Talia and Masekela
How We Met
Masekela and I met at the start of 2009. We were opening up a restaurant together. He was the Executive Chef and at the time I was only one of the servers. My first words to him were, “You are disgusting!” To be fair our first interaction was him drinking a beer and then letting out a loud belch! Gross! We played cat and mouse for almost a year before I decided to entertain the idea of going out with him. We dated for a summer and that fall of 2010 we made it official.
Before even getting engaged we had made it through better or worse, sickness and health. After only 2 years of dating, I was diagnosed with cancer. He never left my side, that’s when I knew he was the one. We battled and won that fight together. A year later we got engaged and the end is nowhere in sight.
How He Asked
I want to start off by saying that my (now) husband is extremely private but very romantic and strategic.. so we don’t have too many photos to share and as you can see in his photo above he isn’t one to enjoy the spotlight. The day of the engagement was a normal Friday. At the time I was working as a Special Events planner and was actually in the shop preparing some floral arrangements for the next day and rushing to get out because I had dinner plans with my mom, sister and close family friends. Mas works in New York City and is known for typically working late nights and always sitting in the quiet car but not this day. For some reason, he kept calling me starting around 3:30pm, I mean he probably called me close to 4-5 times in about an hour time frame. He kept asking me what I was doing when I was leaving work, what time I had to be at dinner… and my response each time was, “I am at work until 5 and have to meet for dinner by 6:30, why??” Each time he kept saying, “No reason.. no reason”. On his second to last call, he finally said, “I left work early and need a ride home from the train, I will wait for you to come get me.” I was so focused on getting out of work, I didn’t even 2nd guess why he was acting out of character. (Mind you the entire week prior he had been driving me nuts and I couldn’t wait to go out and have a margarita!!!) So, I keep working and looking at the clock knowing that I had to try to leave by 5ish, get him at the train and then go meet the girls for dinner. At about 5pm he calls me again and goes, “Did you leave yet, I’m waiting..” rushed I lie and say, “I’m running out now, see you in 5!!” Then I hear this loud banging on our front door. The catering shop is pretty much an unmarked building stuck between a busy diner and a car wash on a main drag. It was odd that after hours on a Friday someone was banging. Mas was still on the phone and heard it and said, “You haven’t left yet!!! Answer the door with me on the phone in case something happens.” I still didn’t think anything was wrong at this point and answer the door. To my disbelief, there he was! He asked me if I was ready to go and said that it was a nice day and decided to walk to my job from the train to surprise me; still didn’t think anything was wrong about this because he is so impatient. I told him to hang tight, grabbed my bag and locked up while he waited out front for me. When I got outside he hugged me and told me how much he loved me. I, in a very annoyed tone, said, “Okay that’s great.. I need to go.” Then he said, “It’s time.” I said, “Time for what?” He got down on one knee, in front of my job, on a main street, tucked behind a catering van and said, “Time we make this for real. Will you marry me?” I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. Put the ring on, started crying, asked him all these questions, “How did you get here?” “How long have you had the ring?” “Did you ask my father?” “Was this your plan?” BUT I forgot to say yes. He was like, “Well are you going to just take the ring or will you marry me too?” Of course, then I said yes!
The back story is my favorite part to share. One of our very close family friends is a jeweler. He is more like an uncle to me than anything. That morning he called Mas to tell him the ring was done and Mas being Mas couldn’t wait. He arranged for Dave to meet him at the train station. Then when Dave asked him when he was going to do it, he said, “Right now. You’re gonna take me.” Mas has the ring for less than 10 minutes before coming over to my job. He said that he couldn’t hold on to it and just wanted to make me happy that day. So, after he asked, we went around the corner and there was my Uncle Dave waiting to give me a hug. It was such a special, low-key, romantic moment.. I will never forget it.
Now, Mas loves to be sneaky and again, doesn’t like the spotlight. So, I called my dad and he was happy but we didn’t tell anyone else. I dropped him off at home and still went to dinner with the girls. Met them a little late. I didn’t mention anything and just sat down with them and ordered a drink. After about 20 minutes, no one still noticed. Mas texted me and was curious why no one had called him yet. He decided to call me, I picked up at the table and my mom snatched my cell phone! She said, “Don’t worry Mas, she made it here okay you don’t have to check up on her!” He said, “Ohh good. I was worried because she said her hand had been hurting her and wanted to see how she was feeling that’s all…” My mom looks down and says, “Her hand?” then drops my phone on the floor and started screaming. The girls then all caught on and started crying, laughing, and ordered more drinks!
I wouldn’t trade in my engagement for anything. It was perfectly us.