Elizabeth and James
How We Met
Just two LA kids, James and I met in the 6th grade, and went to the same school all the way through high school. He was a babe and I was a science nerd who was head over heels for him since day one. But eventually he began to feel the same way, and junior year James asked me to be his girlfriend. He was captain of the football team, and I was the cheer captain–you know what they say, “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose”.
Yep, we’re high school sweethearts, but he’s my absolute best friend.
He went off to college in Michigan, and I flew out to New York City. We did long-distance for a year and half, full of skype movie dates and weekend visits. But eventually we decided that life was too short to miss out on moments with the people you love. He transferred to my school in Manhattan, and quickly made the best friends of his life. After dating all the way through high school and college, we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.
How He Asked
The day James asked me to marry him was just another Monday, or so I thought. I was working until 6, and then we had planned to go on double date with two of our close friends. But all of sudden, two hours before I was scheduled to get off work, a member of my team came to my desk and told me I could go home, that I was done for the day. I was so confused, but before I could even question it, one of James’ best friends walked up in a tux carrying a platter with a bag and note on it.
I picked up the note, and it was from James. In it, he told me to follow Tyler’s instructions, and that Tyler would help me get to my next destination. After I read the note, Tyler gave me the bag that had been on the platter, and told me I had 15 minutes to get ready. By this point my heart was racing. I took the bag, and in it my best friend had gathered everything I would need to get ready: my makeup, perfume, curling iron, hair brush, nail polish, polish remover, everything! But I was so nervous and excited with the building anticipation, that I just sprayed on some perfume and threw on my favorite red lipstick. I couldn’t wait! Then Tyler walked me out to the street where a car was waiting, and closed the door behind me. The car pulled into traffic, but I had no idea where I was headed! I watched the tall buildings pass through my window, and the butterflies really started to set in.
All of sudden, I realized I was heading towards my neighborhood, in Park Slope, Brooklyn. But the car didn’t stop at my apartment, instead it drove up to the park just down the street: Prospect Park. The driver pulled up to the sidewalk, and there James was! Standing just outside of the car. He took my hand, and walked me into the middle of the park. It was the most beautiful scene, walking through the park, I mean, don’t you just love New York in the fall? The leaves were falling right before our eyes, as if we were being showered in it. The colors were so rich. The vibrant reds and oranges and yellows were lighting up the park. But there was one tree that stood out the most. In an open field, stood this one tree, larger than all the others, and dipped in the brightest red leaves of all the ones in the park. We were walking towards it, when all of sudden, stopped just in front of the tree, James turned me towards him. My heart was pounding so loud I felt like James could hear it. He knelt on one knee and asked me to marry him.
I started crying, and said something along the lines of “Yes! Finally!” We laughed and kissed, and suddenly one of my friends popped out from behind a tree and started taking photos. I was still completely in shock, and still crying. But we took a few more photos in celebration, as the sun was setting over the park. I’ll never forget that orange sherbet sunset…
After my friend left, James and I just sat on a bench in the park for an hour, just enjoying the moment. He started telling me all the backstory, how he asked my parents, everything. We tried FaceTiming my mom but couldn’t get a hold of her! (California time…) Eventually, James told me had made dinner reservations for us, so we began walking to the restaurant. We got champagne and couldn’t stop smiling. When all of sudden, my mom returned my call! Normally, I would never take a call in a restaurant, but this one couldn’t wait. I switched it to video call, and flashed her my ring. She was ecstatic. But after my call, the waiter came up to us gently and asked, “Is there a congratulations in order?” We laughed, and I apologized for making a scene! But after dinner they brought us a complimentary dessert that read congratulations.
As we walked back to my apartment, we FaceTime’d his parents, and then decided to pick up a newspaper from the day, so we could keep that day as a memory for the rest of our lives. This was a tradition James’ dad had started years ago, and we always loved the idea. So we picked up a newspaper and headed to my apartment, but when we arrived we were greeted by the shocking “SURPRISE!” of all our closet friends! They even had one of my friends from California video’d in so she could be there for the surprise. They also strung up embarrassing photos of James and I from high school… But it really was the perfect ending to the most amazing and life-changing day, to celebrate with everyone we love.