How we Met
David and I had the most intense, honest, joyful relationships. Set up by a friend we met for brunch one day in May, then I traveled all the way to NYC the next month to have our first date—we both knew it was official immediately. We met at a time when I was going through so much pain and grief as my dad passed just six months later but through it all he was my north, and my source of joy. Traveling long distance to and from NYC to date was difficult but full of so many precious memories and the separation only solidified my desire to make him, my forever immediately. A dear friend pointed out that in those dark years had things gone as I planned everything would have been vastly different.
I was sad, lost, hurt, and healing and it would have been a bandaid to temporarily mask a giant gaping hole. Those waiting years were powerful, they turned me into the person I am today, happy, healthy, and excited for the future. About two and a half years later we finally started talking about getting engaged + rings. At this point I knew he was the man I wanted, the ring I dreamt of, and the biggest grandest surprise proposal that my ten years in the wedding industry built up the anticipation for. I truly have seen and heard a thousand different proposal stories and David knew this all. #nopressure I can smell a surprise from ten miles away so around every corner I always wondered if THIS WAS IT!!?? And time and time again, it wasn’t.
how they asked
David left on a Tuesday to go up to NYC for work, Wednesday night around 7pm I was sitting on the couch watching Teen Mom (#classy) when the text came in. Totally unassuming “I need a dinner receipt info in my desk drawer. Small brown envelope. No rush.” I stroll into the office, open his desk drawer and see a brown envelope with my name on it. I thought I accidentally might ruin something so I put the envelope aside and kept looking for the receipt. No receipt. I texted him “can’t find it. Wait is it this megan card?” Nothing.
I opened the card and my eyes glanced down and caught the text at the bottom reading “What to Pack: a nice outfit!” I always have secretly said to myself, the day he tells me to dress nice, that’ll be when he proposes. The card continued on to say “Your train leaves tomorrow at noon, the ticket is in your email, check into the hotel you’ve been wanting to stay at. Key at the Desk.” Not two seconds later the ticket showed up in my email. Who was this man?? And then full on nervous shakes commenced. I Facetimed my mom, and texted my two best friends “you think this is it?” It seemed like they all genuinely didn’t know, but were insanely excited.
Thursday afternoon I take the train up to Manhattan. I texted him when I got off, said I was on my way and please bring food because I was too nervous to eat all day. “You might beat me but your key is at the front desk with your name. Leaving Now,” he texted back. I took a taxi from Penn Station to the Ludlow hotel only to find no sign of him. Except for another card. I didn’t want to let myself get too excited, but this was really the sweetest thing he had ever done. The next card read “I’m sorry I’m not here, but I’ll see you soon! Be ready to leave the hotel by 6pm and wear a nice outfit.
Guess where I am? Bubble boy.” I knew exactly what that meant. Not everyone is lucky enough to have such a magically first date location. But almost three years ago we had walked across the Brooklyn bridge, on the first day of summer, and settled into a beautiful spot under the bridge right by the carousel to watch the sun go down and a man create gigantic floating bubbles. At dusk, the sun sets behind Manhattan projecting golden rays of sun as far as the eye can see as they dance through the buildings. …this is where I was supposed to meet him.
I was in the hotel room alone trying to get ready as quickly as possible and ordered some food but could only stomach a couple of fries. Friends and family furiously texted me for updates while I kept nervously dropping things and watched as my suitcase exploded trying to pick the perfect outfit to wear. Finally dressed I got a cab and told him where I was going. Was this it? I sure hoped so, but I had been wrong all those times before so I was trying not to get ahead of myself. On my way to Brooklyn the cab took me over the Manhattan bridge. I was more nervous than I have ever been in my entire lifetime of days. I couldn’t concentrate and I was shaking uncontrollably.
I looked to my right and suddenly the skyline of lower Manhattan rose from the ground. It took my, already labored, breath away. There it was, the city we had our very first date. The city we spent roaming the streets, hand in hand, in the middle of the night getting to know each other. The city that cradled my weary heart as I wept over the loss of dad. The city I healed in. The city in which we fell in love. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this city, four hours away from DC, would be a witness to so much of our relationship, but it was. And as I made my way closer to where I knew David was waiting, it only seemed fitting that the majestic skyline was gazing down upon us.
I got out of the cab and started walking through the sidewalks, cobble-stone streets and over to the waters edge. This day it was a bit cloudy, so if this was truly it, I was bummed that it was overcast. As I walked along the waters edge I stopped to take a photo with my phone (I KNOW), and turned back to see a part in the clouds. Peeking out from a crack in the sky were giant rays of sun, shining right over the carousel in the distance. My eyes fill up and tears streamed down my face as I imagined Dad surely making this happen. I reached the corner of the carousel and peeked around to see my dashing David dressed in a suit along the railing.
But wait. He’s on his phone! He glances up to see me coming and gives me a casual wave. What!? Suddenly I’m mortified, I GOT IT ALL WRONG.
He’s so casual and breezy, for the next several steps I disappointedly thought that we’re probably just going to dinner. He’s putting his phone back in his pocket as I walk up to him and see the tears welling up in his brown eyes. The world literally stood still, and morphed into a tunnel (of love, obviously) and I couldn’t see anyone else on the crowded sidewalk except for him.
I start weeping as he reached into his pocket to get out a ring box and got down on one knee.
He asked me to marry him and I collapsed into him with a resounding yes. It was all coming full circle from that dusk evening in the exact spot we had our first date.
We stood there embracing for what seemed like an hour when I heard the all too familiar click of a shutter. I turn around to find one of our friends, Kat, photographing the whole thing.
After David proposed and I returned to somewhat of a normal, non shaky state, my stomach decided to kick back in. We went to a trendy little bar around the corner from the water to celebrate with some carbs and drinks. I hadn’t eaten much in twenty-four hours except a pastry, granola bar, bite of a burger, two curly fries, and now three wedge fries with sour cream. My stomach started growing, and the pain felt like a thousand forks in my belly violently twisting a bowl of knotted spaghetti. We still continued to dinner because L’Artusi is one of my favorite restaurants and where we had dinner on our first date, but finished and left abruptly.
On our way home I held onto my aching stomach as we sluggishly walked a couple blocks, found a CVS, and ran directly to the “stomach aisle.” In a very Hitch-like scene David hoarded all of the stomach soothing remedies off the shelves, into his arms, then quickly into the red basket. Back at the hotel, I put on his big baggy basketball shorts, finally climbed into bed and cuddled up to him face to face. We nodded off to sleep and then he leaned into my temple and whispered into my ear, “If I forgot to tell you, you looked so pretty today.”