We don’t often write about ourselves since it always feels really weird. I love writing about our couples and their love stories. But I wanted to do something different for this blog post. We love love stories and our story is no exception. It’s my favorite story to tell. Especially since I get to share it with my best friend.
We never expected to fall in love with each other but now that I look back on it, it really was just a matter of time. When you’re meant to be with someone it feels like the whole universe is conspiring to bring you together. At least that’s how it felt for Paul and me.
It started in 2014 when we moved into the same house together. Snuggled in the Oakland hills, it was a massive and run down bungalow and totally perfect for all the twenty-somethings that lived there. It felt so glamorous and exactly the type of place that a young writer and artist would want to be. Paul lived downstairs and I moved in upstairs to a closet-sized room with one small window. From the moment we met, there were sparks and a feeling of certainty that we both needed each other in the other one’s life. At the time, both of us were seeing other people but somehow we always seemed drawn to each other.
I was sitting in my best friend’s bedroom at the end of the hall trying to build an IKEA desk when I first met him. Paul knocked on the door and offered to help his new roommate. We still have that desk to this day. We were already laughing and talking as if we had been friends forever even though we had only just met.
It wasn’t until a few months later with the help of our friends that we began to realize how right we were for each other. One night in the middle of July, we went to see Cal Shake’s production of “Romeo & Juliet.” It was the perfect night and afterward, we went out to Joaquin Miller Park and watched the stars together. It all just felt so right and so perfect. We fell head over heels in love with each other. Written in the stars.
I was never one for romance and I always said that I would never get married. My friends always teased me about it. But after meeting Paul, I realized that I was missing out on the best thing in the whole wide world. Like John Green wrote: “I fell in love the way most people fell asleep: slowly, then all at once.”
But life never goes as smooth as you want it too. We were both lost in our careers and unsure of what the future would hold. But there was a certainty that we wanted to be together more than anything else. I never believed people when they say that they knew the person was the one. And yet, not even a month into dating, I knew that Paul was the one and I wanted no one else but him for the rest of my life.
I was the first to propose two years later. We were at Burning Man in the hot desert eating pancakes one morning when I turned to him and asked him. I just knew. I didn’t care where we were or what we were doing. It didn’t seem important.
I sat there in the dust waiting for an answer and he…turned me down.
Not one to be deterred, I waited a few weeks and then decided to propose again. Properly this time. Maybe it just hadn’t been the right way. I hadn’t gotten down on one knee, I hadn’t made it a story worth telling. I had a ring picked out and I was planning how I could make it into a scavenger hunt or something fun.
I called my best friend and told her about my plans. And to my disbelief, she told me not to do it. Wait a little while, she advised. I was frustrated, was it because I was a woman and it was just too unconventional for everyone? I didn’t want to wait. I didn’t want to be patient until he got around to proposing to me. I was so sure. But another friend called and told me to hold off. So in the end, I decided to wait a few days to buy the ring.
Meanwhile, Paul had been making plans of his own. He had been making them for months. When I first asked him, he had already been planning an elaborate day to propose to me. He had even flown my best friend in from Colorado to be there. The same one that had told me to wait. Turned out she was sitting in the airport trying to convince me to cool my heels because I was going to be proposed to the next day.
He surprised me with a scavenger hunt that involved a laser gun fight, poems he wrote that contained clues for the next location. The last part of the scavenger hunt was the best though. He had me close my eyes and he led me up a path by Lake Anza. When I opened my eyes, he was down on one knee and we were standing in a field of hundreds of daffodils that he asked our friends to plant there. My favorite flower.
Of course, I said yes.
He slipped the ring he had handcrafted for me on my finger. Then our friends and family jumped out from behind the trees just up ahead on the path. He had planned a birthday party for me as well complete with a bounce house.
It was definitely a story worth telling. A year after he proposed, we were married in one of the most massive rain storms that the Bay Area had seen in decades. I had planned an October wedding because it had not rained in October for years. We’d been in a drought so long I forgot what a big rainstorm was like. Of course, it was an outdoor wedding. And of course, it rained. It was the storm that ended a decade of drought. The morning of the wedding, every neighbor, friend and family member came out and helped erect a massive tarp over my parents’ backyard. In the end, it was truly a wild and amazing night. The only time the rain stopped it’s torrential downpour was when we said our vows to one another. And it felt like the universe knew what we were doing and gave us that one moment. The rest of the evening was a blur but I do remember kicking off my heels and dancing with Paul in the pouring rain.
This year will be our three year wedding anniversary and six years of being together. I could not wish a better life partner, teammate and best friend to share my life.
“You are my love story, and I write you into everything I do, everything I see, everything I touch and everything I dream, you are the words that fill my pages.” (A.R. Asher)