How We Met
Joey and I met back in high school when he was a senior and I was a freshman. He was a soccer player and I was on the dance team so we had a few mutual friends and would give each other a wave when we saw each other in the hallway. These encounters were far and few in between but they were mostly when Joey was skipping class and I was rushing to get a spot in the front row. I thought he was the hottest senior in the school and that it was so cool that a $eNii0R boy knew who I was.
Joey graduated in ’08 and we both dated other people. Our only form of communication for the next six years was the bi-annual “happy birthday” text we’d receive from each other. Even that little text from him would give me butterflies but I kept my cool and would reply, “Thanks!” – a few hours later because I was super busy, obviously!
He didn’t know it at the time, but during those six years after Joey graduated from West I would often hear his loud car pull up at our neighbor Mat’s house. I would run to my parent’s bedroom window with our dog, Tater, and we would watch him get out of his car and walk into the house. I would yell, “Mom! Joey is at Mat’s house tonight! Can you give me some leftover food to bring over there?” This only worked one time, when my mom had the idea to give me some beer to bring over to Mat as a gift for him on his birthday. Sorry Mat, but I really just brought it over as an excuse to see Joey…
That was the first time I had seen Joey in a long time and I remember thinking to myself, “Just when you thought someone couldn’t get any better looking…!” The next day I headed back to college in Madison and Joey and I went another year without talking.
In the fall of 2014, I came back to Waukesha for the weekend with my roommate and BFF, Taylor. While out in downtown Waukesha we ran into Joey who was standing by the stage watching the musician playing. I identified the performer as Ryan – the guy who would always play at Mo’s Irish Pub on Thursdays when I was serving. I thought the fact that I knew this cool guy was a perfect way to start a conversation with Joey. It went a little something like, “Oh yeah, I know Ryan McIntyre, we go wAaAaY back. I used to serve him drinks while he was performing at Mo’s.” Joey responded with something like, “Wow! That’s so cool!” Soon after, Joey was on the stage and the two of them were hugging. Very quickly, all former “coolness” was gone. Joey identifies Ryan as his first cousin.
Again, I headed back to school where I was beginning my first of two years in the UW-Madison School of Nursing but this time Joey and I began talking every day. Our days of texting soon turned into long phone calls at midnight during my walk home from the library. Soon I was making up excuses to spend my weekends back in Waukesha where he was. I would say to Taylor, “It’s difficult for my mom to grocery shop on her own now that I’m at school so I need to go back to Waukesha for the weekend so I can help her with that on Sunday!!!” Taylor and I would both bust out laughing as she would give me the biggest eye-roll she could. It was no secret that I was head over heels for Joey. It’s no secret that I still am.
how they asked
The night of our engagement, I had just finished working the last of three twelve-hour shifts at the hospital. Joey and I were leaving the next day for Denver, Colorado for a vacation and to see our friends Christy and Miguel get married. We had to leave our apartment at six o’clock the next morning and we both had nothing packed. When I got off work Joey called me and said that my dad was at People’s Park with some of his work friends and that he wanted us to meet him there for a drink. I thought it was weird that my dad called Joey instead of calling me but Joey said my dad thought he asked me to come during our daily conversation on my way to work that morning. I figured my dad probably did ask me but at six thirty in the morning nothing really sticks in my brain. I initially put up a fight and reminded Joey of how early our flight was leaving and that we both had two empty suitcases in the living room. Joey’s response was the same response he gives me when he’s playing video games on a Monday night until four in the morning with his best friend Dave because they both don’t work until Wednesday – “We’re on vacation!!!” How could I turn that down? I agreed to go have ONE drink with him and my dad because I knew how much it would mean to my dad.
When we got in the car Joey told me he forgot his wallet in the apartment. I replied with, “You don’t need it, you know my dad will pay for our drink!” Joey proceeded to ignore me and he ran back into the apartment to grab his “wallet” a.k.a. “the ring”. I didn’t think anything of it.
As we arrived at People’s Park the hostess told us that my dad’s party was upstairs on the rooftop. As we were walking up the stairs there were People’s Park drinking glasses with one red rose in each glass going up each step of the stairwell. I turned around and said to Joey, “People’s Park always has the most beautiful decorations.” He smirked and agreed.
When we made it to the top of the staircase there were roses and champagne on all of the tables and soft music was playing over the speakers. All of our parents, brothers, sisters, and our two best friends were in the corner looking at us. I immediately thought that Joey forgot to tell me that it was a family member’s birthday that we were supposed to be celebrating. I started to say, “We forgot to bring a card!” but when I turned around Joey was on one knee. That is when it hit me… he was proposing to me.
We celebrated our engagement with all of our family and it was one of the most amazing memories I have. We drank champagne until bar close and Joey’s sister Kristy dropped us off at our apartment at two-thirty that next morning.
I had so many questions for him. “How long have you had the ring?” “Where did you get it?!”
We still had to pack for our week in Denver but we were so teary and happy it was very difficult to focus on packing! We packed our suitcases and left the next morning on our little “engagement-moon.” It was so amazing to be able to get engaged with our family by our side but then to also get away for a week together. It was the most perfect proposal and I couldn’t be a happier fiancé.