Want something sweet to get you through hump day? You're in luck! Rachel & Titine have the sweetest love story, followed by an amazing engagement!
I was born and raised in New Orleans, and Rachel is from Richmond, Virginia. The way that we met is a little tricky, so don't feel bad if you have to read this twice! In 2008, I was dating a girl, who we'll just call M, from San Francisco, who went to school in New Orleans. After college, M moved back to SF, but then came back to New Orleans a couple years later. Rachel went to culinary school in San Fran, and had become friends with M. M moved to New Orleans shortly before we started dating, and Rachel and her girlfriend came to New Orleans to visit her. Rachel and I met casually, hung out while they were in town, and of course, became Facebook friends. (Rachel actually helped me to realize that I should just go for it with M - she was the first girl I had ever dated.)
Fast forward about two years......Rachel has since lost her father and moved home to Virginia with her girlfriend to be close to her mother. M and I have been slowly but surely on the road to breaking up. Just after we've broken up, M tells me that her SF pals are going to make a trip down to New Orleans, and even though we had broken up, she knew that I'd like to see them. So, the day comes to meet up with them, and I am oddly excited to see Rachel. I hadn't seen her in all of that two year period, but something inside was telling me this meeting would mean something. When I get to the bar to meet all the girls, Rachel is the first person I see. I wouldn't say it was LOVE at first sight, but it sure was SOMETHING!! When I hugged her, something happened......I can't explain it, but later in our relationship, she said the same thing; there was just something that happened between us, even though we didn't know what it was yet - she was still dating her girlfriend. Over the next couple of months, Rachel and I kept in touch. She was often texting me that she didn't know how to let her girlfriend go - they had been together for four years, she was with her when her father passed away, they're lives were very intertwined, etc. Eventually, it happened. Rachel broke it off with her girlfriend, and our text messages very quickly became flirty & very intimate. We decided to meet in New York for a weekend to see if our chemistry translated to real life. Of course it did!
Fast forward some more time, we move to DC to be together after a whole year of long distance, and eventually we get to December 2012...We were in New Orleans to spend Christmas with my family (Rachel's mom included). Our dating anniversary at this point had been December 28th, so that day, we had plans for brunch at one of our favorite spots (Surrey's), and then we were going to just sort of hang together (without my giant family bustling all around). Right after brunch, Rachel says she wants to go to The Fly - I don't know how familiar you are with New Orleans, but The Fly is basically a park that's been built around a levee overlooking the Mississippi River - very peaceful and romantic. It also happens to be where we had one of our first picnic dates the first time Rachel came to New Orleans as my girlfriend. So we are just sitting on this quiet little bench looking at the water and Rachel turns to me and says, "So, you know how much I love your family...." I immediately respond with, "Shut up! Are you serious?!" Of course, I saw what was coming, and rather than just let it sweetly happen, my shock takes over and I start spewing obscenities (Are you f**king serious?! Is this s**t for real?! Where's the f**king camera?!, etc.). There were a couple of joggers passing by, no doubt having a chuckle at my expense. Rachel went on to tell me just how lucky she felt to have both me and my family in her life, and how she couldn't imagine life without me in it. Let's not forget the part where the ring is A-MAZ-ING!! She worked with a friend of hers who works for a diamond broker (SCORE!) to design the ring just for me. It's a beautiful cushion-cut diamond in an antique-looking setting that was hand carved with filigree on the sides and diamonds on every edge. Gorgeous! So, obviously I said yes, and we went back to my house where my family was waiting (she also had two of her oldest VA friends and two of my oldest NOLA friends meet us there) with champagne and congratulations and the whole deal.
We went out that night and had a fabulous meal at a great place called Coquette, and it was just perfect!