How We Met
Well, it was the year 2000 in high school marching band. We were both in the saxophone section… I thought he was obnoxious, he thought I was cute. And somehow things turned around for me 2 years later when he let me borrow his jacket while the band was playing outside at our high school graduation and it was colder than expected.
We started dating the summer before my senior year of high school. Upon graduation, I went to Boston and he went to New York. I never thought that I would buy 16 round trip tickets on the Peter Pan bus out of Boston… but you do what you gotta do. And so after a year with lots of back and forth between the two east coast cities, I packed up and moved to New York as well.
We both attended NYU and even got to take a class together – Something I did not expect to happen after High School. After graduation we both got real jobs in NYC and the struggle was real for a while… My job ended in tears almost every day. And Ivan worked in Finance, so need I say more? But as they say, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.
How They Asked
About a year into real life, things were getting a little bit easier. I had a new job that didn’t make me have a breakdown every. single. day. And Ivan’s job had leveled out. I felt like we were on top of The World! Except for the fact that my friends were getting engaged and I wasn’t. I tried to control myself and limit the comments to Ivan, but my mom certainly couldn’t. She tried to urge Ivan to marry me because it would be beneficial for his tax rate. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t. And I don’t think my Mom will ever live it down.
Anyways, our proposal story begins with us heading back home to New Hampshire for Ivan’s cousin’s wedding. Not going to lie, I was pretty grumpy about going to wedding and not knowing when we were even going to talk about getting engaged. But little did I know that Ivan had actually scheduled an appointment with a jeweler while we were up there. Guess he’s sneakier than I thought.
Fast forward a month and a half – my parents were coming down to New York for 4th of July. Without me knowing, Ivan had been chatting with my Dad to #1 ask his permission to marry me and #2 get him to pick up the ring in NH. It was all with one condition – My Dad was not allowed to tell my Mom. Ivan knew that once my Mom knew, it was over. There would be no secret. So my Dad went to pick up the ring a day or so before they were scheduled to head down to New York. He then proceeded to hide the ring next to the car jack. My mom would never look there.
On the way home he stopped to get gas for their trip… and of course, the car broke down. After a call to AAA it was decided the car would be towed. So what does he do? He hides the ring in his pants so that my Mom won’t see it when she picks him up. Crisis averted.
A few days later, my parents arrive in New York. We meet them at the car garage and stop at the grocery store on the way home. Ivan immediately fakes stomach pains and has to run home while I finish the shopping. Apparently he’s a good actor as I had no idea he was just getting home to hide the ring before we got back. Well played, Sir.
A week or so later, Ivan announced that he wanted to plan a Friday night date night and splurge on our favorite steakhouse in the city. Sounded great to me – I’ve never met a steak I didn’t like. On this particular Friday, I went out to drinks with some of my co-workers. This was not out of the ordinary, it actually happened a few times a week. If I worked with you at this time, you know exactly what I’m talking about. So I sent my normal text to Ivan saying I would be home in a little bit. I don’t think he was enthused.
A few drinks later, I made it home, sat on the couch and declared I wanted to just stay home. Like I said, it was after a few drinks… There’s only one person to blame for this and you know exactly who you are. Again, Ivan was not enthused. But I persevered and off to dinner we went.
Ivan was definitely annoyed. He wouldn’t even stand next to me on the subway up to Union Square. We were on time for our reservation so I didn’t get it. I have later come to find out that he had the ring box in his pocket and just didn’t want to be close to me in case I bumped into him and discovered it.
We get to dinner, and Ivan continues to act weird, almost stressed (ha!). Eventually we order way what felt like everything off the entire menu, sit back and wait for our appetizers. After a bit of silence, he grabbed my hand and my first thought was “oh, guess he’s not mad anymore”. But then he starts telling me all these sweet things about us and our relationship and before I know it, he is down on one knee asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. I honestly can’t remember anything he said or did at that point, but I know that I was beyond happy and it was the easiest question I have ever had to answer in my entire life. The one thing I do remember is that before getting down on his knee, he put his napkin on the ground to kneel on. And if you know him, you know that is the most Ivan thing he could have ever done. And it was perfect.
The food came, I couldn’t eat anything because I was too excited, and we left with the World’s biggest doggy bag. We then proceeded to call all our family and friends while we walked back home. The first call was of course my Mom who was driving and had to pull over because she was so surprised (good job, Dad!).
Hard to believe that was 10 years ago…and now the rest is history. We’ve been together for 17 years, married for 8 as of July 2019 and are still in New York City. Guess we really can make it anywhere now. And who knew that the saxophone section would bring us together!