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How We Met
James and I first met at our first summer job at a waterpark in South Carolina about 10 years ago. I was a super awkward 16-year-old kid and he was this effortlessly cool college guy that just finished his freshman year at the Citadel, so needless to say, it was not love-at-first-sight. To be honest, I thought he was funny and he was someone that everyone liked to hang out with, but we really never spent much time together. Naturally, when we stopped working together, we did not keep in touch. It wasn’t until several years later when I was just about to graduate college that we reconnected. One of my best friends, who also happened to work with both of us at the waterpark, texted me that, “she has had an epiphany and that I should date James”. At first, I just chuckled and mostly shrugged her off because I had not spoken to him in about five years at that point and never did I ever think in a million years it would work out because we were SUCH different people the last time we had talked. In the end, her persistence paid off and she reconnected us. James was now an officer in the Marine Corps living in southern California and had just gotten back from his first deployment, but happened to be back in South Carolina visiting family, so after many Facebook and text messages, we decided to catch up over lunch. After an early lunch that lasted almost until dinner time and a date confirmed for the next day, we both left knowing that we were in trouble. Dinner the next day only further confirmed that we both were absolutely head over heels for each other. Although James was set to fly back to California the next day, in a stroke of good luck James was being relocated to North Carolina a couple of months later just merely a couple of hours away from the school I was set to go to at the same time! Long distance at the start of a relationship is less than ideal but was absolutely worth it in the end.
How He Asked
Two years later, I had graduated from nursing school and decided to relocate with James to his new contract area in Washington, DC. I was set to work the Thanksgiving holiday that year, so we had planned on having my parents up from South Carolina to have a little Thanksgiving of our own the weekend before. At first, I thought that James was going to propose when they first got there because I had always said how I wanted family close whenever we did get engaged because they meant so much to me, but we just had a very low key weekend enjoying each others company. I had let the idea go until the morning that my parents were set to fly back to South Carolina. James and my dad decided that we should all go to the National Mall to see the monuments before they left. James’s favorite monument is the Jefferson Memorial, and I just KNEW that if he proposed to me in DC, it would be there.
So naturally, I started internally freaking out when he suggested we go there first. It was a beautiful sunny day, but it was miserably cold and extremely windy and we had to trek quite a bit from where we parked to the monument, so our time that we got to spend there was cut short. As we were leaving the monument, we decided to take the scenic route by the water back to the car when James suggested we take a picture by the cherry blossoms. At this point, my heart was pounding because I knew this was it. We took a picture or two, and then James took my hands and start to kneel saying that I was his best friend and that he could not imagine a life without being together. Even having a feeling that the proposal was coming, I was so shocked and excited that I completely missed him asking me to marry him! Of course, my answer was a resounding YES, OF COURSE, I WILL! From day one, we were a couple that just knew we were going to be together forever, so being able to stand in a gorgeous city with my family and make it official was so incredibly special to me. James is my perfect compliment and my best friend. We cannot wait to get married in March!