One year ago today, Michael proposed. I don’t think I’ve ever written about how we met, at least not the full story, so here goes:
It was late June of 2009, two weeks after I graduated from UCLA and moved home to San Francisco. I was 22, excited about being back on familiar stomping grounds, and ready to conquer SF’s eligible bachelors.
Then came a fateful night of drinks with my childhood piano teacher at the Cliff House. A graduate of Julliard, Jennie became my piano teacher when I was 6. She basically watched me grow up through many agonizing hours of lessons. And while I was at UCLA, she had become best friends with Rebeca, Michael’s mother.
So Jennie and I were at the Cliff House, catching up and chatting, and Jennie throws out the idea that I should go on a blind date with her best friend’s son. Worst idea ever right? Blind dates are always terrible. But I couldn’t exactly say no to Jennie. So I delayed. ”Let’s Facebook-stalk him first,” I said. Maybe he had some damning photos and I could gracefully bow out. All of his pictures were of his muscled military days, in camouflage, toting a gun, or bare-chested.
I agreed to the blind date.
A couple of days later, June 26, 2009 to be precise, I was in the car fuming as I drove to San Mateo. ”Me, driving to meet a guy for the first date?! Ridiculous. He should be picking me up! He should send a limo! He should send a flower-filled limo!” But, Michael was working 10-hour days and finishing up his MBA while I had all the free time in the world since I hadn’t started my job yet. Tell that to my 22-year-old bratty self and see how far you get.
I arrived, we chatted a bit, and he told me that he used to be a Ranger. I asked, “Oh, like a forest ranger?”
Wrong. Very, very wrong. I’ve learned since then that Army Rangers are an elite bunch of military dudes doing what seems like “high-speed” (in Michael’s words) stuff.
Michael whisked me off to dinner at Kingfish where he ordered fish because he knew that I didn’t eat meat. Although I have no problems with others eating meat, it was a sweet gesture. Casual tango lessons followed at a local studio with lots of other first-time dancers. Tip: taking a woman to dance lessons allows for non-threatening, and oftentimes humorous, physical contact. That’s Michael’s rationale at least. After tango, we played 10 games of Mario Cart back at Michael’s apartment. He didn’t let me win once.
I called one of my best friends, Allison, on my drive home and told her it was the best date I’ve ever been on.
One month later, I told my mother that I was going to marry this guy. (I don’t think she believed me, but look where I am now!) In December 2009, Michael and I went to Costa Rica for a month and moved in together in our downtown San Francisco apartment after we got back. A little less than two years later, we got engaged. And that was a one year ago today.
That is the story of how we met.