Janna and Robert
How We Met
I was born and raised Jewish, and have a strong cultural identity to my faith. In an effort to date someone within “The Tribe,” my mother generously paid for a subscription to JDate.com (it was “buy 1 month, get 5 months free” so who could resist?!). Both my mother and I were hoping that the Jewish dating website would lead me to the mensch of my dreams. It wasn’t very long until I received a really sweet message in my JDate inbox from “marathonesq,” an attorney and marathoner named Rob who lived in Washington, DC. I was intrigued, and I replied. We messaged briefly through JDate, and then Rob, citing poor internet service (classic, right?!), asked for my number. I obliged, and we began speaking on the phone. We both felt an immediate connection, and I was looking forward to meeting this very intriguing man.
And then Rob took a big risk: as we made plans for our first date, he also invited me to his company holiday party…before we even met! I spent the next several days gushing over this cute guy, a guy whom I had yet to meet but had already asked me out on two dates (and to his company’s holiday party to boot!). I was thinking, “I like him, but is it weird or crazy that he’s inviting me out on a second date to his office holiday party even before our first date?!” It wasn’t weird or crazy at all. In fact, it was perfect. We had a wonderful first date (several days before the holiday party) in Annapolis painting pottery, having dinner, and talking and laughing together. Rob was a complete gentleman, and I was very excited to see him again for our second date: his holiday party followed by a night of live jazz in Georgetown.
How He Asked
Rob was training to run his sixth marathon, which would be his second Boston Marathon. I had never been to Boston. Rob had attended college and graduate school there, and Boston had a special place in his heart. He wanted to make my first trip there memorable, so he asked me to fly up with him for the marathon. I thought he was crazy to want to get up at 4:00 am and run 26.2 miles, but I was really excited to share in the experience and cheer him on during such a big accomplishment. We had been talking about getting engaged, and we started browsing for the perfect engagement ring about a month before the race. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Rob is not the best keeper of secrets, so he innocently and inadvertently tipped me off to the fact that he would likely be proposing during our Boston trip. Although I had an idea it was happening, I didn’t know what he had planned. We took a very romantic walk through the Boston Public Garden on our first night and spent most of Saturday morning and early afternoon walking around Copley Plaza and browsing the marathon expo.
Later that afternoon, Rob, a classically trained pianist, told me he wanted to show me the Hatch Shell, an outdoor amphitheater along the Charles River where he used to attend concerts, before we went to a nice dinner in the North End. We walked across a foot bridge onto the Esplanade, and Rob directed me toward a statue of Arthur Fiedler. I saw a string quartet playing nearby, but I thought they were just rehearsing or playing for pedestrians. As we walked closer, Rob removed a card from his pocket, and the quartet began playing one of my favorite songs, “Moon River.”
He read me the card, which contained an incredibly moving poem he had written, descended to one knee, presented a sparkling three-diamond ring, and asked me to marry him. I immediately said “Yes!” and we embraced.
A photographer soon emerged from the background and introduced herself. Rob had arranged for each moment of this incredible proposal to be captured!! We then had a beautiful engagement photo session with backdrops of the Charles River, Beacon Hill, and the Public Garden, and enjoyed a romantic engagement dinner in the North End!
Two days later, I met my fiancé at the marathon finish line in Copley Plaza, and we returned to Maryland basking in the glow of an absolutely magical weekend!