Samantha and Garrett

How We Met

We both grew up in the small township of Redford, Michigan. We went to Fisher Elementary together, Garrett was a grade below me. We knew of one another in elementary school, I knew him as the kid who lived a few blocks away from my Grandmas and he knew me as the girl who knocked him over at the school’s annual skate night who screamed “sorry” at him as I speed away. Garrett apparently hated me because of this incident, and it didn’t change in Middle School. At Pierce Middle School we both played in the band together, I was in the French horn section with his best friend and Garrett was in the saxophone section. I found both him and his best friend to be annoying, so we rarely interacted.

The band is what kept us together for many years after. Once I started my Freshman year at Thurston High School, I joined the Marching Band and Garrett joined as an Eighth Grader. We still rarely interacted, but that changed once we both were at Thurston High School. Garrett was friends with some of my friends in the band, so we started hanging out in groups together. We dealt with one another in Marching Band and Honors Band. Eventually, my Sophomore year Garrett and I started to talk more, using AIM and just talking about school or music (mostly Led Zeppelin).

In December our High school Marching Band went to Disney to march in the holiday parade. Garrett and I were in a giant group together who interchanged seats all the way down to Disney. The one night we slept on the bus, Garrett and I ended up being seat buddies. We both fell asleep, I ended up falling asleep on him and he fell asleep on me. However, I did not enjoy his dead weight on me and ended up tossing his head off of me, causing him to wack his head hard on the bus window (but surprisingly not wake up). At this point I had started to develop a crush on Garrett, we talked daily, and we spent an entire trip together in Disney. In January I finally had the courage to tell him how I felt, but little did I know he had a massive crush on another friend of ours and told me about it. He apologized and said he felt bad, but I said things were fine. Both Garrett and I went on being friends for the next few years through his first girlfriend and my first boyfriend.

Fast forward to my Senior year, the last month or so Garrett and I started hanging out a lot more and talking more. We were in tons of classes together. One day I was helping him with his AP Lit assignment when he sort of invited himself to come over to my house so I could help him more. I was fine with it and told him it wouldn’t be a problem. About two weeks before graduation we started hanging out outside of school, talking and him coming over to my house. I was oblivious to the whole thing and just thought we were hanging out as friends, considering I was literally folding my laundry while he was there with me. After a few days, Garrett and I were messaging on Facebook when he told me that he has feelings for me, but he also had feelings for our other friend he had been crushing on for a long time. I told him that it was fine, whatever he wanted to do was up to him since I was leaving for Grand Valley State University (on the opposite side of the state) in three months while he would be in Redford for his Senior year. Garrett ended up talking to our other friend about how he had a crush on me and her still while they were hanging out one day. Our friend put him in his place and told him he talked about me for most of the time they were hanging out, plus he blushed when he mentioned me (she was also just not into him).

A few days later, after my graduation, Garrett told me he wanted to see me in person to talk more. I was leaving for the weekend to go to our family camper, so I told him it would have to wait until Tuesday, July 14th since my little brothers’ birthday was the 13th and we had plans. However, Garrett could not wait so he called me on June 13th after he was out of school and asked if he could come over. I said yes, but I had to leave by a certain time to pick up my little brother from school. By the time I was off the phone with him Garrett was pretty much at my house, I had been taking the trash out when I saw him. He ran up the driveway and as I attempted to say hi, he kissed me. After that, we became inseparable the entire summer.

Once the end of August came, it was time for me to go to GVSU. We had an emotional departure, but we did the long distance thing all throughout Garrett’s senior year and my Freshman year at GVSU. I came back from Homecoming and Prom, plus some holidays and weekends while he came to visit GVSU whenever he could. After Garrett graduated, I returned for the summer for a job back home and he started working too. We saw each other whenever we could and spent as much time together since Garrett was leaving for Boston to attend Berklee College of Music in the fall. Once the summer was over, I returned to GVSU and Garrett left for Boston. It was a really hard time for us, we both were so busy and had so much going on. We only saw one another once at Thanksgiving when I went to Boston to celebrate with him. However, winter break came and we spent time together until we had to depart again. At some point part way through the Winter Semester I broke up with Garrett. The long distance was killing me, and it was a very difficult time. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, and it was very hard on the both of us.

We remained friends and I even came to visit him in Boston on my spring break still, like I had previously planned. After some time it became hard for us to do that. So, we stopped talking for a short time, but that did not last long, we could not stop being in one another lives. We both dated another person at some point throughout our time as just friends, but then Garrett came to GVSU in the fall (my Junior year). He had told me he was coming to GVSU, since it was one of the schools I helped him apply to when he realized Berklee was too expensive and so was Boston. Little did I realize he also came to GVSU to win me back. I was dating someone at the time, but it eventually ended. Garrett and I repaired our friendship while he was at GVSU and eventually we repaired everything we had issues with before (or so we thought). Until my senior year at GVSU things were rocky with Garrett and I, due to distance (since he transferred to Wayne State after a semester at GVSU and I lived at GVSU fulltime) and other issues we had not dealt with. However, one day things just clicked, and things have been better ever since.

We spent my entire Senior year at GVSU together and visited one another as much as possible. Things were so good that when I received my acceptance letter to UDM Law in Detroit we decided to find a place to live together. We spent months searching for a place and eventually landed on our first apartment. In August of 2015, we moved in together so Garrett could continue going to Wayne State and I could go to UDM Law. In September our family grew, we added our first dog Dexter to the mix and we have been a happy family since.

How They Asked

For years Garrett and I had wanted to go on a road trip. We had taken smaller road trips to see our favorite band, Streetlight Manifesto, and to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to go camping. However, we had talked about it all the time about visiting places around the U.S.A. Finally, we decided to take the plunge and planned our largest road trip ever, a continental USA Road Trip. After months of saving, extra hours worked, hours of planning, booking all the campsites and hotels, buying extra gear we needed, and packing everything up, Garrett, Dexter, and I left for our road trip on May 5, 2017.

I had a feeling Garrett was going to propose on our trip since previously he had mentioned something about it, however just a week prior him and I had gotten into an argument over the fact that I knew he had not purchased a ring yet and how I thought he didn’t even want to get married. Little did I know, the day before we left for our USA Road Trip, Garrett went to Zales and picked out the perfect ring. Zales was out of my size and after discussing things with the store clerks he discovered he could not get it shipped to another Zales anywhere in the country once it was sent to be resized. Instead, Garrett took the ring that was the wrong size and packed it away in his tenor saxophone case, the one place I would not see it or look during our trip.

Our road trip was full of ups and downs. The downs included getting rained out in our tent, to setting up camp in the middle of the night multiple times, being eaten alive by mosquitoes, to our car dying and needing to buy a new one (losing out on a few nights and re-planning some of our road trip), spending our anniversary stuck in a hotel in Texas, and our dog getting sick. However, the ups trumped it all, with hikes to the top of Mountains, seeing both the Atlantic and Pacific Coast, walking in the footprints of dinosaurs, to visiting the Crazy Horse Monument, and finally returning home to Michigan.

On day 34, June 29, 2017, I was agitated and believed Garrett was not going to propose. He had missed so many perfect moments, like being on top of the mountains in Washington or the Grand Canyon or even in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (my favorite place). That day we arrived at McGulpin Lighthouse and started to walk down to the shores of Lake Michigan to see the Mackinac Bridge and take some photos. Garrett said he forgot his phone and ran to the car (he was actually grabbing the ring from his case). When Garrett returned, I was frustrated by the people who continued to get in the way every time we attempted to take a photo of the Mackinac Bridge and our dog. People were frustrating me and I was frustrated with Garrett still, so Garrett and I started to fight. After a little bit, we both took a breath and Garrett calmed me down. He was trying so hard to make this a perfect moment and got me to wait for the people to leave and told me to play with puppy.

Once the people left, Garrett said to go set up the camera and get the remote so we could get a family photo. He got on one knee and pet Dexter, which I did not notice until after. I got everything set up and gave Garrett the remote. Garrett knew that I had always wanted a photograph of when he was to propose, and he sure got it. While I went to pose normally for the photo, Garrett pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him. He took a photo with the remote and captured the whole thing. I immediately said yes, and all of my frustrations were swept away. Shortly after he proposed, me, being Ms. Nosey, started asking all these questions; when did you get the ring? why wasn’t it the right size? Where was the ring hiding? and so on. Garrett happily answered all of my crazy questions and continued to do so throughout the rest of the trip to my mom’s.

We then drove to my mom’s, where I had to change for a fancy dinner at her work to celebrate our engagement. Apparently, while we were in Oregon and my mom was texting me about where we should go to dinner, Garrett had called my mom and told her his engagement plan while I was grocery shopping. Later that day my mom texted me we were going to a fancy dinner at her work. After finding that out at dinner, I had to know how he asked my Dad. Garrett knew my Dad’s approval was also very important to me, but I apparently never gave him enough time while at my Dads to ask my Dad in person. So, while we were trapped in Texas figuring out the car situation he told my Dad he had a question to ask, but my Dad automatically said, “if it is what I think you’re going to ask, you have my permission.” I loved hearing about the whole proposal and how it all worked out, even if I had been so frustrated before it happened with Garrett.

After 15,000 miles around the U.S.A., 48 continental states, 42 tanks of gas, 34 days, 2 cars, and 1 engagement our U.S.A. Road Trip ended, and it could not have ended any better.