Olivia and John
How We Met
John and I met during our junior year of high school, the fall of 2006. I switched into an AP physics class a few months into school, walked into the classroom and sat at the first empty table I saw. Little did I know, the whole class was scattered about working in groups, and when everyone returned to their seats, John’s was right next to mine. Right from the start a large group of students became close-knit, and everyone began whispering about who had a crush on who. But John was super quiet. And I was a little overzealous. By the time the next school dance rolled around, a mutual friend spilled the beans about my crush to John (without my consent – I ran away red-faced), and we unofficially went together. John bought me a single white rose since the dance was black and white themed, and the night was spent awkwardly being pushed together by giggling classmates. As graduation drew closer, we were going out way past curfew, getting yelled at by mom and dad, and texting constantly on our flip phones (5 cents per text). I asked John to prom in May 2008, and he insists that if I had just been a little more patient he would have asked me. Oops! Nevertheless, he asked me to be his girlfriend on May 25, 2008 in our most frequented spot, a pier overlooking the Hudson River and coincidentally his current job site, the Tappan Zee Bridge. We went to separate colleges but visited each other weekly; I drove into the Bronx and became an expert at parallel parking, while John braved public transportation in snowstorms just to spend a few hours with me and a Domino’s pizza. John took up playing the bagpipes in college, and my favorite tradition to date is seeing him march down 5th Avenue every St. Patrick’s Day with his fellow alum and, of course, wearing a kilt. After college graduation, I went to graduate school and John began working full-time. We became more interested in hiking/camping during our free time, discovered Lake Placid and the Adirondack High Peaks, and made it our annual Memorial Day getaway. On May 1, 2016 we moved in together and spent the year building IKEA furniture, cooking (AKA making a mess) and truly growing together. Once the following May rolled around, we celebrated our nine-year anniversary by taking our yearly trip to Lake Placid. After an awesome eight-hour hike up the Three Brothers and Big Slide Mountain, we cleaned up and took a drive up Whiteface Mountain to catch the sunset before dinner.
How He Asked
Let me preface this by saying that John had become an expert at distracting me and keeping me oblivious to anything he had been planning. He told me that my anniversary present was “in the mail” and hadn’t come yet. He convinced me that he thought proposing around holidays/birthdays/anniversaries was cliche. He even asked me to take him to a jewelry store when we got home from Lake Placid to show him what I liked. As you can imagine, I was caught by total and complete surprise. I started taking photos from the summit of Whiteface and even unknowingly spoke to our secret photographer (I’ll admit I was complaing about how chilly it was). When we got to the edge, John pulled me close and just told me he loved me. I immediately lost my breath and asked what was happening, to which he said, “Nothing. Nothing’s happening.” And I believed him. I didn’t want to be dramatic after all, or make a scene for nothing! Nevertheless, he got down on one knee, used my full name (swoon!) and asked me to marry him. There was so much stimuli; clouds of cheap liquid eyeliner in my eyes, the continous clicking of the camera, sunglasses falling of my head and my cell phone in my hand. The poor thing waited probably way too long for me to nod my head “yes,” and then I bawled into his shoulder. We had a mini photo session on top of the mountain, and went back down into town to celebrate with our favorite barbeque food. And remember that white rose he had given me for the high school dance? It had oddly stayed alive for quite a while and sprouted a new bud, which is now a big, beautiful, dried, preserved, eleven-year-old symbol of our love that’s still in our apartment today.