Kelley and Michael
How We Met
Mike and I met in a bar celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in New York City. It was early in the day and we were both at a bar with our then, completely separate groups of friends. I was standing there with a pitcher of green beer (naturally) in my hand and he walked right up to me and said, “Hi!” before introducing himself. It seems very uncommon for someone to approach you like that so I was immediately attracted to him. This first encounter was sweet – he would repeat my name over and over – I guess as a way to not forget my name, but admittedly I found it incredibly charming.
He also stayed in the same spot and demanded that I return to him every time I left to get a drink or go to the ladies room. As he was leaving, he asked me and my friend to continue bar hopping with him and his friend so we spent the rest of the day together! After this incredibly wonderful day, he ALMOST didn’t get my number after he put me in a cab on the way home. He quickly stopped the cab to ask for my number to “make sure I got home okay” (smooth move, Mike). From the beginning, everything became so easy and fun when we were together. The laughs were constant and they still are.
How He Asked
Fast forward 3 years later – years full of drinks, movies, and travel; everything we love doing together – we decided to take a trip to Savannah, Georgia to celebrate both of our birthdays. (Mine is May 8 and his is March 5. I’m a Taurus and he’s a Pisces so we’re a pretty great match.) Our day started with an early flight and a cheers over coffee to our birthday trip (Mike gave me a weird look for that one). We got to Savannah pretty early so we weren’t able to check in immediately, but instead we explored the beautiful city! We went everywhere, ate great food, and took a ton of photos. Mike was acting a little strange, as he frequently worried about checking in, but I was just taking in the amazing city! We walked around with our drinks, barhopped, ate on the river, shopped a little, and fell in love with the city we had never been to before.
After finally checking into the room, an incredible storm opened up and it poured down rain (thank God we were able to check in when we did!). As the power flickered in the hotel, I thought, ‘No big deal, it’ll pass,’ but didn’t think we’d be able to do what we originally intended. As both of us are total movie nerds, we really wanted to go see Chippewa Park, also known as Forrest Gump Park, but the rain was preventing that from happening. I wasn’t stressed about it, as I knew we’d have time to see it later, but Mike had different plans. Always a photographer, he convinced me that we needed to go that night because he explained (repeatedly) that there would be great lighting after the rain, so pictures would look gorgeous! Mike has a way of twisting my arm, so I went along with it even though the weather was not on our side. As it was still raining, we first stopped off at a small pub and had a couple drinks – hoping a little that the weather would clear up before we walked too far.
Even though our plans had slightly been derailed, we had a wonderful dinner and completely enjoyed just being with each other. The weather finally cleared up, so we grabbed a couple drinks and made the trek to Chippewa Park. He had this idea to do a photo shoot on the park bench where Forrest Gump told his story in the movie (the actual bench is in a museum elsewhere but everyone in Savannah makes note of where it was actually placed). As we got to Chippewa Park, we noticed it was absolutely empty due to the storm! We wandered around looking for the perfect bench before finally sitting down (of course, according to Mike, I picked the wrong bench at first). Mike took a couple photos of me sitting on the bench before pulling out a box of chocolates to be used as a prop – the thing he so badly needed to be able to check into the room to have this for the photo shoot. (If you knew him you wouldn’t be surprised.) He insisted on a couple photos with the chocolates, based off of the infamous movie line, but then he insisted I open the box.
I was pretty confused at this point, but went along with it because it’s Mike and I just do sometimes. Then he told me to eat one of the chocolates so I did. He was taking candids of this (which kind of seems weird when it’s written out), but then stopped and specifically requested that I eat the white chocolate. At this point, if I didn’t realize what was happening then I never would. I grabbed the white chocolate piece and I saw a diamond ring shoved in it! Oddly enough, my first thought was that it was a joke… and when I realized it was no joke, I started freaking out. All the while, my photographer was still taking photos.
He eventually walked over, got down on his knee, and used my full name to ask me to marry him (I’m a sucker for that kind of thing). Of course, I said, “YES!!” I was shocked, somewhat hysterical, and noticed there was still no one in this famous park! We were able to have this private moment that was beautiful, romantic, and absolutely perfect.
And, props to Mike: it was so unique! After this incredibly wonderful moment, we did one of the things we’ve done since the beginning; we went to the bar around the corner to have a drink, but this time as a newly engaged couple.
I was so thrilled that I was going to marry this guy, my fiancé. “Life is like a box of chocolates” -Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump.