How We Met
It was the summer of 2013, I was 26 and I had just been dumped. My cellphone was on its last legs (with three buttons that didn’t function) and I was due for an upgrade; so I headed to our local cellphone store. After waiting for a couple of minutes a store associate found me and flashed me a killer smile. I was wearing a bright yellow dress and he told me that I looked like summer and that he couldn’t wait to get outside. Omar helped me pick out a phone and insisted that I needed to purchase insurance for it. I argued that I was a poor student in nursing school and that I couldn’t afford insurance, and that I’d never lost a phone before. He laughed but told me that iPhones were notoriously stolen, and that I should really consider making the investment. I didn’t listen. And that mistake may have been the best choice I have ever made.
Four months later my phone was stolen off the table at a local bar. I was married to my smartphone and couldn’t imagine my life without it. I cried to my mom for hours about how stupid I felt and how I couldn’t afford another phone. My mom being the hero that she is, told me that she was due for an upgrade of her phone, and that we could go into the store the following day and I could have her old phone when she upgraded. The next day, after a few minutes of interaction, the store associate looked at me skeptically and asked me if “Omar” had helped me the last time I was in the store. Unsure where he was going with this, I answered, “Um, maybe? I don’t know.” He looked around, located Omar and pointed, “That guy! Did he help you last time?” I looked the direction he pointed and found that it was the same person who had helped me out the time before. When I nodded, he exclaimed, “I’m going to have him come over here and help us out!”
Omar had a very dry sense of humor teased me relentlessly. I loved it. I laughed for the entire hour we were in the store. I was shocked that his friend had remembered who had helped me out four months before on a busy summer day. It wasn’t until later that I found out they had been referring to me as the “Girl in the Yellow Dress” since that day.
I got home and did what anyone would do… I ran a Facebook search on his first name (which was all I had to go on.) I was lucky, because it turned out that he had gone to college with my brother and popped up immediately. Instead of stalking him silently from afar (like a normal person!) I sent him a message immediately. “First name stalker search, I bet you’re at least a little impressed.” He was not. He was creeped out. But he responded anyway. Which led to an awkward movie date that turned into an incredible after-movie date, and the rest was wonderful history.
He was by my side through two very stressful years of nursing school, never wavering. He told me he loved me on a weekend getaway to a beach town while we sat and watched waves roll in. He was at my nursing graduation with flowers in hand. He brought my grandmother and mother roses at my graduation party. He was sitting next to me at the airport on a layover from a fabulous tropical vacation when I got a voicemail asking me to interview for my dream job. He was lying in bed next to me when I got the phone call from HR telling me that I was a top candidate and that my references were being checked. He was standing next to me when I got the call that confirmed I would be moving to another city for a job that was out of my wildest imagination. Two months later he transferred offices and walked through the door of our first apartment carrying his own moving bags and flowers for our table. He is the best man I have ever known.
how they asked
It should be noted that I am impossible to surprise. I read into everything. I LOVE surprises, I just don’t have the capability of letting someone surprise me. Omar and I had been living together for the better part of two years and talked about marriage frequently. I made sure that we stopped into every jewelry store we passed to look at “sparkles” and (ahem) subtly pointed out ones I liked or didn’t like. There were several times that my gem of a fiancé prepared dates that I was sure would lead to a proposal and never did. Three days before he proposed was my birthday.
Omar planned a full day of fun for me. Ice skating, Christmas shopping, GoKart racing, Breakfast and a very fancy dinner. When we got back to the house and it was time to open presents, Omar gave me a large package. It held a jacket I had been eyeing and loved. But I burst into tears. My heart was set on getting engaged and he knew it. He frantically wiped away my tears and asked what was wrong. I asked him if he didn’t want to marry me. He begged me to be patient. He told me that everything was all set up, he promised that we were going to get married but that I had to wait. He told me it wouldn’t be longer than two months.
Three days later I was throwing myself a birthday party. I had invited most of the guests and thought nothing of it as a possible proposal. Toward the end of the night Omar insisted on doing the Mannequin Challenge that had been going around the internet. I resisted it like the plague. The friends of his that were there got very enthusiastic about it and when it seemed like the whole party was in, I finally complied. His friend who was taking the video posed us all and had me posed facing away from the rest of the group. You can see the actual moment my heart stopped.