I’ve been asked several times why I’ve never written about Ryan or how I met him, and since we are creeping up on the big ONE YEAR, I am finally giving in. Here you go, y’all, here’s how it all began (WARNING: I could get mushy) :
July 12, 2012
It was the second Friday of July and I was waiting tables, per usual, at my beloved fine dining restaurant. I was still new, fresh out of training and slightly intimidated by the chandeliers and fragile glassware, by my intelligent and well-versed co-workers and also by our clientele.
It was on this night when a couple came in with their daughter to celebrate her college graduation. They were fantastic and fun and we talked as if we had known each other for years.
When the evening was coming to a close, the mother said to the daughter, “Do you know who she’d be perfect for?”
The daughter responded immediately, “Ryan.”
As it turned out, Ryan was the oldest son of their family, and was serving in the Marine Corps and soon to be deployed for the second time.
“He’s going to be on pre-deployment leave, though, so while he’s home I’ll take him in for a drink so he can meet you,”said the daughter.
“I’d love that!” I responded, and then smiled for a picture with the daughter (her name is Kayla) for them to send to Ryan. (How could he not fall for the bow tie?)
These wonderful people went on their way, and I didn’t hear from them. Eventually they were tucked quietly in the back of my memories with all the other cozy, good ones.
Fast forward a year to the day later, July 12, 2013 and we come to meet Hannah again, understandably frustrated by the depressing topic of the male race. I had had several mediocre to hilariously awful encounters, dates, and set-ups, and I had begun to worry that there were no good eggs left. They were all single for a reason, and apparently so was I.
I was still serving at the same restaurant on the day my manager handed me a note with a couple names and a phone number.
“Call them to confirm a reservation. They requested you,” he said.
I didn’t recognize the names at all.
I dialed the number, and the first person I spoke to was male.
“My daughter and wife are actually the ones setting this up, you may want to talk with one of them,” he said.
Before putting his wife on the phone, however, he had given me enough information to piece things together. They were the family from the previous year, and just as sweet as I remembered.
As I spoke with Mrs. (Innis) on the phone, I learned that this time around they would be out celebrating none other than Ryan, who was home from the Marines for good.
More than anything, I was excited to see that family again, but in the back of my mind, I remembered how they wanted me to meet him. It was a bad day to pass on a quick tease of the hair and a little extra make-up. And let’s be real, my bow tie and vest don’t do me any favors.
Picture it in slow motion, people, because it’s seriously like a movie. I’m chatting with the family when he walks in through the glass doors, tall and tan and manly. You guys, serious, it all happened in slow motion. I drooled all over the table.
Five days after our first meeting we had our first date, and have spent few days apart since.
Ryan is good to the core. When I prayed about finding someone, it’s amazing how I was praying for him. He is tall and tan and manly, yes, but he is also caring, goofy, and intelligent. He is crazy about his family, adores his grandparents, and has faith that inspires me. He makes me feel safe without being dominant, and at the same time he makes me feel strong and confident in myself.
Today is the 12th, and yesterday was the second Friday in July, making it one year since I met him. Last night we went up north to one of our favorite places, the home that belongs to his late best friend’s mother and stepdad (Aunt Char and Uncle Jim). They live on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, and as the sun set he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. (Side note: Aunt Char tied the ring around my dog’s neck and he delivered it to Ryan….you guys, I KNOW. Literally dying)
366 days ago.
Ryan, I never saw you coming.
To Kayla and Mama Innis for the best set up ever, to my dad for giving permission, to Aunt Char and Uncle Jim for their help, but mostly, to my favorite person that I get to live with forever-Ryan, I totally do.