Ruby and Alfredo

Image 1 of Ruby and Alfredo

How We Met

Fredo and I met in college almost ten years ago. WHAAAAAAAAAAT??? It feels so crazy to type that because I look at him and still feel those butterflies in my stomach as if I started dating him just yesterday. But back to the fruby story; it was the first day of my second semester at Berkeley College and in typical Ruby fashion, I arrived about five minutes late to class trying to locate the building. How was I supposed to know our school had two buildings in midtown? But I did make it to class eventually. Did our eyes meet that very first day? Nope! We didn’t even talk that day. And to be honest, I was in a weird place in my romantic life because my ex boyfriend and I were kind of trying to work things out. A friend of mine had the same class as me and I sat next to him, but if you ask Fredo, he’ll tell you that he totally called dibs on me that day even though I looked like a punk rocker girl with my fingerless gloves, hat and boots. MY FASHION SENSE HAS GOTTEN A LOT BETTER, I SWEAR!!!!

It was probably a week or two into the semester before we actually spoke. Of course I had noticed him, I would be crazy not to, especially since he was always so nicely dressed and I swear to you there was some sort of mysteriousness to him that I couldn’t really make it was hard not to notice him. Not to mention that he always wore sunglasses indoors. At one point I remember asking my friend if he thought he was gay because let me tell you, when I say that this guy’s fashion game was on point, I definitely mean it. And I don’t know about you guys, but I had never met anyone who dressed so great and was actually into girls, so when he introduced himself to me saying “Hi, my name is Alfredo” the only thing I could say was hi back, my cheeks slightly blushing a bit. It was one of those weird feelings where it felt like we had already known each other in a past life. Twin flames people call it.

Eventually we would have those occasional hi and bye moments, but it wasn’t until he asked me if I wanted to sit next to him and his friend that we actually got to talking more and hanging out more often. Can you imagine my reaction when I found out he was a wrestling fan too??? Talk about my heart racing rapidly in total freak out mode!! Also, I guess I can finally admit that I would also stay a bit later on Fridays because I knew he had class too and got out an hour after me, and that we could watch a movie at the lounge in school before going our separate ways. I have always been very oblivious to flirting and being able to tell if someone actually likes me, so while everyone around me was telling me that he was all heart eyes about me, I was in denial about it. I guess I should’ve known when he watched titanic with me over the phone that some feelings had been brewing between the two of us because what guy actually sits through a 3+ hour movie with a girl that’s just a friend? Bless his soul! Isn’t my love just the greatest?!

As the months continued to pass we got closer, but I can only imagine how hard it must have been for him to hang out with me as a friend while I was trying to work things out with an ex. Fredo had been such a great friend to me, but I thank him for opening my eyes to what was in front of me and how things had been with my ex, and telling me that I deserved better. I appreciate him being so patient, but eventually telling me how he felt with what was the best first kiss of my life (even though his scarf had been in the way). Like Jim from the office, he sat back and waited. He waited because he knew that him and I could and would be something special together. And while it took me a bit to realize it like it did with Pam, I wouldn’t take back any of it because we wouldn’t be where we are today. Becoming his girlfriend was the best decision I could have ever made, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

I’ve experienced many lovely moments with him, and to think if you would have told me that I was going to meet the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with in college I never would have believed it. But here I am nine and a half years later with my love by my side and it’s been beautiful. Like most relationships, there have definitely been some ups and downs but I would never trade my love story for anything in the world. Our relationship is a priority, one that we BOTH want to make work so we always put the effort into making it work and have such great communication that it’s kind of crazy when we know what the other person is thinking. Living with him and sharing our life together has been one of the greatest blessings that I have ever experienced. The wonderful times, the sad times, the funny times, the experiences; having him by my side and getting to share all of that with him has made our time together all the worthwhile.

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how they asked

OH MY LANTA I’M ENGAGED!!! I still can’t believe it and as I write this I cannot hide that ear-to-ear kind of smile that is on my face. My fiancé (I’m definitely still getting used to say that but I love it so much) asked me to marry him in the most perfect way. Seriously! I thought I would have wanted him to do it one way, but the way he did it was even more perfect than what I could have ever imagined. You see, we both went to school near Bryant Park, so during the early years in our relationship there were plenty of times where we would just go for a walk around the park or just sit there and kind of just soak up each other’s awesomeness. it’s a place that has always been very significant for the two of us. It was the place where he gave me my first promise ring, it’s where he told me he loved me for the first time, and now it’s the place where he asked me to marry him!!!

But let’s start at what led to this amazing day. For the past year, Fredo was always getting me flowers on every 28th of every month. Did I think he would be proposing? I suspected it, but I was never 100% sure. It was one of those things where you kind of felt like “oh my god is this it?” or am i just going crazy? I would bring it up casually…or in a way that I consider casual, which was pretty much just me asking “are you gonna propose to me on the 28th?” which would just lead to him just shrugging and saying things like he didn’t know what I was talking about. I knew he was kidding, or at least I thought he was because why would he be going through all this work for no reason? But I let it go, or at least let it go enough to not bring it up every other day if he was going to propose to me on the 28th, maybe just once or twice a month now :p

A couple of months into this whole getting flowers for her on every 28th of the month thing, he asked me what kind of ring I wanted. OH MY GOD! I thought to myself over and over again because it seemed like he was finally moving forward with a possible proposal. Was this for real? It seemed like it was so I spent days looking for rings – going through absolutely every single website known to mankind. My only requirement for the engagement ring was that I wanted it to be rose gold with a very very thin band. I didn’t need or want anything too flashy, but I wanted something that was very simple and delicate that I could just look at forever and ever with the biggest smile on my face. I definitely got that and as I type this I’m just so in love with this ring that I cannot even deal with it! As the months continue to pass us, I keep it in the back of my mind that he might actually be proposing to me soon especially when he starts asking me things about the ring.

Image 2 of Ruby and Alfredo

What really begins to peak my curiosity is when he tells me that we are going on a date on September 28th. Mind you at this point there have been a couple of cancelled dates under our belt due to Fredo’s growing youtube channel on gaming, which makes me begin to question and second guess if this date on the 28th will actually happen because what if there’s a new update or something and he has to work on that? Not only that, but then he tells me that he hasn’t even bought the ring. Oh you guys already know, I’m 100% freaking out, and not in the good way, because how is it possible that he thinks he can just buy the ring a week before this so called date and that it’ll get here? He’s crazy I’m thinking to myself, but he assures me that yes this date will actually happen and to find a dress for it because it’s all going to work out. I was very skeptical but a small part of me was keeping that hope alive that maybe it would actually happen.

So the day of the big date started like any other day for me because I was gonna be working, but I had a really cute dress that I was going wear since the date would be happening after work and I wouldn’t have time to go home and change. Plus it was the 28th of September so I half-expected to be receiving flowers at some point throughout the day. I even thought there would be some kind of flower delivery to my job, but there wasn’t. I will say that I was a bit bummed early in the because I had been shopping for a dress for this date for MONTHS and nothing really screamed out ‘this is what I want to wear when I get engaged’ even though there was no confirmation that I would be getting engaged today. But I had finally found one the week of the date, so what happens when I try the dress on in the morning? It’s still huge, even though my dad hemmed like 4 inches of it. Oh No! I think because this was supposed to be “the dress.” What am I gonna do now? I chose to wear something new I had at home with intent of searching for a last minute dress while on my lunch break from work. By some miracle I ended up finding the blue velvet dress with flowers and it was perfect. The day wasn’t too cold and while I didn’t look overly sophisticated with heels on, I was pretty pleased with my look, especially with finding a dress on such short notice.

Fredo came to pick me up at work looking like quite a hunk in a suit…AND SOME FLOWERS!! Yes, there were flowers on the 28th. I didn’t know where we were going, because no matter how many times I asked he wouldn’t budge. We walked and walked from work to 42nd street and before I knew it we were at Bryant Park by the fountain. Oh!! In all the excitement of writing this I guess I forgot to mention that two weeks prior to the big date we had actually stopped by Bryant Park where Fredo took me to the fountain and told me to remember that spot. Weird right? I didn’t get the significance of what that was supposed to signify. I racked my brain for the next couple of days and even asked my coworkers what that was supposed to signify or if they knew of any tv show or movie that could possibly have some sort of significance to the fountain, but we all came up short. I let it go not knowing that the fountain would eventually become such a special place in our relationship.

Image 3 of Ruby and Alfredo

So we’re walking to Bryant Park and then all of a sudden we’re by the fountain and he starts reminiscing and pointing to all these specific parts in the park like where he told me he loved me for the first time, where he gave me my very first promise ring, and then it happens!! He reached into his pocket and starts talking about how he’s always had a plan and that he knows that I’ve been wanting this for so long and that he’s so grateful that I’ve stuck by him for as long as I have, and to be honest I’m freaking out internally like I CANNOT even believe that this is happening right now, and he’s telling me how much he loves me and I feel like I forgot everything he else he said because he’s getting down on one knee now and I’m holding this bouquet of flowers and I’m just in utter shock that this is happening right now and then he said it. “Ruby Lopez, Will You Marry Me?” I couldn’t even contain myself that I was just like YES!! YES!!! YES!!! He was so nervous to put the ring on my finger but OH MY GOD I CANNOT EVEN DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT I’M OFFICIALLY ENGAGED!!!! I’m pretty sure there was somebody clapping, unless I heard that in my head, but the excitement in my heart is something I can’t even explain.

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After I said yes and did a little happy “I’m finally engaged” dance, we took a couple of pictures with Don (who I had no idea was there but was absolutely amazing for coming out to help commemorate our big day) we were just sitting down at Bryant Park while we waited for our reservations at the Bryant Park Grill to celebrate. We spoke with and texted a few family members to let them know the good news of our engagement and were just all in engaged bliss. It was then that I found out that he had actually gotten the ring about two weeks after his birthday in July and had spoken to both of my parents about his intentions to marry me.

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My parents aren’t together so I was always very insistent that if and when he was thinking about asking me to marry him that I wanted him to ask both my mom and dad. My mom is very much the Lorelai Gilmore in my life and my absolute best friend so her not knowing about a possible proposal was a no go, and it meant so much to me that he told her about his intentions especially since she would be all the way in DR when or if the big day happened. I also found out that he had a couple of other ideas up his sleeves in case plans changed and whatnot, which to be honest with all of you, they did because I think his nerves got the better of him. Even though he told me he had been nervous, I think everything about the day was perfect, even the little cold I got the following day.

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During his proposal speech he said “I want you to know that I didn’t decide to do this overnight. I’ve always had a plan and my plan has always included you and I wanted you to know how committed I am to you and our life together. I love you more than anything” UGH! I’m getting all teary eyed as I write this because he’s the most perfect man I know. He even recorded himself on every 28th with a beautiful message each month to me that just showed his commitment and all of the planning that he did to give me such a special moment and proposal. I’m still in awe that he did so much to plan such a perfect day. And as the newly engaged couple that we are, I look forward to continuing to grow as a couple on our journey to husband and wife, taking his last name, bringing our families together to become one, the WWE songs that will no doubt make their way into our wedding, and all of the fun wedding planning that is to come. (CAKE TASTING ANYONE????) i’m ready for it all with the best future husband ever!!

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Special Thanks

Don Gutierrez
 | Photographer