Arius and Jeffery
How We Met
We first chatted on Facebook with a small group of Spectrum members, starting a friendship. Each day for the next week we spent together. Special moments included: Going to Lavish, a gay club in London, and having our first dance to Rihanna’s “We Found Love” where a couple years later we won tickets to go to her private 777 concert to make it kind of full circle; on the day before we made our relationship official we had a pre-date at Williams coffee to prepare us for the actual date so we wouldn’t be so nervous; On our “actual first date” after we decided to make it official, we were on a walk and as we kissed on Princess street it started to rain (something from a gay Nicholas Sparks book); Also, the moment where I realized Arius was the one (before we were official), Arius performed “Back to Black” for me casually during a low-key night on the town where I was so memorized I almost fell off my chair (and in love- there’s Sparks again).
How He Asked
The lead-up to the proposal was a process: I believe I started planning in March of 2015 (about 5 months away). I wanted to get the details of the proposal right. I would say the game changer was proposing with the One Ring because he is such a big Lord of the Rings Fan. Next was location. My brother’s wedding was in early August and we were planning a trip to Nova Scotia right after so I thought this to be the perfect opportunity. We would tour the Maritime provinces so I had a few options available. When I learned about Cape Bear lighthouse and it being symbolic to Titanic, I thought perfect, he also loves Titanic and it plays with the movie theme. I suggested that in our touring we would see this lighthouse in PEI and he agreed.
Because of its location on the island, it made sense to have it first on the itinerary which posed a problem because it wasn’t open to going up it until later in the day. So I communicated with the Lighthouse’s Board of Directors and they happily agreed to have someone onsight earlier! I will also say I had an issue with thinking about how I was going to get his ring size and I wanted it to be as secret as possible. So I told him a story about how my grandmother in Nova Scotia wanted to make us leather gloves for Christmas and she needed our hand and finger sizes. We literally spent 3 hours one evening going through both of our digits getting width and length. A tiresome process but worth it!
It was August 4, 2015. The day began in Jeff’s childhood home after an evening of showing Arius around his quaint little hometown in which an evening’s worth of touring more than sufficed. Jeff feeling excited and nervous woke up extra early. He had pre-ordered the ring from New Zealand and this was the first time seeing it in person as it was shipped directly to Nova Scotia to keep the surprise. Jeff snuck the ring in his travel bag and for the first time, it began to feel very real. The plan was to wake up early and catch the first boat to Prince Edward Island. There was a list of things to do that day on the island.
The proposal would be at Cape Bear Lighthouse. Because the lighthouse was closest to the boat’s arrival location, this would be the first stop. It was the cool and calm reminder of the ocean breeze that kept Jeff in the moment, granting him enough composure to make the gesture of his lifetime. The island was a perfect place to propose. An Ontario boy and a Nova Scotia lad in a different province where now provinces didn’t really define them. The lighthouse was the location for which received the first distress signal in Canada from the Titanic. Arius had a love for the history of the Titanic. But to know Arius is to know his love for The Lord of the Rings. To continue off the movie theme, the ring kept hidden in Jeff’s backpack was The One Ring- made from the same jewelers who created the actual ring for the movie trilogy, Lord of The Rings.
The moment was now. Jeff was about to pull out the ring at the lookout of the lighthouse. He finally mustered up the courage to “pop the question” to only be kept down by Arius wanting to take a panoramic photo of the beautiful ocean scenery. Jeff was instructed to stay out of the way. It was a moment we laughed at and would share to those near to us. A newly engaged couple laughing about how the moment was almost right. But it was in that moment that Arius confirmed to Jeff that the location was certainly worthy and all of Jeff’s planning felt validated. Arius and Jeff did not tell anyone of the engagement until they left for New Brunswick later that evening. For that day, they were a newly engaged couple in a different province with a secret that was theirs…