I didn’t believe in love at first sight.
Then on Halloween in 2015, I met Greg when he was dressed as half Caitlyn Jenner and half Bruce Jenner.
And I still didn’t believe in love at first sight.
Over the years we became friends, serving as each other’s biggest fans and sources of encouragement. We thought the world of each other, and knew the person who ended up with the other would be the luckiest person in the world.
Fast forward to summer 2017, when one day I was sitting with Greg and our friend Paulina and we were talking about what we wanted in a partner. After listening to Greg and me essentially describe each other, Paulina finally blurted out, “Why don’t you two date?!” Neither Greg nor I made eye contact in that moment, wondering the same thing.
A few weeks later, my friend Nicole and I went wine tasting and, as usually happens when two women are drinking, began talking about our love lives. I told Nicole I was starting to become interested in Greg as more than “just friends,” and, with Nicole’s encouragement, decided if he was at our friend Kendall’s party that evening then I would go for it.
Greg meanwhile was invited to Kendall’s party and, although he had only spoken two words to Kendall previously, decided to go because he knew I would be there and, as he told me later, he wanted to spend more time with me and be near me in whatever capacity he could, even if it was just as friends.
While we were talking at the party, Greg mentioned how he was going to a Lionel Richie concert the following Friday and needed a babysitter for his nephew so his brother and sister-in-law, Drew and Laura, could come too. I enthusiastically offered to babysit before realizing I chose poorly and wouldn’t be able to spend time with Greg that night if I was stuck at home babysitting. So I took back my offer and invited myself to the concert instead, even though at that point I couldn’t name a single Lionel Richie song.
Greg went home that evening and bought a ticket for me at 2am. He then sent me a text the following day along the lines of, “I got you a ticket to Lionel Richie. But it’s in New Jersey. So don’t feel obligated to go. I mean seriously, you really don’t have to go. Seriously.” This of course led me to ask if he actually wanted me to go, and when he responded he did, I decided I would go to New Jersey for Greg.
We began texting much more frequently, and before I knew it we had plans that Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And neither of us were quite sure whether the other was thinking these were dates or just friends hanging out, but figured by the time the week was over it would be clear.
Monday we volunteered to assemble care packages for the troops, and as we were riding home the Uber driver asked us how long we’d been dating. Greg immediately responded, “We’re not dating!” while looking aghast. So I figured I had my answer, and Greg wasn’t interested in being more than friends.
But then that Wednesday, he took me to dinner and then to a nude drawing class. (To be clear: the model was nude. We were both fully clothed!) And it definitely felt like a date. I consider this to be our first date, but Greg says it doesn’t count because we didn’t kiss. To which I always tell him, “Well that was your decision.”
Finally Friday rolled around, and we went to the Lionel Richie concert and kissed and it was very clearly a date. And that night I realized two important things. First, Greg did like me as more than “just friends.” And second, I did in fact recognize a few Lionel Richie songs!
The next weekend was Greg’s birthday and his family came into town to celebrate. I was nervous to meet them and wanted to make a good impression. But when he introduced me by saying, “This is Ashley… from Quadrille,” the impression I made was of a random acquaintance who he had run into on the street. Of course I teased him about it, so when he introduced me to Laura’s mother that evening, instead he said, “This is Ashley… [long pause]… my girlfriend?” which made me laugh.
After Greg’s birthday he sent me flowers, thanking me for helping make his celebration so special and inviting me on a weekend away. He surprised me by taking me to his home in Vermont, and there over dinner we decided to officially become boyfriend and girlfriend.
But that wasn’t all we decided. While we were in Vermont (and on September 1, 2017 to be exact!) we also decided this was it and we would get married. As crazy as that sounds, apparently the saying is true: when you know, you know. And every day since then has only served to reaffirm that he is everything I ever could have hoped for in a husband, and more.
At first we weren’t going to tell anyone until Greg officially proposed, but we were both so excited it became the worst kept secret ever! And pretty soon most of our family and friends knew and were sharing in our joy. And, when I took Greg to Connecticut to spend Thanksgiving with my family that year, they surprised us with congratulations confetti and flower leis.
There was just one thing left to do: make it official! On February 8, 2019, Greg took me to a romantic dinner at One if by Land, Two if by Sea in Greenwich Village. Reminiscent of our incredible Paris trip, we ordered the chef’s tasting menu. Course after course arrived, featuring everything from foie gras to scallops to duck to beef Wellington. But the last course was the most special.
The waitress set down a large bowl covered with an opaque dome. When she lifted the lid, rather than dessert the plate was full of rose petals. And right in the middle was a ring box, the center stone twinkling in the candlelight.
Greg asked me to marry him I said yes, the culmination of daily decisions choosing him and the start of the rest of our lives filled with yeses to each other. And I watched through tears in my eyes as the man of my dreams, and the best man I’ve ever known, slid the ring onto my finger.
It was about this time that I noticed flashes out of the corner of my eye. Greg, knowing how much I love pictures, made sure to hire a professional photographer to capture the moment. Well done, Greg!
(And well done, Kai Bush Photography)!
I can’t wait to be your wife.
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