Taylor and Manny
How We Met
Thanksgiving Eve, freshman year of college. Just like any other thanksgiving eve, it’s when we all travel back to our original stomping grounds for the upcoming holiday weekend. It’s the day we reconnect with old friends and when we are introduced to new ones. For me, this particular year was a little different- it’s when my life forever changed; its when I met Manny. My plans were made. I gathered my things and headed to out with my good friends to a house party. I knew almost everyone at this party except for a few. One of those people who I did not know was Manny. When Manny first walked into the party, no one was able to contain their excitement, everyone’s face turned into a huge smile and they all ran to greet him. Not knowing who he was and seeing everyone’s reaction to his arrival, I asked myself, “What’s so great about this guy?” Needing to know, I decided to introduce myself.
After only a few minutes engaging in conversation with Manny, I felt like I knew him for years. The conversation came easy. It all just felt like I knew this would be the guy for me. As the night died down, myself and Alexa, my now maid of honor, headed home. Believe it or not, but Alexa and Manny have known each other for years- not only that, but me and Manny also have many common friends. The mystery still today, is how was this the first time running into each other? But in life, some things we may never know. Being that Alexa already knew Manny, I had asked her to give him my number that night. The next day, I received a Happy Thanksgiving text from Manny and from that day on, my life forever changed. To what I thought was going to be an ordinary thanksgiving eve get together, was the beginning of my fairytale.
How He Asked
It was seven years ago when I first met Manny Antonio at a Thanksgiving Day weekend party. Not much happened that weekend but every evening after that, at 5:30 PM I would receive a text from Manny. Finally, I worked up the nerve and asked “do you want to go see the Rockefeller Christmas tree with me”? Obviously he said yes and as it was our first date, I asked my older brother Paulie if he wanted to double date. And so it was to be our first [double date] the four of us, none of which had ever driven into New York City before and as fate would have it we got lost. After plenty of laughs we finally arrived at “the tree” and it was everything we thought it would be. Great big tree, ice-skating rink filled with skaters, cute little shops, picturesque, so we walked around, breathed in the atmosphere and naturally posed for the “customary” picture. Mission accomplished, so you would think, we were actually in Bryant Park, WHAT WE AREN’T IN ROCKEFEELER CENTER?? More laughs ensued and thus the beginning of our, Manny and mine, Christmas tradition, seeing “the tree”and yes, that would be The Bryant Park Tree!!
Fast forward seven years later, Christmas time, I found myself asking “WHAT am I going to give Manny for Christmas?” Knowing that Manny has never seen The Christmas Spectacular, I decided that would be the perfect gift. I immediately purchased the tickets, and planned an entire evening to include dinner reservations prior to the show. Certainly not a Christmas morning surprise, the show was well before Christmas, regardless, Manny was thrilled with the gift. Dinner reservations made, I left work early in order to fit everything into schedule, just as I am putting on my shoes, incoming call from Manny, great on time, Manny’s on his way. Absolutely not, in true Manny fashion, he tells me he is going to get his haircut. Well, this reeled me into a frenzy, definitely not any part of the schedule, as I thought dinner reservations missed. After waiting two hours Manny arrives at my house, with a haircut and a huge smile on his face. Needless to say I was seething, my mother and brother Paulie driving us to the train station.
Cold shoulder the entire ride with Manny, he looks over to me and under his breath says, “I am so done with you.” Him done with me, can one imagine? I was so infuriated I almost threw my purse at him. To put an end to our bantering, from the front seat my mother interjects “enough from the both of you, he’s just kidding, have a good night and enjoy the show.” Off we go, now on the train and in true Taylor fashion, cold shoulder and now the silent treatment as well, Manny leans over and as only Manny can do to me, whispers in my ear “your eyelashes look fantastic tonight”. OK, this sends us both into a fit of laughter and sets the stage for the rest of the evening, what turns out to be FABULOUS.Anger forgotten, we arrive NYC and despite missing our dinner reservations, we head straight to Radio City Music Hall to enjoy the show! Manny loved it! Now, as I mentioned earlier, every year since our first date, we have gone back to Bryant Park to take our annual “customary picture with our tree”. Since we were in NYC, this year would be no different, we would end the evening at Bryant Park. Show ended at 9:45, we ran to get to Bryant Park before closing at 10PM. Arriving with just a few minutes to spare, we first stopped in one of the little shops along the way, Manny says, “let’s see the tree before they shut the lights.”
Oh no, we were barricaded from the tree, me being me, I pushed the barricade out of our way and in we went to take our annual picture.We set ourselves up and took the snap. Manny suggested looking for the location tag on Snapchat. I looked AND, if you could imagine, MY PHONE DIED. FireManny to the rescue, pulled out his phone, snaps another picture and as we are looking through the filters I see one with a brown haired man, in a tuxedo, down on one knee, holding an open ring box with a diamond ring sparkling in the box and the words
“WILL YOU MARRY ME TAYLOR MARIE”? I was absolutely shocked, ARE YOU KIDDING ME???” (I even have a video of me saying that) Manny, getting down on one knee, proceeds to say, “Taylor after 7 years, will you make me the happiest man and FINALLY be my wife.” Short sweet and to the point!!! Of course I said yes!!! He stands up and as we were kissing I hear claps from the crowd, looking around, to what I thought would be unrecognizable faces, to the contrary I see family and friends there to celebrate with us!
Not only did Manny surprise me with the proposal and the most beautiful engagement ring, he surprised me with having our family and friends there to share along in our joy and to also experience our moment!!! The date, December 20th, the same as our first date to Bryant Park Christmas tree!!! Seven years later, to the day!! Pure bliss for the rest of the evening. We celebrated in NYC with our loved ones with us. Then to arrive home and find from my parents, a balloon arch, champagne and flowers, the celebration continued with them also!!! It was the perfect ending [or beginning depending on how you prefer to look at it] to a perfect night!!!!