Brook and John
How We Met
John and I met on December 8th, 2007. We were both in college at Mizzou, and I was living in the sorority house. My roommate was dating one of John’s best friends, and she invited me to the guys’ ugly holiday sweater party. I painted my nose red and wore reindeer antlers (with an ugly red sweater), and John had on a Rudolph tie. We took a picture together that night and I uploaded it to Facebook the next day, with the caption “soulmates.” We dated off and on that following year, but I ultimately broke up with him. In fact, he gives me trouble because apparently the day I dumped him, I texted him (on his flip phone, what’s up 2008?!) “Can you come over before work?” He loves to hold that over my head ;) John remembers every single detail from the last 10 years that involve me or us. He told me the first time we held hands (or, that we touched pinkies because he was too nervous to make a move), was when we were watching a movie at his house in college. When the Thomas Rhett song “Unforgettable” came out last year, I told him it reminded me exactly of him – “And I bet right now you’re probably thinkin’ that it’s crazy I remember every detail, but I do…”
John and I connected in a way I have never connected with anyone else. Even after we broke up, we remained friends (ish, sometimes not so much because we both dated other people), and we always ended up coming back to each other (always platonic, but there was an underlying love there). A few times throughout the years, he claimed he’d make an attempt to rekindle the flame, but I was always pretty oblivious. I moved to Phoenix 3 years ago, and somehow with the distance, we got closer. Every time I went back to Missouri, I would make it a point to see him. The timing was always off, though. This last summer, we connected more than ever, and we just kind of laid it all out on the table. We knew that if we were going to turn our friendship into a relationship, it was going to have to be the right timing because it was all or nothing.
We went pedal to the metal and got engaged just three months after making things “official” (almost exactly 10 years to the date that we met, in the same city, on the same college campus…).
How He Asked
I was spending my winter break (I’m a teacher) in St. Louis with John and our families. We had planned to take a day trip to Columbia (two hours outside of St. Louis, where we met in college) one of the weekends I was in town, just to visit the old stomping grounds and get a picture by the columns on the quad (since we never had before). I was SO sick the whole time I was in St. Louis – I’m a pre-k teacher, and I caught a horrible cold the week before Christmas. I had the worst cough, and I wasn’t able to sleep through the night. The Saturday morning we woke up to head to Columbia, I was EXHAUSTED – I had only slept about two hours the night before. I literally got out of bed, looked at John, and said, “I don’t want to do today.” But, life is always better with your best friend, so I was happy to hit the road. We were meeting my best gal pal (maid of honor!) and her boyfriend for brunch on the way out of town, and we had been looking forward to this day trip to Mizzou for so long, so I knew I had to muster up any energy I had left to power through the day.
John and I had our usual jam session in the car – he and I have always connected through music, and there are so many songs that are so meaningful to us. Goo Goo Dolls is a band that tugs at our heartstrings, because after we had met in college (but before we started dating), John posted the lyrics to Name on his Facebook… I, of course, commented more lyrics on it, and we both kind of look back at that social media moment as a turning point in our relationship. Fast forward 10 years… halfway to Columbia, “Slide” by Goo Goo Dolls came on the radio. Blissfully unaware, I locked eyes with him and we both sang “do you wanna get married, or run away…” Little did I know, we were on our way to getting engaged…
We pulled into town, and the first thing we wanted to do was get the columns picture out of the way (it was about 11 degrees that day, and we wanted to get warmed up inside a restaurant). We pulled up to the circle drive outside of the quad area, and I was going to put my phone on his windshield and use the self-timer. Of course, he was like, “No, let’s see if someone will take the picture for us.” I was like… it’s freezing out, no one will be around… so we start walking toward the columns and there’s a lady nearby. John goes to yell out to get her attention to ask for our pictures, and I was like, “Leave her alone! She’s cold! She wants to get inside!” But he insisted. So as we’re trying to pose for the picture, I give her my cell phone to snap the shot, and she says, “What’s your email address? I’m happy to use my nice camera to take your picture.” I get SO excited, turn to John to say, “did you hear that?!” and that’s when I saw him down on one knee…
After 10 years, we finally got our Mizzou columns picture :) M-I-Z-marry me…