Stephanie and Michael
How We Met
Her story: Michael and I first met in college through mutual friends. Although, we can’t pinpoint the exact location and time of our first encounter, Facebook says we’ve been friends since June 2009, so we’ll run with that. We had many mutual friends, but we really didn’t hang out or know much about each other during college. I played on the tennis team at Texas A&M and his best friends dated some of my teammates. He was also in the same professional accounting program with another teammate of mine. Needless-to-say, we crossed paths numerous times. He even has pictures of my parents on his phone from coming to my matches (I guess it’s cute, but I’m also glad he didn’t show me that on the first date!). Since our friends were dating, don’t be fooled that he came to watch me or had the hots for me (well maybe he did) guys would always come for the short skirts anyways!
Fast forward 5 years later when I moved to Dallas, TX in 2014. We were reconnected by… I’ll let you take a guess…that’s right, mutual friends! I will give him credit that he reached out to me a few times before our first encounter in Dallas, which we both remember was in October. It was our friend’s birthday celebration and we ended up playing some tennis. This completed Michael and I’s circle – hanging around tennis matches in college and now officially meeting again while playing tennis! I can confidently say I easily kicked his and the other guy’s butts. I think I even started to play left handed; it was a humbling experience for him. We didn’t start to date right away, and our relationship grew into a really good friendship for several months leading into 2015.
Michael kept showing up places where I happened to be, and I was always invited to hang out by some girlfriends. I came to find out much later in our relationship that it had been him texting the girls to make sure and invite me! He was my ride to the airport when I went out of town, he was the guy I called if I needed help, and man, looking back, was he patient and persistent! I really wanted Michael as my best friend in Dallas and didn’t want to mess up our friendship in dating; I knew he was someone I could always count on (except that time he accidentally gave me a concussion, but we won’t get into that). He wanted something more and continued to pursue me, and I’m so glad he did because now I have my best friend for life!
How He Asked
His story: I knew very early in 2016 that I wanted to ask Stephanie to marry me, but I wanted it to be a) a complete surprise and b) somewhere out of the ordinary. In early August, Steph told me that she was going to go see one of her friends compete in the US Open over Labor Day weekend (leaving me dateless for the Aggie football season opener). A couple of days later, a friend was telling me how he planned to propose to his girlfriend in New York. While responding to him how great of an idea it was, I realized….how great of an idea it was!
I knew the girl Stephanie planned to stay with (Kelli), so all I felt I really needed was a wingman. I called my friend Eric, who had lived in NYC for three years after college. I told him I had some good news and some bad news. Good news- I planned to propose in NYC. Bad news- he’d have to miss the Ag game. Without hesitation, he was in and we were rolling. A couple more phone calls to Kelli and another of my friends from school, Bryant (our photographer), and a plan was in place.
Fast forward about three weeks to the morning of Saturday, September 3. Steph was about to head over to Queens from Connecticut, where she was staying. I had told Steph the night before that I wasn’t feeling well and went to bed early. I continued my white lie by texting her again Saturday morning that it had gotten worse, and I wasn’t going to make the trip to College Station for the game. Following the wise words “loose lips sink ships,” I kept the rest of my friends in the dark and spread the story that I was sick and wouldn’t make the game.
This all seemed fine and dandy until Kelli did too good of a job convincing Steph how sick I must have been to be missing the Aggie game. As I was on the runway about to take off, I received a text message from Kelli saying something along the lines of, “We have a problem….Steph feels so bad that you’re sick and she’s not there that she’s trying to get one of her friends to bring some food/medicine to you.” Thanks, Kelli. Just before my plane took off, I got a last second text out to Steph saying, “I just got to my parents’ (45 minutes from my apartment). I’m going to turn my phone off and get some rest. Can’t take all the texts from my friends talking about tailgating plans.” Crisis averted.
Eric and I spent the afternoon having some beverages with his dad, watching the game at a local NYC watering hole. Following that, we went scouting some locations where I could potentially propose. He suggested checking out the Plaza Hotel. As we walked up, I noticed a fountain situated between the Plaza, the Apple Store, and Central Park. After going inside, the hotel itself didn’t feel right. But that fountain…
I woke up Sunday to a voicemail from Steph saying she missed me, she hoped I was feeling better, and that she would like to talk to me since we hadn’t actually spoken on the phone in a few days. I texted her asking if we could talk later that day, to which I received an irritated response. So I called her from the safe, quiet confines of the apartment…no answer. I knew which train they were taking into the city, and Kelli knew where to drop her off. All that was left was to get some flowers and get over to the fountain.
Bryant met up with Eric and me and we set out looking for flowers. Turns out most flower stores are closed on Sundays. A cab ride and four stops later, I had my roses. Somewhere between those stops, Steph decided it was finally time to call me back…while I was on a sidewalk in noisy Manhattan. Rather than risk her being frustrated with me an hour before proposing, I took the call saying that I was, “feeling much better and out on a run.” She later told me that I sounded like I was out of breath. I believe it.
About two hours before the main event, I clued in a couple of our other friends from Dallas who were coincidentally in NYC for the Open. They met us at the fountain, and the stage was set…except for the homeless gentleman who took his shoes off and made himself comfortable right in the middle of where I was set to propose only minutes before Steph arrived. Thanks for kindly asking him to move, team.
I was in communication with Kelli the entire time, and I think she was more nervous than I was. I saw them coming around the corner, and I was prepared to ask my life-changing question.
One constant I’ve heard in other proposal stories was that the girl is generally in such a state of shock that she doesn’t really pay attention to the proposal speech. So I planned to keep it short and sweet. As she approached to hug me, this was the gist of our conversation:
S: Michael? You’re here…you’re in New York City
M: Well, I have a question I’ve been wanting to ask you
::puts down the flowers::
S: You’re a liar, om gosh you aren’t sick. You lied!
::takes a knee and pulls out the ring::
M: Stephanie Den…
M: Stephanie Denise David…
M: Stephanie Denise Davidson, I promise to love you from Dallas to New York to the end of the world. Will you marry me?
S: Yes!……. I will forgive you
We made our phone calls and celebrated the rest of the day in NYC with our friends. Now, here we are planning a wedding!