Shannon and Or
How We Met
Or and I met in the most unexpected of ways. In June of 2008 I went on a guided trip to Israel along with two of my best friends from high school. The trip would last for 10 days, travelling around the country and experiencing the sights and the culture. About half way into the trip, the organizers let us know that a group of 7 or 8 Israelis, all of them in our age group, would be joining the trip to travel around the country with us. It was an opportunity to meet people your age and learn about the ways that your lives are different and the same. Well, one of those Israeli’s was Or. I still remember the first moment I saw him. We were sitting on the tour bus and they announced to us that this group would be joining us. They asked us to make some room in the seats for them and to be welcoming. I was sitting next to one of my friends, and my other friend was in the row across from us on the other side of the aisle. He left the seat next to him empty. A few minutes later, onto the bus walks this guy who immediately caught my attention. Unfortunately, he walked past us and didn’t take the empty seat next to my friend. But a second later, he turned back and came to sit in that empty seat. I still remember that feeling of excitement, although at the time I didn’t really understand why. From that moment through the rest of the trip, we talked endlessly. We understood that there was something special about our connection. It was a painful goodbye, but once I was back home in San Francisco we continued to speak every day on Skype and through text messages. A few months later he decided to come out to visit me. He stayed for a month and we had an absolutely amazing time together – such fun memories! We then understood just how special this was and that this was a relationship worth fighting for. For the next two years we managed a long distance relationship, with occasional trips to see each other. In August of 2010 I decided to officially make the move to Israel, and I’m proud to say that we celebrated our 8 year anniversary last September.
how they asked
I woke up on December 3rd, like it was any other day. I had a cup of coffee, slipped into my gym clothes and headed off to work out. Fast forward to an hour and a half later, and as I was on my way out of the gym, I checked my phone for this new app that Or installed for me. I should mention that Or is a mobile iOS developer and is constantly working on side projects that he dreams up. This newest one was called ODI Challenge, which stood for Or’s Daily Instagram Challenge. I hated the name, but loved the concept. Each day the app would give you one task – call someone you love, watch your favorite movie, go for a walk – and then you needed to take a picture of yourself to document that you had done the task.
So there I was leaving the gym and went to check out what the task was for the day. Turns out the task was to go for a spontaneous picnic. It had been raining earlier in the morning so a picnic wasn’t a great match, but I figured why not.
I came home and told Or that we needed to go for a picnic today, because his app told me to. He complained a bit at first, saying how cold and wet it was outside, but eventually I got him to go for it. We packed a bag with some treats and headed off to a park near our house. While we were at the park, he got down on one knee with beautiful words and a beautiful ring. And then came the amazing part….
He explained to me that the ODI Challenge wasn’t a real app – it’s only purpose was to fill the week leading up to my proposal with things that I loved to do. As a matter of fact, when he was building this app he had asked me to help him write the list of tasks. I hadn’t thought anything of it at the time, but apparently that was all part of his plan. If I wrote the task list, it was sure to be filled with things that I loved to do.
Then we got to the name. I hated ODI Challenge and harped on him through the whole week to think of a better name. Well, I was wrong. ODI Challenge wasn’t actually ‘Or’s Instagram Challenge’ – it was ‘I DO’ spelled backwards. He blew me away with that one. I couldn’t believe that he had put so much thought and so much effort into not only giving me the perfect proposal, but the perfect week with a picture documenting each day. Having been together for 8 years, I thought for sure he won’t be able to surprise me with a proposal, but he did and it was everything I had ever wished for and more.
Read Or’s account of it here.