The Day We Met
It’s a cliché thing to say, but on the day we met, the thought of finding my soul mate was the furthest thing from my mind. It was the start of fall semester and the first day of class at Miami University, in a fairly ordinary political science class taught by a large TA that we’d later come to refer to as “Uncle Tony” because of both his mobster like appearance, and his expressed desire to coach a basketball team full of his sister’s kids. I was sitting in the 2nd row of the class, watching my fellow classmates roll in. Just as the stream of people started to trail off, a beautiful auburn haired girl with blue eyes entered the room. My eyes were transfixed on her as she walked past me and took a seat next to a mutual friend of ours a few rows over. It was at that moment that I felt an innate sense of determination I’d never felt before… I had to talk to her. It was the start of our long journey together.
The Day We Knew
Chelsea and my road to love was anything but easy. Even though we connected at Miami, she was already in the process of transferring to the University of South Carolina to be closer to home. Although we both knew it was not goodbye forever, the next two years saw us struggle with reality that we were eight hundred miles apart and our chances to see each other had been restricted to only Christmas and our birthdays in May. Then through a twist of fate, Chelsea was able to transfer her job back to Ohio and we began the process of getting to know each other again. For one of our dates, we had decided to go to a Cincinnati Reds game. Our mutual love of the Reds was one of the things that had brought us closer together, however until that night, I had dramatically underestimated Chelsea commitment to the Reds. As with most games that particular season, the Reds had dug themselves into a hole by the 2nd inning, and we were stuck watching them feebly try to pull out a few runs.
Unfortunately, the mood of our date seemed to be tied to the Reds fate. What had started off as a fun, joking affair had regressed into us both silently staring ahead. Very little upsets me more than watching the Reds lose, but I was determined to fight through my frustrations and revive the date. I reached over and put my arm around Chelsea’s chair, and gently clutched her shoulder. “It’s okay, at least it’s a nice day” I said covering as best I could. Chelsea looked over at me and replied with a small smile. After asking if something was wrong not once, but twice, Chelsea finally took a deep breath and looked at me “Matt, we’re losing, and I hate when the Reds lose. Sorry, but I don’t really feel like talking about the weather…” I should have been taken aback by her comments, but instead I was relieved! Here was someone who understood the sheer aggravation that accompanies every loss- silence didn’t have to be awkward. I unwrapped my arm from her seat and left to get some popcorn. When I came back, we ate our popcorn in mostly silence, but every once and a while, we’d look over at the other with a glance that said “it sucks to watch the Reds lose, but if I have to watch it, I’m glad it’s with you.” It was clear at that moment, and many other to follow that Chelsea was definitely the one for me.
The Day We Got Engaged
Our engagement story would prove that there is some truth in the old adage “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Chelsea and I had talked about marriage for quite some time, and I was determined to surprise her with an engagement proposal. I had bought a ring, and managed to pull together an engagement plan that was right out of a fairy tale. I was going to get on one knee, while on a romantic, sunset carriage ride through a beautiful resort set high atop the mountains in Virginia. Unfortunately, trouble began almost immediately. All the sunset carriage ride times had been taken, so I was forced to schedule ours at 2 pm. Undeterred, I thought I could still make the plan work, until the rains came. For two days it rained without reprieve. With time running out, I had to improvise. On the last night, we were waiting for a family dinner. After a few minutes, we headed back to our rental, finally alone, so I slipped into our room and retrieved the ring.
When I returned, Chelsea was in the kitchen, eating from a bag of Doritos. I walked up to her and nervously said “give me your hand.” Chelsea looked at me with a combination of confusion and annoyance. “No” she said. “Chelsea give me your hand” I repeated, trying not to let my voice shake. “Matt, I’m eating Doritos, my hands are all covered in crumbs” she said. “Then wash them off…” I replied much more sternly then I intended. Chelsea studied me for a moment, then loudly grumbled her way to the sink to wash her hands. It was then I dropped to one knee, and when she turned around, I asked her if she’d marry me. Tears streamed down her face and immediately she hugged me. As we embraced, I whispered to her “not to be a stickler, but I kinda need an answer…” She turned and looked at me, her smile beaming and her eyes glowing as bright as I’d ever seen them “of course…of course I’ll marry you!!”
Over the last five years we’ve shared thousands of laughs, dozens of Reds games, multiple trips to the theatre, hundreds of travelers miles, and one amazing journey together. We cannot wait to see what the next chapter holds for us, starting in September when we will be getting married!