The Couple

11 September 2012 Written by

The story of us.  Everyone has different versions of things; there are many sides to the same story.  Some people tell it like it is (me) and some people exaggerate.  But we won’t name any names (Gabe).  Below are two versions of our story. Megan’s (the correct and accurate version) and Gabe’s (ehhh….).  Let’s take a look.

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Megan’s Version

How we met

October, 2010. It’s completely my sister’s fault.  She convinced me to join Match.com saying that a lot of her friends have joined and have met their significant other via the website and that I should give it a try.  I’m glad I did! Gabe was the second guy I went on a date with.  Unfortunately, he lives in Fort Walton Beach and I lived in Tallahassee – two and a half hours away.  We seemed to have a lot in common and we got along very well.  We talked for about a month before our first date.

He drove in to Tallahassee just to take me to dinner (which I made clear to him he wasn’t spending the night at my house!)  We met at this little local restaurant called Monks – delish!  He showed up with a rose in hand, which I thought was sweet.  Afterwards, we drove to Starbucks for coffee before I sent him on his way.  One of the things I liked about him was that he didn’t play games.  He texted me later that evening to say he had a good time and that we should do it again soon.  I agreed.

Ever the gentleman, it took him four dates to kiss me for the first time.  Each date he even brought me some sort of floral arrangement whether it was a bouquet, orchid, or rose.  I killed the orchid.  I’ve never been good with plants….

Every weekend we would take turns driving to each other.  Gabe would even make the trip in to Tallahassee on his Guard weekends, which took place in Dothan, Alabama (an hour and a half west of Tallahassee).  This meant he would drive to Tallahassee Friday after work, get up at 5:30am on Saturday to drive to Dothan for the day, and he would return to Tallahassee around 6pm that evening only to get up on Sunday to repeat this process.

How I found myself in Fort Walton Beach

January, 2012. I got laid off at my job in Tallahassee.  Gabe thought this was a good opportunity to ask me to move in with him (and Greg and Stroup, mind you, his roommates).  After talking it out with my mom, I agreed to move to Fort Walton Beach.  I rented a U-Haul in March and the move became official.

We dated about a year and a half before he proposed.

The Proposal

July 12, 2012.  (But if you ask Gabe, he won’t be able to tell you.  =]  )  Gabe had asked me if I wanted date night.  Of course I said yes!   He suggested Thursday night.  The days leading to Thursday I proceeded to bug him asking what he has planned and teasing him that he probably doesn’t have anything planned at all.  So I came up with our date idea: cook me dinner and let’s make margaritas.  Done.  Thursday after work I called him to make sure it was still on, he said yes but that there was a change of plans and to meet him at the ramp where we launch the boat.  I was a bit disappointed because I was looking forward to staying home and having a drink but I could tell he put a lot of thought into what he was doing and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings so I agreed and drove to the ramp.

When I got there, he was secretive and told me not to look in the cabin area.  We anchored the boat near Emerald Grande in Destin and Gabe set up a table and chairs complete with tablecloth, drinks, dishes, etc.  For dinner, Gabe had spoken with the owner of our FAVORITE Italian restaurant in Niceville called Tradewinds.  He opened and hour early, just for Gabe, and cooked our favorite meals for us.  Gabe set up dinner and turned on some music and we ate a delicious meal.

After we were done eating Gabe switched the music to the song “Marry Me” by Train.  You’d think I would have gotten the hint by now as to what was about to transpire.  But, no. Obviously I can be somewhat oblivious sometimes.  I even made a comment about how I love the song.  Gabe turns, walks over, gets down on one knee, and asks me to marry him.  Of course I said yes!!!   (or “sure” depending on who you ask…but I was in shock! Can you blame me??)  The next song that came on was Gabe’s attempt at being funny:  Beyonce’s “Put a Ring on It.”  Didn’t work.  I hate that song!  He better be glad I said yes while “Marry Me” was still playing  =]

Every Thursday night in the Summer, adjacent to the Emerald Grande, a fireworks show goes off at 9pm so we stayed and watched them.  I couldn’t have asked for a more romantic proposal than that!  Not to mention I LOVE my ring!  He did good  =]

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Gabe’s Version

Beginnings

For those of you that don’t know, Fort Walton Beach is a military town. Since I didn’t want to date military women I was encouraged by my sisters to join Match.com to see if there was anyone out there for me. I met a couple nice ladies, and I also met a couple crazy ones.  None of them were right for me though until I started talking with Megan. The only negative was that she lived two and a half hours away.

After corresponding with each other for a couple of weeks she suddenly stopped and I thought she wasn’t interested in talking with me anymore.  Clearly she must have realized her mistake and we picked up where we had left off. After about a month of back and forth emails we decided to have our first date (more accurately she made time to pencil me into her busy schedule).

I didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable, so I drove to Tallahassee. And I didn’t know the area, so I asked her to pick the restaurant. She made some off-hand comment along the lines of, “I hope you’re not planning on staying the night with me, right?” Of course I had no intentions of doing that…it was our first date! But back on point, she picked this cool urban-ish restaurant called Monk’s which was really good. I remember sitting across from her and being amazed by her smile and sense of humor. It was a slippery slope for me from that point on.

I was so impressed by Megan and how much I liked her that I ignored the advice to wait before messaging after the first date. I went ahead and texted her that night to tell her I had a good time and that I thought we should do it again–totally a test to see if she was still interested. And well, you’re reading this aren’t you!?

For the next year, we (mostly me) would drive two and a half hours to see each other. We were driving so much that I got a speeding ticket once by a not-so-nice police officer, and not a month later Megan got a ticket in almost the same place by the same not-so-nice officer! When Megan got laid off from her job and was preparing to look for another job in Tallahassee it seemed the right time to start the next chapter in our relationship. I asked her to move in with me. I could sense a little hesitation, but after talking with her mom she decided to make the move. After two to three months of slowly moving her stuff to Fort Walton Beach, she finally made it official and got a U-Haul to finish the move.

The Proposal

Finding Megan’s ring finger size was nearly impossible. Even her sister, Kim, wasn’t able to find out without letting the cat out of the bag. Thankfully, one day we stopped for lunch in Panama City. While walking out of the restaurant we passed a jewelry store and I had one of those light-bulb moments. Playing it off wonderfully, I took her in and got her ring size by purchasing her a gift, a mother of pearl ring.

I carefully planned how I wanted to do the proposal.  I knew I wanted to propose to Megan on the boat on a Thursday evening, because Destin has a firework show every Thursday night during the summer. I chose the song “Marry Me”, by Train, to play while I popped the question. Then I asked the owner, Tom, of our favorite Italian restaurant, TradeWinds, if there was any way he could cook Megan’s favorite meal for the proposal—he was excited to do it and came in on off-hours just to accommodate my request.

Now I had to get Megan on the boat, but I was convinced someone had said something to tip her off and she knew what I was planning. I made the comment that we hadn’t had a date night recently and asked if she would like one. Of course she said yes, but kept giving me a hard time about what I had planned for our date night. Trying to throw her off the scent, I told her I didn’t have any plans and asked her what she would like to do. I suggested staying home and cooking some of the fish we had caught on the boat and making margaritas.

The plan was set and I thought I had all my i’s dotted and t’s crossed. The only thing left was to get Megan to the boat ramp instead of the house. I called her and told her there was a change in plans and suggested she meet me at the boat ramp instead.  After a long pause she said, “I guess but I was looking forward to the fish and margaritas.”

I set a small table with nice dishes and got our meals out. When I went to grab her favorite bottle of wine I realized I had forgotten the corkscrew (of course!). A quick substitution though, and, viola!, we had beer with dinner instead. Megan was so impressed by the meal and the thought I had put into it (uh huh…that’s right!), but she had no idea what was about to happen. I had intentionally set the music to keep cutting in and out, so I would have to get up and fix it. Instead of “fixing” the music when I got up, I started “Marry Me”. (Funny note: she told me not to “skip that song because I like it” and yet still had no idea what was going on.) When I got down on one knee, it literally took her breath away.

When the fireworks went off afterward I wasn’t watching them. I was watching Megan, my soon-to-be bride.

 

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