Ashley and Doug

How We Met

Ashley’s Version – It all started on November 24th, 2011 on Thanksgiving Day. I was at my house with my family talking about our plans for the weekend when someone mentioned that my cousin Matt was having a brunch with his new roommates and their families at his new apartment and my parents were “invited”(that’s another story).. I knew I had to go. I definitely was just interested in seeing Matt’s apartment, not in seeing one of his new roommates (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise). Two days later, we’re at the infamous “Bordello” (yet another story) apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for a mini-camp friends reunion. One of Matt’s roommates happened to be a good looking fellow dressed in gym shorts, a cut off shirt, and sandals (Yes, it’s still November). Anyone that knows Doug, knows that he is the person I’m describing. After making some sly remarks and making sure he knew I existed, it came time to leave and that was that.

That night I went home and went to my sister’s room and expressed my interest in Doug and added him on Facebook, as one does (or did in 2011). Two days go by and I’m back at Ramapo College watching the Victoria Secret fashion show with my roommate Sam and friend Geneen. I couldn’t help but tell them about the guy I met at my cousin’s brunch as well as complain that he hadn’t messaged me on Facebook yet after TWO WHOLE days. I decided to take matters into my own hands and send him a message saying “So, when are we all hanging out?” We ended up chatting on Facebook messenger for several hours and towards the end, we discussed what both of our plans were for the weekend. I told him I would be in Hoboken for both Friday and Saturday night and he claimed he was also going into Hoboken to see his friend (For the record, those plans were made after we spoke). We met up in Hoboken that Friday night, and I haven’t been interested in anyone else since.

Doug’s version: Please ignore everything Ashley just said – I’m about to lay some truth down to this whole, ‘how we came to be’ business. Also, being the competitive person that I am, I’ve decided to keep a ‘relationship score’ (patent pending). Apologies for the novel, but here we go….

It all started back in the Fall of 2011. I had just moved in with three upstanding members of society on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, into a, wait for it, legendary apartment (which right before our occupancy, was used as a brothel). Two of my roommates, Matt and Ben, along with myself, were second generation attendees of Camp Monroe – our families have been friends since long before we were born. We decided to throw a brunch for our families, and eventually, the invitation was extended out to Matt’s uncle, aunt, and cousins – one of them being Ashley. It was later revealed that Ashley only decided to attend the brunch because she thought I was ‘cute’ (point one for Doug – the score is 1-0). Anyways, not knowing that this exceptionally attractive girl was not only coming to the brunch but also possibly romantically interested in me, I was very ill prepared, to say the least. I woke up very hungover, probably showered myself with Axe body spray, threw on some gym shorts and a t-shirt, and spent the whole brunch bragging that my contribution to everyone’s meal was that I sliced some oranges. Somehow, Ashley still found me irresistible, as I realized when I caught her staring at me from across the room (point 2 for me – Me 2, Ashley 0).

Fast forward – a few days later, I see that one, ‘Ash Sperbs’, shot me a friend request on Facebook (back when Facebook was a thing). I clicked ‘accept’, and then did nothing. I’ve since decided that I was playing ‘hard to get’ (the easy point here – it is now Me 3, Ashley 0).

A few days later, I’m on my brothel-couch watching Ben as a contestant on that night’s episode of Wheel of Fortune (this is true – please mention ‘purple paisley pajamas’ next time you see him). All of a sudden, I realize I have a Facebook message, back when Facebook messaging was also a thing, from one ‘Ash Sperbs’ (4-0 Doug!!!! It’s a blow-out….). It read ‘so when are we getting drinks’? I didn’t know if she meant ‘we’ as in me and her, or as in a group of people, so I didn’t give her a straight answer. We proceeded to talk for a good two hours, and I definitely did not pay attention to my best friend being on a celebrated game show as much as I should have. Either way, Ashley told me she was going to Hoboken the upcoming Saturday night, to which I responded I was too. I subsequently realized I needed to make plans to be in Hoboken the following night – because I couldn’t pass this opportunity up (my fake plans get Ashley gets on the scoreboard, it’s 4-1 me).

We met up that night and several other nights. One time I brought her some coffee to her college apartment because she was studying for a test. She downed the coffee and then started rolling around on the floor while shrieking. That’s really the only important moment you need to know (and she since has become a more civil coffee drinker). Because our relationship continued past this coffee incident, Ashley gets a point here (4-2 me) because she got free coffee, and I didn’t run away terrified.

I also knew from the get-go that Ashley was the one for me. I had visited my brother at Indiana University – I stayed with him at his frat house. I remember telling him about Ashley and how pumped I was to continue to see her, and at that point, I had only hung out with her twice (point for Ashley – 4-3 Doug). After this conversation, I was covered in latex-based paint at a paint party that my brother was responsible for as a Social Chairman. I am allergic to latex, and my whole body was swollen for the next few days. Thanks, Scott.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in our apartment in Hoboken, NJ

How He Asked

Ashley’s Version- We had been dating for 6 years (a little drawn out if you ask me) and we were having our annual Post-Thanksgiving Brunch with family and friends ( see how we met for reference) at our apartment in Hoboken, NJ. Yes, after 6 years together we are living in the city where it all began. I woke up relatively early to get the apartment cleaned and get some last minute things together. Doug continued to lay in bed, but that’s neither here nor there. The party started at 1 pm so I planned it out perfectly to shower, go to Rite Aid and then come back and get ready before everyone arrived. I thought it was odd when Doug asked me when I was showering. I also thought it was odd when I went into the bathroom and Doug again asked me if I’m showering. But otherwise, he was cool as a cucumber.

Finally, I showered, blow dried my hair and got ready to run to Rite Aid with Doug. He asked me to help him with something on our patio and although he couldn’t quite explain what he wanted me to do, he managed to get me outside. When he stopped being able to answer my questions, that’s when I caught on to what was happening. He said “come here” and pulled me over to him. After he told me he’s been waiting to do this for a long time and how much he loves me, I started to cry, and he got down on one knee.

Where to Propose in our apartment in Hoboken, NJ

While all of this was happening, our family was hiding behind some shrubs across the roof deck, our friends Maddie and Ryan were closer by snapping some pictures, and they all popped out when he got down on one knee. After I, of course, said YES (he claims I didn’t say yes, but I promise you I did) he then had to let me know that our family was there, as well as Maddie and Ryan and they all came running over. It wasn’t until that point that I knew anyone was watching us. I guess I was a little preoccupied getting engaged to the love of my life :)

Proposal Ideas our apartment in Hoboken, NJ

No, we never went to Rite Aid, I was not able to fully get ready and the party that I threw for our family — I mean our engagement — started a little earlier than I expected, but it was the perfect engagement to my perfect person.

Doug’s Version- Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2017 – Ashley and I are living together in Hoboken. I’ve come to the decision that the time is right for me to propose. Having continued the brunch tradition each year, I figured right before the festivities, with our families secretly watching, would be the perfect time to pop the question (I know, I’m such a romantic). So I put on my best pair of gym shorts (I will fight anyone for the right to wear gym shorts, in any situation), ask her to meet me on our terrace, and I do the damn thing. She said ‘yes’, which was cool (now I’m giving myself 100 points because I got her to agree to marry me, and she is insanely out of my league – score finishes at 103-4 Doug in an unexpected romp).

Which leads me to present day – I couldn’t be more excited to marry ‘Ash Sperbs’ (even though I made her change her name to ‘Ashley Sperber’ on Facebook six years ago). She is the best possible person for me – I couldn’t imagine anyone else for my never-aging self to watch get old. I want nothing more than for October 21, 2018, to get here already, so we can make this official. And I promise to remember everything the next day, this time.