When Davis Met Rachel…

10.19.2021

He said:

It is often said that “the biggest surprises come when you least expect them.” I admit there was a time when I would dismiss such a saying as mere platitude, but as fate would have it, these words could never be more true. On the most unassuming day, just a single moment in time would change my life forever.

It was a day the same as any other, just me following my typical routines and work schedule. As I returned from my lunch break, I was taken aback by a profile I saw on my dating app. It was the most beautiful girl I had ever laid eyes on, sporting a “Reagan Bush ’84” shirt accompanied by some short thoughts on God and family. I was completely astonished. Suddenly I was snapped out of my trance by some work responsibilities, and upon return to my phone, I was saddened to find that the app had cycled her profile away before I could send a like.

But shortly thereafter, to my greatest joy, I received a message saying she liked my profile! I finally had the chance to talk to this stranger who had not left my mind since I first saw her.

I just had to try and make a good impression. Perhaps trying to be funny would work?…

She said:

I blame Jane Austen for the dilemma I was in. Not because she declared “a truth universally acknowledged.” Not because she gave me a hope that in a world full of Wickhams and Collinses, that there existed also Darcys and Bingleys. 

My literary mentor failed to mention I suppose that my very own Mr. Darcy could be hidden not by his pride or prejudices, but rather, hidden behind several gangster themed Snapchat filters.

We met on Hinge. I swiped right when I saw that this guy’s profile spoke about his faith and his love of family. When I tried to make sure he was real (one can never be too careful when things seem too good to be true) by swapping snapchats, Davis sent me selfies with digitally generated sunglasses, gold chains, other rapper ephemera, and even a festive Jack-o-Lantern masking his handsome face.

Though our conversations via Snapchat were hindered or confused by the filters, I slid a bookmark between the cover and first page of our love story when I decidedly followed Davis on Instagram. I was intrigued.

12.2.2021

He said:

It was finally time. The day had at last arrived when I would get to meet this mystery girl that had captivated my mind for so long. So many days spent eagerly awaiting every new notification, with an uncontainable excitement that her name would appear, had all lead up to this.

Of course, I made sure that day to get off work extra early so I could spend an unreasonable amount of time making sure I was presentable. And only after I ran through my checklist for perhaps the 10th time did I allow myself to walk out the door. As I made my way, my mind was flooded with the most wonderful thoughts of what this night may hold. But, as fate would have it, there was no imagination that could conceive of the joys that would come from it.

There I sat in Carmella’s, making extra effort to posture myself in a “cool” manner. Then she arrived. Upon seeing her for the first time my heart leapt, and never since has it returned to its resting place.

We spent the rest of that night talking and strolling romantically down the Battery. I was completely smitten, to say the least. That whole night, every part of me wished to hold her hand or to put my arm around her, but I decided I would count my blessings and hope that our time together would be far from over.

She said:

Meeting someone new is quite like reading a book you’ve never read before. Maybe you already know the title, maybe you’ve seen the cover, or read the synopsis ahead of time, but the truth is, until you’ve spent some time between the pages, it’s hard to measure how you’ll connect with the story.

When I met Davis, I’d already been drawn in by the catchy title, cute cover, and interesting synopsis. I adjusted the skirt that took several tries to select as I made my way down the Charleston cobblestones towards Carmella’s. Like a scene out of a movie, Davis was sitting comfortably on a barstool just inside the door.

He didn’t wear the top hat and monocle he’d joked about in our texts, but he had on his good humor and of course, his classic charm.

We lingered in the light of the street lamps, strolling the Battery, snagging a rare find: an empty swing at the pier. I was looking for every romantic trope— some clue that he was interested. Maybe it would be a brush of our hands, an arm around my shoulder. But dear readers, he just kept flashing me that sweet smile…

At the end of the night, I knew that if this story was a series, I’d buy it in hardcover and read every line.

He said:

It was hard to comprehend. In such a short amount of time had life itself changed so drastically. The grass was greener, the sky bluer, and the sun brighter. And with each passing day my love for this girl soared by leaps and bounds. There is no movie that could capture the feeling of seeing her smile as we precariously glided across the ice on our skates and clung to one another, or the wonder of our conversations as we embarked on many a winter night’s walk, or the joy of laughter after getting sprinklered out of a New Year’s firework viewing. Life had become such a magical adventure with her, and my heart only wanted more.

She said:

There’s something very romantic comedy, just something so Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan about falling in love at Christmastime. While Charleston rarely sees dustings of New York snowflakes and Mount Pleasant with all its charms, has a severe lack of corner bookshops, December is still a time where love is all around, as they say in Love Actually.

For me, it was a season of discovering how my hand fit together with his while walking under twinkling lights and long conversations over hot cocoa that lasted far longer than the floating marshmallows. By New Years, I knew.

As our midnight picnic at Pitt Street Bridge quickly devolved into a midnight sprinkler sprint (highly recommend, by the way), I realized this was a guy I could face the perils and the joys of life with. 

He said:

“Huh, I’m not so sure this camper van can handle roads this wild… oh well, I think we can make it!” I exclaimed as we bounced around violently on a bumpy desert road. But we had a slot canyon we were set on hiking, and nothing was going to stop us from getting there.

As it turns out, this fun tale carries with it a truth. That no matter what bends, bumps, hills, or holes came our way, they were never a match for the two of us. We had become two adventurers traveling this long and hazardous path we call life, relying on one another to push ever onward toward our goal.

And so we did. And what an incredible journey it has been. We have explored deserts, mountains, beaches, and you wouldn’t believe it, but we even traveled the entire world in a single day (at Epcot). Even crazier still, all of these experiences are no match for our greatest adventure so far…

She said:

The Hobbit lifestyle is completely appealing. Multiple breakfasts per day? Lots of green space around the home? What is not to love? Well, maybe the occasional trip to reclaim the mountain home of the dwarves from a huge, fire-breathing dragon.

Relationships are this unpredictable sort of adventure. But like in every great adventure story, the reward is the journey. From hiking the Bryce Canyon hoodoos together, to stumbling upon an empty manor house in the mountains, to racing woolly worms, to riding Tron at Disney World– we’ve shared so many journeys.

Even after the mountains climbed together, I had no idea that rings would play such a major role in the quest that Davis and I had embarked on. But boy, am I thrilled for this, our greatest adventure yet.

He said:

I had prepared for this day for quite some time. It was just warm enough to justify a boat ride, and the first clear day we had in weeks. The wait was finally over!

Full of all the excitement and anticipation that one would expect on such a day, I waited for the family to arrive at the docks. I received a text from my future bride on her way to me, “So do you think anything exciting will happen on the boat today?”

As fate would have it, that was quite the understatement.
Along with the usual craziness surrounding the execution of a proposal, boat troubles all but kept us from getting to the island before sundown. Even moreso, the added time brought with it a drop in temperature (and a reluctance to remove a particular red sweatshirt).

Nonetheless, I took Rachel’s hand in my own. And with the fiery sun setting over the water, we began our walk down the beach. There, I spoke the most important words that I have ever said.

She said:

In all great romances, something about the proposal must go awry, at least a little. Maybe your prideful riding boots wearing beau kind of insults your crazy family and you shut him down, or perhaps he has a bonus mad wife in his attic and you must run with abandon out into the wild, wuthering moors, or maybe you accept a proposal from the wrong guy and your jilted lover begins an elaborate scheme of generational revenge that leads you to haunt him for all his days. Or something like that?

Thankfully Davis and I left these British lit snafus in their own era, but did nearly lose our shoes on the shore of Dewees Island.

It was the first clear night on the water in over a month– I pulled on my red sweatshirt (now as notorious as the scarlet letter) to stay warm in the sea spray as I followed Davis down the beach to hear the sweetest question I think I will ever be asked.