Regina and Jerome
How We Met
Jerome and I met through my parents in 2008. My parents love to travel and experience new cultures. Luckily, Jerome shares the same passion for international travel. They both happened to be on the same flight back to JFK from Egypt. My mom, the maternal lady that she is, approached Jerome as he looked to be traveling alone.
The social butterfly that she is, she asked Jerome about his life. Jerome explained he spent two and half years in the Peace Corps and had just graduated from Columbia’s MBA program. My mom was intrigued by how humble, intelligent, and adventurous Jerome was. She asked for Jerome’s contact information and said she would invite him to a family gathering, as he was living alone in NYC while his family was in Seattle.
Fast forward a few months after returning back to NY, she invited Jerome to a family brunch in Brooklyn. My two brothers and I were confused as to why a stranger was joining us. But we all hit it off with interesting conversation. After brunch we all went our separate ways. We remained friends for the next 4 years. We didn’t really talk very frequently, just enough to wish each other happy birthday and happy holidays.
Fast forward to January 2012, I happened to be in NY for my birthday weekend. Jerome coincidentally messaged me the usual happy birthday. I told him I was home for the weekend, so he invited me to dinner. We hit it off immediately, it all just happened so naturally. Despite being friends for the past four years we never talked about dating ever. We both always had our own significant others we were dating.
We dated at a very slow pace as we both had ended long-term relationships and were a bit guarded. But everything just seemed to fall into place so perfectly. After about 7 months of dating, we moved in together in his upper west side apartment. We couldn’t be happier! Our weekend runs through Central Park, following up with (of course) the obligatory brunch date. This relationship just felt so different from all my other relationships. He was thoughtful, considerate, and most importantly, affectionate. We couldn’t stop emailing, texting, or calling. Any time spent apart we were connected in some way.
December 2012, we went on our first international trip, which was a true test of the strength of our relationship. Especially, since his parents were meeting us in Australia. It was a two-week trip. It was going to either go really well or end really badly. Luckily the trip was awesome! It was like I was living a fairytale. We went scuba diving/snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, drove a Ferrari Italia around Sydney, ate fish and chips at the beach. It was such an amazing experience. I was relieved that we were still very much in love.
how they asked
Life was perfect, except we were both working ourselves to death. (Life of a New Yorker) We decided to slow down our lives and find a better quality of life. We played with the idea of moving to Seattle so he could be closer to his parents, as he hadn’t really been back since graduating high school. I took a huge leap of faith, hoping that Seattle was everything I hoped it would be. I had never been so I was worried about the “constant raining”. I absolutely hate the bitter winters in NYC. No one enjoys shoveling snow and getting the flu every year like me!
We packed a Uhaul and drove across country to our new home in Seattle. April 2013. (By the way, I absolutely love Seattle!) Though our relationship was progressing much quicker than we had anticipated, it felt right! We built a life four ourselves with work-life balance, the Seattle way. (It doesn’t rain nearly as much as people say; I think that rumor was spread to keep people from moving to Seattle!)
It took me a while to warm up to Seattle, but once I found some hobbies to keep my mind off missing home I was golden. I did my first triathlon with Jerome and it was the scariest and exhilarating thing all at the same time. I can understand how people get addicted. Jerome is a very athletic person, he was always curious to try Tough Mudder, and I had done three. So we did the Tough Mudder together for his first time. I don’t necessarily think of myself as an athletic person, but I enjoy doing anything with Jerome. So I’m happy to experience firsts with him! (Can you tell I’m smitten yet?)
I’m thankful for Jerome’s adventurous and curious nature. There’s never a dull moment, we’re always experiencing new things and going places which is exactly how I imagined my life to be like with my soul mate.
Finally, August 2015 we traveled to Budapest, Hungary to attend a wedding. We decided to make a vacation out of it, and spent a few days after the wedding in another European country. To continue the theme of love, we decided on Paris, France! Jerome has a Type A personality, so I let him do all the vacation planning. I’ll give my two cents on places I want to go, but he likes to put together the itinerary in a neat and very visually aesthetically pleasing spreadsheet. We decided to go to breakfast very early on August 8th before starting a very busy day of museum hopping. We bought an unlimited museum pass so we were determined to hit all of them before we left. (By the way, best investment ever!) Since it was very hot and humid, I just wore shorts and a tank top and threw my hair in a bun.
Jerome was dressed up in a suit. Naturally, I was VERY confused. He reminded me that we were going to a fancy breakfast spot and that I had to be a little bit more dressed up to match the dress code for the venue. So I rushed to throw on some respectable clothes, slapped on some makeup, and straightened my hair. I for sure did not feel the most attractive, but I tried my best to hurry, as Jerome seemed very nervous. I thought he was acting strange, but I just brushed it off to him wanting to be on time for the reservation.
He asked if I wanted to go for a short walk before breakfast since we had some time before our reservation. We walked a short while before we could see the Eiffel Tower clearly. It was such a breath taking view! It had just rained so the ground was still wet. As I’m carefully looking for a great spot for us to take a picture. Jerome takes both my hands and starts to well up with tears. He was trying to tell me how much he loved me and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, but he was so choked up. I of course was super confused, but then it hit me all at once like a ton of bricks. He dropped to one knee and opened a box with the most stunning ring ever.
It was like the world stopped and all I could see was him (I know, cliché, but now I understand why people say it!) I was thrilled to finally be engaged to my best friend and soul mate.
Every day I feel like I could not fall more and more in love with this man. But I do! And that morning, I fell even harder for Jerome.
Jerome had hired a photographer to capture this incredible moment. It all came together! When we finally sat down with the photographer at a café to take our final photos.
I couldn’t help but laugh at how nervous and weird he was behaving in the morning. But I was thankful that he was thoughtful enough to rush me and encourage me to put make up on. All because he knew me well enough to know that I’d be disappointed if I didn’t put any makeup on at all. (I’m a huge makeup fanatic and love the process of getting dolled up) Jerome prefers that I don’t wear makeup or much at all, but he knew me.
Everything was just perfect. I never thought I’d be the girl with the perfect proposal. But it happened to me!