Mariah and Gregory
How We Met
When people ask how we met, we both laugh and look at each other because it is quite simply one of the longest stories people have ever heard! So, in order to go back to the beginning of “us” we need to go back seven years! Yes, I know it’s been a long time and I am so proud of each of those 2,555 days! Gregory and I met when I got a job working for the City of Chandler, I was desperate to leave my red and khaki Target uniform behind and being that my dad was a Supervisor for the City of Chandler, I figured I’d try my luck! Little did I know…:) My first relationship in high school was your typical high school relationship which left me broken hearted and swearing of dating, so when I walked into the Tumbleweed Recreation center for my first staff meeting, boys were the last thing on my mind.
Then God worked his magic and around the corner came Mr. Gregory Lessell in his red City of Chandler polo. My first thought was “Oh boy! Here we go” So, in the meeting we went around the table introducing ourselves and Greg went first since he had been working there for two years and was there to welcome us all! My ears were open, and I was ready to learn more about him, I will never forget his words, “My name is Greg, I am 17 years old and a Junior at Basha High School” I swear the brakes had never been slammed so hard and my mouth has never dropped so fast! Gregory does not look his age, he has always looked older then the number of years he’s been alive, so imagine my shock when this handsome studly man tells us he’s 17. Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention I was 19, so any hopes or ideas I had were quickly erased from my mind!
Being that Gregory was the expert, he trained all of us newbies, and yes that included me! Our conversations were immediate and so was our chemistry, the more we talked the more we learned about each other. Our paths had the potential to cross so many times, but God had his plan for when we were meant to meet. Gregory was a freshman when I was a senior, he played volleyball against my brother in junior high, and his mom was the secretary for my dad’s boss; our lives were interwoven, and we did not even know it. We met when we were supposed to when God wanted us to. I would go home and talk to my siblings about this Gregory fella and they knew immediately who he was and predicted a future relationship which I strongly shot down. It wasn’t long before Gregory sent me a friend request on the popular social media outlet at the time, Facebook, and then left a sarcastic but memorable comment on one of my statuses which started a conversation that never ended. And here we are seven years later…
how they asked
Even though our love story has a special spot in my heart, to me nothing beats telling others how they asked me to marry him! The suspense around when Gregory and I would get engaged has been building for about a year, maybe more! It was the first question almost everyone would ask us, “Are you engaged yet? When are you getting engaged?” Everyone wanted to know, and as a lady eventually that wears on you, but I had faith Gregory had something up his sleeve and knew exactly what he was doing! Over the summer my family went on a vacation to Hawaii which is when all the rumors went into full force, everyone was convinced that’s when it was going to happen, but I knew better. A little insight to Greg is he strives for the unexpected and steers clear of the overly cheesy, so I knew the Hawaiian beach surrounded by my family was not his style (I later found out that on that Hawaiian beach was where he asked my dad for permission to marry me…. I know I cried too!) I was not even expecting an engagement until early 2019, his sister got engaged in March of 2017 and Greg made it very clear he did not want to steal her thunder by getting engaged at the same time. So when October 11, 2017, came around I was nothing short of shocked!!
That week was my October break at work, so we had a Disney trip planned, the Wednesday before we left (October 11) at about 8:30 pm Gregory texts me saying that he was outside my house. Now I was comfy in my pajamas fresh out of the shower, no makeup and wet hair watching The Voice, so when I received that message I will admit I was a little irritated! I thought to myself, “You should be packing!” So I open the door and who do I see? NO ONE! Gregory was nowhere to be found, so I did what I do best, I yelled! “HELLO?! Is anyone there?” Finally, out popped Gregory from my driveway! He walks to me asking me to come outside because he wanted to talk, me being the lovely lady I am, asked…” why?” He simply explained he wanted to talk about his bad day at work, so I proceeded outside and closed the door behind me oblivious to what I was walking into. Gregory handed me a folded-up piece of paper and that he said was left on his car, my mind immediately went to, someone hit your car or left you and left a lame “I’m sorry” note! So, I opened it and started reading. We must pause this story and flashback two Christmas’ prior where for one of his gifts I had given Gregory a book of handwritten letters, and one of them was labeled “Open before you propose…” That letter I had written to Gregory was now the letter that was in my hands and was reading. Even at this point it still had not hit me, I was so confused as to what I was reading because at first, I didn’t recognize my own handwriting. As I was reading the letter, Gregory said, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you” and then, at this point my friends, at this point was when I lost it. I started yelling at him, again! “No no no! You’re not doing this! Are you joking? This isn’t real! You’re joking! Are you really doing this! If this is a joke I will be so mad!” Poor Gregory later admitted he had sweet and heartfelt words he was planning to tell me, but he could not get a word in through my yelling, so he finally just had to pull out the ring and asked me to marry him! I truly thought it was a joke!! Now, a popular question we have received through this, is why outside my house? Gregory explains that because our purest moments where we can be “us” have happened at home, where we are the most comfortable and in our element and any other place would not have been “us.” Now we get to plan our perfect New Year’s Eve wedding to celebrate our forever which has been seven years in the making!