What's Your Story?
Greg and Jen met in the fall of 1998, their Freshman year at the University of Dayton. Jen had moved in early because of band practice and was going for her undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering. Greg was going for his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering. And that early on at UD, both degree paths shared many of the same classes.
They had a few classes together. Over the first few days, they had seen each other several times. During one class they had together (a mandatory "study hall", no less), Greg was the only person Jen recognized. So she went and sat down next to him. Being one of the few women in our classes, Jen was easy for Greg to pick out!
Each week they had this class together, they would sit next to each other and spend most of the time talking. They learned a lot about each other and found they had several similar interests in computers, video games, etc. (They never said what they had to study in study hall!)
After a few short weeks, they thought they were so in love with each other that they started officially dating. That lasted a little less than a year and, at the beginning of Sophomore year, Greg broke up with Jen. This was a very sad event for both of us, indeed. But, it let both of us have room to grow and mature.
They both had also had time do our own thing, learn a little about life and ourselves, and eventually realize that they missed each other too much. A few years later, by the end of our 1st Senior year, they had matured a lot. On St. Patrick's Day 2002, they decided to give it a go again. They've happily been together ever since!
So, How Did It Happen?
After about three years of dating and many discussions of marriage, it was time to go the next step. They were both graduated, had good jobs, and yearned for that next plateau!
Jen and Greg had looked at engagements rings before, but never actually purchased one. Unbeknownst to Jen, Greg searched for the perfect diamond to be set in one of her favorite settings. Also without her knowledge, he drove to Columbus, OH and Mingo Jct., OH to meet with her father and mother, respectively, to ask for their permission. Over very nice dinners at both, Greg was given both of their blessings!
On August 6th, one of our friends, Gary K., was out of town and had asked Greg to go over and take care of the animals. It was a weekend, so they decided to go for a picnic when they got there to take care of the animals. (Jen had received a picnic basket the year before for her birthday and they needed an excuse to use it!) However, prior to that, Greg needed a way to get Jen to a MetroPark, where he was planning on proposing, that was in the opposite direction of K's house. Of course, Jen could not find out about this plan ahead of time...
Greg, being his father's son, enjoys ice cream a lot. He had heard about a local ice cream stand that was supposedly better than Dairy Queen. It just happened to be in the direction of the Park! So Greg got all of the picnic supplies together, dropped the top of his convertible, and asked Jen if they could go get ice cream first. Knowing Greg's affinity for the sweet stuff, she didn't think much of it. They left and got the ice cream. On the way from there to K's house, they stopped at the park "only because it was a nice day" -- wink, wink.
They wandered around the park for awhile and then ended up down by the river in a nice area under the trees. The ground there was a little rocky, but it was a nice place to just enjoy nature. Greg took some pictures with his relatively new camera, while Jen sat down and enjoyed the view. They eventually decided to get going before it got too dark -- they had dinner to eat and animals to feed!
As they were walking away from the river, Greg stopped and bent down. Jen was now several yards in front of him, but she turned, frustrated, to see what drew my attention. Of course, she sees nothing of interest and starts to hurry Greg along. However, he just stayed there, looked up, and said, "Hey, honey! Come look at this rock I found!" As she unhappily comes back to see this "rock", Greg shifts his weight to be on one knee and pulls out the engagement ring box. As he opened it, he asked if she would marry him.
Jen's first answer was calculated and went something like, "Well... Let me think about it..." That lasted for not even 1 second, when she burst out, "Of course! Yes!!!"
They spent a few more minutes there together with nature. Then they headed back to the car for our picnic. Once they got to K's house, they took care of the animals and then laid out our blanket in the yard. They got out all the supplies and had a very nice dinner. By this time twilight was setting in, so they stayed and watched the stars and talked for several hours. It was a fantastic evening!