Jeremy and I both worked about Outback Steakhouse together 20 years ago. We both were in relationships but did hang out on occasions in groups. We lost touch after we both left the restaurant and continued on our journeys in separate directions. Fast forward to 2022.... My daughter, Maria, was swimming at one of her softball friends' houses when I noticed Jeremy's name up on the computer (you don't forget a name like that lol). When I asked Maria's friends Mom, Andrea, how she knew him, she responded, "He's my cousin, and I'm trying to sell him a house!". Thinking "what a small world" I told Andrea that sometimes some of the old Outback crew get together for a drink and asked her to tell him in case he was ever interested. A couple of hours later, I got a text from Andrea with Jeremy's number and she told me that Jeremy would love to meet up with us. I shot him a text so he would have my number as well and we casually started texting back and forth catching up on our lives and on people we used to work with... we both stated at different times that neither of us were dating or looking to date anyone. After a few weeks, Jeremy had an idea to go to Ultimate Obstacles to attend one of their classes that the owner, Eric, who we also worked with, was holding. I explained that working out isn't for me and Jeremy reassured me multiple times that it was a very easy class and that it would just be fun. I begrudgingly agreed and we planned to meet up at his place prior to the class and go together. With my hair dirty and thrown up in a messy bun and workout gear on, I headed over to his house. NEEDLESS to say, the class was NOT easy - at ALL. I nearly died. It was awful. Afterwards, I told him that I was going to Applebees to drink "all of the vodka" because I knew I was going to be super sore the next day. I told Jeremy he could come if he wanted or not but that's where I'd be. I went home and showered and threw on some yoga pants and a hoodie (my normal attire) and off I went. Jeremy showed up showered, hair done, cute outfit, and smelling amazing....this made me very nervous. While I thought he was super cute, I knew that I wasn't really in a place to date. After a couple of cosmos, I turned to him and said... "um, is this a date???" His response was "Not if you don't want it to be!"..... Turns out it was... ...and we've been together every day since.
Sarah and I knew very early on in our relationship that we never wanted to be apart. Although neither of us were looking, we ended up finding more than we ever could have hoped or imagined. After our reconnection and surviving one heck of "Yoga" class, we spent every single day together and eventually (10 days later) took our first trip to a Bed n Breakfast in Newport RI. This is where our flirty fun relationship really started to turn into something a lot more. After that we continued to spend every day together and soon started having the talk about whether or not we'd ever get married again. Already knowing she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, I tried playing it cool... "Yeah, I'd get married again maybe someday.... How about you?" and she replied with a definite yes. From there, we went on several more adventures to Miami, Las Vegas, Disney World, The Bahamas... Yeah it was a busy year! LOL As time went by I started thinking when and where should I pop the question. Sarah was loving all the Tik Tok videos with grand displays of affection and proposals at Taylor Swift concerts. As much as I loved that idea, fate had another plan in mind. The ring I had been designing was about 8 weeks out and my friend invited us to a music event down in Miami. Turned out there was another perfect ring available that would be ready a couple days before our trip. We had such an amazing time at Fontainbleau in Miami on our first trip, it felt fortuitous that this was all lining up just in time for this trip back to Fontainbleau. Luckily, I already had my other surprise for the special event (because I ordered it months prior). Sarah had told me about her love for puzzles, escape games and most notably the Davinci Code and how someday she wanted a Cryptex to display in her office. So of course I went ahead and ordered an official Davinci Code Cryptex. Now with the ring and Cryptex on my person we headed to the Worcester airport. After placing my luggage through the XRay i get quickly pulled aside by airport security, perhaps because the cryptex looks exactly like a pipe bomb on their scanners... With Sarah laughing at me because she's usually the one accosted by TSA, I ask her to go get me a drink before they start pulling my luggage apart. With a curious look, she finally says OKAY... and heads over to the cafe. After some convincing and explanation of what a Cryptex is and and my proposal plans, they let us go on our way. We make it safely to our hotel, get checked in and start getting ready for the music event later that evening. Trying to determine when and where to pop the question, I make a game time decision and run down to StripSteak. The restaurant manager was excited to help out and again, after explaining what a Cryptex is, he took it and placed it in the safe. Back in the room I started urging Sarah to finish getting ready because we were going to be late for dinner. Of course she didn't get the urgency or know that i had left a ring with some stranger at a restaurant downstairs! We eventually ended up heading down, the manager took us to our seats where we had drinks and this strange wooden box in the center of our table (Sarah later told me she thought it was a fancy butter dish...) Sitting down and sipping our drinks, the manager slyly found a spot in the corner of the room and gave me the signal, we planned for him to video tape the entire event. I slid out of my chair to get on one knee, completely shocked, Sarah asked what I was doing to which I replied, "I'm asking you to marry me!" Luckily she said yes and was quickly able to crack the code "MIAMI". We had a fantastic dinner and celebrated at the outdoor music festival later that evening. And the rest is history!