Olivia and Jansen
How We Met
I had been friends with Jansen’s family for a few years before I ever met him. I was living in Australia at the time when I went home to Dallas to visit my family for Christmas. The night before I left to go back to Sydney, I went to dinner with my dad and ran into Jansen and his brother Jeremy at the restaurant. Jeremy introduced us, and I immediately felt like we were friends. (He also scored points with my dad when he sent appetizers to our table immediately upon sitting down to eat.)
We talked on social media for a few weeks before I got tired of him trying to have deep conversations with me over Snapchat; so I gave him my number and from that point on we FaceTimed almost once a week for eight months while I was still living in Sydney. I never thought much of it until I moved back to Texas in July and he asked me to hang out with him the day I landed. I was sure I didn’t like him as anything more than a friend, but I wanted people to hang out with while in Dallas, and knew I liked his company.
After one “date” with him that night, I was completely sold. He was the nicest person I had ever met. He had this sort of radiant decency of a sunflower. (He’ll kill me for comparing him to a sunflower, but it’s true.) I was completely struck by the way he was altogether confident and altogether so unaware of himself. Every word he said sounded upbeat and virtuous, and it made me want to be better. He was something I had never experienced before, and still is every day.
I went home that night and pretended like it was “just fine.” But I knew, sitting across from him in the booth, wearing my “taco me out” t-shirt, I had fallen in love with him. And was so blissfully unaware that he had felt the same.
how they asked
This past December, my best friend Katy and I planned a March trip to Paris for a week. I initially asked Jansen and his brother to come with us – since the four of us are best friends – but they had already booked flights to Virginia to see old friends for that same week. For months Katy and I planned this trip, and on Valentines Day Jansen surprised me with tickets to Versailles as a fun extra thing for us to do while we’re there. A few people would mention ever so often, “what if Jansen surprised you in Paris?!” It crossed my mind, but I felt like I knew him well enough to know if he was going to pull something like that off.
A few days into our trip, I had officially closed the idea of Jansen coming at all. In my mind, if he was going to show up it would have been at the airport or on the first day that we were there… not halfway through the week. On that sunny Saturday, we got to Versailles and toured around the Chateau Gardens, explored Marie Antoinette’s estate, and got lunch at a cafe. Katy had been secretly videoing me the whole day, and I was completely oblivious. Towards the end of our exploring, she seemed worried and nervous, but I assumed she was just tired. We walked outside of the Palace Gardens to get in line for the indoor tour, and five minutes into standing in line, Katy smiled so big, fixed my hair and turned me around. Jansen appeared with lilies and the cheekiest grin, kissed me, and asked me to walk with him. For a solid ten minutes, Jansen, Jeremy, and Katy all critiqued every garden that we went in to (at the time, I didn’t realize that he was searching for a spot to propose) where he eventually stopped me, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. I couldn’t tell you a single word he said because it’s now a complete blur, but I know it was amazing haha.
The entire thing was shocking, beautiful, and the biggest fulfillment of dreams I’ve had since I could crawl. Jansen is the living, breathing dream himself.
I later found out that Katy was so nervous because the boys were meant to have been in one of the gardens earlier that morning, but had plane delays and lost luggage and every other hurdle that could have possibly been thrown their way. Nonetheless, it was perfect.