How We Met
In very millennial fashion, Geoff and I met on Tinder in the Spring of 2017. I remember thinking there was something very old school, authentic, and frankly, “un-Tinder-like,” about his profile so I took a chance. A few moments later we matched and had our first conversation, and four days after that we had our first date. As we got to know one another over tapas, I liked him immediately. He was warm, fiercely intelligent, and funny in a way that made me realize I could make every corny joke in the book ten times over and he’d still roar with laughter. He had the calm, easygoing demeanor of someone who was truly comfortable with himself; there were no false pretenses and none of the showing-off that often comes with first dates. He was just Geoff, and I remember driving home that night knowing that this was someone I could be sure about. I don’t really know how to explain it! We just fit easily together from the beginning in a way that can only be described as love at first swipe :).
Everything happened so naturally from there, he quickly became a fixture at my mother’s weekly Sunday dinners and seeing the bond between him and my (enormous) family grow over the last two years has been so incredibly special. Out of all the reasons why I love Geoff, the effort he’s put into being part of the lives of the people who love me most is one of my absolute favorites. He made my loved ones his loved ones and he just has the biggest heart of anyone I know.
How They Asked
Initially, my plan was to propose to Neah during a 10-day vacation to Spain. We’d been planning an early anniversary trip to Madrid for months and I’d narrowed down my list of locations to pop the question. We had the tickets, reservations and were supposed to fly out on a Monday, but the Friday prior, my dad called in the midst of a life-threatening emergency and told me he was being rushed to the hospital. I immediately left the lab and dropped everything to make the 5-hour drive to upstate New York to stay with him in the ICU. Without a second thought, Neah got in contact with the airline, hotels, and travel insurance company to make sure we got everything canceled and refunded so I could focus on getting to my dad.
After he was discharged, I stayed to make his house more accessible for him during his recovery and Neah was right by my side to help me get him settled in. Despite everything going on, asking her to marry me was still at the forefront of my mind but like so many things in life, my proposal plans changed unexpectedly so I came up with a new idea as my dad recovered. Once we returned to DC, our second anniversary was fast approaching. I’m an avid photographer and the year we met, I surprised her with a printed book of our photos entitled “The Blooper Reels” as the start of a yearly album series to commemorate all of our memories together so I knew I’d be able to suggest taking anniversary pictures without her suspecting anything out of the ordinary.
One of Neah’s favorite places in the city is Bartholdi Fountain, a quiet corner of the city near the Capitol that’s especially beautiful at sunset, and the perfect place to take pictures. The weather was partly cloudy with scattered showers that day, but the rain held off and the sky cleared just long enough to set up the camera. When the shutter started snapping, I told her what was in my heart, and how much I loved her and I dropped to my knee and proposed. Nothing about the proposal went according to plan, but it didn’t matter. Life happens, it’s beautiful, fragile, and random. At the end of the day, all that matters are the people we love, the ones who experience those ups and downs with us. Regardless of what may come our way, Neah will always be my best friend and the most magical woman I’ve ever met. That moment would have been perfect no matter where we were so long as we had each other.