Our Story

How We Met

Christine and I met online via a dating app called Hinge. Hinge was advertised to me as Tinder but “for people who want more.” It could be used a free app, but I decided that I would try the paid version because I had to do something different. To give a little background on the app, it uses the idea of “six degrees of separation, that the promise would be to match you with friends of friends. Christine and I had ZERO mutual friends. I can recall when I saw her Master’s graduation profile picture, “I hope this one likes me back.” Hinge does not tell you when it is a match right away. Three days later, I got a notification that Christine had liked my profile back! We started our online conversation with the usual small talk and I somehow convinced this intelligent person to meet up for coffee one afternoon. We had exchanged numbers at this point and was texting back and forth. I decided that coffee wasn’t going to cut it and that dinner was in order. I had to go big or go home. I invited Christine to dine with me at my favorite restaurant in the city which was Rose’s Luxury. I believe this is the one and only time where I was actually punctual. Rose’s was the number one restaurant in Bon Appetit in 2013. There were still lines on April 22nd 2017. We happened to stand in line next to a couple who were celebrating their 10 year anniversary and it was their first time at Rose’s. I giggled as it was our first date! As all great stories go, the rest is history.

The Proposal

I was told months ago about friends having a housewarming party for their recently purchased house. Mimi asked me what date would be good, and specifically asked if September 22 would be ok. I told her I had to work that morning, but not to worry about my schedule. If I could make it, I would be happy to attend. If not, they could carry on without me.

Fast forward to September 22. One of my very best friends (Mike) from my sorority headquarters days and grad school came down from NYC, and synced up with one of my other very best friends/gal pal extraordinaire (Kathryn) who lived down the road. Mike sold me some story about how his chapter of Delta Chi (George Mason) asked him to facilitate their associate member retreat and that we should get together to hang. Kathryn immediately jumped in to offer to pick him up and shuttle him around for the weekend. Weird, but not out of the ordinary. She lives closer to Baltimore, so it's a long drive - not unlike her to be so kind to offer, just suspicious.

SO. After working a long, grueling tailgate during the morning of the proposal, I came home defeated, angry, tired, totally drenched in sweat, hungry and just wanted to be alone. I was extra grumpy. Anthony was so kind to make sure I had lunch waiting when I got home. I took a shower, tried to decompress, and started eating lunch -- and then the waterworks happened. Meltdown mode of school, work, pressure, exhaustion... you name it I cried loudly about it. You would think panic would set in for Anthony.... but he didn't let on a clue. He assured me, "don't let the students get to you. I know sometimes you get frustrated and you want them to be better, but don't let them ruin your day with your friends. Mike is here. Kathryn will make sure you can see the Ohio State game... don't let it get to you." I mumbled on for a bit, and then decided, unbeknownst to me, to throw a huge wrench in lots of plans. I texted Kathryn who was responsible for picking up Mike and bringing him to a restaurant we would get drinks and dinner at before the party. I asked her to pick me up (which was a problem because Mike was already with her... sneaky sneaky). I was tired, I had a headache, and I knew it was silly for me and Anthony to drive separately to end up driving back to the same location at the end of the night. This apparently set off a panic.... for Mike, Kathryn and Anthony. Starting to pick up on how difficult I was, I offered to drive with Anthony and ask my friends to meet me at a location that was close to where he was going for a haircut. He could go about his day, I could see my friends, and then we could all go to this housewarming together. Great!

After I was done badgering Mike, Kathryn and Anthony with my 900 questions, he proceeded to calm me down and then offers to become my fashion consultant by picking out my outfit for this house warming party. (LOL, when did he care about picking out my clothes?) He picked out maybe 3 or 4 dresses, most of which I tried on, felt uncomfortable in, claimed "I feel fat, stop making me wear a dress!! Why do you care so much about my clothes anyway?! I'm just going to wear my go to off white pants and some baggy flowy shirt, ok?!" (I told you, extra grumpy.) Hair. Makeup. Outfit. Check. Ready to leave.

I proceed to have an excellent time de-stressing with friends, watching the Ohio State game. We even stopped along the way to pick up Mimi and her husband a bottle of wine as a gift from Mike for the party. We arrive at Mimi's and no one seems particularly interested in showing me around the house (strange at a housewarming), and shuffles me to get a glass of wine and join everyone out on the patio. It is absolutely stunning with a big screen and projector set up, showing Wonderwoman. Snacks (Fisher's caramel and peanut popcorn - my favorite), wine (our "celebration" wine we have for special occasions), cheese (charcuterie platter for #charcuteriesaturdays), treats (key lime pie, also my fave, matcha chocolate chip cookies), and our favorite friends. So so excellent. People then pressure me to sit down and all of a sudden, Beyonce's "Single Ladies" music video starts to play. That's when I knew. Then, Anthony suddenly appears on screen... in a leotard... doing the Single Ladies choreography. THIS IS IT. So I proceed to comment on the video, and his dance ability... and then it gets quiet.

He asked me to stand, and he got down on one knee to ask me to marry him. (I was crying like a baby and quite a blubbery mess the whole time.) If I recall correctly, he said, "I don't just like it, I love it. And I want to put a ring on it." He then pops open the box with a massive engagement ring (that we picked out together) and slips it on my finger. He then shows me a video of our friends and family who live all over the US wishing us well and congratulating us on our engagement. It was truly so very special. Tears all over the place. Definitely no make up left on my eyes. And then everyone wants to take pictures! Photos ensue, champagne toast, lots of hugs and "thank you so much"-es to everyone.

Finally, Anthony brought our daruma doll and asked me to color in his left eye. Daruma dolls are a Japanese tradition - meant to represent goals one has. You color in one eye when you set a goal. We purchased this daruma doll at Epcot during our winter vacation with my mother and sister and colored in his right eye with the goal of one day getting engaged. You color in the second eye when you achieve or complete the goal. He asked me to color in his eye because our goal we had set together had been accomplished.

To end a long story, we quickly cleaned up and packed up to head home. More hugs and kisses. On the way home back to College Park, we called my parents, sisters and close friends to thank them and share the good news!
Petra Kern