How We Met: Frankie and I met at Purdue University the second semester of our freshman year. We were at a mutual friends house on a random weekend hanging out before going out to a party. From that moment we saw each other around campus and other events more often and instantly became really good friends. We even had several classes together. If he told the story, he would say I copied off of his homework assignments, but the truth is I basically helped him graduate college. :)
He always made jokes that we’re such great friends and we should just date, but it never went beyond a few minutes of eye rolls and some laughs. Fast forwarding to 2012, we were both a year or two into the professional adult world and were both living the single life in two major cities, he in New York and me in Chicago.
His relationship joke about us never stopped post graduation and again, said that we’re such great friends we should just date, but this time, instead of laughing at him and rolling my eyes, I said, ‘okay, let’s do it!’ We didn’t know what would come of this, but I’m really happy we didn’t let fear stop us for giving it a try because 3 years later, he’s asked me to walk beside him on this journey towards forever and I couldn’t be any happier!
how they asked: The video goes into this a little, but just to add a few more details, as close college friends Frankie revealed to me that he’d never had a birthday party and that he always felt left out in school as a summer baby because he didn’t get to celebrate his summer birthday, July 9, with his classmates. Of course, this instantly triggered an idea in my head to throw a surprise birthday party for him with all our college friends that would be around campus for summer classes.
Another close friend shares this same birthday so we collaborated their surprise party which was such a success, it birthed the annual celebration we now officially know as #J9. Post graduation, #J9 continued on and serves as an annual reunion for our friends in the Midwest, the west cost and east coast to celebrate a weekend of happiness, friendship and accomplishments. This year was no different, so the craziness of friends and family flying or driving into Chicago was expected.
After a weekend of non-stop fun, we winded down at brunch on Sunday with everyone there. Frankie stepped out to grab a cake that I was initially supposed to pick up on Friday and completed forgot (oops!), so again, him leaving was not anything that made me think twice. All of a sudden, I hear his voice on the television screen in the venue and the video plays as he walks me through memory lane from our friendship to our relationship and I am smiling from ear to ear, shedding only a few tears, of course. :)
When he walked in the door I was in shock, my body couldn’t even move! I was so happy and excited I couldn’t even make out the word ‘yes’ loud enough so he had to tell everyone my response. I am so proud of him for putting this together. He is so thoughtful and caring and always wants the best for me. I am definitely very lucky soon to be Mrs. Long.
Side note: Frankie used to always carry a Jordan book bag on campus, not only for his school materials, but also for some extra toiletries in case he was not going back to his place for the night (lol). Because of what this book bag signified in his single / bachelor life, our friends get really loud with the awe’s and the laughs as he officially throws out his Jordan book bag around 5:54.
Photos & Video: Ivan Land