How We Met
Bobby and I met many times in college, but we were never more than friends that said hi to each other when we saw each other on campus. The last week of college, before graduation, our university organizes a week of events that only senior students can attend. The senior class was attending a Cubs vs. Cardinals game and I ran into Bobby there. In the spirit of graduation I told him in passing, “Just so you know, I used to have a crush on you. I hope you have a nice life!” It turns out that what I had meant as just a harmless comment turned into much more. That summer Bobby and I would drive 4 hours across the state of Florida to see each other on the weekends. So my advice to ladies is to always put your crushes out into the universe, you never know when you’ll hit a home run!!
how they asked
On Sunday Bobby asked me to be his date to a young professionals networking event at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Pete. This kind of thing was something he would do frequently, but I had never had the chance to accompany him since we had been long distance for three years. On Monday his mom took me to get our nails done. On Tuesday he told me I could go pick out a new dress for the networking event, and he would pay for it!!! You better believe by Wednesday my engagement radar was going off. On Thursday our plan was that Bobby would pick me up after work and we would head to the event.
That day Bobby came home from work early and told me that he slept on his shoulder the wrong way and that he didn’t think that he will be able to make it to the event that evening. Needless to say, I was crushed, the proposal scene that I had Nancy-Drew’ed fell apart. He took some Aleve and went to rest. Half an hour later he said he was feeling better and we could head to the event if I wanted to. Since I had already done my hair (ok gotten my hair done), and got the new dress (ok I had also splurged on new shoes too), we decided to go.
When we got to the museum, I made sure to visually check his coat for any suspicious lumps or bumps. Nada. He wasn’t carrying anything and it seemed that I was going to actually have to network with young professionals. After taking me through a few different rooms, we walk into this burgundy room with a long wooden table in the middle. Distracted and unsuspecting, I walked around the table and fixated on a piece of Renaissance art with gratuitous nudity. Bobby puts his hand on my elbow and asks me if I had seen this one over here. He spun me around to show me a square glass case on the long wooden table, displaying a sparkling ring.
I read the plaque beside the ring, entitled “The Proposal,” it said “Bobby Stanell and Leah Soleil Cohen first met at Washington University in St. Louis during their time as undergraduates. However, their courtship began post graduation in the summer of 2015. That summer delivered conversations ’til dawn, countless trips to visit one another and the first, incipient I Love You. In the years of long distance that followed, Bobby and Leah sought new and creative ways to say I Love You from afar. Now the paths of their hearts and bodies have finally converged. This ring is both a manifestation of their pursuit and a promise to always seek new ways to say I Love You.”
Bobby spun me around and held my hands while he said his speech, and I ugly cried my way through the whole thing. Following the proposal, the Museum employees sprung out of their hiding spots to congratulate us and ushered us to the front of the building where we enjoyed a champagne (sparkling rose because it’s my favorite) toast with family. The sweetest gesture of all was that Bobby had taken the following day off of work so that we could drive across the state to celebrate with my family that weekend. He’s a keeper!