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Posts Tagged ‘proposal’

How It All Began…

I was 29, single, and a sole trader of a successful pet wellness center in western New York. My friend Stacey, knowing I’m out of the techno loop, says “You should get a myspace.” After looking at her like she had 3 heads she realized I had no idea what she was talking about. Long story short she got me set up with an account. A few months later I find out that myspace is also used in Ireland. So I start browsing people to see if they had pictures of the most beautiful country I only dreamed I could visit. I came across quite a few and decided to email ten of them to get information on taking a vacation there the following year. Knowing I would have to go alone I thought it best to make a few friends over there before I went.  I’d started researching places to see in Ireland a few years back and decided 2007 was the year to make that trip happen.

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From the ten emails I sent, four responded.  All giving excellent advice on places to stay, sites to see, car rentals, and even voltage converters.  One person in particular, Anton Mannering, was extremely helpful. He told me I “didn’t have to be so formal” with my emails either. Thank God he couldn’t see me blushing from 4000 miles away. So I relaxed and he and I became myspace buddies. We kept in casual contact for a few weeks and then I decided to be bold and give him my phone number (mainly to hear his accent).

One night around 11:30 my phone rings and a distant man’s voice came on the line. In an accent I couldn’t recognize while being half asleep I heard, “Is Jessi there?” I replied, “This is” and asked who was calling. He must have said his name about 5 times before the penny finally dropped.  Again with the blushing and my many emphatic apologies for being so daft, we finally started our first chat. He kept me up until 1am (6am GMT)  and then let me go just to toss and turn all night because of the amazing conversation I’d had with an hot Irishman. Come to find out it took a couple pints for him to get the nerve to call in the first place. So adorable.

So the emails turned to phone calls and the phone calls advanced to web cams. We became the best of friends talking about anything and everything. We really confided in each other about our deepest secrets. I felt instantly comfortable talking to him and knew no matter what I said he would understand.

I finally decided to buy my ticket to the Emerald Isle in October 2006 for the following May. I hated having to wait 7 months to go on a trip I’d been fantasizing about for 5 years but I figured what’s another few extra months. A few of my friends thought I was crazy for booking a trip alone to a country 5 time zones away and suggested he come visit me first. I posed this to him and he graciously accepted my invitation as a tour-guide to western New York. He said he’d never been to the States and that this would be an excellent excuse to go.  So we booked it. He was to arrive in February of 2007.

Well with western New York weather being as it is his trip had to be postponed for a month. He finally arrived on March 2. We’d agreed prior to him coming that we would only be friends so we wouldn’t ruin what we’d been building for so long. I told him moving to Ireland wasn’t an option because my business was really taking off and I couldn’t leave it.

Day 1

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So the day comes that Anton is arriving. I’m so excited that I got ready 5 hours before I had to be at the airport and arrived at the airport 2 hours before his flight is scheduled to land.  And again with the weather not cooperating his flight was delayed another few hours. So a flight that was supposed to land at 5pm didn’t get in until 9pm. By this time the excitement was turning to impatience and I was about to kill someone if he didn’t arrive soon. Well, let’s just say that all melted away when he finally showed.

He called me as he got off the plane and told me he was walking toward baggage claim. Not realizing the baggage claim was downstairs outside the terminal, he walked right by me. I watched this happen and practically jumped him trying to get his attention. I get clumsy when I’m nervous. The second he turned around and was only a breath away from me, I melted. I couldn’t believe how blue his eyes were. Web cams do no justice. He was gorgeous, charming, and HERE!

 Just friends? Yea right.

We hugged and fumbled over each other for a few minutes giggling like idiots and blushing ten shades of red (me). We finally got sorted and walked to baggage. I just about cut off the circulation in his arm because I was holding on so tight. I kept repeating, ‘I can’t believe you’re really here.’ The bags took their time showing up and I couldn’t have cared less. Normally I would be cussing up a storm at this point but considering I couldn’t take my eyes off this gorgeous Irishman, it wasn’t a concern.Our first kiss was at the airport. A voice in my head kept saying, ‘What are you doing? Keep your head on straight,’ but my heart wasn’t hearing a word of it.

We finally got back to my place around 11pm.  I offered Anton a glass of wine and full rights to take a shower and relax. After 15 hours of travel I guessed he was a bit tired. We spent most of the night chatting (and kissing) and me trying to convince myself that this wasn’t the most amazing man I’d ever met. ‘Trying’ being the operative word.

Day 5

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By this time we were smitten and decided to take the relationship to the next level. We were boyfriend/girlfriend. I was head over heels in love with him but hadn’t said it yet. All week long Anton went to work with me, met my friends, and saw what America was really like. He liked it fine, but I think his mind was on something else. That night we decided to rent a few movies. When we got back to the house I showed him a short story I had been writing. It was about an American girl who goes to Ireland, meets the man of her dreams, and lives happily ever after. He read it and when I saw the look on his face, I asked him what was wrong. He replied, ‘It’s good, but Irish guys don’t fall that fast.’ In which I replied,’that’s why it’s fiction.’ He then laughed and said,’you’re funny, but I love you.’ Realizing what he had just said, he took a deep breath, let out a gasp and looked around the room for a way to change the subject. I couldn’t help but laugh at how awkward he felt, so to make him feel better I suggested watching one of the movies.  Irish guys don’t fall that fast? Ha! 

Day 8

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This was the best day of the whole week. This was the day we decided to go to Canada and go gambling. We walked around Ontario hitting the shops, casinos, and seeing Niagara Falls almost frozen solid. It was a great day. We decided not to make it an overnight trip so we could hit the bars in my home town. Living walking distance from the center of town had it’s perks. Well we bar hopped and finally got home around 2am. We sat on the kitchen floor talking about love, relationships, heartache, and the future. Then it happened. Anton paused and stared at me for a few seconds. I asked him what was wrong and he just smiled and said, ‘Jessica Lynn Roy, will you marry me?’.  The only thing I could do, my only reply to this irrational, unexpected question was, ‘Yes’.

                            On March 10th 2007 at 2:35am my life changed forever.

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