Maritza and Erik
How We Met
Supposedly, Erik and I had mutual friends all throughout high school, but we never officially met until our Senior year. I remember when fall came around, I was concerned about not finding a date to the homecoming dance. I didn’t have a boyfriend, nor was I looking for one, I simply wanted to attend my last homecoming with my best friends. Luckily, one of my guy friends asked me to the dance and I was ecstatic that I would be able to go! I remember the week leading up to the dance, my best friend told me that her younger sister would be going with this guy named Erik. At that moment, I wasn’t too concerned with this because I didn’t even know who the guy was! However, everything changed once we arrived to the dance. I couldn’t take my eyes off of Erik! His energy and joy was so contagious, I just had to get to know him! Soon after the dance, I realized we were in a couple classes together and I was definitely going to take advantage of these opportunities. I also had to find out whether or not he was interested in me! So my homecoming date willingly questioned Erik on whether or not he was interested in dating (I know, totally childish, but give me a break, we were just seniors in high school). Eventually, Erik caught on to the fact that I was interested in pursuing a relationship with him, and we would frequently text each other throughout the day.
After a couple of weeks of getting to know each other through awkward group gatherings at Steak ‘n Shake and friends’ houses, he finally mustered the courage to ask me out on our first date. He said I could pick the movie, and being the hopeless romantic that I am, I figured we could watch a scary movie to give us a reason to cozy up to one another. So, our first date was watching Insidious 2, and as terrified as we both were, Erik decided it was a good idea to keep his arm around me the ENTIRE movie…(he later said that his arm was numb by the end of the movie, poor guy!). After a couple more days of constant messaging, he asked me to be his girlfriend via text, and I gladly accepted! That was the start of what has happened to be the greatest blessing in my life.
How He Asked
From the start of our relationship, Erik and I knew what we had was something special. He is so genuine and selfless, and I knew he encompassed everything I wanted in a husband. So after many discussions about our future, we both agreed that we wanted to get married sometime after graduating from college. By the end of junior year, I knew a proposal was in the near future, and I was hoping it would be sooner than later. Erik knows I hate surprises, and it isn’t easy to keep surprises hidden from me. However, during the first month of summer, he definitely kept me on my toes, guessing when the day would come. The day before the proposal, Erik kept telling me he had something planned for the next day, but wouldn’t tell me exactly what. He kept saying it was going to be a surprise. I had a lot of trouble falling asleep that night. I kept thinking about how he might propose! I tried talking myself out of it though; trying not to get my hopes up in case he was teasing me! The morning of May 27, 2017, Erik arrived at my house by 8:30 A.M. and handed me my first clue of the day, which said “We have something to catch at 9 A.M. where are we going?” By this point, I knew what was happening, but I didn’t know at what point it would happen, or where! So, our first stop was the Sky deck at the Willis Tower (it’ll forever be Sears Tower). It took WAY longer to get to the sky deck than either one of us anticipated! He kept saying that he had nice lunch reservations set up for us at noon. Before I knew it, it was already 1 P.M. which at that point, I told Erik our lunch reservations probably weren’t happening. He assured me that everything was okay and we would still have those lunch reservations whenever we left the skydeck.
After a long day of standing in line, and getting our handful of pictures at the skydeck, we began walking towards Millennium Park, but he said it was too crowded. My first thought, was we were having lunch at a local café near the park, but he quickly redirected me towards Maggie Daley Park and to my surprise there was a picnic basket sitting on a blanket with a sign that said “Reserved for Erik and Maritza.” (I found out that he had his brother set up the picnic for us while we were waiting in line, so sweet!). Not only did he manage to surprise me, but he also managed to make the proposal so romantic and picturesque.
We were both shaking and nervous, and I didn’t know whether to eat first or wait for his proposal, but then he looked at me and said, “You have changed my life for the better, so will you marry me Maritza?”. And I said, “yes, of course!” and we hugged each other and simply basked in the moment of our recent engagement. The ring was absolutely stunning and the ring box was handcrafted by Erik, which made the moment even sweeter! Overall, the proposal couldn’t have gone any better, and now I get to marry my best friend! I can’t wait for May 2019 when I vow to be a Rhodes!