Marial and Aaron

How We Met

Aaron and my brother met on the first day of third grade in 1999 and they hit it off right away. I was a year older and didn’t even pay attention to the puppy eyes that Aaron had every time he came over to play. Our parents instantly hit it off as well and remained friends over the years. In August of 2003, my parents asked him if they wanted to join in on the family vacation to the Jersey shore. It ended up becoming the Duffy’s new “tradition” for the next few summers!

Fast forward to 2011. Grown up but still relatively good friends, Aaron was home from West Point for a weekend. I asked him if he wanted to go out with me and some friends for a few drinks. Instantly, it was like fireworks. Ironically, the 4th of July of that same year we began dating and became “us!”

Jumping a bit to 2013, ten whole years after we originally went to Avalon together with our families, it was just us. Just Mar and Aar. Enjoying the same little town, same little hotel, the same little beach that we hadn’t seen in a decade. It was like nothing had changed.

How He Asked

2017, both settled in our careers, we decided we take a much-needed summer vacation. But, where to go? Surely there is no better place than the one and only Avalon, New Jersey. There we are again, at that same hotel we first came to 14 years ago. We decide to go to dinner at the burger joint on the corner. Ah, old reliable, some things really never change. With happy and full bellies, we decide to walk on the beach. It’s almost dark, and we see fireworks to the south, coming from the nearby Cape May. How pretty, I say to myself. I turn to Aaron and comment on the fireworks and all he replies with is, “Will you be mine forever?” and there he is down on one knee, ring in hand, asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. My knees went weak and I fell into the sand next to him, half crying half giggling “REALLY? REALLY? SHUTUP!” On the border of panic, he looked at me like “Um can you answer the question!?” To which I finally answered, “YES!” We helped each other back to our feet and cried together. From being kids on the beach in Avalon in 2003 to now being in engaged on the beach in Avalon in 2017, this is my dream come true. All I can say is, who knew?