Mara and Al

ma-100

How We Met

Our relationship didn’t start that romantic, so I will keep this part short. We met after the bar at Burrito Boyz. It has great food. Ladies, it has great men, too.

How He Asked

Al plays football on Saturday mornings. He isn’t the quietest person, but he does try extra hard to be quiet on the weekends so I can get some extra rest. On this particular Saturday, I wasn’t feeling well and had been taking cold medicine.

Before he left the house, he yelled from the bottom of the stairs “I am gone to football! I love you!” and slammed the door to the garage. I grumbled and rolled over to go back to sleep. All of a sudden I heard music blaring from our portable speaker. It’s my favorite song – ‘You’ve Got the Love’ by Florence and the Machine. At this point, I was feeling groggy from the medicine and couldn’t figure out what was happening. I got out of bed to turn off the speaker and found an envelope addressed to me. I opened it and read the note inside. It read “I have a confession. I am not at football. Come find me for breakfast at the cafe we went to on July 1st last year. We lay in the park afterwards and relaxed for the afternoon. See you soon. The reservation is in 30 minutes!”

I rushed to get ready and drove to the cafe. Al travels a lot and I get lonely. When this happens, he makes me feel better by planning extra special dates when he’s back in the city. When I arrived at the cafe, I walked around the patio to find him. Instead, my best friend, Chad, is sitting at a table smiling. Chad tells me Al had planned a breakfast for us before I meet him. “This is so thoughtful,” I remember thinking. “He’s planned a breakfast date with one of my favorites.” We laugh with each other, sit in the sun and have a lovely breakfast. Then Chad gave me an envelope. The clue led me to my friend and hair stylist, Paul (also Chad’s partner).

Chad and I drove to Paul’s salon. He washed, dried and curled my hair and I felt beautiful for the dinner Al had planned for that evening. Then Paul gave me an envelope. The clue led me back to our house, which we, coincidentally, bought one year ago.

I drove home and parked the car. When I was leaving the garage I found another envelope. It led me to our favorite restaurant, Sotto Sotto. It was lunch time, and we had dinner plans, so I was a little confused. Anyway, I got ready and looked outside to see a driver waiting for me. He brought me to the restaurant to have lunch with Al. I walked into the restaurant and one of my closest girlfriends is sitting down at the bar. Al had planned another date with one of my dearests. We ordered Chardonnay, chatted and had a nice lunch. Then Rochelle gave me an envelope. The clue led me to Burrito Boyz. I KNOW at this point Al is going to propose to me outside of the restaurant. I am crying. I am shaking. I am smiling. I am feeling everything.

The driver brought me to the restaurant and I walked inside. My sister (also my best friend/my confidant/my rock/my MOH) was sitting at a table. She jumped up to give me a hug and started crying. I started telling her about the perfect day I was having. Al has sent me on mini dates with my favorite people. My stomach was full of butterflies and every time the door opened, I turned around expecting to see Al. But then my sister handed me an envelope. It was the final clue. It led me to the place Al took me to during one of our first dates – Scarborough Bluffs Marina, in the city he grew up in.

My sister drove me to the marina and told me to walk towards the water. After a few minutes, I saw Al. He was standing at the edge of the peninsula. The sky opened, the lake was behind him, and it was creating the perfect backdrop. He was smiling the biggest smile and his eyes were filled with tears.

ma-1

He got down on one knee and all I can remember him say was “I remember taking you here and thinking how beautiful you are and how lucky I was to spend that day with you.” (Insert a bunch of other beautiful words I don’t remember, but made me ugly cry)….“Will you marry me?” I dove into his arms and a photographer jumps out from the bushes. She captured the entire moment. It was the most beautiful proposal I could ever imagine.

ma-26

ma-13

ma-25

ma-80

We are getting married next summer in my hometown. This time, we will both be surrounded by the people we love.

Special Thanks

Fiona Chiu
Photography
Paul Syme
Hair