How We Met: Taky and I had both recently moved to Chicago, Illinois (he for law school, I for a new job), and we were both on Match.com.
When I received a message from Taky, I noticed he was 2 years younger than me and currently a student and because of those 2 things I thought, “Probably not the one for me.”
But, I read his message anyway and it was funny, kind, and smart. And something in me said “Why don’t you just give it a chance?”
We had our first date one evening at a coffee shop, where we talked for hours, long after our coffee grew cold. It felt like we were old friends from the moment we sat down and there was something about him that made me think I had met somebody really special. I heard from Taky again a couple of days later, and this time he invited me to sushi and ice skating on top of the John Hancock building. It was a romantic evening with every detail thoughtfully planned.
Taky even pre-paid for the cab that took me home, and I thought, “What a gentleman!” The dates only got better and better from there, and I couldn’t believe I had met such a catch through Match! But after a few weeks more, those cautious feelings started slipping away and I began feeling nothing but happy and excited about the life unfolding in front of me. We quickly realized how much we had in common and how many things we enjoyed doing together. I think we both fell hard for each other fast…and the rest is history.
how they asked: Taky and I had been dating a little over a year when we began discussing a trip to Japan to visit his aunt and grandmother around the New Year holiday. Taky was born in Japan and after moving to the US at age 5, had made frequent trips his whole life to visit family. I had never been before and I love to travel, so I was excited for our trip together. Although Taky and I had often discussed our future together, I tried not to get my hopes up about a proposal in Japan, as many friends had advised me that this type of thinking could easily spoil the trip if a proposal wasn’t in Taky’s plans.
Three days into our trip in Japan, we traveled up into the Hakone mountains, outside of Tokyo. We took a train on a winding path up the mountain, and then a gondola even further. We walked around, taking pictures, snacking, talking, and laughing. It was sunny and very windy that day. Ever since we had begun our trip in Japan, Taky had been taking a lot of photos and videos with his GoPro on a selfie stick.
I didn’t think much of it because Taky has always loved to capture the moment and document our experiences. He was being particularly meticulous about it, though, and I found myself starting to feel just the teeniest bit irritated at his insistence that we re-take yet another photo, or try it from yet another angle. When we arrived at the ryokan (traditional Japanese inn with hot springs) that Taky had booked for the night, nestled in the mountains, I officially knew something was up. It was breathtakingly beautiful, with gorgeous views, tatami mat floors and sliding doors. All simple, understated luxury and definitely the nicest place he and I had ever stayed.
There, as evening began to fall, surrounded by a bamboo forest, mountains, and a trickling stream below, Taky handed me a leather bound photo album and said it was from the hotel, and to go ahead and open it up. My heart was pounding and my mind couldn’t keep up, but I knew something big was happening. I opened the album, which revealed photos of my dog, Snickers, wearing a series of signs.
The last photo was a picture of Snickers with a sparkling diamond ring on his nose!! I turned around and there was Taky on one knee, asking me the question I so very much wanted to hear. My breath was literally taken away. I teared up and the moment felt like it lasted forever. Eventually, I found my voice and told him YES!
Afterwards, we sat together outside while he described how he had been keeping so many secrets from me! He told me how, on Christmas Eve, he had worked with my little sister to get me out of the house for to get manicures so he could ask my parents for their blessing. He told me how my parents had reacted and what they had said. He shared how he had gotten a professional dog photographer to take the photos of Snickers because he knew exactly how much it would mean to me to Snickers in the proposal.
He explained that his mother had sewn the special photo album and then he shared that for weeks he had been secretly preparing a video to showcase the story of the proposal using footage taken with his GoPro camera leading up to and during the trip. It turned out he had even just recorded the proposal itself! Later that night, he put it all the footage together and presented the video to me.
I will always remember how honored and cherished Taky made me feel with the beautiful gift of a proposal video that he put his whole heart into making. We spent the rest of our ten days in Japan on cloud nine, first returning from Mount Hakone to spend the New Year holiday with family and then traveling to Kyoto, Kanazawa, Takayama, and more, everywhere carrying with us the joy of knowing we had just made the commitment of a lifetime!