They say that while they're are millions of love stories in the world, the best love story is the one you create for yourself. I can assure you a million times that it is true.
Our love story was beginning to be written years ago - growing up less than two miles apart, going to high schools that were hundreds of feet apart, sharing mutual friends in college - the stars hadn't aligned yet, but eventually they would. You see, I had known for a long time who my future husband was - I just didn't know that he would be anything to me. About four years ago we became facebook friends, I don't know who added who but I knew who he was and he knew who I was.
We had a few random facebook exchanges - don't even ask me how because I can't tell you. Thanks to the powers of timeline, I found this hilarious exchange from 4 years ago regarding whether or not I could make a pumpkin spice latte at home: "i just texted cha cha and they say no" "nooo that's the most depressing news ever. i can't be giving $4.60 to starbucks everyday.""you need an in.... you need to flirt it up with a worker or at the bare minimum befriend some sucker that works there" "they lied! i made one semi successfully" "$4.60 is too much for a drink.... you need to correct your tastebuds and get used to $1 motor oil gas station coffee... then your home made pumpkin spice will taste delicious." My favorite other exchanges included making fun of someone's Halloween costume and discovering new Lady Gaga songs. I thought of myself as the biggest creeper ever when I admitted that he was my "secret crush"... that is until I discovered, you know, three years later when we were actually dating that I was his "secret crush". Life is funny that way.
Time went on and I started graduate school, I dated random guys here and there and couldn't seem to get all the way over an old flame - all the usual problems of a single girl. I finished graduate school and decided that I needed to clear out the clutter from my romantic life, no matter how hard it was to do. It sounds cliche but I knew that I was finally ready to find the one, where I hadn't really been ready before. I had always been distracted, distracted by old relationships, distracted by school, distracted by the freedom of having my own apartment and space, to really give a lot of thought to actually being in a relationship. Now, it was 2012 and I was finally ready - I believed it would happen and I knew it was coming.. but I didn't know when.
On April 4th, my friends decided to go downtown for opening day. I debated staying home, but finally decided that since I was looking for a job and didn't really have any responsibility the next day, I might as well go... which turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
While we were out, I walked past my future best friend and since we knew each other, he called out my name. I stopped to chat and I would say we had a brief 2 minutes exchange about books that ended with him asking me if I wanted to grab coffee and chat more. The next day, we shared a few texts and it seemed like that was where it would end. Until, we started texting again that night and ended up at the Starbucks inside of Barnes & Noble. We talked all night and I remember feeling that I had never been so comfortable with someone in my entire life, we chatted more outside and it was freezing... so we went inside to Gameworks and played video games and won tickets. We ended the night by getting temporary tattoos and shared a kiss goodnight in the parking lot.
We went on SO many fun dates over the next few weeks - he called restaurants to make sure they had gluten-free food and we ended up sharing drinks and getting dinner at a hip taco place, we shared Cincinnati's best ice cream, we viewed and experienced the music video exhibit and all of the other exhibits at the Contemporary Arts Center, we searched for a 3D puzzle at Big Lots & Toys R Us, rented Super 8 from the last existing video store, we built a replica of the White House out of Legos, I experienced Avatar for the first time ever, we made our own pottery on the wheel at a pottery class, we went to final friday at the art museum, we cooked risotto together while reading Dear Prudence out loud and I almost set the stove on fire, we went running at the park and I learned that I was capable of running 0.5 miles, within a few months we were an official couple.... the rest as they say is history.
We went through ups and downs, like every relationship does, but always came out stronger on the other side and continued to grow together in the process. In January, I left my single girl apartment life and moved into this house. Living together brought new experiences together - painting, cleaning, organizing, Game of Thrones marathons, Saturday breakfast and weekend chores, HGTV, sharing an itty bitty bed during the renovation our own room, in short, we began to build our lives together under the same roof. This summer, we decided to plan a trip to San Francisco and Sonoma for our first big vacation. Neither of us had ever been to California and I was so excited to be experiencing it together.
We made it to California, checked into our hotel and got ready for dinner. I had packed one of my favorite new dresses - a white shift dress - and decided it would be perfect for our first night out. We went to a dive bar before dinner and I started having a conversation with the bartender while my future fiance was chatting it up with a random man at the bar. The man suggested that we walk to the Coit Tower after dinner, I had researched it in our list of things to do and was totally excited about going. Little did I know that the man had asked Paul if we were in San Francisco celebrating an engagement, his response was "No, but I'm doing it tonight" - after exchanging some words regarding gameplan (and lack there of) he suggested the Coit Tower. We left the dive bar and had dinner at Vicoletto's - we split an amazing mozzarella, tomato basil salad and then I picked out the gluten-free pasta. Finally, after dinner, we made our way to the Coit Tower courtesy of Apple maps. I was in heels and we walked up what felt like a thousand steep stairs to get to the lookout point, we wandered around the area to find a stopping point. While the views of the city were foggy, you could still see lights and it was still breathtaking.
We found a lookout point and looked out over the bay. We talked about how we would remember this vacation forever and my future fiance stated that climbing all the steps of the tower reminded him of all of the things we had overcome in our relationship and now that we were at this point and where do you go from here, the next words that stand out in my mind were that I was raised to believe that the person you marry is one of the most important decisions of your life and you made that easy for me. He got down on one knee and I threw my clutch on the ground in sheer excitement, I didn't even look at the ring before I yelled yes as I tried to hug him while he was still down on one knee. We had picked out the setting together and had looked at diamonds, I had gotten teary during the showing of one of them and that was the diamond he picked - but I had no idea it would happen on our trip. He slipped the ring on and it slid around on my finger - San Francisco is cold - but the moment was perfect. We immediately text all of our family and friends and called too as soon as we got back to our hotel. It was the perfect proposal and everything about it was so us.
That moment is one that I will remember for my entire life and will tell our children and grandchildren about. To my fiance, I love you more than you will ever know, I honestly believe that I loved you even before I knew your name. Everyday that we share together, I only love you more and I can't imagine what adventures life has in store for us.
I knew if I didn't write our story soon, there could be details that I would forget - I don't want to forget anything about that moment! To me, this ring represents so much - our shared life together, our commitment for the future and our ability to love through thick and thin. Here's to many shared memories before and making more memories in the future :)
What's your love story?