Samantha and Julio
How We Met
We met on Tinder! When Julio tells the story he always makes sure to add that he “super-liked” me (but I would have swiped right either way!) It was about 5 months after I had moved to New York City from a small Missouri town to pursue my career in the fashion/beauty industry. I had been dating on and off throughout that time when I matched with Julio- immediately I knew he was different than any of my previous dates. I remember thinking about how exhausted I was by the NYC dating scene & that I was ready for a break. However, as we communicated back and forth he was so inquisitive and genuine – I could tell he was truly interested in getting to know me. Eventually, we set up a date and planned to get dinner at a small Mexican place in Brooklyn (shout out to Fonda- so yummy!).
When I got out of the car I saw Julio down the street waiting on a bench. As I approached, he nervously turned as if he was about to walk away but I grabbed his hand and asked him for a hug (later he flatteringly told me he was so nervous he blanked on what to do with himself!). We had a little time before dinner so we went across the street and grabbed a drink, as soon as we started talking it was as if we had known each other for years. We talked about our families, our ideals, and past relationships. One thing that I’ll never forget is talking about how important “the little things” are in relationships, and how you should never forget to care for the people you love. We were both so comfortable with one another we ended up barely eating at dinner- we talked the whole night and ended up staying until it was closing time.
Our next couple of dates were a whirlwind. At the time, Julio worked for a company in New York that provides luxury helicopter transportation around the city. On our third date, he announced that he had a surprise for me as we took the 7 train uptown to his workplace. When we got there, he told me he wanted to take me on a helicopter ride to the Hamptons, where there was a private beach & bottomless rosé. Needless to say, it was the most amazing date this small town Missouri girl has ever been on! It wasn’t many dates after that when we were on our way to his niece’s birthday party in a rental car that he looked over at me and casually asked if I would be his girlfriend :) And the rest is history!
How He Asked
Julio and I live in a small neighborhood just south of Prospect Park in Brooklyn. We have a monthly tradition where we visit a locally owned shop (Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store) and buy a small gift for each other. There are only two rules to this tradition: the gifts must be $10 or less, and they are supposed to have some type of meaning to them. After we pick out the gifts we always meet outside on a bench and exchange them. About five months ago on our trip to Annie’s Julio gifted me a couple of small Guatemalan worry dolls dressed as a Bride & Groom. He told me he would hold onto the Bride and I could hold onto the Groom. His idea was that once we were married we could frame them together as a keepsake.
Fast forward to December 2017. It was a week or so before Christmas and Julio was not going to be able to make it back to Missouri with me this year to celebrate. He had the idea of spending Sunday together, going to Annie’s for our gift exchange, and getting a nice dinner (to celebrate the holidays before I had to leave). The day before our date I met up with some girlfriends for brunch. One of them had the idea that we should get our nails done afterward as a fun pampering session for Christmas time. I remember thinking that was such a good idea and thanking my girlfriend for inviting me.
Sunday came and Julio and I were getting ready to head out to Annie’s when I noticed the little Bride doll (that Julio always kept on the fridge) was missing! I called him over and he thought she must have fallen, been swept up and thrown out. I was sure this was bad luck- and so disappointed! We moved the fridge and looked through the trash but had no luck. Julio assured me that we could see if Annie’s had another one since we were headed there anyway.
We got to Annies and each picked out our gifts – but they had no more of the little worry dolls in stock. I remember looking online, determined to find a replacement as we waited for the bench outside to open up. I decided to shop around just a little more as Julio made his way outside. Once I was done, I met him on our bench as I usually do. This time I started & I gave him a few little treasure I found in the shop. Then it was his turn. He gave me a small white tin with the words “It’s the little things” printed on the top- a phrase that has been a theme in our relationship (he nailed the meaningful rule with that one!). Then he said he had one last thing for me, and stuck his hand in his pocket. I heard some change jingling around in there, and for some reason thought he was going to give me some quarters for my little tin (lol!). That is, until he pulled out a beautiful mahogany ring box.
At that point, Julio took my hand, got down on one knee and looked me in the eyes. As he opened the ring box he told me he loved me so much and asked if I would marry him. When I looked into the lid of the box, I noticed the little Bride doll tucked into the top! & of course, I said yes!
Afterward, Julio told me he had been working with my little sister to plan the whole thing. She had been coordinating with him for about a year before the proposal. In addition, he was the one who asked my friends to take me to get my nails done the night before. He had asked one of his friends (a NYC photographer) to come and capture the moment. After our moment in front of Annie’s, we walked up to Prospect Park (a park in Brooklyn near our house where we spend a lot of time) and took a couple of photos next to the arch at the entrance. Julio is such a thoughtful, kind, and compassionate man- I can’t wait to spend forever with him!
P.S. the little bride and groom are now happily framed and live on our gallery wall in the living room!