5.14.16 Chelsea and Tyrone met at a gala. Chelsea was working and Tyrone was an artist guest. When festivities subsided and Chelsea was off the clock, she went to the bar, where the bartenders were busy and there wasn't a vodka martini in sight. Suddenly, Tyrone appeared, “Do you need a drink?” he asked. “Please” she said. And just like that, two rum and cokes were made. He asked for her name, her favorite color (green), and then they went their separate ways for the rest of the evening. A few days later, when Chelsea returned to work, there were a dozen green roses waiting on her desk. The note read: “Looking forward to getting to know you better. —Tyrone.” Chelsea got Tyrone's number from a friend to thank him for the beautiful flowers, and to also let him know she was seeing someone. Unfazed, Tyrone assured he was “just looking forward to getting to know you better…like the note says.” And with that, they continued on their respective paths for years, politely ignoring the murmurs of mutual friends who thought they’d make a great couple. Then, one day, when an artful gathering brought them together again and past relationships had run their course, they discovered they’d both be attending their friends’ wedding. Neither of them had a date, so they could be each other’s. After that, they invited each other to anything they could think of. Even starting a competition of who could invite who to a “bad” play first. But it seemed that each play they went to was better than the last. Or maybe they were just falling in love.
8.29.21 It was a beautiful Sunday morning in Chicago. Chelsea, who is usually a slow riser, was up before Tyrone to get ready for an arts luncheon that one of his friends was being honored at...at least that’s what she thought. With masks on, they left their home and went to The LondonHouse, one of the oldest luxury hotels in Chicago, and took the elevator up to the rooftop. Before getting off Tyrone turned to Chelsea and said, “You can take your mask off now.” To which Chelsea refused as she thought there would be a lot of people at the event. At 10:30a.m. Chelsea and Tyrone walked out of the elevator and into a dream. As they entered the Cupola covered with green rose petals, they heard a cellist and guitarist playing “Best Part” by H.E.R. Chelsea kept looking around, expecting more people to arrive, when Tyrone asked, “Do you get what’s happening?” She locked eyes on him and Tyrone began to speak from his heart…he ended with, “Our life becomes defined by the choices we make, and I know I want to spend the rest of my life with you…” he got down on one knee and asked, “Chelsea Elizabeth Smith, will you marry me?” She said, “Yes!” Tyrone placed the ring on Chelsea’s finger and when he stood up Chelsea leaped into his arms and he spun her around. The cellist and guitarist then played “All of Me” by John Legend as the newly engaged couple celebrated with champagne. With a photographer and videographer present, the couple continued celebrating and went outside to take a few photos Downtown Chicago. They then returned to the LondonHouse rooftop and to Chelsea’s surprise her whole family (even her sister Melissa who flew in from D.C.) along with Tyrone’s family sat down and had a wonderful brunch.