Kim and Corey
How We Met
Kim Comer and Corey Czmiel met in 2009 in Labor Relations class at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. As classmates, they collaborated on group projects and would compare notes after exams. As they were sitting next to each other at their undergrad graduation ceremony, they discussed future career plans but it would not be until years later that their paths would lead them to one another.
How He Asked
Corey and I were planning an extended weekend trip to New York City for my birthday. As this would be my first time in the City, Corey asked he if could arrange the itinerary for Saturday. I happily obliged knowing that he tends to spoil me plus what fun is it to plan your own birthday festivities? The weekend was off to a great start when we were spontaneously upgraded from coach to business class on the flight to New York City. As soon as we set foot in the Big Apple, I knew we weren’t in Raleigh anymore!
After we finished breakfast at a cute shop near our hotel on Saturday morning, Corey informed me of the address of the first activity he had planned for Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 and we departed to our destination on 51st Street. As I turned the corner from 8th to 51st, I see that we have arrived at the Gershwin Theatre and Corey presents two tickets to see the Broadway musical “Wicked”! I am ecstatic- the Wizard of Oz is my favorite movie. Both the show and my hot date surely didn’t disappoint.
After the matinee we headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up for dinner. Corey, still keeping me in the dark about the dinner location, requested that I wear comfortable shoes because there would be a 0.7 mile walk to the post-meal activity knowing that I had knee surgery 6 months prior. I’m telling you, he’s a keeper!
That evening we dined at the Rock Center Café located in Rockefeller Center. Our table had a view of the famous ice skating rink. It was magical! We left dinner promptly at 8:00 p.m. to arrive early at the post-meal location for my next surprise scheduled at 8:30 p.m. The volume of people in and around Rockefeller Center that evening was incredible. It was clear that we weren’t the only ones who wanted to experience the holiday nostalgia in NYC! Corey guided me through the massive crowd of people to a calmer area and asked what I know about shopping in Times Square on Saturday nights in New York City. Well, I know that I like shopping and I’ve been dying to get to Times Square since we arrived in town so I’m thinking that he has planned a tour of a boutique, there is a fashion show, etc. He asked if I would be ok running because he can’t wait to show me something, but it starts promptly at 8:30 and he doesn’t want me to miss it. I happily obliged- I was going shopping after all! So there we were, literally running through the streets of NYC like crazy people. About 3 blocks in I started to slow down and tell Corey to go ahead without me. You know, that knee surgery thing. I’m figuring if it’s a tour he can check us in and I can join a bit late. He gained some ground on me to hail a taxi and we jumped in! At this point we had less than 10 minutes to get 0.5 miles. Somehow the stars aligned, and we miraculously caught three green lights in a row, hopped out and decided to run the last few blocks to the corner of 42nd and 7th… to Champs Sports. I am still a little frazzled at this point, but WE MADE IT with a minute to spare!
The next thing I know, Corey is asking a stranger on the street to take a picture of us, which is out of character for him, but I dismiss it since I’m still trying to wrap my head around what could be so special about Champs Sports. Then I heard singing. It’s the stranger on the street that took our picture that is singing. I recognize the song as none other than our song: “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne being performed by an acapella group! I became immediately overwhelmed with emotion as I started to piece together what was happening and that this is real life. Corey takes my hand and we start to dance as if no one else in the world was watching. I had no clue we had attracted a small audience at this point. The group continues their beautiful melody and Corey whispers in my ear that he has one more surprise for me. He turned me around and pointed up to a billboard that reads, “Kimmy Ann, will you be my princess forever? Love, Corey”, accompanied by a picture of us on a subsequent billboard. Without hesitation, I turned back to the man of my dreams and answer the question with a big fat YES! He proceeded to bend down on one knee and formally pop the question to which I reply “YES, of course”!
As Corey prepared to slip the most beautiful sparkly ring on my finger, I hear a voice instructing him to put it on slowly. That is when I realized we were being filmed and my life felt even more like a fairy tale. We were congratulated by the onlookers who had witnessed the most special day of my life, met the talented Nikki Miller behind the camera of Mae B. Films, thanked the talented Concrete Sings a cappella group, and proceeded to take a stroll on cloud nine, which was conveniently located in the middle of Times Square that chilly December night! If you look closely, you may notice the Wicked Billboard in the background of the video- a cute coincidental reminder of the first surprise of a fun winter day in NYC that turned into the best day ever!