Sochenda and Scott
How We Met
I was 23 years old and had just moved out on my own for the first time. It was as if fate was on my side because I was able to find a beautiful little one bedroom condo less than a mile from the beach (on a recent grad budget). All was well and life went on. Then one day I met him. He introduced himself but all I noticed were his piercing blue eyes. I always joke that it felt like he was staring into my soul at that moment. After that first meeting all of my girlfriends knew him as “the hot neighbor” (mainly because I had forgotten his name and because I was too busy staring than to really listen to what he was saying lol).
Though we lived across from each other, for the next year I would see Scott only a few more times here and there; in passing walking up and down the stairs, while he’s changing the oil in his car shirtless, or when he’s working out on the basketball court of our complex as I’m driving by…shirtless. As a forewarning, don’t ogle and drive, it may result in your car embarrassingly driving up the curb. Every time that I ran into Scott I would become flustered and I would literally start sweating. So I started avoiding him like the plague.
If I saw him in the grocery store walking towards me, I would walk (really it was a slow jog) the other way. Then one day he was driving behind me as we were going through the gate of our condo and to avoid him I decided to “get the mail”. Lo and behold, the guy apparently felt the need to get his mail, too. Long story short, I was sweating and it ended with me saying that his haircut made him look fat. I’m such a great flirt. Fast forward a few months and I was now 25 and had given up on dating. So what do you do when you give up on men? Rescue a puppy. I had never even been able to keep a gold fish alive so I was definitely in over my head. Little did I know, my new puppy, Stella, would bring the love of my life and I together.
Stella and I were out for walk one day and up drives Scott. I decided to linger…okay loiter around to give him enough time to walk into his condo but as we walked up the stairs there he was. Waiting by my door. He’d already seen us so I had no choice but to walk the plank. All I remember is Scott saying that my puppy was waking him up every morning with her yapping, while I’m trying not to melt into a puddle in front of him. Stella was running around in circles at this point and the next thing I know we had made plans to go to the local Art Walk in Downtown Jacksonville together later that evening. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve been hooked on him ever since.
How He Asked
Scott and I started a tradition where every winter we go road tripping in search for snow. We never had any luck but the time spent with him during our long car rides is what I cherish most. In February 2016 we decided to just go to snow and so we ended up in Aspen, Colorado. Scott is such a big outdoors-man that when he planned a hike up a local favorite, Smuggler Mountain, I didn’t think anything of it. We had dressed in snow gear, with thick jackets and snow hiking boots so within a few minutes into the hike, added with the change in altitude, I was miserable. I was cranky every step of the way and wanted to hike back down about half a dozen times. But with every complaint he would just grab hold of my hand and say “baby, imagine how accomplished you’ll feel at the end. It’ll be worth it”. So up that mountain I schlepped.
All the while murmuring to myself that I would rather be back at the resort with a cup of very hot chocolate. Every person that we passed who was making their decent down the mountain, I would ask how much further to the top. Every person. I’m surprised Scott hadn’t thrown me off that mountain at this point. 3 miles, and what felt like an entire day later, we finally reached the lookout point. I was hangry, sweaty, and tired. But once I stood there and stared out into the town of Aspen below, noticing the beauty of all that was around me, I felt that the hike was worth all the sweating and cursing. As we rested on a log post, Scott pulled out a small picnic that he had packed in his backpack.
As I was busy devouring the sandwich he had handed me, Scott was walking around in the clearing behind me. “Hey baby, come here so I can get a picture of us with the fresh snow”. He propped his camera on the log post and set the timer, but didn’t run back fast enough and so I ended up with a selfie. The second time around, he literally threw himself at my feet and I was too busy laughing that I didn’t realize that he stayed down… And on that beautiful snowy day in Aspen, my best friend, the love of my life, got down on one knee and ask me to be his forever. “I told you it’ll be worth it in the end”.
I still jokingly say that if I had known the proposal would happen after that hike, I would have sprinted up that mountain faster than Usain Bolt at the Olympics LOL.