How We Met
It’s honestly a bit funny and unconventional how Steven and I met. I was attending a local community college in the Bay Area working part-time at Nordstrom. I was a bit of a coffee addict (total understatement) and had to have my multiple daily fixes from the Nordstrom coffee shop. I learned that one of the baristas also attended the same college, and we decided to start carpooling as we were also from the same city. After a few weeks of carpooling to work, she had asked me to hang out with her one night and hit up a bar or club with a few of her guy friends from high school. Unfortunately, I was only 20 years old (literally a few weeks away from turning 21) and therefore not of the legal drinking age, so I was unable to join them. The next morning, my carpool buddy was in the hallway waiting for our next class, and she told me she had a very casual hookup with one of the guys. I didn’t think much of it.
A few days later, she invited me to come out with those same guys, as one of them was my neighbor who lived a few streets away. They picked me up from my house, it was dark so I couldn’t really get a sense of what they looked like. By the time we got inside the guy who was my neighbor’s house, I realized I was immediately attracted to him. I also realized he was the guy my friend hooked up with. His name was Steven.
Steven and I discovered we had a lot in common. He was one year older and we grew up in the same neighborhood, however, I attended private school in another city, which is why we never met at the local public schools. My godbrother was his childhood best friend, and my junior high best friend was his crush. We even grew up grocery shopping at our local Food Maxx and bought the same comic books (he loved Jughead, and I was obsessed with Betty and Veronica).
While all of us were drinking that night, I told them a story about the night before – I had approached a really cute guy at Starbucks, only to be shut down because he mentioned having a girlfriend. Before the night ended, I managed to get a few minutes alone with Steven. I mentioned that we should hang out in the future since we lived really close to each other (I wasn’t actually thinking of dating him since I knew he hooked up with my friend, and I was also still involved with someone else). He said to just hit him up on Facebook since he thought I added him earlier that night when I saw our mutual friends. I hadn’t, so I grabbed his phone and put my number in it.
Steven texted me a few hours after I left that night and all he said was:
“Hey, it’s Steven from tonight. I just wanted to let you know that if I was that guy at Starbucks, you’d never have to approach me, I would have come up to you first.”
Needless to say, the rest was history. We’ve been together since May 19, 2011.
How They Asked
Steven and I custom designed my engagement ring together in October 2018. I had worked in jewelry for a few years, so jewelry is kind of my forte. I actually think designing an engagement ring with your partner can be very romantic – we custom made a ring that represents both of our styles.
I clearly knew the proposal would be coming in the near future, but he actually managed to surprise me. We had plans to view a venue in Sacramento. Since he is a professional chef and our wedding is going to be very small, Steven is very adamant on self-catering our wedding with some of his chef colleagues. Only a handful of venues allow self-catering/outside catering, so we knew we had to check out this venue due to high demand even though he hadn’t proposed.
On our way to the venue in Sacramento, Steven mentioned he wanted to buy one of his favorite Asian savory pastries at Shengkee bakery in front of UC Berkeley. Our first studio apartment was a few blocks away when I was attending my undergrad at Berkeley. I didn’t think much of it and figured I could use the restroom while he stopped to get food.
After we used the restroom on campus, Steven said he wanted to smoke for a minute. We walked over to this little hidden creek area surrounded by trees. When we got there, he pointed down on the ground behind this big cut tree trunk and I saw a white box. My heart skipped a beat and I went down to pick it up, however it was empty!
When I looked up, I saw Steven was on his knee with a (much better looking) open velvet box with a light showcasing my ring. I immediately started crying and bent down to kiss him.
I guess he asked me to marry him, but I could barely hear anything he said! I asked him to put the ring on me, and he said ‘you have to say yes first.’ I said yes of course! He put the ring on me and I continued to cry.
He got up from his knee and we embraced each other. He said he wanted to propose at UC Berkeley because the campus and the city meant so much to us and is a huge reason to why we were together.
It might not have been the most surprising proposal because I knew it was coming any day now, but it was so meaningful and romantic. The actual execution of his proposal was the surprise- and I’m so glad he did it at a place so important to us.