how we met
Lindsey’s brother-in-law, who is a co-worker of mine, had been attempting to set us up since I got hired back in January of 2011. After many failed attempts to have us meet, we finally made plans to meet before a Browns game in September of 2012. The plan was to meet in the famed “Muni-lot” of Cleveland, Ohio for pregame festivities as all die-hard Browns fans are accustomed to. Leave it to me to party a little too hard the night before and sleep through my alarm. I woke up to a pounding headache and many missed text messages from her brother-in-law. Guess I dropped the ball on that one, huh?
Fast-forward a year and a half to May 16th of 2014 when my persistent co-worker again arranged for us to meet. This time more low key at a local bar. It was a Friday night, I didn’t have any plans, or any expectations, and as I got ready for the night, I remember thinking “I already ditched this girl once, why would she have any interest in me?” A short time later I arrived at the bar, intimidated, nervous, and uncomfortable. I walked in alone, and observed my co-worker, his wife, and my now fiance, with their backs to me. I walked over to the group and was first noticed by my co-worker who greeted me with a handshake. As my sweaty palms shook his hand, Lindsey turned toward me. “Wow.” I thought. “This girl is way out of my league.” She introduced herself with a smile, the same smile that melts my heart this day.
We spent the rest of the evening talking as a group while I was trying to absorb everything I could about this beautiful girl sitting next to me. After several hours of laughing and story telling, the night ended. We said our goodbyes and of course, I was too nervous to even think to get her phone number. “She won’t have any interest in me anyway.”
I remember sitting in my truck and wondering if I’d ever see her again, since it appeared I blew my second chance with this girl. On my way home, still thinking about how I blew it, I get a text from my co-worker: “You guys didn’t exchange numbers?!” I chickened out and got her number the easy way, from her brother-in-law. As I got home I sent her a text, just trying to save face. “I had a good time tonight, I would love to do it again sometime.”
The next day we casually spoke for a few hours as I prepared food for a yearly house party with my closest friends from high school. I made mention of the party, while she kept me up to speed with her day’s activities. As the night went on, we continued to talk until I get a message from her: “Do you care if my brother-in-law and I stop by the party?” Did I read that right? She wants to see me again? And so soon? “Come on over!” I emphatically replied. We spent the remainder of the night together, playing games and laughing. After that night ended I started to believe there really might be something here.
The next morning she invited me to a “boat cleaning party” at her brother-in-laws. I had never even been on a boat, let alone know why we were cleaning one. I didn’t care. I would have cleaned an entire house if it meant I got to do it with her. We spent the entire afternoon cleaning and waxing this boat in the hot sun. After the boat was spotless, Lindsey and I sat on a porch swing and talked until the sun went down. As the sun gave way to darkness, and the daytime heat turned to an early summer cold night, we called it a night. She rode her bike up the street to her parents house as I got into my truck and drove home.
I missed her. I had known this girl for 12 hours and I missed her company already. “Do you want to come over?” I asked. “Sure.” she replied.
Here I am writing this a year and a half later and she has never left. She came over that night and she never went home. She would leave for work, and then come back to my place, until, after a short time, it turned into “our place.”
how they asked
Its December 13, 2015 and I’m watching her get ready for Cleveland’s Holiday Lights Tour Trolley, which we had purchased tickets for months ago. In my pocket is a tiny little ring, but she doesn’t know that. She’s talked about how much she was looking forward to tonight over the past 3-4 weeks, but she had no idea the excitement I was containing. We drive downtown and I’m checking my pocket every 10 seconds to make sure I still had the ring. Once we arrive at the meeting point, we are given souvenirs and santa hats for attending the event. A group of about 25 pile onto a trolley and the tour guide gives an overview of the night. Only he, the driver, and I know how special this night was for Lindsey and I.
They first take us to the famous Christmas Story House. Lindsey and I pose for pictures in front of the “leg lamp” before piling back onto the trolley. Our next stop is Tower City, where we spend about 25 minutes inside the casino losing our money in a “Christmas Story” slot machine. We get back onto the trolley and it takes us to Playhouse Square where again everyone exits the trolley and we take in the beautiful display of Christmas lights. After we’re concluded taking pictures in front of the displays, Lindsey and I walk back to the trolley. She enters the trolley first and the tour guide pulls me aside. “Are you Dave?” I frantically and discreetly shake my head yes so he knows that the next stop we make will be the most memorable one of my life thus far.
After a quick detour and a drive by of the old Euclid Beach carousel, my heart begins to race a little faster as I see “Noble Road” on a street sign. The trolley slows and I can see the beautifully lit tree in the distance. The tree that I had scoped out just the night before to be the perfect spot to ask Lindsey to spend the rest of her life with me. Like the night we met, my palms were getting increasingly sweaty as the trolley doors opened.
Lindsey and I are the first ones off of the trolley and we begin walking toward the display. Lindsey stops to take a picture and I look to my left and observe the photographer hiding near the bushes in front of the tree. Now my heart is really racing. I nervously scooted Lindsey along toward the tree, which I learned the night before was roped off to pedestrians. “Come on, Linds. Lets get closer to the tree so we can take a picture.” “But it’s roped off, we can’t go over there.” she replied. “It will be fine.” I stuttered. I lifted the security rope and let Lindsey walk underneath. I followed her as I made another quick check of my pocket to be sure the ring had not fallen out.
As we got to the exact spot I had planned in my head, I discreetly reached into my pocket, pulled out the ring and dropped to one knee. “Will you marry me?”
Her eyes lit up, and her jaw dropped in aw. I had never seen a more genuine surprised face in my life. The tears began to roll down her beautiful face as her hands attempted to cover them up. I got back onto my feet and we embraced each other with such love that it nearly brought tears to my eyes. She said yes. Goosebumps ran down my arms and I after the tunnel vision cleared, I could hear the snapping of photos behind me and cheers rang out from the rest of the trolley’s passengers.
I wiped away her tears, which she assured me were happy tears, and I pointed out the photographers. We pulled it off. She had no idea this was coming. After a few pictures we got back onto the trolley and were greeted with a loud cheer. After what seemed like hundreds of congratulations we ended the night with a toast to the future Mr. and Mrs. Cook.