Stephanie and Gregory
How We Met: You know how those trips back home for the holidays can be. Sleeping in your childhood bed and spending “quality” time with your parents can only be fun for so long, and I had already hit that wall days earlier. Catching up with family and friends was great, but I was anxious and excited to get back to the life I had now built for myself living on my own in New York City.
I couldn’t get out of Rockville fast enough. So while the bus ride back to New York City was typically long and torturous, I was still excited to board. However, with poor weather, hazardous road conditions and what seemed to be never-ending waves of traffic ahead, I braced for what I knew would be a long and frustrating trip. As we started slowly inching along the highway, I quickly realized things were about to get worse.
Having planned to use the ride to catch up on some much-needed sleep, I was understandably disappointed to realize I was seated next to a “talker,” one who was eager to tell me anything and everything about himself. While typically a very outgoing person, this was the one time I really just wanted some peace and quiet. Unfortunately, my polite efforts to rebuff did little to damper his enthusiasm. Eventually, my lack of rest caught up with me and I finally fell asleep. When I awoke, we had already arrived in Manhattan.
As I slowly came to and gathered my belongings, I was excited to see that my gregarious neighbor had already gotten off the bus when it stopped an hour earlier in Philadelphia. As I approached the taxi stand for a ride back to my place I dug my hand into my bag to grab my wallet. As I shuffled my hand back and forth through the contents of my bag, panic quickly began to set in. Unsuccessful in my efforts to find it, I quickly dropped my other bags and began frantically looking and searching. I knew I had put it back in my bag as I boarded the bus in Maryland. That’s when it hit me…my wallet was stolen while I was on the bus!
The blood drained from my face in horror. EVERYTHING about me was in there, including a blank personal check I had foolishly tucked away in case of emergency. However, even more disappointing, was the fact that I lost my wallet, which had tremendous sentimental value to me. I was in hysterics as I rushed to my local bank, concerned about what damage already may have been done to my accounts. What would happen next would quickly turn one of the worst days of my life, into a moment that changed my life forever and one that I would never forget.
As I sat at the desk of a Banker, she tried to comfort me as she quickly issued new cards and accounts. As I lamented the loss of my treasured wallet, a gift I had bought myself after receiving my first ever bonus, the tall, dark and handsome Branch Manager suddenly appeared and interrupted. He empathized with what I was going through, and assured me everything would be fine. As upset as I was with everything that was going on, I still managed to notice him in his office as I walked in.
Now standing above me, I couldn’t help but become entranced by his piercing hazel eyes. As he turned to walk away, he added one last comment. “I know you are upset you lost your favorite wallet, but fear not, I have solved the problem!” He then proceeded to pull out and hand to me a hideously cheesy Velcro Citibank bright blue wallet straight out of the 1980’s. As ridiculous as the wallet was, I was smitten with his adorably charming attempt to make me smile and cheer me up.
As he walked back to his office, the banker helping me quickly turned and said, “Wow, I’ve never seen him approach a client like that!” As I summoned the courage to pull out a business card to give him my number, I realized the disastrous day I had endured was already behind me. With a quick check of my makeup and squirt of perfume I took a deep breath and approached. We exchanged cards and agreed to grab a drink later that night. It was during those first few dates when I realized that it wasn’t a question of if I would marry this man; it was only a question of when.
Over the next few years, we did everything together. The laughs, adventures and good times we have since shared have become too many to count. So as another Valentine’s Day rapidly approached, I refused to allow my imagination to wander…
how they asked: The day started off like any other Valentine’s Day. Greg had arranged for brunch reservations and I was excited to learn he was taking me to Sylvia’s in Le Parker Meridien hotel. We had always talked of going there together, especially as it was directly across the street from his Citibank branch where we first met. As our cab pulled up, Greg suggested we first snap a few pictures in front of the iconic Love sculpture on 55th street. Cold and hungry, I begrudgingly went along with it.
As we waited for our turn to take a photo amongst the tourists, I noticed Greg was particularly quiet. Nothing a Bloody Mary wouldn’t fix I thought. As we took our position in front of the giant red letters, Greg raised his camera above us to snap a few shots.
With his hand still raised in that all-too-familiar selfie pose, I noticed his body was slowly lowering ultimately taking him out of frame. As I turned to say something, my breath was taken away. As those hazel eyes I first fell in love with now stared up at me from bended knee, I was speechless.
As he began to profess his undying love for me, he calmly reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring.
I was floored! Fighting back a tear, I took a deep breath and declared, “yes!” We kissed and embraced, setting me up for yet another amazing
Suddenly, multiple photographers appeared out of nowhere, furiously snapping shots of the two of us. Greg introduced me to Paparazzi Proposals, a discreet surprise proposal photography company who was there capturing every second of this amazing moment.
We now had amazing pictures of the very moment Greg and I became engaged. We are now able to relive the magic with all of our family and friends. It was perfect for me because I own a social media agency, so the fact that I would have amazing photos for Instagram was a good move on Greg’s part. Even better, I can’t wait to one day share these photos with our children. Valentine’s Day 2015 was a day I will remember forever and I am looking forward to our wedding in just a few short weeks.