Kaye and James

How We Met

James and I met through an online dating site—OkCupid. I never even meant to look at his profile—in fact, I was trying to check out some other guy when I accidentally clicked on James’s photo. I didn’t even think too much of it. I just thought he looked intimidating at six-foot-two, and that he seemed very smart . . . and that was it. I went on my way back to the other guy’s profile.

But then the next day, I received an e-mail (a five-paragraph e-mail)—from James! He talked about my profile, saying he thought it was interesting that I had Filipino parents but grew up in the Middle East, and that he was wondering what I did in the middle of the desert (ha ha). He also talked about what he did for fun, his hobbies, and what he did for a living. I greatly appreciated his message, because it was something different. It wasn’t the same quick, half-hearted “What’s up?” that I would normally get from other guys. He actually took the time to introduce himself and tell me what his intentions were.

After messaging back and forth we planned on meeting each other for the first time, but our schedules didn’t work well. So we just messaged each other every day, constantly. We exchanged questions to get to know each other more. A couple of weeks turned into two months before we finally made it to our first date. He and I agreed before we met up: “No pressure.” Neither of us wanted to rush anything, so we just decided to hang out over coffee.

Five years later, here I am planning my wedding. Who would have thought that one simple, perfect mistake would lead me to the greatest love of my life?

How He Asked

He had just returned from a trip visiting his dad in Las Vegas. James enjoys driving at night and actually prefers it to avoid the Las Vegas traffic, but this time he still got stuck in traffic and wasn’t able to get home until four in the morning. I checked up on him the night before, and he just said that everything was great, dad’s business was doing great, so I really didn’t give a lot of thought to it and just assumed it was a regular visit.

When I woke up and saw him I was just glad that he was back home and I didn’t have to sleep another night by myself. I made his favorite breakfast—spam and eggs. Then just when I was about to watch TV, he got up and sat right next to me. I knew he had a lot to share from his trip, so I switched off the TV and eagerly waited for his stories, ready to listen.

I asked, “How was your trip, babe? What time did you get home?” All I remembered from the night before was his kiss on my forehead. He said he got home at four, and then went on to talk about his dad’s business, mentioning that his dad had asked if he was already engaged, and that he’d said no.

He then grabbed his FPV goggle case, and took out a small box. We looked at each other, and I can still remember the two of us—me, completely in shock, and him, shaking and crying. Soon enough I started to cry as well.

This is what he said (if I remember every detail right):

“This is my mom’s ring, one of her favorite rings. It means ‘good fortune.’ My dad gave me this ring to give to you as an engagement ring. My mom and dad bought this ring on one of their trips to China. This is 24-karat Chinese gold, and I want you to have it. This ring has been a part of my family. I want you to know that us is real, and I really do want to marry you.”

The ring means a lot to me. James lost his mom when he was just a kid, and I know how much he loved her. So to have this ring, a family heirloom, is truly an honor.

After I was done crying my eyes out, he asked, “What do you say?”

And, amidst the smell of spam and eggs, of course I said yes to the man I waited to spend the rest of my life with. My woke-up-like-this and just-made-breakfast look wasn’t quite picture-perfect, though, so thank goodness there weren’t any cameras!

Kaye and James's Engagement in Home