The relationship between Z. and I has been quite the mystery to some of you due to my subtle-ness and ways of not advertising all details so blatantly. Well, here is a post that will tell all — including the utmost perfect proposal.
I met Z. in April/May of 2007; he was slated to be my Co-Community Assistant in PV West at Arizona State University. I have never been bashful when it comes to giving hugs, so that’s what he got instead of a formal hand shake. He had come to the building to check out the room and to see what he was getting himself into, when in all reality he had no idea. I was one of the CAs that went all out — I absolutely, without a doubt, and PROUDLY loved being a Community Assistant. I was convinced that I could make this kid love it just as much.
The year went by and Z. and I had built a strong friendship — from the baseball-themed posters and door decs, to our playing of Guitar Hero on his mini TV and wrapping him in TP for Halloween. I believed that I could talk to him about anything and really valued our friendship. At the time, I was in a committed relationship, so nothing romantic came up between the two of us.
The next year I was placed in a residence hall on a different side of campus for yr. 2008-2009 and we split. Unfortunately, so did our friendship. We would try to schedule lunch at the one and only Manzy Dining Hall or the Student Union, but we were not hanging out as much or seeing too much of each other; the friendship dissolved to the point where we were acquaintances.
By December I had been given a couple of job offers and was in the midst of trying to decide where my calling was. I had been attending church with my father a little more than usual and I remember one Sunday rather clearly. I had just received the Holy Communion and had gone back to my pew and knelt down to pray, something that I did and still do every single day, even if I’m not attending church as much as I would like. I wasn’t praying for myself or anyone in particular, rather, I was speaking with God as if he were my best friend from grade school. And I realized at that moment that leaving Arizona was going to be one of the hardest things I would ever do — leaving my friends and family and loved ones and my life at ASU, I was leaving everything I knew. And I admitted then that there were some valuable relationships (yes, plural) that I let go by the wayside, that I didn’t focus on as much as I would have liked, and that I would have one more semester to correct that. And that’s what I did.
One relationship being my friendship with Z. I had let a 10 minute walk weaken our friendship, and that was unacceptable. Z. and I started hanging out more often and he sat me down one night and explicitly told me that all he ever wanted for me was happiness. There was no romanticism, no motives — just pure care for an individual.
And from there, the relationship became more than just a friendship. Next came first date, first kiss, graduation, etc. etc; all the goofy, newness of relationships took hold and never let go. He left shortly after this to go back to Virginia for the summer of 2009, and I couldn’t let that be the last time I saw him before I packed two cars and moved to California (yes, I only took two cars worth of crap to CA). I planned a week-long trip to Virginia to see him and meet his mother and then headed right back, only to turn around 2 or 3 days later and move. I wanted to move on my own and prove to myself that I could survive here all by my lonesome, and I did just that. Luckily, Z. was able to plan a few trips to CA during the summer and he was graduating in December. We made it extremely clear to each other that there should be no stress and expectations of our long-distance relationship, for we didn’t know what the future held for us.
August 2009 – December 2009 was probably one of the hardest times for me, Z., and our relationship. The distance put us to the test, along with other personal issues, and although we struggled and sometimes thought we wouldn’t make it, we endured. I can honestly say, and Z. would agree, that those months will hopefully be the worst that we have to deal with, because they were the worst. We are so much stronger because of them, we have learned so much about one another and were forced to do it with 500 miles separating us and in only 5 months. We were forced to grow up and mature in our relationship, but it has all been worth the while. And it has all worked out beautifully.
Mid-December 2009 Z. moved out to Bakersfield to live with me, promising that though he didn’t know what he wanted to do professionally, that he would work and strive to support me and our relationship in any way possible. His kind heart and giving nature has led him to realize that his calling is to help people, in any way. And for that I admire him. Even with as young as he is and the times he’s been doubted, he has succeeded and grown and I am so honored that he has chosen to marry me.
Haha, so NOW what you all have been waiting for … the proposal. As you can probably tell, we are not a flashy couple whatsoever, so Z. knew that popping the question on the Big Screen at Dodger’s Stadium would not be my idea of the perfect proposal (no offense … but I really don’t like the Dodgers :] ).
I am recently a new mother of a Yorkie Terrier, Sergeant.
On May 14th after work, Z. had suggested that we take Sergeant to a park that he had spotted on his way to work. Of course, I didn’t think twice about it — bright, sunny day in California at a park? Nothing could be better. We loaded the car with nothing but ourselves and a leash and went and just walked around. I laid in the grass with the puppy, constantly grabbing twigs and clumps of dirt out of his mouth. I stood up and Z. came over and wrapped his arms around me rather tightly, and I just stood there and soaked in the moment, quickly realizing how heavily he was breathing. I asked, and I quote: “Why are you breathing like a creeper?”. The laughter quickly consumed the both of us, and he shakily reached into his pocket, pulling out something wrapped in a small piece of cloth, and got down on one knee (yes, don’t worry … I haven’t let go of the leash). And Z. asked:
“I was actually kinda wondering if you might be into the idea of marrying me?“, showing me the most simple and perfect engagement ring — the ring that I’ve always wanted — solely symbolizing how unique and simple and clean and perfect our relationship is and always will be: a solitaire round-cut diamond perched on a white gold band.
I always thought that I’d bawl hysterically when proposed to, but a sense of calmness and comfort overwhelmed me. I didn’t hear the puppy, the cars driving by on the highway, nothing. There was a man sitting on a picnic table reading a book who didn’t look up, wasn’t disturbed, and that was it. I said of course and hugged him ever so tightly, not even the slightest bit worried about fitting the ring on my tiny finger (ring size of 4.25, and my infatuation with how sparkly the ring is started once we were in the car). It was all about me and Z. in that moment, committing our lives in front of no one but the Lord, to each other for, ever.
Through all the hustle and bustle of 1 1/2 weeks of wedding planning, I have reminded myself and Z. that this is about us, celebrating our relationship and what is to come. And although I am going nuts and blogging every day and already collecting decorations, there is a sense of true love at home and a sense of sanity in the fact that ultimately, if all my DIY projects don’t pull through and it rains and we are outside and the bridesmaids look like jelly beans and all that turns out are gorgeous photographs (oh, you just wait for that post), then that celebration with our family and closest friends has been a success.
With that said — ahhhhh, breathe — Z. has humbled me and made me realize what really matters in a relationship, thus my lack of advertisement (esp. on Facebook because Z. has a particular vendetta against it :] ).
But here is the long-winded version, the love story, and the soon-to-be most perfectly imperfect wedding.