Nicole and Chester
How We Met
Chester and I met at a church picnic in the Spring of 2014. He walked right up to me and my pug, Major and introduced himself. I knew at that very moment that he was God sent and I proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon hiding from him. He tried making eye contact and walking over to me many times but I made it near impossible for him to talk to me. As the evening approached, Chester was finally able to pull me aside and told me that he was about to leave the picnic. But before he left he wanted to know if I had a Facebook account. I told him that I did but confidently said that it would be impossible for him to find me. When I got home that night, I received a friend request from Chester and the rest was history.
How He Asked
Chester told me the day before our engagement that his long lost friend Corey was coming into town with his new wife. He suggested that we all go on a double date to catch up. We all met the next night, at mine and Chester’s favorite little Mediterranean restaurant, Aladdin. This restaurant is a beloved spot in Houston to us; because we shared a significantly, sweet date here previously. So naturally, I was delighted to go! After dinner, Chester suggested that we all go to Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts (he chose this because he knows I’m an avid lover of art and believed I would serve well as the group’s tour guide.) Upon walking into the museum, Chester began fidgeting with his pockets, his cell phone began ringing non-stop, and he seemed to be flustered. This was not the normal behavior of my beloved cool, calm guy. To top it all off, he actually lagged behind the group to answer a call! I kept thinking he was being so rude to his dear old friend and gave him many side-eye glances. As soon as we arrived to the Museum’s Antiquities Hall…Chester excused himself to the restroom. I thought his behavior was downright erratic at this point; but he went, and I was left to view the art pieces with his friend I barely knew and his wife. I began to talk about certain pieces when Chester’s friend Corey pulled out his camera (from a backpack that I hadn’t noticed before.) And snap! He began taking pictures of me. (What I didn’t know, is that Corey, was indeed an old friend, but also a professional photographer by trade and Chester had hired him to document the night’s events.) I thought to myself, “I suppose this is normal for people to take pictures in a museum” and brushed away all weird thoughts. Then, an Acapella singing quartet (the Rice University’s Philharmonics emerged from the escalator singing. (*Fun fact: I love choirs! Chester remembered this detail!) The quartet quickly swarmed around us and I became claustrophobic and started to try to move out of their way, fast! I really got scared because they were making a bee line for me. (Chester had previously warned the group that I spook easily, he had asked them to try to be subtle in their moments and, well, that plan failed!)
The lead singer, fearful at this point that I would take off… leaned over, past his binder of song sheets, smiled and whispered, “stop running” so I did. I immediately became intrigued because I noticed they were singing my favorite song “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire. I particularly noticed that they changed the first verse’s date. They sang “Do you remember the 24th of September.” The correct version says the 21st. They followed that song with yet another song I adore “La-La-La Means I Love You “by the Delfonics. The first few verses of the song are “Many guys have to come to you, with a line that wasn’t true and you passed them by. Now you’re in the center ring, and their lines don’t mean a thing, why don’t you let me try” and the group paused, they paused perfectly in sync for Chester who had emerged from the escalator with a bouquet of my favorite flowers (Anemonies) in hand. (The white blooms were flown in the night before, because they were out of season, from Holland, by my best friend and florist by trade, Lee.) Chester took bended knee and sang to me “why don’t you let me try!”
Now this is the most planned, romantic, thoughtful proposal, right?! Any girl would be gushing over the gesture! Not me though, I was still in complete shock and unaware what was really going on! It wasn’t until Chester opened the box and I saw my engagement ring…that everything made sense to me. (*Fun fact: As a child I dreamed of becoming a gemologist. My favorite gemstone is the Morganite and I often fawn over rings cut in vintage settings.) I must have screamed no less than five times “Are you serious?!” but he was and of course I said “Yes!” A crowd had gathered around us and loudly cheered as we hugged and kissed. Later that night Chester handed me a vintage ring box. I opened it to find a small Cracker Jack ring inside. He remembered that I often would joke that I’d marry him any day, even if he proposed with a Cracker Jack ring.