Our Story (both versions)
Aaron's Story - The Courting Process
It's hard to work with someone and also flirt with them. I know many people would disagree. I dont mean just flirt, but really show you are "interested". That was clearly a problem for Allison and me. Frequent trips to Starbucks and lunches together still weren't enough to put us over the proverbial "edge" and into a "relationship". So, I saw that it was necessary to really show her how much I cared. I began to offer her a ride home after work. Now, you have to understand that I live 10 minutes north of our office and she lived, at the time, about 30 minutes south of our office near Dupont Circle in DC. So I thought it would be pretty obvious that I was "interested" if I offered her a ride home, after all, I was driving about 45 minutes out of my way. Nope. Didn't work at all. In fact, every time we pulled up to her house, as soon as the car stopped she would hop right out and say goodbye. No eye contact, not even an awkward silent moment. Not only that, but during all of our lunches and trips for coffee, she would always talk about the fact that she was "tactile defensive". This was a term I didn't know, but it apparently meant she didn't like contact with other people. Now, ask yourself this why would someone say this unless they were trying to say they didnt want you to touch them? I thought she was just very professional and enjoyed the friendship and that was it. Around the same time, we began to text each other every now and then. I know that sounds really lame and I always made fun of texting, but hey, the rides home didn't work, I was desperate. Finally, a snow day came (it was a Saturday) and I invited her over to watch "The Big Lebowski". When she agreed to trudge through the snow to the Metro, I thought I might have something. I drove, and barely made it to the Metro I might add, to pick her up and brought her over to my house. We spent the entire day together and we did watch "The Big Lebowski". The movie was great, the problem was we watched it from opposite ends of the couch. We then played a little pool, but when she asked for "help", it was my roommate who stepped in to teach her while I just stood there. Okay, okay. I know at this point you are thinking "Aaron has no game, that's pathetic." Well, that's true. The other factor was that I was, in fact, so nervous about Allison coming over that I was sick to my stomach and nauseous (no details, but you know what happened). So, we had fun that day, but that was it.
Finally, she invited me to her apartment one night to watch "Love Actually". I went over thinking this would be the night. The movie was great, and very romantic, but nothing happened. In fact, it took about 6 hours of talking and Allison playing with the threads of a blanket before our first kiss at about 4 or 5am.
Ever since then, we have been together 24/7 and absolutely in love!
Aaron's Story - The Proposal
Allison had a couple of demands. First, she didn't want to get engaged on a weeknight. Second, she wanted me to get permission from her parents. Third, no proposing in a public place. There were a couple of other demands that came and went over time. We went ring shopping together in late June, so she knew something was coming. I would like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to Mervis Diamonds THE best place for diamonds in the DC Metro Area! After we went shopping, we basically knew what kind of setting "we" wanted. From that point on, every weekend Allison thought it was going to be the weekend. She was very suspicious and is very smart, so planning was hard. Since we work together and spend so much time together, planning was especially hard. I knew I didn't want to propose in a public place, so that was out. Heres what happened:
Allison wasn't expecting a weeknight, so I circled August 25th (a Thursday) on my calendar. I knew I had to do something to fool her. I called her parents for permission at night on August 24th (I didn't want to take the risk that one of them might accidentally spoil the surprise. I had spoken to my parents about it weeks earlier in preparation). A friend of Allison's (Debbie) was coming into town that night (driving from NY) and going to dinner with my roommate (Derek), so that was perfect. I set it up so that we were going to go to dinner with them. I told Debbie and Derek what was going on so that they wouldn't expect us at dinner and I told Debbie to tell Allison (in case Allison called her) that Debbie was caught in traffic, so we couldn't eat until 9pm. Then, I told Allison we couldn't eat until 9pm because Debbie was late. Allison doesn't have a strong stomach, so eating after 7:30pm is a bad thing. She was frustrated, which was perfect from my point of view. I needed to pick-up something from my parents' house, so I asked Allison if she would mind coming with me (this was actually true, so she didn't suspect anythingyet). Now it gets good. IF YOU ARE CHEATING AND JUST SKIMMING, YOU SHOULD READ THE NEXT COUPLE OF SENTENCES. We arrived at my parents' house and I went to the bathroom (not literally, I just walked in there because I had to get the ring from its hiding place). When we walked in the kitchen to get the tickets, there was a note from my mom asking us to turn off the sprinkler because she left it on in the garden and they were out for the night. We went out to turn the sprinkler off and there was another note at the sprinkler that said "Please pick-up the bench by the pond that fell over in the storm." As we walked around the house to do that, I kind of outran Allison. This was, of course, unintentional, but my nerves were crazy and I was shaking. When we got to the bench, Allison could see a table with a dozen long-stem roses and a chair next to it set-up in a grove of dogwood trees (with Kleenex underneath, my mom was kind enough to play along and set everything up she put out the notes, the chair, the Kleenex and even picked-up the ring that day and left it in the bathroom for me!). I asked Allison to sit down, and I proposed to her. She was actually kind of quiet and in shock. She rallied, however, and said yes. Then I gave her a note from her boss that said she didn't have to go to work on Friday. So, even though I proposed on a weeknight, she didn't have to go to work the next day.
That's it. Hopefully, it will be happily ever after. I love Allison with all of my heart and soul and can't wait to call her my wife!
Allison's Story - The Courting Process
Aaron's sense of humor made me notice him in a group of people and his smile made me want to make him laugh in return. His relationship with his family made me long for a night when he would invite me over for Shabbat dinner with them.
Aaron and I took our time to start dating. There were times during the course of our friendship when I thought there would never be anything romantic between us. Whitney can attest to that, as well as the countless other friends whose ears I talked off during the courting process. My boss asked innocently if were dating and when I said no, she and others suggested that maybe we should start, but neither one of us crossed the line to suggest the idea.
Eventually, I got to the point where I accepted that I was meant to be with Aaron and I decided to stop worrying about when things would materialize between us. Inevitably, we grew closer after time. There were false alarms when I thought he might interpret something I said, but in the end I think I was the one who held back more. He would drive me home after working late (45 minutes in the opposite direction of his house) and I would hop out of the car after a hurried thank you and good night. Though we attended our company holiday party together, we were only friends, two single employees sitting next to one another.
Months of lunches, daily trips to Starbucks, innocent text messaging and several movies with and without friends later, we were heading towards the point of no return. Finally, after an evening of good DC Chinese food and a viewing of "Love Actually", Aaron and I transcended from being just friends. Aaron and I continued to fall in love carefully.
Over the next several months, our bond grew as we met each others friends, parents, families, and extended families. We had been friends for almost a year when we started dating, so the major questions had already been answered. Kids, check. Kosher home, check. Montgomery County, check. It seemed logical that Aaron would propose, but when?
Allison's Story - The Proposal
On Thursday evening August 25th Aaron and I were supposed to have dinner with Aaron's roommate Derek and my friend Debbie who was driving up from New Jersey, Aaron received a call that Debbie would be late and we would need to push back our dinner. I was not happy with the idea of eating at 9pm on a work night, but wanted to spend time with our friends. We decided to run over to Aaron's parents' house in Potomac to pick up something that Aaron needed for work.
Aaron found a note from his mother once we arrived, asking him to turn off the sprinklers in the backyard. It was a nice evening and I walked outside with him to turn them off. There we found another note. This time saying that a bench was knocked over in their garden. As we walked to pick it up I realized that something was going on. Aaron was wearing one of his nicest suits, the sun was setting, and then I saw the bouquet of a dozen long-stemmed red roses (and a box of tissues) on a small table next to a wicker chair in the center of a grove of Dogwood trees just beyond the garden. We walked over and I sat down as Aaron got down on one knee and said the most beautiful words I've ever heard, "I want you to be my wife." As he put the ring on my finger I realized that everything was not a dream. We celebrated with champagne and dessert at Normandie Farms and later with our friends and family.