How We Met
Over six years ago, Chris & I started dating in college at WVU. It was my last year & his first (he served 4 years in the Marines Corp, deploying twice to both Iraq & Afghanistan, put him a bit behind schedule). He was a wild ladies man who had no intention of settling down, and I was the girl who had her sh** together, had way too much fun with her friends and could care less about finding a boyfriend. We were two peas in a pod, very similar, and clicked immediately. We became romantic after Chris admitted to his love for Twilight and left me a Nicholas Sparks book in my mailbox. Most college guys would be way “too cool” for a gesture like that.
He was a tough guy on the surface- bigger muscles, tattoos, served our country – who would have thought he loved love and didn’t care to show it? He was just so real, it was refreshing. He’d insist to come over every night, where we’d spend our evenings on the couch in the living room with my 5 girl roommates. He’d insist on rubbing my feet as he pulled them onto his lap. He’d stare up at me, with a smiling, huge grin on his face, his eyes looking into mine, rambling about something to make my roommates and I all laugh. In that moment, he’d seem just so HAPPY and content, to simply be in my presence. And it was contagious. Pure happiness is what I felt; this kid could be the one, I thought.
I phoned the grandparents (whom I rarely call on the reg), “Grandma, I have a boyfriend.” She likes to remind me to this day, of when I called to tell her and Grandpa. I couldn’t tell enough people. Chris dropped the “I love you, Madison” surprisingly soon, and I followed back with “I love you too, Chris” shortly after. After my graduating, and only 7 months into our relationship (the honeymoon stage, people!) I moved across the country to Arizona for my career. For the next 6 years, while he finished college, applied/got into & started med school, I continued to move around for work. We kept up an amazing relationship, despite the distance. Some people say distance is tough, but honestly, I can’t say that I agree.
In the very beginning, sure I missed him and my heart ached for him, but we got used to it in about a month. We have been on the same page since day 1, and I think that’s the key. We knew we were IT for each other, and there was no doubt in our minds we weren’t. We had 100% trust in one another, so there was never a worry or doubt in either of our minds that, “it won’t work.” It was easy, we both knew it would work because we would make it work. We want to share a life together, simple as that. Six years is a long time. When were we getting married, people would ask! Why hasn’t he proposed yet, people would ask! Well, I got answers for you! Logistics! We want to live in the same place when married and didn’t want to be engaged longer than a year. So it is what it is, I would say.
how they asked
Friday, Dec 15th, was my younger brother Derek’s 25th birthday. I had planned a surprise birthday party for him, with all of his friends, or so I thought… The plan is that we will go out to eat for his birthday, then surprise him with a party. I thought I was so slick. It’s Friday evening & the fam gets into town. My dad is quick to ask for a drink. He wanted something STRONG, he says. Glass of wine? No… Some vodka & soda water? No… He wants the vodka straight, he tells me. WELL OK, DAD! (My dad NEVER drinks liquor straight. When he’s trying to get loose, he’ll have a martini & that’s about as far as that goes.) I just chalked it up as, well here we go! DAD is gettin’ lose tonight, excited for Derek’s birthday! Woohoo! Little do I know…
As we were all walking up the steps to the party, AKA to dinner, (with my brother ahead of me, I thought we got lucky here, him walking in first and all), I’m not hearing a “Surprise!” …. slightly confused… So I’m walking up behind my brother, mom, and dad. Chris is behind me. We get to the top… I’m seeing a lot of MY friends, staring at me, all holding their phones up, pointed at me. I’m confused. I see my brother turn around to face me, with HIS phone up! What is going on! I immediately realize, ok something is happening. I turn around, and there the love of my life is, on one knee. Chris knew what I wanted.
He knew I would want a big celebration for this special moment. All of our friends and family were there. I am a social butterfly, I love parties, and this was the best proposal I could have envisioned. But the thing is, I never thought it could be pulled off, because duh, I would see it coming! See, I am the Queen of parties, with a specialty in surprise parties. I love them, and I’ve thrown quite a lot of surprises over the years. I know all the tricks of the trade and should have seen all the signs, but I didn’t. I still cannot believe, that they all had me fooled!
My sweetie did well.