Samantha and Joseph

How We Met

A waitress and a bouncer walk into work one hot, summer night… that’s how it all began. I noticed Joe right away when he walked into his first shift at the Post Office Cafe, Babylon NY, in August of 2012. He was handsome, friendly, and genuinely happy to be there. I introduced myself that night and was immediately on to this “new guy” and wanted to learn more about him. For the next few weeks, we stood at the server station talking for hours. My coworkers insisted that we were meant for each other but I wasn’t convinced yet. I purposely picked up extra shifts in order to work with him, and always made sure my hair and makeup were pristine; which is unlike me. We went on our first date on December 5th, 2012. I was hesitant because I had just ended a 4-year relationship and didn’t think I was ready to endure dating. Nonetheless, I said yes. He asked me what my favorite food was and I said sushi, so sushi it was. Dinner was incredible! I knew he was “the one” when he ordered 3 desserts. A man after my heart! I later learned that he never had sushi before this date, hence ordering 3 desserts to curb his appetite. Poor guy! We continued dating and had designated date nights every Wednesday. We met each other’s families and friends, spent as much time together as we could, and I began to fall in love with him when I was accepted to a psychology doctoral program in Philadelphia. There are no words to explain how supportive Joe was at this time. The first day we spoke I said o him, “I’m applying for my doctorate” and shared with him my life dreams. His response was, “that’s amazing!

Wherever you go, I go”. We had just begun dating less than a year before and he was willing to commit to a long distance relationship. We were long distance for two years and Joe made every effort to visit twice a month. One of the first things he disclosed to me early in our relationship was that he suffered from severe anxiety and panic disorder. Despite this, despite his anxiety and fear, he decided to move to Philadelphia from New York so we could be together. He amazed me every step of the way and I couldn’t imagine how difficult this was for him. We lived in Philadelphia for 2 years and more changes presented themselves. I was matched with an internship at the San Diego Naval Medical Center, which meant a move across the country away from everything we had built here. I called Joe from the airport when I received the email and read it out loud in between hysterical tears. The first thing he said was, “Babe, we’re moving to California!”. I always loved this man but his willingness to move his entire life for me to pursue my dreams has made every challenge and hardship worthwhile, and the love I have for him grow beyond measure. Now he has a fiancé and a future military wife, and I have a big, bald bro that I wouldn’t trade for the world!

How He Asked

“One more thing to do before Cali” is what Joe had in mind when he proposed to me on July 7th, 2018. It was a normal Saturday in New York. Joe and I went home to celebrate his brothers birthday, or so I thought. His mom said we were going to The Post Office Cafe for dinner, where Joe and I first met, and I thought nothing of it. The day before, my sister insisted that we get our nails done for her own engagement photo shoot. I sat with her as her nails dried and said that I hoped that Joe would propose at the end of July. Right as I said that she started crying and said she wouldn’t be free at the end of July and was heartbroken by my premonition. I found out later that there was no engagement photo shoot and that my sister had helped Joe plan our engagement.

My sister even stopped at the park with her fiancé and had random people take pictures of them as a mock photoshoot! The following day, Joe insisted that I get showered and ready at his house and I was annoyed by his persistence! I thought, “Why is this important to him?” He drove us to the restaurant and a parking spot was saved for us. I started to feel butterflies in my stomach, but wasn’t convinced that today would be the day. We walked inside and made a turn up the steps into the restaurant. Joe turned to me then and said, “remember when we first spoke standing over there 6 years ago?”.

He pointed to the server station that was decorated with candles. I looked at him confused and said, “yes, I think about that every day”. Then he said, “wouldn’t it be amazing if that day came full circle for us?” And went down on his knee and asked me to marry him. I turned to my left and my family was standing there cheering.

They had been waiting for us and decorated for our engagement. I couldn’t have planned it better myself. Surprised is an understatement and I still don’t feel like it’s real! One more thing to do before Cali… get engaged to the man of my dreams!