Clara and Jay
How We Met
It was a Friday night in November 2014, and Jay was back in his hometown of Pittsburgh for the weekend to hang out with some friends. It was his friend’s girlfriend’s birthday (she’s now his wife) and a bunch of them were going to the Industry Public House, which is a bar in the trendy neighborhood of Lawrenceville. I also grew up in Pittsburgh and still lived there, and also happened to be attending the same gathering with a friend of Jay’s friend’s girlfriend.
Shortly after arriving, Jay noticed me from across the bar. It wasn’t long before we both made eye contact, and he worked up the courage to come introduce himself to me. He was uncertain if he would be successful. However, there was an instant connection, we ended up talking to each other most of the night instead of our friends.
Eventually, I found out that he was four years younger than me and the conversation took an awkward turn. However, he remained confident and asked me for my phone number. I had never dated anyone younger than me before, and with some reluctance, I gave it to him.
The rest is history. With non-stop texting, Facetime, and phone conversations, we became a “thing”. Neither of us wanted to call it an official relationship because I was in Pittsburgh and he was living three hours away in State College; we were unsure of how long this could last. That winter was one of the worst winters in years, but we still managed to see each other almost every weekend for months. With the bad weather and general nature of a long-distance relationship, it became very stressful and there were several times we thought we would break up.
Jay’s roommate at the time was moving to L.A. for a job that summer, and he needed to find a new apartment in State College. One weekend when I was helping Jay look for a new apartment that I thought was for him, I received quite the surprise. Though usually not much of a risk taker, Jay decided to take a chance and ask me if I (and my dog Barkley) would want to move to State College with him.
I was a pretty shocked, and had no idea if Jay was actually ready for that level of commitment (and neither did he, really). After some thought, I agreed to leave my hometown and take a leap of faith because all that mattered was that we would be together and have each other. We could figure out the rest along the way.
Three years later, here we are. There have been good times and bad times, but nothing has outweighed the love that we have for each other. At the end of the day it’s not about what you have, but who you share it with, and we are looking forward to sharing the rest of our lives together.
How He Asked
We were on a much-needed vacation in Dewey Beach, DE in September 2017. We spent the whole week hanging out at the beach and exploring all of the neighboring beach towns. I had a hunch he was going to propose sometime in the near future, but thought the beach was too obvious and that he would never do it there.
One evening later in the week, we were driving through the neighboring towns heading south toward Ocean City, MD. Jay was driving, and kept getting irritated that we were heading there instead of watching the sunset in a romantic spot, but I had never been there and wanted to check it out. After some bickering back and forth, he decided to turn around and head back toward the beach we had been at the day before. Little did I know, he had chosen that spot as his proposal location. Luckily since I was irritated with him for turning around, I didn’t suspect anything of his plan.
We walked to the boardwalk to watch the sunset like he wanted, and I asked if he wanted to walk on the sand. Fortunately for him, this further helped his master plan. He had been scoping out random bystanders to take our picture on the sand with the sunset over the water as our background. A random lady happened to be taking a bunch of pictures right near us, so Jay asked her to take our picture with his phone. She took a few, and then he asked her to wait a second.
He reached into the pocket of his sweatshirt that he had been carrying with him the whole time, and as soon as I realized what he was doing, I started to cry. They lady asked me what was wrong, and I said “He’s proposing to me!”.
Camera already in hand, she started to snap the action shots and captured the candid moment. Jay’s plan worked out perfectly and it turned out to be a beautiful proposal