One thing I love most about meeting with potential clients is hearing about how they met and their proposal story. Each story is always so unique and it’s fun to hear each person interject their memories of what happened. Since it’s Valentine’s day this month, I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about how Maria + Larry came to be.
Larry can tell you the exact moment that he first saw me. He remembers what I was wearing and claims it was love at first sight. I had my blues on because I had just returned back from basic training at Lackland Air Force base. I was in-processing back into our Guard base here in Milwaukee. I, on the other hand, do not remember this moment at all. Sorry babe!
I first remember talking to Larry one day after drill when we were walking back to our cars. He talked about having to drive back to Chicago because that’s where he was from. I remember being like, “Oh cool, I love Chicago.”
Fast forward a few months later and we ended up both volunteering to be put on active duty orders to work at our base in Milwaukee to help backfill for a deployment. I was going to college at UW-Milwaukee at the time so I opted for third shift so that I could still attend class during the day, come home sleep and go to work. A friendship developed and grew a lot during this time. On Thursday nights I’d have Larry come out with my friends and me to give him the traditional “college experience”. And he was always a great host whenever my girlfriends and I wanted to go out in Chicago. When I talked about Larry to other people, I remember describing his as “the brother I never had.” HA! At some point during our friendship, he “let it slip” to one of our friends that he had a crush on me. When she told me, my response was “Ugh! No.” I didn’t want to ruin our friendship and so I tried to keep some distance between us.
Time went on. We stayed friends for a while-watching each other through various relationships with other people, until one day I woke up. I don’t remember what exactly it was. There was nothing specific that happened. I think I knew that I liked Larry more than a friend the whole time, I just wasn’t ready for what I knew would be a serious relationship. I knew he was a keeper. I remember talking to my mom about this realization and worrying about having to tell him. “What if he doesn’t like me like that anymore?” She gave me the side eye. But I didn’t tell him. I was too nervous. Instead, I waited until we were out one night in Chicago and I kissed him on the way back to the car. Best kiss ever.
Our Proposal Story
We had been dating for about 3 years when Larry proposed to me. I knew it was coming-Larry’s not the best at keeping secrets (a quality I have grown to appreciate). He had originally planned to do it outside of the Lincoln Park Conservatory-the turn around point for our running route. But I decided, I was too lazy that morning and didn’t want to go for a run (I kicked myself for this later because this is one of my favorite spots in Chicago). Then he had planned to do it down a random street on our walk to the Cubs game. They were playing the Brewers that day. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a fast walker and I walk with a sense of purpose. So going down a side street that would take us out of the way made zero sense to me. He had also thought about doing it under the Wrigley Field Marquee (our first official date was a Cubs game)-but I’m grateful it didn’t happen in front of that many people. Instead he proposed to me when we got back from the game, in my apartment as soon as we got through the door. It was just the two of us and it was perfect. But after I heard about all of his foiled plans I said, “Why didn’t you make me go for a run?!” We were married 2 years later to the day in Milwaukee-my hometown.
And that’s the short-ish version of our story. Our life together has been a crazy adventure filled with high highs and low lows but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.