Keith and Annie
how we met
It was Fall 2014. Keith and I were both in the beginning stages of our first career jobs. Keith had just begun his second year as an otolaryngology (ENT) resident at Tampa General Hospital and I had just begun my second acute care rotation on the Short Stay unit where all the ENT patients would go.
We first met when Keith needed help with a dressing change for a wound. We made small talk as I helped Keith with his unwrapping and rewrapping of bandages. Keith was impressed with my willingness to help and from then on, he would seek me out for assistance whenever I was working on the Short Stay Unit. I always made time to help Keith because I liked how calm and friendly he was, which is unique of the usual overworked, sleep-deprived Tampa General residents.
As months went by, we got to know each other little by little at work. Our coworkers always suspected something was going on between us. But it wasn’t until Keith ran into me at the gym that we finally decided to get together outside of work. We went for lunch at the Holiday Cafe, a small cafe right outside of their gym. We talked for hours and hours until the sun started to go down. When we finally left the cafe, we decided to out for dinner that night too. And we have been inseparable ever since.
how he asked
Keith and I had been dating about a year and a half when Keith decided to propose. It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving and not everything was going as Keith had planned. The day before (Friday), I was supposed to be at work but had been called off at the last minute. Keith was planning on setting everything up for Saturday, but with me being unexpectedly at home, he had to change his plans.
Originally, he was going to order a large bouquet of flowers that would be set up at Ulele where he planned to take me after our engagement. He also planned a surprise party at Fly Bar with all of our closest friends for after dinner. But he had trouble orchestrating everything on the phone since I was with him. And, nervous that I would be on to him about what he was doing, he struggled to find an excuse to leave the house to organize these plans.
That next day, Keith had suggested we go to Honeymoon Island to take photos in front of the sunset that we could use for Christmas cards. This was a smart move because I made sure my hair and makeup was perfect before we headed to the secluded beach. When we got to the beach, we walked for a long time as Keith tried to find the perfect spot. I figured this was because he wanted really good Christmas pictures. He finally found a spot he liked and set up the camera and turned on his Bluetooth player. We posed for a few photos as he waited for a few people walking by to clear. Once no one else was in sight, he turned the Bluetooth player to “Sweet Annie”. The first line of the song played, “Sweet Annie, will you stay with me a while?”
He got down on one knee and repeated the words, “Sweet Annie, will you stay with me a while… like forever? He pulled out the ring. Perfectly timed as the sun was setting, we stayed out there and took about a million more pictures to capture the moment.
Afterwards, Keith took me to Ulele and luckily, he was able to get one of his friends to drop off a bouquet of flowers before we arrived. A Trader Joe’s sticker was still stuck to the side of the bouquet and Keith flustered to explained how my missing work the day before made it hard for him to get the big bouquet to the restaurant. The card next to the flowers read, “Annie. I would never find anyone I want to be with more than you. You make me happier every day. You are perfect. I love you so much.” These were the words of a text he sent me just a couple months after we started dating. We then went to Fly Bar where his last-minute efforts to throw a surprise party fell perfectly into place and all of our friends were waiting there to congratulate us.