Ben and Darci's Story Book Proposal
how we met
Darci and I had been friends for a while, and I started to realize that I had a big crush on her and had to make my move.
I asked her to go to dinner with me because my sister was pressuring me to bring a suitable date to some dinner party she was throwing. We had an incredible time, and by the end of the night, I knew I had to find a way to see her again.
Sunday afternoon after our “date”, I was sitting at a bar with a buddy and plotting how I could get her to go with me to an Andrew Bird concert that I had tickets to the next week. I had originally made plans with someone else, but long story short, we came up with a plan and it worked perfectly. We have been inseparable ever since.
how he asked
Darci is an amazing girl with a beautiful spirit, and I had to give her an amazing proposal that she would love and remember. She is a 2nd grade teacher, and I came up with an idea to write a children’s book to pop the question. I enlisted the help of some freelance artists on Craigslist and an independent book publishing company, and I set out to write the fairy tale that is our love story.
Even though I knew she would say yes, I was nervous before asking her. We went to Strand Books, where I drew her attention to the book and began to read it to her. All my nerves quickly passed as I read the story and saw the smile on her face and the tears fall from her beautiful eyes. At the end of the book, I got down on one knee and presented the ring. I was thrilled to start this new journey in our lives.
how we met – her side
Ben was one of the first people I met after moving to New York in 2008. He made quite a first impression, but not in a good way. Our strong personalities did not exactly click right away. In fact, it took me a few months to appreciate his sense of humor.
Spring came along and we soon connected and commiserated over our mutual love for the NY Mets. By the end of the season, I think we both began to realize we wouldn’t have an excuse to spend so much time together.
Soon after the last game at Shea, Ben asked me a favor. He needed someone to accompany him to some sort of family function. Being that we were “just friends” I happily obliged. Ben assured me it would be the most magical night of my life, but knowing his sense of humor I didn’t give any thought to his ulterior motives (if he had any).We had so much fun together, and by the end of the night I was second-guessing our platonic status.
Three days later, another favor request showed up in my inbox. He had tickets to a concert and his date had bailed last minute. As soon as I said, “Sure,” he asked for one more…”Mind if we get dinner before? I’m going to be starving.”
When I left work to meet him, I couldn’t help but notice the onset of butterflies in my stomach. I was really excited to see him again. But in the back of my mind I was thinking, “It’s Ben…what?!” The conversation flowed easily throughout dinner, and I felt completely comfortable around him. The ease of conversation followed us to the concert venue where we chatted over drinks at the bar. Ben tried to kiss me. I turned my cheek. He said, “Come on. Kiss me!” And so I did…And it was perfect!
It wasn’t awkward the way first kisses could be. It was effortless and comforting. It felt like I had finally found my home after wandering the world lost and alone. And at that moment, I knew he was “the one.”
From that day on we were completely inseparable…and still are!
how he asked – her side
On Sunday, November 6, 2011, Benjamin took me to Strand Books under the guise of “shopping for a book for his niece.” We walked up to the children’s section, and I began to wander around browsing. After a while, he called me over to him saying, “Come over here. I want to show you a cute book.” I went over to him, and on the table was a book called You Get Me! He began to read it to me. At first I thought this was just a book that had some cute coincidences with my life. At one point, I asked him, jokingly, “Is this book about me?” He went on reading, and eventually it became obvious that this book was absolutely about me, written by Benjamin himself! I began to sob…he continued to read…and finally on the last page, he got down on one knee with THE RING and asked, “Darci, will you marry me?”
I was overjoyed! I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t speak. I think I nodded and barely uttered the word, “Yes!” It was an incredible moment. We went back into one of the bookshelves so that I could calm down. I called my entire family and close friends to share the amazing news!
Afterward, we went to Ben’s sister’s apartment where his whole family and a few of my gal pals were waiting to celebrate with champagne and cheesecake.
Photos by Kimberly Coccagnia