How We Met
Raffa and I met in August 2017 in Connecticut. I had recently gotten out of a long term relationship and he had recently moved to the United States for work. Both of us were looking to make new friends, and so we joined Meetup and found a group called the CT Craft Beer Lovers. Each of us had been to a handful of events over the span of two months, but we kept just barely missing each other. On August 17, 2017, our paths finally crossed.
The event was at The Hops Company in Derby, CT. I arrived early (as is my usual) and had been making friends with a girl I’d met at that event. She told me that I was awesome and that she’d love to introduce me to her roommate. Having only been out of a relationship for just over two months, I was hesitant; I told her I wasn’t ready to start dating yet, but she insisted that he would be there soon and we just had to meet. Moments later, she grabbed my arm, gestured toward the door, and whispered, “That’s him!” I turned around and saw the most adorable Italian man and I knew I was in for it.
We introduced ourselves to each other and started chatting despite a language barrier and strong accents. He told me how he’d been born in Brooklyn, but had moved back to Italy, to his father’s hometown, when he was 6. He grew up there before moving around the country for a while. At one point, I asked Raffa, “What do you do here?” curious as to how he made it to Connecticut. He looked confused for a second before lifting up his beer and pointing to it. I laughed before rephrasing the question, “No, what do here, in Connecticut, for work?” He returned my laughter, before responding that he was an engineer at a local aerospace engineering company.
The evening continued on like that for hours. We chatted about our childhoods, my journeys back and forth across the country for school and work, and my passion for astrophysics and education. I even taught him how to play bean bags—and well enough that he beat me! There were strong signals back and forth that we were interested in each other.
At the end of the evening, he asked me if I was hungry and wanted to go get dinner. I gladly accepted, and we made our way to the door. As we were walking to our cars, he took my hand, pulled me toward him, and planted a kiss on my lips. I was so surprised but very excited!
We drove to a nearby restaurant and had dinner. We stayed there chatting until the restaurant closed. The next day we hung out again, and we’ve been hanging out ever since!
How They Asked
On my birthday this past year (just before Christmas 2018), we were in Maine with family for the holidays. The morning of my birthday, Raffa admitted he didn’t have a gift for me, as it was still in the mail on the way from Italy. I was bummed because I thought he may propose, but I figured he just wasn’t ready yet. That evening, we went out to dinner with my family. After placing our orders, Raffa pulled a gift box out of his jacket pocket. I looked at him and asked, “What’s this? I thought my gift was still in the mail?” He shook his head and said that this was my gift instead. When I opened the wrapping paper, I saw a jewelry box.
I had been asking for a pair of earrings to match the necklace he’d bought me for our anniversary, so I asked him, “Are these my earrings?!” He smiled and shook his head. It was at that moment that I realized he WAS ready, and I started to tear up. I opened the box and saw my diamond ring shining up at me. I looked at him and asked, “so…?” He was so nervous that he couldn’t even get the words out, so he just responded, “so…?” back. I said yes, and my whole family cheered. We hugged, and then he whispered in my ear, “Vuoi sposarmi?” to which I responded, “Si!!!”