Liz and Dan
How We Met
Dan and I met in 2003. I was 15, and Dan was 16. We were paired up as junior attendants at a wedding. It was both of our first times being in a wedding and we were both really shy and awkward. After the wedding, Dan got my email and AIM (yes, that AIM) screename from my cousin and we kept in contact via dial-up modem. We became great friends through email and chat and we would see each other a few times a year. Dan left for college in Oklahoma and that was when I realized how much I’d miss him. I ended up going to the University of Illinois, but Dan and I still remained great friends even though we were hundreds of miles a part.
After college, Dan moved back to Chicago for work while I was getting my Master’s in Champaign. With distance no longer really a factor, our relationship grew and we started dating. This is obviously in hindsight, but looking back, we both agree that we always knew we had a special relationship. We had so many things in common and we held the same ideas for the future. We both love to laugh and we both have the same type of crude humor that comes with watching hours upon hours of the Simpsons while growing up. While I was in grad school, Dan would make the 2.5 hour drive at least once a month to see me. Once I graduated, I also moved back to Chicago, and Dan and I have spent the last 5 years making adventures and memories in this great city.
How He Asked
I am a HUGE Taylor Swift fan. I had gotten floor tickets to see Taylor in Chicago for her 1989 World Tour. This was going to be my third time seeing her, and Dan actually agreed to come with my friends and I this year. I was super excited for him to experience the magic that is a Taylor Swift concert.
The whole week was exciting because my birthday was that Wednesday, Dan was taking me to his work party at a historic house in Chicago, and Taylor Swift was in town. Dan’s work party was the Friday night before the concert, but my number one priority that day was to buy stuff to make a poster for the concert. Rumor has it, is if you make a bomb poster and one of Taylor’s people see it, you get to meet her.
After work, I walked over to Michael’s and got all of my poster supplies. Dan picked me up from the store, and we stopped by his place to drop off our things. I also mentioned that I didn’t want to stay at his work party for too long since I needed time to turn $80 worth of craft supplies into a phenomenal Taylor Swift poster.
I probably wouldn’t have even wanted to go to the party except for the fact that Dan’s work always threw amazing parties. I had also dragged Dan to tour the historic houses of the neighborhood a few years back, and I was not going to miss an opportunity to see the oldest house in Chicago again.
Dan lived within walking distance to the Historic Prairie District, so we left the condo and made our trek a few blocks south to the party. Along the way I noticed that Dan was carrying a baby gift bag which he said was for a co-worker who just gave birth. His manager, who couldn’t make the party, wanted him to bring this present for her. As we were walking, Dan got a call from his co-worker who said she wasn’t going to make the party, but she lived a block away and asked if he could just drop it off. The houses around this area are stunning, so I was actually excited to have to stop by his co-worker’s house to drop off the present.
To get to her house, we had to cut through the Chicago Women’s Park. As we were walking, Dan announced that this baby gift bag he was holding is actually my birthday present. I was confused but also surprised and excited since he hadn’t given me my birthday present yet. We sat down at one of the park benches, and I opened the bag which contained a beautifully bound book. Each page of the book had a picture of us, and Dan wrote little captions on each page describing how he felt about us in each picture.
It was great to laugh and to remember all of these special moments in the book. The last page of the book was a photo of the exact spot of where we were sitting. Dan wrote that he hopes this place will be a very special place to us and a place that we can visit again over the years. Dan took my hand and brought me to the center of the park. He then got down on one knee and proposed.
I vaguely remember saying yes, but I was so confused and emotional at the time! I was absolutely blind sided and had no idea this was going to happen. It’s still a crazy blur to me, and I don’t think I have ever felt so much love and emotion in my life. Our close friends were actually staked out behind parked cars the whole time, and they were able to take photos of the proposal.
I later found out that there was no work party. Dan made a fake invitation on his work stationary and the “co-worker” that called him to tell us to make the detour was just a friend he had asked to call him at a certain time.
I obviously never got around to making my Taylor Swift poster that night, but Dan, being the best fiance ever, already commissioned my cousin to make us a very special light-up poster for the concert that read “JUST ENGAGED.”