Rose and Adam

How We Met

It all started at our local community center, the Samuel Field Y in Little Neck, New York… I was 17 at the time, and had just started working as an after school counselor for children with special needs. Every day, I would walk into the building for work and see this adorable guy sitting at the front desk in the lobby, making him the first and last person I saw when I go there. Now, at 17, we’ve all seen cute guys, but there was something very different about this one!  To this day, I still cannot explain the exact feelings I had, but the closest I can come to describing it was a magnetic pull. I felt drawn to him for some unexplainable reason and always wanted to talk to him, see him, or even just walk by him, as silly as it sounds. I know this sounds like a typical crush, but it was really so much more than that. So, you can imagine my devastation when I found out this adorable guy was 24, had just finished graduate school, and- here’s the kicker- was looking to become a HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER!

When we finally met and started talking, it became clear that while he definitely showed interest in me, he didn’t think dating a high school girl was for him (and wasn’t looking to jeopardize his career before it started). Much to my dismay, it would be more than 2 years before he finally came to his senses! During those 2 years, we became good friends (he almost hired me after becoming the director of his own after school program- imagine that?!) talking multiple times a week- sometimes starting late at night and finally ending in the early morning hours. A lot of the time, I would complain about different dates I went on or guys I had met that were pursuing me (totally wasn’t trying to make him jealous or anything) and I would always say the same thing to him: “When are you just going to give in and date me?

You know I’d drop anyone for you in a heartbeat!” Well, as I said, after more than 2 long years, he got the memo and we finally went on that date. We had dinner at a diner in Bayside and now, 3.5 years and hundreds of dates later, we now live together while I’m preparing to graduate college in a few months! I sincerely maintain that the “magnetic pull” I felt for him so many years ago was proof that we were always meant to be. I may not have known it yet, but my heart and my soul did, and that strong connection made us best friends, boyfriend and girlfriend, and now FIANCÈS!

How He Asked

My boyfri…I mean, FIANCÈ (really need to get used to that =) ) turned 30 this year and we all know that 30 is a big birthday. We had gone to a friend’s surprise 30th birthday a few years ago and as we were leaving, I jokingly said I’d throw him one when it was his turn. He was vehemently against the idea and made me SWEAR I wouldn’t do the same for him. So, of course, I went ahead and started planning one anyway. Fast forward to about 4 months before his 30th and I’m trying to figure out exactly what to do for his birthday. We both work at the community center where we first met- he never really left and I had recently returned to a new role (this is important) and in this new role, I work with a group of 4 girls he has known, worked with and been close with for years, along with one of his closest friends who also works for the agency.

We had become friendly and within a week or two of me working with them, it became obvious that they are hilarious and LOVE to party plan. One of the girls kept badgering me to throw my boyfriend a surprise party. “He’ll love it! They always say they don’t want one, but everyone does!” I was reluctant, as I still had the fresh image of him making me swear never to throw him a surprise party, but these girls don’t take no for an answer, so the party was going to happen whether he liked it or not. In what should have tipped me off but obviously didn’t, it was around this time he had a change of heart, telling me that if I wanted to plan something for him, I could, but that he didn’t want to know what I was doing. All I knew was that gave me a bright green light to plan this party. These people at work, along with my sister and mother, had been working hard to put everything in place while trying to make sure he didn’t know anything was going on. I’m a terrible liar, so it was super hard to keep this secret from my boyfriend.

I had to sneak around to buy decorations and order the cake. I also had to leave all the decorations and favors at my mom’s, because I couldn’t risk him finding them. Not knowing how I was going to afford all this, I (thought I) landed the break of the century when my coworkers told me that a local restaurant was kind enough to donate a party room for the occasion- and too excited to really think about it, I now knew fate was on my side and this party would exceed all expectations. While this was going on, he continued to throw hints my way a proposal was coming in the not-too-distant future, as we went looking at rings in April (the party was scheduled to be in early June) but he convinced me I had at least half a year before I should expect anything. Of course, I believed him and stayed focused on planning his party. We had a few slip ups along the way. My uncle posted something on Facebook about it and had to delete it, I almost slipped multiple times, and another family member posted about it the night before it was supposed to happen and I basically had to scold them and make them take it down!

Finally, by the time the night of the party arrived, I was so ready for him to know. He had been acting weird all day, so I figured he had some idea, but I figured there would still be some element of surprise as there was simply no way he could know all of the details of this plan. My cover for us to go to the restaurant was that we were having dinner and drinks with friends. I found it weird that he bought a sport jacket to wear that night and he kept pacing all around the apartment. He was making me so nervous! Finally we get in the car to head to the restaurant. Our family and friends are all waiting for us there.

I’m the talker in our relationship, but this whole car ride I was basically silent while he couldn’t stop talking! It was very bizarre and the 10 minute drive over there felt endless. When we finally walk into the room of the restaurant for the party and everyone yells, “SURPRISE!” I’m elated! He looked like he had known something was up, but still seemed pretty surprised. Our family and friends were standing in a semicircle in the room and he was standing in front of them, smiling but not saying anything. It seemed weird to me that he was taking so long to speak and didn’t start saying hi to the guests, so I started to walk away and hug some of the people in the room. No one was moving and I was just very confused and several people told me to stand next to him, so I walked back over, thoroughly confused by what was happening.

He finally starts saying that he wants to give a little speech, and he begins to say that he told me not to throw him a surprise party, but clearly I went and did it anyway. Everyone is laughing, including me. He then says, “I know you were planning me this surprise, and I have to confess I was planning a surprise of my own.” As he is saying this, he gets down on one knee and pulls a small personalized ring box out of his pocket, opening it to reveal the exact ring I had told him I really wanted back in April. At this moment, I’m actually dumbfounded. It was a completely out of body experience. I couldn’t believe it was happening. Everyone is clapping and yelling. At this point, I’m basically crying. I’m holding my phone and my clutch, which I quickly hand to my mom who was standing off to the side.

He tells me that he loves me so much, and asks me to marry him! Of course I said yes…actually I barely got out the word ‘yeah’ because I was so surprised and overwhelmed. Everyone is clapping and cheering. The girls I work with downstairs start to put out engagement decorations, replacing the birthday decorations I was expecting to see throughout the night that weren’t there before! My boyfriend- now fiancè- basically inceptioned me into throwing him a surprise party that he could turn it into a proposal! He had conspired with the girls downstairs to help me plan a “surprise party” for him, when in reality it was always a proposal!

With the help of downstairs crew, some other select friends and family, he managed to pull off one of the most incredible, indescribable proposals that exceeded my wildest imagination. I thought one of the girls was baking special 30th birthday cupcakes, only to see her bring out gorgeous ENGAGEMENT decorated cupcakes instead. That room I thought had been donated? He had reserved it (and paid for it) months before the night of the party (he even picked out the menu before I thought I was being given that honor).

The restaurant played along for the entire thing, never even once hinting of something other than a surprise party. Everyone in the room knew what was going to happen except for me, and while I definitely felt silly for not suspecting anything, more than that, it was truly the most amazing, shocking, crazy, awesome, out of this world moment I could ever have. He always asked me what I wanted out of my proposal, and I always said I wanted something different; something unconventional- he even worked with my sister to make sure I would have my nails done the morning of the party!

He certainly covered everything and then some! I’m still so unbelievably happy and in total awe that he was able to pull this off. He COMPLETELY surprised me and really made my dreams come true. I love him more than words will ever be able to express, and I’m so excited to start this next chapter of our life together <3

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