Maria and Nick

 

How We Met

Nick and I first met back in 2005 through our cousins while both of us were vacationing in Greece for the summer. My first impression of him was that he seemed like too much of a party boy/heartbreaker for me so although I found him to be SO attractive, I stayed away for my own good. Summer came and went and we remained acquaintances. Fast forward to 2012: we spotted each other after years in a crowded club of all places. After reconnecting, talking back and forth for months, and after much persistence on his end, I decided to let down my guard and go out with him. One of our first nights out together was SantaCon in Manhattan in 2012. That night we had our first kiss and we shared a fun moment in a photo booth at one of the bars we were at. We proclaimed that day would be our anniversary and we made a promise that any time we saw a photo booth, no matter how random of a location, we would be sure to get our picture taken. This December marks three years of dating. Since we first started going out, we have been through many ups and downs together: first, I made a life-changing decision to switch careers and go back to school which essentially required me to start over. I juggled multiple jobs, long hours, and a lot of hard work to find myself at my dream job of being a teacher. All while this was taking place, we found out last October that his mother was diagnosed with cancer. After a year of treatments and fighting, we lost her to the illness just two months ago. His mother treated me like her own daughter essentially from the first day I met her so the loss hit us both hard. These difficult tests have only brought us closer together and I knew for certain that he and I are meant to go through all of life’s ups and downs together. I’ve learned that Nick is far from the heartbreaker I perceived him to be long ago when we first met. He is the furthest from one. He came back into my life at a time when I had very pessimistic views on love and romance. He changed all of that with his constant displays of old-fashioned romance and his overwhelming support for my personal hopes, dreams and goals. Each day that passes, I am that much more excited and overjoyed at the reality that we will be spending our lives together as husband and wife.

How He Asked

It came time to celebrate our 3-year anniversary on December 12th. He had told me weeks earlier that I should leave all the planning to him. This was something I completely had no problem doing. Nick is a master of surprises and plans the best things for us to do. The day arrived. He seemed SO excited. Before we went out, I gave him an anniversary gift. I made a scrapbook of all our greatest memories from the last three years. One of the last pages in the book held our collection of assorted photo booth strips. The next page wrote “To Be Continued..” when he turned to those final pages, he became emotional and simply said that it was perfect. Now in retrospect I fully understand why he had that reaction! After watching his friend perform in a comedy show that night, he led me to a gin bar in Brooklyn. I have been joking around with him lately that I wished we could find a place that has “gin tastings” like the way they do beer and wine tastings. When we walked in, I thought that was what we were about to do. I was excited! We ordered a round of drinks and as we were talking, I noticed they had a photo booth in the back of the bar. I told him about it and he said, “Well you know what this means… we HAVE to go in!” So we finished our drinks and headed over. Once inside the booth, we did our usual silly poses. We looked at the pictures afterward and Nick said he didn’t like the way it turned out and that we should take another one. So, we inserted more money and prepared to take another round. After the first frame, I turned to him and said, “Quick! What’s our next pose??” and as the camera continued to countdown, he pulled out the ring box from his pocket and asked me to marry him as the camera continued to snap away. Our entire engagement was captured perfectly! I found out afterward that he had wanted to propose to me in a photo booth almost as soon as we stepped into the first one back on our first date.