Erika and Clint
How We Met
Clint and I met in 2007 during our first semester of college at San Diego State University.We had mutual friends and crossed paths at a party one of our first weeks in college. I immediately thought he was cute but never verbalized the thought to anyone. After the semester ended, Clint left SDSU to join the Navy as a submariner. I kept in touch with his friends and made frequent trips to visit them in their hometown of Santa Cruz. At the end of the year, I left San Diego to finish school up at Azusa Pacific University in East Los Angeles area. We remained friends but time, distance and other relationships kept our friendship minimal. Fast forward four years later when I moved back to San Diego and learned that Clint had been stationed there for the Navy. He was trying to set me up with his roommate Rhys and invited me to their Navy Christmas party as Rhys’ date. (Clint had a girlfriend at the time.) Fast forward again another six months to when Clint and I were both single. He had just gone through a bad breakup and his brother Nick came down to console him…aka throw him a party. At the party, Nick pulled me aside and point blankly asked when I was going to date his brother. It was the first time anyone had ever mentioned Clint and I being “more than friends” in over four years, so it caught me off-guard. Clint stood on the other side of the room and saw this conversation taking place, so he pulled me aside to intervene. Apologizing for his brother’s frankness, he mentioned that he had in-fact thought about us being more than friends before. I knew he had just come out of a long relationship so we agreed to keep our friendship for the time being, but not be closed-off to what could happen down the road. We decided to take things slow, and it wasn’t until four months later that Clint took me on our first date to Bali Hai Restaurant, overlooking the water and bay of San Diego.
How He Asked
After three months of secretly planning, Clint’s proposal was disguised as a scavenger hunt through downtown San Diego with 28 of our friends. The group split into 2 teams, guys vs. girls, and we all set off to photo-scavenge a LONG list of random items throughout the city. They were things like ordering a cupcake without the frosting, screaming in a public bathroom, teaching a police officer to River Dance, etc. etc. Naturally, I went “all out” and attempted to tackle as many items on the list as I could, even hiring a taxi cab to accomplish some items on my own before our team’s time was up.
When the group reconvened at the Santa Fe Train Depot an hour later, our friend Blake tallied up the points and announced that the girls’ team had won the scavenger hunt. My best friend Emily announced that I was the team’s MVP and handed me a briefcase as my prized award. I opened up the briefcase, expecting to find a trophy, but instead found a folder with a page containing historical facts about the train depot. The group told me that I had to read the information out loud.
As I read the history of the train depot out loud, my mind was racing with how random and odd this all seemed. It was a full page of text, so I kept stopping because it was so long. At this point, everyone had circled around me and kept yelling, “Keep going!” whenever I would stop reading.
Towards the end of the page, Clint had slipped sentences throughout the historical facts that were a personal letter to me. It wasn’t until I read a line about our “community of friends standing around us being the people whom we would travel through life with” that I realized this was not just a page of facts.
As I read the last sentences out loud about Clint wanting to journey through life with me, I looked up to find him down on his knee in front of everyone asking me to marry him!
Clint thought through every single detail of this, and I love that he incorporated things that mean so much to me: the city, our community of friends, history, and adventures like a scavenger hunt. He even had my mom there hiding off-to-the-side so she could see the entire proposal AND had an engagement party planned back at MY house for everyone. I was shocked and amazed by how many people had known about this FOR MONTHS without a single person spilling the secret.