Christine and Ryan
How We Met
Ryan and I met when we were both working at Notre Dame of Maryland University, which is a women’s college. That’s right, I found my future husband at a women’s college! I very clearly remember seeing him his first week and thinking “Oh, the new guy is cute!”. It would be another year until we actually met when my department was assigned to work with his. At first we plyed it safe, unsure if this was a friendly co-worker thing or a date thing so we decided to “just get drinks”- very casual. He later would tell me his father happened to call right after and he said “well I think I just went on a date, and I’m not really sure where this is going but I’m excited to find out.” The next time, there was no mistake- it was a date and we were both excited and nervous. At the end of the night, I took a photo of the bar closing down. I told him it was just for Instagram but I knew that if I posted it, it would be time stamped and the location would be tagged. I just had a feeling I would want to be able to remember that information. He walked me to my car, but we wound up talking for another hour. At some point the tension was killing me so I gathered some courage and asked “So are you going to kiss me?” He did. As we approached our first year and we were trying to decide what our official anniversary date should be. I brought up that photo, marked April 24 and we agreed; it was our first official date, it was our first kiss, and we decided, our anniversary.
How He Asked
Our birthday’s are only two days apart (Nov 12 and 14) but we didn’t get to celebrate until Sunday Nov 26. We spent the day decorating the house for Christmas (he only just moved in at the end of September) – the tree and garland twinkling everywhere. That afternoon, we finally indulged in our birthday present to ourselves – a stress-free, 2 hour couples massage and we retuned home to a wonderful steak dinner. We decided to keep with the low stress theme and watch a movie, snuggled on the couch with our new dog, Salem. We had both commented on how happy we were to have a quiet night together after the rush of Thanksgiving. I told him I had never been happier. After we finished a movie, he casually mentioned he needed to get his shoes from upstairs so he could take the dog out for a quick walk before we picked another movie, while I put some sugar cookies in the oven, and some apple cider on the stove. By the time I returned to the living room, he asked me to join him in admiring our beautifully decorated home.
He told me “I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you”- which he has said before but I instantly knew something was different; it was just the way he said it. That was confirmed when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
We later realized I never actually said yes. I dissolved into tears and hugged him for about 3-5 minutes. At some point I realized I hadn’t said anything but was just crying and that might not be sending the right message so I finally got out “They are happy tears”. He laughed and put the ring on my finger. He would later say “I didn’t want the proposal to be connected to a specific holiday and with our birthdays, thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year crammed into a few weeks, that was difficult. I just wanted the moment to be right. At the end of the movie, when you said you had never been happier, I knew that was the moment and I wanted to see if I could try to make you just a little bit happier.” The only downside- I forgot about the apple cider and burnt it on the stove. The cookies at least were ok!