Paul was watching Jean-Claude Van Damme's Bloodsport, Katie was attempting a record for largest three-way call chain. Paul was called in and the chain grew into chaos, whereupon everyone hung up except for Katie and Paul. There began a beautiful friendship that blossomed into one another's first romance. We hadn't yet met, instead talking for hours on end over the phone, much to the chagrin of our families who had to foot the phone bills. We first met in person, after a couple months of talking, when Katie and her family were returning to Jeannette after a trip to D.C.. They were passing through Gettysburg, and we convinced Katie's mom to stop by Paul's. We went to the Gettysburg Battle Museum and listened to Hall and Oates on a shared pair of earbuds rather than looking at the exhibits. Katie went to Paul's Homecoming dance that year. Being young and so far apart took its toll, and we both went our own ways for awhile. We reconnected through the years, but it was never quite right... yet.
After 15 years of on and off flame-ups of our love, the time was right. Paul was working for the paper and Katie had just moved back from Colorado. We began talking again, more than we ever had. We started talking for two hours, then four, then eight per day. Paul was driving three hours out to visit Katie every other weekend. We were officially a couple again by September, and we moved in together in October.
Paul bought the ring and couldn't wait to propose. Katie is a die-hard Doctor Who fan (who made Paul into a fellow Whovian), so Paul bought her a TARDIS-blue sapphire ring, and hoped to propose under the stars at Cherry Springs State Park. After some thought, Paul was concerned that it'd be awfully hard to see a ring at night in the darkest area on the eastern seaboard. Katie loves mountains, so Paul pivoted, instead deciding to propose at Kinzua Bridge State Park. After setting up a camera to take selfies, Paul dropped to his knee and promptly panicked and forgot all he had planned to say. Stuttering around, Paul managed to pop the question: "Will you marry me?" Katie was shocked! Asking first, "Did you ask my mom?" which Paul had quietly done a month prior. She said yes, and we went back to our cabin and popped champagne before we grilled some kielbasa with sauerkraut.