How we met

We first met the summer of 2003. Kirk thought she was a babe, Sarah thought he was intense. He didn’t forget her after that meeting, but she was so far away there was little chance for him to initiate. However, business and friendships brought him near her periodically….He contemplated the idea of calling her. He never did. THE END

Just kidding.

e heard a rumor that she might be in New York for the Summer Project he was leading. An idea sparked in his mind…use an upcoming business trip to Orlando as an excuse to meet with her and talk about the project. She rightly suspected ulterior motives but nevertheless agreed–deciding to treat it as a business meeting. At the end of the evening he thought they had both had a good time. After waiting the appropriate number of days, he emailed her.

And heard nothing in return.

At that point he assumed it was over and thought nothing more. In April, both were in Los Angeles for an arts conference that he led and she attended. He thought he’d be polite and at least go say ‘hello’. As he approached–before he could get a word out– she said, ‘I know I haven’t emailed you.’ He replied with a chuckle, ‘Well, yes, you haven’t but…hello.’  Interaction at the conference was limited. And both returned home thinking nothing more of each other.

Summer project began in May. During the first week–to help familiarize the out of town staff with the city and subway system–the project conducted a snapshot scavenger hunt throughout Manhattan. Staff were divided into teams and a New York staffer was sent with them to make sure they didn’t get lost. Somehow, Kirk and Sarah were on the same team.

During the course of the hunt–when they were walking past the Metropolitan Museum–they started quoting lines from the movie When Harry Met Sally. It was at that moment Kirk decided to ask her out…again.

The initial ask didn’t come across quite as clear as he’d hoped. So he had to clarify next day. As he approached purposefully–she again thought he was intense–but agreed to the date. From that point on they spent quite a bit of time together during the project–a lot of it in the art studio. He wasn’t confident of her feelings for him, but he wasn’t being turned down either. Besides, he made sure he walked her home almost every night. On the way home from an evening out, he wanted to hear her sing, so he told her he’d write her a poem if she sang him a song. She sang a song called Smiles. The next morning he handed her a poem. {fig. i} By the end of the project–though not sure how they felt–they sensed something possibly happening between them.

So, they embarked on the ever simple and uncomplicated long-distance relationship. She in Orlando, he in New York City. Things started out really well. The very first phone call lasted six hours.

Their relationship grew.

Two things contributed to the growth of the relationship – poetry and visits.

Since the first poem went over pretty well, he decided to send her two poems a week–one he’d written and one he’d found in his consistent readings. She happily accepted–even anticipated–these creative offerings.
The second thing was the attempt to see each other once a month. Unfortunately, the first try didn’t go quite as he had imagined. He came to Orlando, she went to Texas. So, he asked if he could meet her friends while he was in Florida. She agreed.

After meeting Sarah’s friends, good reports were making their way back to her in Texas. Perhaps her feelings were changing? His were growing.

The long phone calls continued. Feelings began to deepen. Kirk’s next visit was a pivotal moment in the relationship. Knowing this, they felt both excitement and not a little trepidation.

Although the uneasiness continued throughout the first day, Sarah realized the next morning that she wanted him to kiss her. He was debating whether he would kiss her or not, for he had never kissed a girl before–at least not since the age of 7.

That evening as they ate at her favorite local pub, they realized that this was the real thing and they wanted the relationship to go further. That night they shared their first kiss…his, for the first time ever {if you don’t count the seven year old incident?}. The phone calls increased to every day.

After meeting each others’ families during the holidays, the talk of rings crept into the conversation. There was one memorable moment between them at a New York City diner when Kirk introduced the subject of marriage by using the word hypothetically. She gladly adopted this label and used it often and with humor whenever the subject was raised thereafter–at least until the ring became something more than a conversation.

As winter and spring rolled around and more visits occurred between them, serious talk about marriage grew, and a ring was designed –with the assistance of a local jeweler friend in New York City who had worked for Tiffany’s.

Since long distance relationships mean fewer times when they actually got to see each other face to face, surprising Sarah with a marriage proposal proved difficult and needed careful planning. Kirk decided to make a surprise visit to Orlando just days before an anticipated rendezvous in New Orleans for Katrina Relief work.

After enlisting the help of her two best friends in Orlando an elaborate ruse was devised that involved champagne, her favorite flower–ranunculus, more poetry, her grandmother’s jewelry box, and the important question ‘Will you marry me?’

She agreed.

The completion of this story occured in Waxahachie, Texas on October 6th, 2007 where it wasn’t so much an end as a beginning

…a beginning for which they’d both been waiting a long time.