Our first year at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Glenna and I both lived on North Campus. We had many of the same friends and saw each other often without ever realizing it. Three full years later, during the summer of 07, I had voiced my feelings on Facebook about how crappy I was playing (I play hockey). Glenna wrote to me and said “Learning how to play hockey again? What is that all about? Last time I checked you’re pretty much a ROCKSTAR!” I have to admit, it made me feel pretty good that such a hot chick took the time to give me a shout out, but I still knew she was out of my league.
Well, a lot happens in a summer and I found out the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” couldn’t be more truthful when it came to Glenna. One Saturday night, my roommates and I were having after bar at our place. The house was packed full of people, who were dancing and having a good time – and Ms. Glenna Zhe was there. Glenna’s friend Brittney made me dance with her and I couldn’t resist. Hours later, with everyone else gone, Glenna and I ended up dancing, singing, and laughing the night away.
After that night we started talking more and more, my hockey sweatshirts started disappearing, someone was always front and center at my hockey games, and we always found an excuse to hangout together. Day by day I found my feelings for Glenna were more than just a simple spark and that I truly loved that girl for a lot more than just being the best looking girl on campus. Having to deal with a life-changing event brought on a world of troubles that I was fortunate to battle through because of Glenna’s love and support.
In winter of 2006, my girlfriends and I were regulars at all the Stout hockey games to watch our friends play. So much so that while we were always at least 15 minutes late, we had our own front row bench blocked off and waiting for us to arrive, always. With all the sweet chants we had, one of them happened to be “Stone for President” for our goalie because he was that good. You really couldn’t deny our goalie, this “Stone” character was pretty amazing but to me, that was pretty much it, I followed along but never thought anything else of it.
At an after party, I remember taking a picture and asking my friend “Hey, who’s that guy in the yellow?” Amy simply replied, “Are you serious? That’s Mike Stone, our goalie! And by the way, the party we’re at right now, well it’s kind of his house.”
That next summer, after becoming Facebook friends with Mike, I read one of his status updates about how he was not doing so well at his summer hockey league. I decided to write him a message assuring him, very diplomatically, that he was indeed a stellar goalie. I got back a very minimal response and left it alone.
The next year, at again, a hockey party at his house, Mike was doing his best attempt to capture everyone’s attention and be in the spotlight by dancing. Let me tell you, it worked, whenever Mike is on the dance floor people just watch! I have always stuck to a simple piece of advice my Mom always said to me “Never trust a guy that can’t or won’t dance. A guy that can dance is one you should marry.” My Dad always chimes in at this point and says, “That’s how I got your mom,” and smiles.
So like everyone else, I was fixated on watching this Mike Stone character do some amazing moves. As I was standing back, thoroughly impressed, my friend Brittney grabbed me, grabbed him and said “You’re a good dancer, and Glenna, you’re a good dancer.. so dance together,” then walked away. I obliged and what started as an awkward first dance, continued into a night of dancing, singing, laughing and getting to know each other.
In the next weeks, I remember spilling to my mom about this guy, “Stone,” and how much fun I had with him. Soon after that, I introduced him to my parents as my “boyfriend” and the rest is history.
In 2010, I had landed my first teaching job and was SO excited… except, that it was 6 hours away from my boyfriend of 3 1/2 years. Before I left, Mike promised me everything would be fine and we’d make it through the year stronger than ever. December rolled around which happens to be my favorite time of the year – Christmas time, of course. My family and I always celebrate Christmas to the max and Mike knew how much it meant to me. So, with being 6 hours apart, Mike asked if the day I got home for Christmas break, if the two of us could just take the night to go out to a nice dinner, just the two of us before the hustle and bustle of managing our family Christmases started.
We ate at the St. Paul Grill at the Historic St. Paul Hotel in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. It’s one of my favorite places to go but it’s super nice and expensive so we don’t get there too often. We got all dressed up for a night out, but I thought nothing more of it.
We sat at dinner and Mike had been texting all night — saying he was checking his hockey team’s score, though he had promised me a night away from his obsession. Little did I know, he was conversing with Chris, our photographer and Ryan, our videographer of the night. It started to absolutely blizzard outside and by the time dessert tray came, I was stuffed and ready to go home.
Mike, on the other hand, asked if I would like to go across the street to watch to the Ice Skating Rink to watch the ice skaters and get some hot chocolate. As you can see, in my dress, heels and straightened hair, I was not too ecstatic to brave the blizzard. Since hockey is a big part of both our lives and it’s pretty much through hockey that we met, Mike convinced me to go watch some skaters thinking it was a romantic gesture of some caliber. When we walked in the warming house, everyone was staring at me. I thought it was because I looked like a total dork with my outfit at the skating rink but he led me through to the doors and as we approached them, Mike whispered “I may have one more surprise for you tonight.”
He opened the doors to the ice skating rink and there was a red carpet laid on the ice with a box at the end.
Everyone moved to the sides of the rink so it felt like we were out there alone.
I laughed, cried and finally said yes. As we walked into the warming house our photographer and friend, Chris Emeott, was waiting to show me a few quick shots of what he had hidden out and captured. It was the best proposal a girl could ever dream of and to have the pictures to capture the whole thing, was the most thoughtful and special surprise Mike could have ever given me!
So, I guess my Mom’s advice was right. I found a guy who could dance, held onto him and someday can pass on that crucial piece of advice, “Never trust a guy that can’t or won’t dance. A guy that can dance is one you should marry.” And Mike can interject with a smile and say, “That’s how I got your mom.”
In mid-August, when I started planning the proposal, I asked my grandma if she had something special that I could use to start a tradition with! She left her living room and came back 5 minutes later with a huge golden double ring which held a light blue stone. She …
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