Andrea and William
How We Met
If we get technical, Will and I have known of each other’s existence since high school. We were both in our high school choir and involved in the performing arts. Despite me having a crush on him (oh, lets say, since Junior year), I never spoke to him because I was afraid I wouldn’t be good enough for him (this “super talented” and “honors classes” man). Even after a friend told me he would “talk to that cutie” for me, I was too afraid. On the other hand, William will tell you he thought I was out of his league– such lies! By the time we graduated high school I was friends with his brother Anthony on social media (we met in our choir class), and I still hadn’t ever said more than “Hi” to Will. On our very first day of college, we ran into each other outside the bookstore due to mutual friend and groomsman, Billy. Unfortunately, we only spoke when mutual friends were involved, and because we didn’t talk much, it’s easy to understand that eventually we started dating other people. Once we declared our majors and stopped hanging out with the same crowd, we stopped seeing each other. However, we know there must be more to the story, so…
One night, 9 years after we first met, we bumped into each other in New York City (of all places!), for “A Conversation with Jimmy Page” (11/03/2014). Will was with a friend; two die-hard led-heads waiting to see an idol in person. I was there with my sister Lauren who would kill to meet Jimmy Page. We bumped into each other on the ticket line and I remember thinking, “What are the odds of running into someone from my town– someone I know in New York?! Thank God I look nice!”. The very next day we ran into each other outside his Criminal Justice class that also doubled as my Psychology class. He began asking me about my favorite member of Led Zeppelin– was it Jimmy Page?! I had to explain I wasn’t a fan, and all I remembered of the previous night was having a migraine, my sister demanding Jimmy Page talk about his beard, and then her crying all the way home. (To this day, somehow he still loves me despite my moderate interest in one of his favorite bands…) Over classic rock music, love of all things 70’s & 80’s, and the odds that we both were studying criminal justice, we began talking again. In fact, every Tuesday and Wednesday we sat together in what was then the “science building” to get to know each other better. After a couple weeks of talking in between classes and missing a great opportunity to get my number he finally worked up the courage to ask for my cellphone number and talking became a daily occurrence that provoked 2 very unofficial dates; the supermarket (where he met my mother after) and the diner with one of his friends and my sister.
About a week before our first date is when he first asked if he could take me out and I remember walking into my mother’s room that night and saying, “I think I was just formally asked out on a date– that’s never happened before…” My mother will tell you that she knew the day she met him that she thought he was my future husband. I call “bluff”, but she’s certain she told my father this.
How He Asked
For the next three years, Will and I spent an endless amount of time together. I remember after our first date, looking up at him on our way back to his car and thinking, “I’m going to fall in love with this man.” I had always joked that I wouldn’t get married unless someone stood outside my window with a boombox (like my favorite movie), and my sister would always joke back that she would do it every New Year’s Eve, and that I would have to marry her. Because of life circumstances, I would always laugh and agree because I never imagined getting married.
Around the summer time of 2017, Will claims he knew he wanted to propose, but was trying to figure out how to arrange it to be a surprise. In July, he ordered a boombox on eBay and the Peter Gabriel cassette “So” which had the song, “In Your Eyes”. By November he told my mom he wanted to propose and she excitedly sneaked some ideas on sizes and styles to him. On 12/11/17 he took my mother to the jewelers for support and purchased a ring while I was at a work function. He then went back to my house because he wanted to assure “The Big Guy” (my dad) would approve. He happily told Will, “You know my answer. Now make sure she says yes.” For a week they kept the secret from me.
On 12/16/17 he had just finished working overtime on the New Jersey Turnpike due to a snow storm the night before and got home around 8 in the morning. We had plans for an early dinner and a couples’ massage to celebrate our anniversary, so he’d hoped his proposal, at first, would appear like an anniversary surprise/gift. When he arrived at my house I was with my mother and her visiting nurse (she’d just gotten home from a hip replacement) and headed up onto the back deck and stood there and waited, boombox over his head– full John Cusack style– in the snow. I came to the door to find out what was happening, and then in surprise and excitement proceeded to bombard him with questions like “Oh my God! Where did you get that boombox?” and “Is that an actual cassette?” He tried to hurriedly answer those questions and then before I could ask another he told her none of those questions were important– that the only question that was important was, “Will you marry me?”, and with that he knelt down in the snow and took out the ring. I froze (and not from the cold!), stared at him in awe for a second (or 5), and then my father gave me a tiny slap to the back of my head and said “Will you say something to the boy?!” I just barely made out the word “yes” and the excitement for us began. I’ll never forget walking the visiting nurse to the door after my mother’s appointment and her smiling through tears telling me, “You two give me hope for true romance. Don’t you ever forget your man got down on his knee in the snow for you!” I admit, I am a very lucky girl.