Shirley and Kaya

Image 1 of Shirley and Kaya

How We Met

After being pressured endlessly to try online dating, I began by setting up a free profile with Plenty of Fish, not having much hope for success. A few weeks had gone by and the prospects for finding a “match” were dismal. I received hundreds of douchey emails from guys, and all them were ignored. One day, about a month in, Kaya sent me a message that was charming and polite. I opened his profile, and for the first time, really liked what I saw! We began by emailing back and forth, but quickly moved to the phone. We would spend hours speaking to each other every day it seemed. After about two weeks, we had a date set; Kaya was going to pick me up and take me to my favorite place, Disneyland! By then, because of how much time we had spent on the phone together, I already felt like I knew everything about him, but I was still nervous to meet him in person.

Kaya arrived at my parents house one Friday at about noon, and My sister, Crystal, made me secretly snap a photo of Kaya’s license plate and send it to her before I got in Kaya’s car! Kaya got out, and opened my door for me, (good sign!). I hadn’t realized that Kaya was super tall! His profile said he was 6’4″, but I didn’t really consider it until then. I got in and Kaya handed me a gift. I opened it and found a CSUN hoodie, which was cute because at the time I was considering applying to go to graduate school at CSUN, which is very close to where Kaya lives! It was honestly a little awkward at first, trying to small talk on the way to the park, but after our nerves relaxed, we enjoyed ourselves, and let the park do all the work for us. Usually Friday’s at Disneyland are packed, but for some reason, this day the park was very chill, and we were able to get on a ton of rides, making the day even more magical. We ended the night by watching my favorite show, Fantasmic. It was Kaya’s first time ever seeing it, and he loved it! We spent that entire day together, and it left me wanting more. I was sad to have him drop me off that night, but I departed that evening with a kiss goodnight, and I knew it wouldn’t be long before we had our second date; (the next day actually :D).

how they asked

We had been discussing marriage after about a year and half of dating; we both knew that we didn’t ever want to be apart from each other. Kaya had been secretly speaking with a saleswoman at Tiffany’s for a few weeks about my ideal ring, and was even able to bring me in while we were running errands near the store, and the saleswoman totally acted like it was her first time meeting Kaya! She showed us a few rings, to help us “pass the time”, including the one Kaya had been looking at. When I saw her bring it out, I instantly fell in love with it, before I even knew that it would eventually be mine. After that day I had planned a 2 day trip to Big Bear to celebrate Kaya’s birthday along with my family, and I quietly thought that this would be when Kaya proposed; it was perfect after all, with all the fresh beautiful snow, and my entire family present. Well the trip had come and gone, and nothing happened! I was a little disappointed, and now had no idea when Kaya was planning to make the move! A few days had gone by, and we’re in March. I had a week off coming up for Spring Break in April, but we had decided earlier to forgo our annual trip to the Mexican Riviera to help us save money for our future.

One night, about two weeks before Spring Break, Kaya spontaneously purchased two plane tickets, and a hotel room for a 7 day trip to Playa Del Carmen; our favorite vacation spot. We had even booked a guided tour of Chicken Itza with our usual tour guide, a location that we had yet to visit. With so little time to prepare for our trip, those two weeks leading up to our flight went by quickly, and before we knew it we were checking in to our hotel room.

The weather was perfect, and the people are always warm and welcoming. It felt great to be back at our familiar getaway, and wasted no time shifting into “vacation mode”. We kept ourselves busy each day, backpacking though the city on foot, and taking public transportation with the locals to visit other nearby tourist locations. About half way through our vacation was our trip to Chicken Itza. We had to be ready by 7am, not our usual vacation “wake up time”, and the weather forecast for Chicken Itza that day was over 100 degrees! Needless to say, I wasn’t dolled up and looking my prettiest for the big moment that was soon to come…’

After over two hours of driving through the thick peninsula countryside, we found ourselves arriving at the ancient site. “El Castillo” could be seen skying well over the thick tree line from far away. After organizing our 12 person party, we headed in. We passed countless vendors and locals selling souvenirs, and the heat was already beating down on us. We made our way to the main courtyard where the famous monument stood. To grasp its size while standing in front of it was truly awe inspiring. Our guide was allowing each group within our party a moment to pose in front of “El Castillo” while he took photos of us. Our turn was quickly approaching, and I noticed that Kaya was now handing both of our phones to our guide. I was positioned in front of the monument, and Kaya was still standing next to our guide, speaking with him. I was growing impatient, as there were a few groups that had yet to take their picture and were waiting for us to finish! I approached to remind Kaya that there were people waiting for us, but he quickly shoo’d me away from them, careful to make sure I didn’t hear anything he was saying.

Image 2 of Shirley and Kaya

Image 3 of Shirley and Kaya

Kaya finally took his pose next to me, and I awaited for our guide to begin taking our photos; and just then, Kaya bends over to tie his shoes! Unbelievable! I looked down at him in to scold him for being so inconsiderate! Next thing I know, Kaya is taking a knee, and presenting me that same stunning Tiffany’s ring that I immediately recognized from before. I was so surprised, that all I could say was “Are you serious?!” Kaya asked me to be his wife, and I said yes. We were both so caught up in the moment, that Kaya accidentally put the ring on my right hand, and on-lookers had to remind us to take our first kiss! We received a brief round of applause from our group, and we continued with our guided tour, but to tell you the truth, I was so swept off my feet that I couldn’t tell you the first thing we learned about Chichen Itza that day, (I guess we’ll have to just go back!)

Image 4 of Shirley and Kaya