Rachel and Gordon's Sweet New Year's Eve Proposal
How We Met: For about a year, a few of my volleyball teammates had tried to set me up with this boy they thought would be perfect for me. I was not interested in pursuing any relationships at that time, so I didn’t take note of who this guy was; I didn’t remember his name or what he even looked like. But about a year later I was at Aromas, the coffee shop at University of San Diego, meeting up with a friend that afternoon and after catching up a bit with this friend, this cute boy walks in and sits down right in front of me! This was my very first encounter with Gordie. I found out my friend was his Big in his fraternity. Gordie wanted to share with us his final presentation for one of his classes and all I can remember from that afternoon was smiling, nodding my head as if I understood what he was saying, and wondering how this handsome fellow ended up sitting at the same table as me! All while this was happening, I had no clue this was the boy my teammates had tried setting me up with earlier.
Months went by, the spring semester of school had come to a close, and while most students went home for the summer, I stayed in San Diego because I had training for the upcoming volleyball season. Every once in awhile, one of my teammates would mention this Gordie-guy and I stilled tried to laugh off the possibility of being set up with someone I hadn’t even met. Knowing I wouldn’t be making any first moves, my teammates took matters into their own hands and gave Gordie my cell phone number. Apparently, he had been working at USD the entire summer! One afternoon, I had missed a call from a number I did not recognize. I listened to the voicemail, and it was Gordie! He had called to ask if we could carpool to church that upcoming Sunday. For several weeks, we carpooled to church on Sundays and attended college youth group on Wednesday evenings as well.
That last month of summer was the beginning to this amazing relationship. For our first date we watched Star Wars (I found out there was a little bit of nerd behind his good looks) and went to the boat house where he trained with the crew team. After he taught me how to row, he took me out on the water. While I had no idea where we were going, I was enjoying this fun, romantic date until he asked me a random question; “Are you scared easily?” After I slowly said ‘no,’ and wondered if the remainder of the night would consist of interesting questions, he told me the Sea World fireworks would go off any minute; and the romantic evening continued. As I watched the fireworks go off, sitting in a boat on a warm San Diego summer evening, I knew this guy was someone special
How He Asked: Over the past 2 and a half years, I have come to learn that Gordie is not very good as keeping secrets. Once he shows any sign of trying to surprise me or keep something a secret, I can usually pry it out of him with a few days of playful interrogation.
Gordie has been in the U.S. Navy for a little over a year now. While I am currently working in San Diego, he is stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas. We were able to coordinate our holiday breaks so we could spend Christmas together, but I had to go back to work a few days before New Year’s. I was bummed I wouldn’t have a New Year’s kiss for the 3rd year in a row, even though I had a boyfriend (we somehow were always in different places on New Year’s since we started dating). While we were together over the holidays though, Gordie told me he had a surprise for me on NYE. Of course, I wanted to know so I began my questioning. I felt accomplished when he finally “spilled the beans” and told me he had asked one of my roommates, Amy, to take me out to dinner for NYE. But I was to still act surprised when Amy told me. Little did I know he had something else up his sleeve.
It’s New Year’s Eve and Gordie is flying back to Corpus Christi and I am finishing up a project at work. As I get home, my 4 roommates start talking about our plans for the evening. We all decide to get ready for the night in my room and I am so excited that I am still surrounded by wonderful friends. Around 6:30pm, the doorbell rings and an old teammate of mine is at the door with a rose. She tells me the rose is from Gordie and he had her bring it over to my house to let me know that I am not alone and that I am loved on this night even though he could not be there. After a little bit of small talk, she leaves and I go back to my room to finish getting ready. 15 minutes later, the doorbell rings again! This time, it is a couple from church that Gordie and I are good friends with. They too had a rose and told me the same thing. In increments of 10-15 minutes, another rose would come my way; one by one. I was texting Gordie all while this was happening, shocked that he had convinced people to drive to my house to drop off a single rose. He would simply reply, “Oh, but there is more :-)” The next four were from my roommates and then the next was from my best friend who lives in Los Angeles! I couldn’t believe she would drive all the way down just to give me a rose. I thought that she was my surprise for NYE! But as soon as she gave me the rose, she told me she had to leave. A little bummed, I go back to getting ready with my roommates. The doorbell rings. This time was the last time, and at the door was my dad. My heart started racing and my mind was trying to comprehend how he got down to San Diego since my family is from Northern California. He told me he had instructions to drive me somewhere but he couldn’t tell me where. Finally he drops me off at the Reflection Pool at the University of San Diego; my favorite place on campus while I went to school there. Off in the distance, standing at the top of the pool was a man in uniform. It was my man in his U.S. Navy dress blues looking as handsome as ever. I am absolutely shocked because I thought he had been texting me from Corpus Christi, TX! As I walk into his arms all I keep saying is, “You’re here! You’re really here!” His response… “Oh, but there is more.” And that was when he got down on one knee and asked if I would spend the rest of my life with him.
Gordie and I still ended up going to dinner that evening. Gordie also convinced his best friend from college, who lives in Las Vegas now, to come out to San Diego and be our driver to the restaurant. When we got to the restaurant not only were we greeted by all the friends that had given me roses, but both of our families had driven down from Northern California the day before to celebrate this memorable evening with us. As I look back on that night, I am amazed at all the planning Gordie did and how he was able to bring friends and family (from all over) together to be a part of his proposal.