Last weekend was one to remember. I had so many things planned to accomplish for my blog, but everything went out the window on Saturday when Doug popped the question! Being that my blog is kind of like a visual diary into my life, I thought I would share a more in depth view of our story and how the proposal happened. So if you’re interested and have some time, grab a cup of coffee and read this long, slightly mushy (but very real) story…
Our Story: Doug and I come from completely different backgrounds and grew up in opposite cities. He’s from a small farming town in Northern California near Santa Cruz, where most streets only have a speed limit of 35 and tractors are a usual site to see driving down the roads. His whole family (and extended) live near or in that town and he often tells the story that him and his friends would drive 30 minutes to the nearest In-N-Out, which was a treat for them because there’s hardly any good restaurants around. No Nordstrom (I know, gasp!). No freeways. No college towns. A town where everyone knows everyone. I grew up in Southern California, just twenty minutes away from Orange County, a city that next to Los Angeles, is the hub of jobs and the sixth most populous county in the U.S. I had no plans of leaving, but Doug always aimed at moving down south for college and experiencing a more exciting change in his life. Just shortly after I joined Cal State University Fullerton in 2010, I became a part of Zeta Tau Alpha, a Greek sorority on campus. After having split from my high school boyfriend, I knew I wanted to meet as many people as I could and experience college life to the fullest.
My sophomore year, a few of my sisters invited me to my first fraternity party (I know, so cliché) and it just so happened to be Doug’s (Sigma Phi Epsilon for those of you wondering). Being an innocent 19 year old, I wasn’t at all prepared for what went on at these parties. Not that anything particularly bad happened, but the claustrophobic atmosphere of a bunch of college students crammed into one house was enough of an experience in itself. I was immediately introduced to a moderately intoxicated Doug (hey, I didn’t say this story was magical..this was just college), which I could tell right away because he’s part Japanese and any amount of alcohol entering his system will turn him bright red. Doug will tell you it was love at first site, but for me it was more of an abnormal connection between us that I’ve never experienced with anyone else. I couldn’t stop thinking about who he was and we saw each other briefly at a tailgate, undie run (for those of you living outside of the U.S. it’s where colleges have their last big shebang at the end of the year and everyone runs around the campus in their underwear…ya, I know), and a few other Greek events. It wasn’t until I was dragged (okay, maybe not dragged, but heavily forced) to go to a line dancing club (I can’t dance) and I unexpectedly saw him there again and we chatted all night. I willingly learned to two step for the first time with him by my side. He asked for my number and that weekend we went on our first date to the Hollywood sign, which is hilarious to look back on because we are by far the least outdoorsy couple.
We still laugh about it to this day because as we were hiking up the trail (don’t ask me why we took the long route) we were both trying to contain our breathing because he was a baseball player (and a catcher and the stereotype that baseball players are out of shape is sometimes true haha jk) and I am not into sports so you can imagine trying to impress someone when climbing a hill (I wouldn’t recommend this for a date). After almost getting lost in the dark on the hike, we made it back to his 1995 Sentra and went to In-N-Out (hey, we were college kids ok?). I remember him asking me why I wore a ring on my ring finger and I think that freaked him out a little (foreshadowing much? okay maybe not). After that date we spent all kinds of time together. He lived at the fraternity house, so I became quite comfortable going over there almost everyday after school and on the weekends talking with him for hours. One time we looked at the clock and realized we were talking for almost six hours straight, learning about each other and our pasts. Two weeks later we became boyfriend/girlfriend and the obsession didn’t stop just yet. I remember us talking about marriage and moving in only a few months after dating (we are very emotional people). We decided not to move in and take the rational route and wait until after college when we had more money (we were already living off of Top Ramen and Taco Bell), but I was completely smitten with him and everything about him. No one in my life has ever treated me as good as he does. He’s the most polite, giving, and supportive person in my life and wants nothing more than my happiness. There has never been a time where he has put himself before me and it still baffles me to this day because I can only hope there is a fraction of that inside of myself. After a year of dating, college and Greek life blurred things a little and we broke up for a month. I was only 20 and he just turned 21, so you can imagine how being in Greek life can complicate things. Probably one of the worst months of my life, I spent most of my time trying to find distractions by throwing myself into sorority. I don’t omit this part of the story because it really was significant in our history. The day he knocked on my apartment door looking devastated was the day we admitted to not wanting to be with anyone else and we’ve been that way ever since. Almost two and a half years later we’ve graduated with business degrees, moved to Los Angeles together, and last weekend he popped the question…
The Proposal: We had just gotten back from our trip to Tennessee so I wasn’t expecting anything to happen. We had always talked about getting married, even when I was 19. We basically already treat each other like husband and wife (although I know the real thing will be different) and have been living together for three months. He ended up asking in our apartment, which completely floored me. Since having been together for three years, I basically know almost everything there is to know about this man and even more now that I share an apartment with him. He’s a simple man and it’s not that he’s “predictable” per say, I just know him like the back of my hand. Most of the time I can almost know what he’s going to say without him even saying it. Every night he drops his pile of clothes at the right, far end corner on the floor near the bed (this habit can’t be changed). He puts way too much creamer in his coffee and ruins the taste almost every time even after warning him. He scratches his head when he’s tired and talks in his sleep a lot (yes, it can be creepy). His ideal meal would be fatty tuna nigiri with a lot of wasabi and a little soy sauce that creates a burning sensation in his mouth with every bite (it’s the most annoying thing to see when eating sushi with him, but he loves it this way). He dreams of going back to Japan almost everyday and his biggest passion is automative culture. He’s an all around guys guy. Loves the smell of tires burning and prefers a burger over some fancy quinoa or kale salad any day (I’ve learned this since living in LA of course). All of these things are necessary when telling this story (In my opinion anyway).
For a while I kept telling him that his proposal will be the most predictable experience since I know him so well (maybe it was harsh, but I was just being real).He’s a very sarcastic guy, so when I would say his proposal would be predictable, in his mind he said “challenge excepted”. So when I told him I wanted it to be a surprise, he took that in the most literal form. He got the ring on Friday, asked my parents on Saturday, and proposed on Sunday. He said the moment he got the ring he didn’t want to wait for fear I would find it in the apartment since I’m a little OCD about organization and knowing where things are. The week before he kept encouraging me to vlog, which is strange because once upon a time it was the most uncomfortable thing for him to get into. I finally agreed and as I was filming the beginning of my vlog doing an outfit of the day in the mirror in our office, I turned around and he was on one knee. All I kept saying was “OMG! What!?” (I’m really bad at reacting to surprises). He looked so nervous that his face was bright red and he barely got out the speech he had practiced. My hands were shaking and being an idiot, I didn’t know whether to look at him through the camera or directly at his face haha. It was like an out of body experience. Nothing can prepare you for someone asking to spend the rest of their life with you. It’s almost insane if you think about it. I did get most of it on the vlog, but we decided to keep it between the two of us since it’s a tad embarrassing and we can’t share absolutely everything on the internet (yeah right haha). Now I’m engaged to the love my life with the most perfect ring and couldn’t be happier. I never thought something would change so much between two people having been together for so long, but somehow, it does. I didn’t think I’d get this lucky (or blessed) to be with someone who’s joy is to see me happy and it’s the best feeling in the world.
If you made it this far then bravo! Thanks for reading our story and being a part of this time in our lives.
Follow along: Doug’s Instagram | Hayley’s Instagram
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