Colleen and Mike
How We Met
When I finished graduate school I made the difficult decision to do the dreaded return- I moved back into my parents house, into my bedroom of 18 years, and I started my career in my hometown city of Syracuse, NY. This was tough because, moving back into your parent’s house makes you feel like you’ve taken 3 steps backwards, regardless of your degree. To keep myself focused on my goals, I vowed to only live with my parents for one year and to dedicate that one year to three things: ganging experience in my work, traveling to see my friends in their new adult lives, and decide where I will be moving to. In March of 2013 St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Sunday and it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a weekend away from Syracuse to explore a new city, Boston. My plan for the long getaway weekend included see my girlfriends from college, celebrate St Patrick’s Day, and see my cousin who lives just North of the City. After just Friday afternoon spent on Newbury Street with my college friend, Lyndsey, I was already falling head over heels for this city. It had been almost 3 years since seeing my University of Scranton girlfriends- I have to say we picked up right where we left off …in terms of college-behavior. We celebrated St Patrick’s Day on Saturday much too hard.
When we called it a night and got back to Lyndsey’s Brookline apartment, Lyndsey fell onto her face, smack down onto the tracks, Boston’s Green Line train. Lyndsey was OK, but her face was bleeding and she needed a dentist. The rest of even evening was spent at the emergency room. Bright and early on Sunday morning, St Patrick’s Day, I was dry heaving into the bushes of a Dentist office (not an Irish Dentist!) and I was trying my best to support my friend but this wasn’t the way our weekend was suppose to go. Worst of all, I really needed to leave to meet up with my cousin. I felt awful leaving her at that dentist office but I did what my friend told me to do, I left her there to go into surgery. I drove our other friend into Boston for her train back to NYC from Boston’s South Station, and I had a gut wrecking decision to make- do I turn around and go back to sit in a waiting room for Lyndsey who really kind of yelled at us to leave her alone, or do I go on with my weekend and meet up with my cousin and try to enjoy my day in Boston on St Patrick’s day? I parked my car in some underground lot and walked into South Station. Not only had I never been in South Station before, but I was following my cousins directions to take the subway to meet her at some place called “Southie”.
Still remorseful and struck with guilt about Lyndsey’s current situation, I fumbled so badly trying to get a stupid ticket for the subway. A girl with a lot luggage behind me said she was going to the airport and if I would help her with her bags through the turnstile she’d pay for my ticket. Done. I walked down the stairs to the T’s platform triple checking where I was going: Outbound, Red Line, headed to the “Andrews” stop? I talked to a policeman who told me the train would be “too full” so I needed to walk down to a far end of the platform to squeeze into a spot on the approaching train to Southie. The train pulled up with people squished in like sardines. The doors opened. I stood there alone on the platform, staring into a sea of bodies, when one guy in a hat with blue eyes, smiled at me. He backed up creating a tiny bit of room and said, “Are you gonna do this or what?” obviously referring me getting on this train. “Yeah, I have to” I said as I literally pushed my body into the subway car and next to his. We started talking. He knew I wasn’t local, and when he asked what brought me to Boston and how my weekend was going, I blurted out how crazy the past 24 hours had been – my friend’s face, her teeth, this crazy trip to find my cousin now. I vividly remember a few people turning, overhearing my story of our night and Lyndsey’s fall, reacting.
But he was just, there. Right there for me. That was how I met Mike. Mike’s stop was “Broadway” the stop before mine, but the subway cars and the “Broadway” platform was so packed the subway cruised though the station not letting anyone off or on. So instead Mike got off with me at the next stop, “Andrews.” The place was a zoo so he said he’d like to stay with me until I found my cousin. We walked and talked more. I can’t explain how instantly I just felt comfortable and at home with him, with his presence. When we found my cousin, I was still talking with Mike. Mike with his charm invited himself to the party that my cousin was taking me to. We spent the next couple hours at a party full of people we both didn’t know, completely hitting it off together. We ended up leaving that party with my cousin in tow and we went to the party that Mike was originally headed for. There, me and Mike hung out with my cousin and Mike’s friend Dan. There were other people at Dan’s party, but I don’t think we noticed them. I just remember being completely smitten by this guy I met on the train.
How He Asked
Fast Forward 4 ½ years! We were spending two weeks on Cape Cod, vacationing in Wellfleet, a town Mike’s family had always gone to for vacations. It was a Sunday, the second weekend into our vacation. We had spent the day at the beach with Mike’s dad, my mother, Mike’s sister and our friends Mike and Jenna. When we all got back to the house from the beach, Mike and I talked about running our dog, Hendrix, at the beach, something we were doing every night after dinner. I said yes, we needed to run Hendrix, but I didn’t want to leave our family and friends at the house. To include our family and friends Mike agreed, and suggested we go to Duck Harbor Beach, on the Bay side of Wellfleet, and well known to his family as a great beach to watch the sunset over the water. It had been a gorgeous day and was definitely going to be a beautiful sunset. Mike explained how we could give Hendrix some exercise at that beach, while everyone else could see the great sunset and have a drink. Wow, I thought, two birds, one stone. Let’s do it. The sun was setting beautifully over the water as we all came over the dunes and found a spot to watch it set.
Mike’s sister opened the rose and everyone’s cameras were coming out, undoubtedly to capture the beautiful sunset we brought them here to see. Mike and Hendrix walked down toward the water. Mike was down on one knee with Hendrix sitting in front of him, their favorite position from which to pet and be pet. A stance my boys do a lot. Mike called me over to him for a “family picture” which, as I walked toward them seemed surprising and out of character for Mike to request, I’m the one that’s always asking for pictures! When I got down to them and turned from the sunset to them, Mike was holding up a diamond ring in his hand, between his fingers. Presenting it up to me with Hendrix’s little face there, too. He asked, “will you marry us?” I’ve never been so sure about someone in my whole life. He’s my best friend, he makes me a better person, and it feels like I’ve always known him.