Jamie and Nicholas
How We Met
It began as a friendship and we’re best friends to this day. Nick and I entered Staten Island Technical High School in September 2005. If you ask Nick about the first time he noticed me, he’ll tell you it was on St. Patrick’s Day in our Freshman year science class. I may be Italian, but I was sporting my green with a shamrock by my eye and I captured his Irish heart. My moment of realization took a bit longer. For two years, Nick and I were just friends. In fact, I dedicated my 16th candle to him at my Sweet 16 – the candle traditionally reserved for an important male in the birthday girl’s life. Nick had tried many times to move our relationship out of the “friend zone,” but I never wanted to ruin the friendship we had. Lucky for me, he never gave up. In October 2008, with some help from his mom, I threw Nick a surprise birthday party in his basement. Unlike me, Nick isn’t typically a fan of celebrating his birthday, but the party was a great success. As the night wound down, I stuck around to help with the cleanup. By the end of the night, it was just the two of us – talking and laughing as we always did. My mom arrived to pick me up and it was time to say goodbye. I gave him a hug, looked up into his gorgeous blue eyes and gave him a kiss. I will never forget the shocked look on his face. (To this day, Nick will tell you he made the move, but I know it was me!) I got into my mom’s car and she asked me about the night. I told her “Mom, I think I want to be with Nick.” …We’ve been together ever since. On October 18, 2008, Nick made it official when he asked me to be his girlfriend.
So much has happened since that day and I really cannot remember a time when Nick wasn’t a part of my life. We completed our Senior year of high school and headed off to separate colleges. I attended Wagner College in Staten Island and Nick went to The University of Delaware. Four years of distance wasn’t easy, but it’s true what they say – Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Following graduation, life only got more busy! Nick began training and studying to join the FDNY and I became Miss New York 2015. We always found time to spend with each other when our schedules lined up and we supported each other through any and all challenges. Today, we both work on Staten Island. Nick is an FDNY Firefighter and I am the Development Officer for Staten Island University Hospital Northwell Health. I cannot believe how much we’ve grown from those lovestruck teenagers…and I only love him more today.
How He Asked
On July 13th, the proposal was set into motion. I received an email from Mr. Erlenwein, principal of Staten Island Technical High School, about the Alumni Association’s new Hall of Fame. He explained that he had been contacted by a donor who agreed to sponsor the project and since they wanted me to one of the first honorees, he asked me to join him at the school on Saturday for photos with press. I always participate in different events with my high school, so I didn’t think anything of it. However, my best friend Katelynn was visiting from upstate and it did seem like inconvenient timing. Nevertheless, I agreed to meet with him and told him I would bring Katelynn along with me.
On July 15th, after a morning of yoga on the beach and coffee with Katelynn, I arrived at Tech for what I thought would be a typical photoshoot & interview. I’m not going to lie, I spent most of the car ride there telling my mom how hungry I was. Okay, maybe I was whining a little bit – a hungry Jamie isn’t a happy one. We pulled up to the school and Mr. Erlenwein was there waiting to greet us. As we walked down the familiar halls of the school, he made small talk. I approached the auditorium doors completely unsuspecting as Mr. Erlenwein said we would wait there until press arrived…and then the doors opened.
The stage that I had performed on throughout all my years at Tech was lit up and the aisle leading up to it was lined with rose petals and balloons. I remember thinking, “Is this really happening!?” As I walked down toward the stage, I glanced down to just some of the many photos we had taken over the last 9 years. By this point, Nick was waiting on the stage and I practically ran toward him. Our families were there, as were our friends, and they all came out both side stage doors. Finally making my way onto the stage, Nick got down on one knee and proposed.
I was shaking, trying to remind myself to take in the moment. I couldn’t remember what my response was, but re-watching videos from our friends & family, I can confirm that my exact words were, “Oh my god! Yes!” I still can’t believe Nick was able to surprise me and the proposal couldn’t have been more perfect. I can’t wait to marry him!