It seems like yesterday that Jason and I were on the beaches of Punta Cana, reciting our vows, surrounded by 81 of our closest family and friends. Looking back, I don’t think I’ve ever shared the story of how Jason and I met, or how we got engaged.
For starters, Jason and I met in a Hampton share house. Back in my Laundry by Shelli Segal days, my co-workers and I would rent a house in the Hamptons, shared with like 10-15 other people each summer. This lasted four or five years, and I can tell you these were the days! Our summers started on Memorial Day weekend, and ended a week or two after Labor Day! With summer Fridays kicking in full gear, our bags were packed on Thursday nights, so we would flee New York City to spend as much time as possible out east. I can’t count how many Monday mornings I stumbled into work after taking a 5am bus or train back from our house.
Wait, let’s get back to how Jason and I met. So, for my first two years with a house, Jason didn’t have a share, because he was out in Los Angeles. I always heard his name, and may have met him during an off season when our housemates would get together around the holidays. All of the guys in our house went to college together, and called each other by their fraternity pledge name. Jason’s name was Homey! Finally, in our third year of doing a house, “Homey, myself, and our other friend happened to be the co-signers on the lease for the summer. I had to meet up with him so we could sign the paperwork, and remember being totally attracted to him. Like it was yesterday, I remember telling a friend, “I think I like that Homey guy.”
That was the year our love story began, and we dated for another four, or maybe even five full years before he actually popped the question. We moved in together after three years of dating, around the same time I started my showroom. Jason was such a huge help and my biggest supporter during this time in my life. Eventually, lots of my friends were getting engaged and married, so I started to put the screws to him for a ring. I told him if we weren’t engaged by the end of the year, he had to move out.
Well one day, I remember him calling me at work one day, saying that we were heading the Hamptons for the weekend. During this particular summer we didn’t get a share house because of my growing business, which kept me working or on the road almost every weekend. I was under an immense amount of stress, so I was excited to be headed away for the weekend. We stayed at his friend Dave’s little cottage which was perfect for the two of us. Saturday, all day on the beach, I continued to ride him about taking our relationship to the next level, this time escalating my time line of moving out, threatening to leave by the end of the summer without a commitment. He promised it would happen soon, but I was skeptical.
That evening, he suggested we go to the beach to watch the sunset. I remember being so tired, and asked if we could take a nap first. When we woke up, Jason jumped up to hurry us along. I was still exhausted but he insisted we make it to the beach. I caved, but made him stop at the Starbucks on the way so I could get some coffee. Little did I know Jason was completing panicking that we may not make it to the beach before the sun set.
We pulled up to the beach, and noticed caterers setting up for a wedding party on the sand. I gave Jason the dirtiest look, referencing to the wedding setup and how that should be ours. He rolled his eyes and nodded his head, as we made our way down the beach. We settled on our blanket, and I continued the painful conversation about commitment. He pled with me to be patient, that he loved me, and it would happen soon. As we sat there, I was surprised that he pulled out a bottle of champagne. I told him I hadn’t realized he brought that with him. I was still frustrated as he reached back into the bag, so I was sarcastically asked him if he was about to break out a sandwich. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Out came a black ring box, with most beautiful engagement ring I had ever seen. He barely got the words out, as we both burst into tears. Somehow, at that exact moment that I said yes, the fireworks from the wedding we passed on the beach starting going off. And as if that weren’t enough, we saw three shooting stars overhead that evening. He got me. He got me good. And he still has me!
So that is how our love story began. Maybe I will share the details of our wedding in another post!
Cheers to 12 amazing years Mr. Manz!