Melissa and Marco
How We Met
On the outside, our story is pretty basic: we met at work. I worked in the front office and he worked in the back warehouse. What makes this story more intriguing is that I was in a long term relationship at the time we met. Even so, I remember the first day I met Marco. I met about 20 guys my first day at work and he’s the only one I remember meeting.
We spent about a year chatting at work and exchanging brief flirtations. I remember finding excuses to go into the warehouse to see him or even work with him on a project, and I think he did the same considering the amount of times he came into my office. Things changed when we were put on project together. We were working Electric Daisy Carnival and it was just the two of us at the load in. We worked really well together and spent a lot of time getting to know each other more. At one point I was trying to get down from a tall stage and used his hand for assistance. Somehow, after 10 months of knowing each other, this was the first time our hands ever touched. It sounds stupid and cheesy but I still remember what it felt like holding his hand for that brief moment and something felt right. Combine that with the how much we connected at the load in plus how much I enjoyed being around him during the show, and I knew things with my current boyfriend had to come to an end.
It was a bit of a long process that I won’t go into, filled with a lot of confusion, sadness, and arguing, but my relationship finally came to an end and Marco was there with me through it all. He helped me move out of the house I was renting with my ex and do some repairs that were needed. He was there when I went through the roller coaster of emotions that inevitably happen after a breakup, even if it’s what you wanted. After everything settled down, I was still hesitant to move into another relationship because I didn’t want to be “that girl” that jumps from guy to guy, and it was my first time being single in several years. Marco and I spent the summer hanging out and I actually went on a couple other dates, but after a few months I decided to stop judging myself so much and make it official with this person I’ve had my eye on since the day we met.
We told our boss, which spread through the building like wildfire (though many people weren’t surprised), and were officially a couple in August of 2015. We’ve had such a fun, loving, adventurous, and fulfilling relationship. Marco has a son who is now 8 and being a part of him growing up has been one of the biggest delights in my life. He’s also in the National Guard and leaves for drills and training pretty regularly. Dealing with the logistics of dating someone with a kid who is also in the military hasn’t always been the easiest thing, but it’s certainly been the proudest thing. I’m so proud of the family I chose for myself and I love them to pieces. I feel so happy and lucky to have not one, but two great men (one little man :p) love me for who I am.
How He Asked
Marco spent this past summer on Beyonce and Jay-Z’s OTRII tour. He was gone for 11 weeks. Towards the end of the tour, he was in California at the same time I was in Vegas for work. Being that we were both on the same side of the country and he had a rare 2 days off, one of which happened to be my birthday, I knew I had to plan a little trip to see him.
On my second and last day there (also my birthday) we woke up early and went to the San Diego Zoo. This place lived up to its hype and then some. We didn’t have dinner reservations until 7:30 so we had the whole day to take our time seeing every damn thing in that zoo. I loved it! He bought me drinks and lunch at a restaurant in the zoo and we had the most amazing time. I love animals so it was a clear win for me. By the time we found a souvenir for Damian (Marco’s son) and left it was already time to get ready for dinner.
He took me to this stunning outdoor restaurant on Coronado Island right on the ocean. We had a great dinner and I got to watch the sun set over the ocean (as an east coaster, this was important to me). After dinner I asked him if we could take a walk to the beach. We walked along this sidewalk that ran parallel to the ocean. We were chatting and mostly looking for the bathroom for him (which I promise is relevant) until we couldn’t walk anymore and turned around to walk back. Along the walk back he pointed out a bench and asked if I wanted to sit. We sat there and listened to the ocean and talked for a while. It was perfect. I’m in love with the water, so having dinner on the ocean, then walking along the beach and sitting and listening to the waves is my definition of a perfect night. Pair that with the zoo and it was the perfect day.
I wasn’t exactly expecting a proposal, but we had been openly talking about it for a while and I had hopes that this trip might be the time. Eventually we talked so much on that bench it seemed like he wasn’t going to propose. The conversation wasn’t leading up to it, we had walked all the way along the beach and we were in the process of walking back to the car when we had stopped to sit. The night was over, I was getting on a plane the next morning, and it just wasn’t going to happen. So me being me, I couldn’t be patient and I had to bring up the topic of us getting engaged. I wasn’t complaining or getting angry, though. I was telling him how much I loved him and how I want to be with him for the rest of my life and I thanked him for the perfect day. He says “you know I love you, Damian loves you, Rocco (his dog) loves you, and I appreciate everything that you do for me and for us.” I smile and take that in, waiting to see if he’s going to add onto that. He doesn’t, so I say “I mean, this was just such a beautiful night and we’ve been talking about getting married for a while now. Did you think about proposing while I was here visiting you?”
Him: Well, yeah
Me: Wait really?!
Him: You want me to do it right now? I’ll do it right now!
He gets off the bench, gets down on one knee and I still think this is all a joke until suddenly a ring box appears in his hand and all at once everything became so real. The complete shock of being certain it’s not going to happen and suddenly it’s happening is indescribable. I just hope I continue to remember that rush because it’s so real and pure and makes me instantly happy when I think about it.
Anyway, so he’s on one knee and asks “will you marry me?” I look down, put my forehead in my hand, and say “are you f***ing kidding me??” When I look back up he has tears in his eyes smiling widely, but he’s noticeably nervous. Yet another snapshot I hope to remember. So pure.
This was the first time in my life I can remember being genuinely speechless. I knew what I was supposed to say but I couldn’t get it out. All I wanted to do was take in the moment. After a few seconds he says “ok I’m gonna get off the ground” and sits back on the bench and we just embrace for a few seconds, sobbing to ourselves, until I finally say “yes!” and he goes “ok good!” He takes the ring out of the box and with shaky hands puts it on my finger.
After taking a beat I exclaim that I totally ruined it by bringing up the topic of getting engaged. He said I didn’t ruin it and that he found my little speech to be sweet and also funny because I had no idea what was coming. I learned later on that he kept letting me talk because he thought “well this is interesting. Let’s see where this goes.” Then of course my follow up question had to be “ok then why did you wait until the very last second of the day?” To which he responds with: “well I wanted to wait until we found a bathroom. I didn’t want to pee my pants. I had the ring with me all day and I thought about doing it at the zoo but there wasn’t a good time and then at dinner there were too many people.”
It was honestly perfect. Everything from him having the ring with him all day with no plan of when to do it, to playfully saying “you want me to do it right now? I’ll do it right now!” to me being so impatient that I had to bring it up myself was just very us. No elaborate staged plan, just us.
From there, we continued our walk back down the beach both still in a daze and throwing out ideas about our future wedding. Talking about it in theory vs realizing we’re talking about our wedding that’s *actually* going to happen was so exciting. It was the first time I was ever so in a moment that I didn’t have the thought to take a picture; which I honestly think is amazing. It wasn’t until we were in the car on the way back to the hotel that I realized we didn’t take a picture.
The whole day was so intimate and personal, it was exactly what I wanted and I didn’t even know it. We had spent the past 2 months apart and when we are home we have a kid every weekend; so to have this time off just the two of us, with no responsibilities was exactly what we needed and I’m so grateful he made this into best trip of my life that I’ll never forget.
These are the photos I have of that night: a dark photo I took of the beach and another he took of me at the restaurant.