Kate and Tony
How We Met
Tony and I met when we were working at Portillo’s, a popular Chicago fast food restaurant. I was a senior in high school, and he was working to put himself through college. He was one of the few people who didn’t come introduce himself when I got the job — he told me that most of the high school girls were there for a few months and then gone, so he thought I wasn’t worth getting to know. But I noticed him because of the way he wore the neon orange work beanie for the cold weather outside; it was slouchy and somehow he made it look cool! I thought he was cute, and he finally introduced himself to me under the heat lamps for the french fries.
From there, we did it all backward. We had our first fight, then our first kiss, and then he finally asked me out. When we started dating, everyone at Portillo’s told him that he better be nice to me — we were like a family there and they were all watching out for me! And I’m sure this is the last thing my mom imagined would happen when she forced me to get a job back in high school!
How He Asked
Tony and I went on vacation to Los Angeles, where I went to grad school. We needed a warm escape from Chicago winters and found super cheap flights very last-minute! I was so excited to be back in my former home! We spent the first full day in my old neighborhood, going to my favorite restaurants and shops. Tony kept joking about how he had a “hot date” planned for the next night. All I knew was that we were going to our favorite Italian restaurant for dinner — a restaurant we had found together back when I lived in LA and where we’d celebrated my graduation with my family.
The day of our “hot date” he was so incredibly grumpy all morning and just kept complaining that he wanted to go back to the hotel. We rushed through lunch and headed back to the hotel when Tony had a change of heart: he wanted to go for a walk on the beach before dinner. He was so nervous he barely said a word to me as we walked from the car to the beach Then, just as the sun was going down behind us, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
And he admitted he’d been grumpy because he had nightmares the night before that he’d lost the ring or screwed up and dropped it in the ocean! The setting was perfect, and the sunset was beautiful. We celebrated with our favorite pasta and wine at the Italian restaurant :)