get organized for my next three weeks. I was at the front of the restaurant with one of the managers as they sent the hosts home. A group of guys began to walk in so I greeted them with, “Hi, welcome to- oh god…” when our eyes met. It was him. The guy! He smiled and said, “IT’S YOU!! You never called!” (Wait. What…) uhhhh, I gave him my number. Is he crazy?! I grabbed his phone and reassured him it was the other way around. After being validated he asked if he was in the dog house. I laughed and said yes. A lightbulb went off and he suddenly remembered something. “You leave tomorrow! Let me take you out tonight!” Now, I’m not a liar so I had to let him know that I was no longer leaving Monday and will be in NY for three more weeks. His response was one like no other. “Good! I’m going to take you on 100 dates.” Think of the confusion on my face. How does he even get to an idea of this magnitude?! I haven’t even said yes to the first one! I politely turned him down to a drink, again. He then asked about the next day. I said fine. His response? “Well that will be 1/100. See you tomorrow” We went out that next night. Worked out the morning after that. Took me to coffee before work. Picked me up for lunch and then we went to dinner. We seemed to not be able to get enough of each other. That schedule carried on for the next three weeks. Finally, our time was coming to a close. Or so I thought. A few days before I was to leave and fly back home to Las Vegas he picked me up from work and took me to the grocery store where he had me pick out everything needed to make tacos (my favorite) and a bottle of wine. We went back to his apartment and there we discussed what was the inevitable. How this had been one for the ages but there’s no way it would be possible. Not with work and travel and long distance on top of it.
The next day he picked me up for coffee and told me to check my email. It was a flight from Las Vegas to San Francisco three weeks from the date. I didn’t understand. He then told me that he decided to take his career back to the Bay Area where his family is because that’s a lot closer to Las Vegas than New York. He grabbed my hands and said, “it’ll be worth it. I promise.” In that moment I didn’t know what we were about to be up against. Long distance. Short weekends together. Travel with work. All of it that would eventually lead up to me putting in my notice while on location in Texas and moving to Berkeley right after. All because he wouldn’t take no for answer. And when it comes down to it, it’s not that you don’t have time, because you make time for what’s important ❤️
how they asked
Eek!! This day will always be one of my favorite days. Jack travels about three weeks out of the month for work so we decided to plan a weekend trip to Napa to visit the winery that we are members at and (because I’m a foodie) experience the four course wine paired dinner at the chef’s table at farmstead in St. Helena. Napa has been our spot for about a year and a half since our first visit while we were still doing long distance and had decided that even though it’s hard times, to continue fighting for it. I’ll start by saying what happened the night before (it will come in handy at the end). We were going to sleep on Friday night when he turned over and asked me, “why do you love me?” I explained that it was easy and listed off the many reasons why. He then turned back over and said okay, thanks. goodnight. uh. No. It’s your turn! What about why you love me! He laughed and said I’ll tell you tomorrow. With a roll of my eyes, I dropped it and we went to sleep. Now, We started the morning with brunch at his parents house because his mom makes the best Dutch babies (if you’ve never had one, come to His mom’s house and request them! Especially with ollalieberry jam) and to take up his dad on the offer to take his new Porsche for the drive out there.
During the drive it was calm, he was cool and collected. I honestly had no clue. Once we got to the hotel and checked in, that was when things started getting real for him and I tried not to think too much of it. We take an uber to HALL winery and get set up in the members lounge with our first glass of wine. He. Throws. It. Back. ? Stands up and says he is going to find someone to take our picture. NOW. One of the managers follows him over, he takes my hand and walks me over to where the vineyards meet. There we take a casual posed photo and our usual one with him holding me. The manager has me look at them and I love them! Say thank you and was about to walk back when he grabs my hand and says, “there’s one more photo I want to take but you have to cover your eyes.” As my eyes are closed, I hear him clear his throat. His voice is shaking. The words come out crystal clear, “last night you wanted me to tell you why I love you, but I’m going to show you instead… open your eyes. Krystina, will you marry me?” everything seemed to stop.
The man of my dreams is down on one knee asking me to be his forever. The words couldn’t come out but my head began to nod as tears flowed down my cheeks. I finally muttered out a “yes!” As he took my hand and placed the most delicately beautiful ring on my finger and he reminded me of what he promised me back in NY, “I told you it would be worth it.” The embrace that followed along with the roar of applause from the attendees of the winery that day and the glasses of celebration from complete strangers are burned into my memory as just the beginning of what the rest of my life will feel like with this man by side. ❤️