Amanda and Michael

How We Met

So here’s the fact of the matter: Me and Michael (or Michael and I, depending on who you ask) are getting married. Huzzah. But that’s not the beginning of this story, though it is close to the beginning, as our forthcoming joyous exchange of vows is still only the beginning of a much longer and grander story. Then there’s the whole history of the universe, which is totally crazy and need not be explored any further here. Let’s stick with Me and Michael for now, thank you very much. THE PART IN WHICH WE MEET (SORT OF) So, the real beginning of this story (but not the big bang beginning, because no more universe stuff) opens on myself sitting in Portland OR nearing the eve of relocating to Phoenix AZ. It’s December 2014, and I am thinking to myself it would be nice to get an idea of what the dating-pool is like in the sunny southwest before moving. And so I download a dating-app, and like so many have in the cadence of our times, began a journey that will bring love, joy, and my ring. Through this same app, Michael (change of POV ya’ll) is idly perusing profiles when one belonging to a beautiful young lady named Amanda (myself of course) comes striking across his screen. We connect. We begin to talk. Things are going super, super well. If you need to know just how well, just re-read the first sentence of this 100% historically accurate document. Proof’s in the pudding, friend. But as time goes by, the talking slows. I will admit, I was intimated by some of the other girls in the pictures on Michael’s profile. To be clear, I didn’t need to be but social media is weird, you know? Anyway. THE PART IN WHICH WE MEET (FOR REALSIES) Flash forward to June of 2015. I have been in Phoenix for a few months settling in, mixing it up, and having a great time. On a whim, I hop back on to the aforementioned dating app. Simultaneously elsewhere in Phoenix, Michael finds himself taking a gander at the app as well. Both of us happened to be online at the same time.

See where this is going? Little thing called serendipity. Michael messaged me, “Hey, Stranger. Been a while.” I replied with, “Just been busy.” What ensues can be condensed thusly: awkward small talk, playful banter, an exchange of phone numbers, and a date set to meet – we would be watching a movie at Michael’s place. And so it goes. THE PART IN WHICH WE HAVE A FIRST DATE (KIND OF) I head over to meet Michael at his place to watch a movie called “The Boy Next Door” (it’s the one with Jennifer Lopez and statutory rape, don’t worry about it). As happy as we were to meet in-person for the first time, Michael struggled through the beginning of movie, having been up entirely too early for work that morning. J-Lo’s barely been on screen for 10 minutes before Michael’s eye lids grow heavy, and he’s lulled into a deep sleep. He eventually awakes to rolling credits and a slightly perturbed date sitting next to him. We both awkwardly laugh it off, and I hesitantly agreed to a second date. Michael lucks out big-time I might say. THE PART IN WHICH WE CONTINUE TO HAVE DATES (FOR REALSIES) What follows are a series of dates with great conversation, the revealing of a shared love of the show “Friends”, and pivoting into a serious relationship. Love blossoms and we move in together. It’s a lot of stuff, and it all fits snuggly into one paragraph. Long and short of it, we are very happy and very much in love. Good things. Despite all of this, Michael never officially asked me out and/or to be his girlfriend, but we’ll get back to that in a minute. After some time, I began to casually start talking about marriage – preferences in ceremony type, dress, and in ring. Michael wisely pretended not to listen – operative word being “pretended”. He is secretly cultivating a mental list and waiting patiently, to exact his plan, which sounds creepy but it isn’t. It’s terribly clever and sweet.

How He Asked

THE PART IN WHICH MICHAEL HAS A RING To set the stage: it is our second anniversary. We got away to the Arizona Grand Resort for a bit of rest and relaxation – fun in the resort’s water park, and some entertainment from Guy Fieri via the Food Network on the hotel room’s TV. After breakfast Michael told me that we needed to stop by his friend DeAndre’s house to pick up my anniversary present. Meeting them there are DeAndre and DeaAndre’s brother and Michael’s friend Jesse – all for the purpose of helping move my anniversary present into the car on account of being heavy. Little did I expect this “anniversary present” is simply a small jewelry box. Misdirection abounds. Once again back in the hotel room, Michael waits for me to shower before dinner. Once I was in the bathroom, he moves around the room, banging on the closet door to make it seem as though my allegedly gargantuan gift is hiding inside.

He then places the jewelry box discreetly in the nightstand drawer with a small note. THE PART IN WHICH THERE IS A PROPOSAL (MOSTLY) With everything in its place, it’s now Michael’s turn to shower before dinner. He turns on the water in the bathroom, and texts me, now sitting on the bed, stating that some one may have left something in the nightstand drawer on my side of the bed. There I found a hand-written note and a small box. The note reads in a terrifically great callback, “Will you go out with me?” Inside the box is a ring. I was stunned and barged in the bathroom. “Is this a promise ring?” I asked. “No…,” he responds. The gravity of the question, the ring, and the reality of what is happening begin to wash over me. Tears stream down my face. “Really? Are you serious? You want to marry me?” I asked in shock. Michael confirms – yes. THE PART WHERE THERE IS A PROPOSAL (FOR REALSIES) The next ten minutes are a blur of laughter, tears, and excitement. I call mine and Michaels’ immediate family. It is my own mother that reminds reminds, “Did he actually ask you? Didn’t he never actually ask you out?” My mom bringing it back for yet another phenomenal callback. At once, I put it to Michael to ask, not on a piece of paper, but together in the same room. He tells me he wants to marry me. He asks to be his wife. And as such, I want to marry him too.  I immediately said yes. And so ends the very beginning of this love story. Huzzah.

Special Thanks

Julie Estrada | 
Photographer
Tim Belding | 
Wrote our Story