Caroline and Ben
How We Met
Ben and I met in the last place that I thought I would ever meet a life partner. I’ve lived in Atlanta, Georgia my entire life. I even attended Georgia Tech and got my first job out of college in Atlanta. After having a few unsuccessful relationships, I decided I was ready to try to branch out from those same guys I’d known in high school and college. Atlanta is a big city, but oftentimes it seems like you’re living in a small town. I wanted to meet new people, have new experiences, and have a little fun! A good friend of mine suggested that I try Bumble, a newer dating app. I was pretty hesitant… I never thought Ben would end up buzzing his way across my screen! Who knew swiping right was the best decision I’d ever make?
Ben is originally from Florence, Alabama, but he grew up in North Carolina and attended UNC (at least we’re both ACC fans). After moving to Florida and then up to Atlanta for work, some of his good friends convinced him to try Bumble as a way to meet new people. He didn’t know many people in Atlanta, so he figured he’d try it out. We started chatting back and forth in September of 2016, and we haven’t stopped chatting since. We met in person for the first time on October 8, 2016 (after the Atlanta Mac ‘n Cheese Festival) and we instantly clicked. It was like we’d known each other forever. Our Bumble accounts are long gone (which actually makes us a bit sad, since we can’t see our very first nervous, stumbling conversations), but we’re closer and more in love than ever!
How He Asked
Ben and I had been talking for quite some time about the possibility of getting engaged. We’d even gone shopping together to look at rings. Of course, I fell in love with the very first ring we saw, but Ben is very responsible and has a great head on his shoulders, so he wanted to look around and get his bearings before making any kind of commitments. He also wanted to surprise me and keep me from knowing when he was going to propose.
Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year, and this year I was lucky enough that Ben decided to spend the holidays with my family in Atlanta instead of going home to his family in Nashville. We had arranged to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family (since we have a host of traditions and I didn’t want to be away from my family) and then we’d make the drive up to Nashville, Tennessee to see his immediate family the day after Christmas. Ben and I had already discussed that Christmas was not when he was going to propose, so I wasn’t expecting anything at all (he’d told me that he’d planned on doing it further down the road and out of town somewhere special). We had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family. He made it through all the family traditions; picture taking, Christmas Eve dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant, Christmas lights, and Trivial Pursuit with my brother. He even woke up super early on Christmas morning to go back to his house, let his dog out and feed him, and then feed my cats at my apartment before coming back to have Christmas with my family. We had a wonderful Christmas breakfast, opened presents, and had a great lunch. Around 1pm, Ben and I decided to pack up and head home from my parent’s house back to my apartment. We had a full car of gifts and leftovers, and I wanted to drive up the parking deck to take everything in easily. Ben was super fidgety, and wanted to ensure that we could get everything into the apartment in one trip. I told him he was being weird, and that it was fine if we had to make multiple trips. Once everything was inside, he left me to take care of my cats, and he drove his car back down to visitor parking. When he got back, he was out of breath as if he’d run up the 4 flights of stairs back to my apartment. I gave him a strange look, but ignored him and went back to unpacking. He went over to sit down on the couch, and I followed and sat for a second, but got back up shortly thereafter to keep tidying up. I made it across the apartment, and all of a sudden Ben said loudly, “I think we forgot a present under the tree.” Halfway through a door, I stopped and stuck my head back to look at him. “We definitely did not forget any presents,” I said, very matter of fact. Obviously, if you know me, you know I’m pretty organized and that I would NEVER forget a Christmas present. But Ben was bending over to pull out a gift bag from under the tree, and insisting that we forgot a gift. Finally it dawned on me that something important was happening, and I walked over to the couch, where he opened the bag, took out a blue box, and got down on one knee. We were both crying and emotional, so he actually ended up asking me to marry him about three times, just to make sure he got the words out.
It turns out that Ben bought the ring before Christmas. He ended up going back to the original store we visited together, and purchasing that first ring that I had fallen in love with. Like I said, he’s very responsible, so he had the store ship the ring to his parent’s house in Nashville, because that way he wouldn’t have to pay sales tax on the purchase (good looking out, babe!). It arrived to his parent’s house on the 20th, and he frantically asked around until he found a family friend who had family members driving down to Atlanta for the holiday. His parents met the woman driving to Atlanta, gave her the ring, and she brought it down to Bob Steele Salon at Post Riverside, where Ben met her on Friday, the 22nd to get the ring from her. Coincidentally, I go to the SAME salon, and I had a hair appointment TWO HOURS AFTER Ben met this lady to get the ring. He had told the whole salon to keep quiet so that I wouldn’t hear, and I was never the wiser. When he left my parent’s house on Christmas morning to go let his dog out he grabbed the ring and stopped by my apartment to feed my cats and drop the ring off under my Christmas tree. It was waiting there for us when we got home, and he surprised me with the best, most meaningful proposal I could have asked for. It was just the two of us, on my favorite holiday of the year, and it was more special than I could have ever dreamed. Ben had told his family and my family his plan, so of course we got to spend the rest of the afternoon calling everyone to tell them the good news. My parents came to see us, and then we got to see all of Ben’s family in Nashville over the next few days to celebrate. We even took some beautiful pictures at Cheekwood in Nashville during their Christmas lights display to commemorate the occasion. Here’s to many more wonderful Christmas holidays spent with my favorite person!