Noelle and Alex

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How We Met

Noelle and Alex first met like many couples often do, through chance meeting in college introductory Japanese language class!  Noelle was just a freshman in her first semester of college ever, taking Japanese as a way to expand herself culturally. Alex was a senior, nearing the end of his college career, auditing a humanities course for the sole purpose of finding a girlfriend which he knew would be near impossible to do within the vastly male engineering department.  The first few classes though were uneventful, as Noelle and Alex sat in opposite corners, unaware of each other’s presences. Alex was losing hope that this idea of finding love in Japanese class would ever prove fruitful, and that the only thing he would gain from this class was a rudimentary grasp of the Japanese language. But around the second week of classes Alex finally spotted Noelle, and he knew immediately he had to meet this beautiful girl, but was too shy to introduce himself outright, so he concocted a plan. It was quite simple really, every day the class grouped up into two’s for writing and speaking exercises. Alex figured out he just needed to seat himself next to Noelle at the start of class one day, and then when it was time to partner up for the daily exercise portion of class, they would be partnered together!  From there the plan was simple: utilize his charm, wit, and intelligence and woo Noelle into being his girlfriend.  And that’s exactly what happened!  Well, it took a few more months of study nights, dates, and baked frittatas, but all the hard work paid off and Alex and Noelle officially began dating on November 20th, 2010.  Alex had a simple goal of finding a girlfriend in Japanese class, but as it turned out what he found was his life partner.  Exactly five years of dating later, Alex would ask for Noelle’s hand in marriage on November 20th, 2015.

How He Asked

Noelle was not looking forward to this day.  Day trip to the beach? In November???  Plus she already had the “inside scoop” from her close friends that Alex was definitely NOT proposing.  Little did Noelle know that Alex had secretly conspired with Noelle’s friends to spread the disinformation necessary to keep Noelle unaware of his true intentions this day.  Noelle believed it would simply be an unspectacular cold day trip to the beach, but Alex had plans to make sure that this would be a trip neither of them would ever forget.  The morning of November 20th, 2015, Alex woke up knowing his life was going to change forever. Acting a bit too nervous for what seemed like a simple trip, Noelle’s suspicions that morning grew. A quick chat with her friend Neha thankfully put that suspicion to rest.  Neha was one of Alex’s insiders, and was able to message Alex to start playing it cool, which he was able to do. Alex then realized that this was not going to be as easy as he thought. Promising to keep himself as “normal” as possible, Alex kept it low key for the rest of the morning, playing video games until departure time came.

Alex had never felt more nervous in his life by just putting on a jacket.  In the inside pocket was a box, and in that box was a ring he meant to put on his girlfriend’s finger to make her his fiancée.  Now to spend the next few hours avoiding any close hugs or accidental bumps against this one pocket containing the greatest surprise Alex would ever hope to pull off.  The drive at least was the easy part.  It was 2 hours Alex would use to practice “the speech” over and over again in his head.  Sunset was at 5:06pm. Their estimated time to arrive was just half an hour prior to sunset.  This was incredibly important to Alex that everything go smoothly.  Unfortunately Alex’s carefully constructed plan had to change immediately upon arrival at the beach. The first item on the day’s agenda was to visit a local ice cream shop famous for their home made soft serve… But they were closed.  Not a good start to this beach trip. Never one to mope when things go wrong, Alex quickly adapted and decided their walk on the beach would start then and there. It was only a few blocks to the beach, and so off they set off on a walk that would change both their lives forever.  Once on the beach, they walked together hand in hand, the wind a gentle breeze, the waves crashing near their feet, and the Sun just beginning to set.  With the blue sky beautifully streaked with red and orange rays of the last light of the day, Alex knew that now was the perfect time.

You know what sunsets remind me of Noelle? They’re beautiful, like you.  But they also remind me that each day of our lives is precious.  There’s only a certain number of sunsets we’ll ever see, and we should cherish each one.  A sunset signifies the end of the day, but it also means a new day is coming, and we have to plan for that day like every day. For 1,825 sunsets, all I’ve known is that I’ve always wanted to plan to spend that next day with you… And I want to plan to spend all the rest of my days with you too.”

At this point Alex dropped to one knee, revealed the ring from his jacket pocket, and asked the question, <“Noelle Vrana, will you marry me?” Noelle, in utter shock and disbelief, mouth agape, took a few seconds to realize what had just happened… maybe more than a few seconds actually. Alex, realizing his attempt to keep the proposal a secret might have been a bit too successful, politely asked Noelle a second time, “Caitlin Noelle Vrana, will you marry me?” at which point Noelle promptly snapped to and said YES! Alex then placed the ring on Noelle’s finger, and they lovingly embraced each other in their arms, kissed, and sat down to watch the remainder of the sunset (and make a few phone calls to friends and family!). They also had a good laugh at the fact that half way through Alex’s speech a rogue wave actually attacked Alex, rudely interrupting him, though he recovered just fine.

The surprises then continued as Alex revealed that this was not simply a day trip, but actually an overnight trip! Alex had booked a hotel for them to stay to continue the celebrations with a night of delicious seafood at a nice local restaurant, and the watching of the film The Illusionist, the movie they were watching when they shared their first kiss 5 years ago, and also Bridget Jones, Noelle’s favorite movie of all time.  The night ended back on the beach, now with all the stars out, and as they gazed upward they saw together a shooting star (possibly a satellite according to Alex).  Surely a good omen for their future together!

The next morning they awoke for the first time together as an engaged couple to watch the sun rise together to cap off the beach trip neither will ever forget for the rest of their lives.  They left for the beach as boyfriend and girlfriend.  They came back as husband and wife to be!

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