Joye and YW
How We Met
YW and I met when we were both employed at the same company. After a year of traveling 75% of the time for work, I accepted a position in our home office that landed my desk on the same row as YW I had to walk pass him everyday. Although we worked in close proximity of one another, there wasn’t really a reason for us to interact.
On Valentine’s Day in 2015, an opportunity finally presented itself for the ice to be broken between he and I. We were both single, but I was casually dating and had a couple of admirers. One of the suitors, that we now jokingly refer to as “Peterbrooke” had an obnoxiously large shopping bag filled with Peterbrooke chocolate delivered to the office. There was so much chocolate, I was inclined to share it with everyone on our floor in the office.
One by one, I stopped by everyone’s desk to offer each of my co-workers a valentine’ day treat. Finally, I made it to YW’s desk. I offered him a chocolate dipped strawberry. He responded, “Sure; thank you!” He proceeded to help himself to three strawberries and I’m almost certain I thought to myself “I only offered you one.” He interrupted my thought with a seemingly personal question. He asked, “So is the guy who sent all of this “the one?” I was a little taken aback but decided I was going to answer him. Before I could get my response out, he interjected. “It’s ok. I really don’t mean to pry. It just doesn’t seem like this kind of Valentine’s gesture is what you’re into. But please be sure to tell buddy I said thanks for the chocolate.”
I was dumbfounded by his cocky, yet cool confidence before I realized he was flirting with me and that I pretty much hooked myself onto his bait. We chatted awhile more at his desk and by the time I walked away, I had fallen in love with his smile and had my fingers crossed that he’d found something on me to fall in love with. That conversation led to hours of conversing via our office’s instant messenger and by the end of the day, we planned to go to happy hour the next evening. Our happy hour was the first of four consecutive days turned into nights together— we found ourselves being the last two people in the restaurant, noticing the break of dawn, or talking up an appetite and ending up at a 24 hour diner. We’ve been inseparable ever since!
How He Asked
We were crossing over the bridge at Pont Des Arts also known as the love lock bridge in Paris, France. We were being super touristy— kissing in public, taking selfies, and posed shots . I had no idea that this would soon become our most memorable stop on the most romantic week I’ve ever experienced!
We were taking in the views and I was kicking myself because I decided against bringing a lock after reading the tradition had phased out Unbeknownst to me, couples started leaving locks on the light poles that line the bridge.
YW: We can add one next time babe. We’re definitely coming back.
Me: (thinking to myself) yaaaaaaaassss! There’s a next time already on his mind!
Me: (what I actually said aloud) yea, I guess I’ll just plan on that
We left the bridge to catch the subway back to our hotel. We were using the walking mode on the GPS, so of course after we walked a few minutes one way, it recalculated us to go the opposite way We ended up having to go back over the bridge, which I assumed would be a quick crossing over since we’d already taken all of our pictures. We got about half way over and he decided he wanted to stop to take in the view for a second time.
YW: I’m really gonna miss this place! This was an awesome trip babe! Really glad we got to do this together.
Me: Me too… and it really has been an awesome time…It’s been perfect!
There was a noticeable pause while we both just took in the view. The bottom brim of my eyes started to sting from the salty tears that were welling up. Everything truly had been perfect—- with the exception of one minor little moment I’d been on the mainline with Jesus about— a proposal In that moment, I was admittedly disappointed that he hadn’t popped the question. There were SO many picturesque opportunities for him to take advantage of, but nope… nothing. I assumed we had bypassed all of the perfect moments for him to bend the knee John Snow style and claim me as his Queen (and Winter was clearly upon us ). I had even ruled out the very bridge we were currently standing on because we were literally just here and we’d only crossed back over it because the GPS told us too. I accepted it simply wasn’t gonna happen for us this trip. So in that moment, staring across the Seine, I sulked. (Judge yourself as I’m admittedly human and wonderfully flawed ).
YW: So was there anything else you wish we would’ve done?
Me: ( in my mind) REALLY bro Of all the loaded questions to ask… I told myself to monitor my petty levels immediately and not turn into a whiny brat Not today Satan
I opted for a silent response and just stared at him and shook my head with a polite smile but he decided to poke the bear
YW: Really? You can’t think of anything? I think there’s one more thing… (with a huge smile plastered on his face, he slowly reaches into his coat and starts to say “Will you —”
— I interrupted him.
Me: Stop playing around YW. Will I what? Give you a kiss? You fooled me yesterday… now it’s just cruel. (Rewind to yesterday when he jokingly got down on a knee in the hotel room with a fake news proposal). Fool me once…
YW: Can’t fool you, babe Yes! Will you give me a kiss? Then tell me what’s on your mind. Be honest; it’s OK. If I had to guess, I say you’re really disappointed I didn’t propose, huh? But come on babe— it’s Paris! It’s just too obvious and cliché. Aren’t you supposed to be surprised when I do it?
*Activate petty emotional brat in 5, 4, 3, 2…..*
Me: Well, I happen to like clichés But it’s OK. I’ve accepted it’s not gonna happen this trip. I have faith it’ll happen eventually.
YW: I can run to the convenient store and dig out one of those cracker jack box rings. Would you accept that?
Me: I would actually !
He got me to laugh a little and then I was inclined to explain the meltdown I was visibly having.
Me: I know I’m being “that” girl right now… this trip really was perfection. I don’t mean to come across as ungrateful. It’s just hard to explain. Imagine this trip is like the playoff game between the Jags and Patriots. It’s the 4th quarter and we’re the Jacksonville Jaguars— the whole city is behind us hoping for us to make it to the super bowl and bring home a ring! But the Patriots wouldn’t let us be great and we’re headed home ring-less. It just wasn’t their time and I guess it isn’t our time yet either.
YW: 🤔… Sooooo we’re like the Jacksonville Jags now?!?! That was a tough upset, man! But I think I understand better about how you’re feeling. Especially with us having our family and friends cheering us on. The more I think about, I refuse to be the one who let’s the whole city down.
In this moment, he got down on one knee and retrieved a leather ring box from his coat. All the tears that were holding steady in their wells were now streaming down my cheeks . I looked around to make sure this was indeed real life happening! To my satisfaction, it was!
YW: Are you going to give me an answer? Maybe take your glove off so I can put it on your finger?
Me: Are you serious right now??? What??? OMG! You got me! Wait— I think i missed it!! Ask again!
YW: (repeating himself) Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife, Joye Renee?
I heard him that time.
He slid the most beautiful, dainty, and sparkly oval shaped ring on my finger and stood up to hug me.
YW: You know you’re never gonna live this one down, right? The Jags tho? You’re hilarious, babe! But I know who I’m marrying and I love her so much.
He shook his head and leaned in for his first kiss with his new fiancée!!!