Okay, so I admit it -- meeting someone online was not exactly appealing to me. However, a good friend of mine told me I should try it. I figured I'd give it a one-month subscription and that's it... I guessed it couldn't hurt. Within one week, I had contacted everyone I was going to contact; it was the next day that I got a response back from Matt.
After a few emails, we exchanged numbers. Matt wanted to meet in person. He did not want to do dinner (why sit through dinner if there's no chemistry). So, we met on February 7, 2002 at Macaroni Grill, "just for drinks." Much to my surprise, Matt asked if I wanted to sit down for dinner. He thought we could move to the "next' level. I obliged. Everything went great. But, the night did not end there. When I got home, I called him to see if he would be interested in meeting up with my friends. So, we "re-met" (on what we call "Part II" of the first date) for drinks with our friends, Jodi and Adam. Right off the bat, we connected. We both felt like we'd known each other for a while, not just a few hours.
Now onto the engagement…
About a week or so before "the big night," Matt said he had confirmed all plans of the night's activities for our one-year anniversary (February 7, 2003). At first, he was keeping it a secret, and then, he decided to tell me what we were going to do (since it wasn't going to be surprise... a proposal was never even a consideration). He said we would have dinner at Splashes, a restaurant on the beach in Laguna Beach (nice choice), and afterwards, we would go to a show, and he asked me to dress accordingly.
As we hopped in the car, he was looking at a piece of paper, which was the printout of the online receipt for the play we were going to see. I looked at it; it looked real to me.
We got to the restaurant just before sunset, and I wanted to open our presents before dinner so he could see (before the sun went down) and appreciate my gift (I made him a scrapbook depicting our first year together). Meanwhile, Matt had a little bag with him that was filled with stuff, and he explained that he didn't want to open presents until later (he said he had some cute things and didn't want to open them in the middle of the restaurant). That is normal for Matt, so I thought nothing of it. He compromised and decided he'd give me the "big" gift now and the cute things later.
Well, he opened my scrapbook, and I opened my gift, a nice bracelet watch. After dinner, we had time before we had to catch the show, so he wanted to walk on the beach. Me, being the chick that I am, said "no" at first because I didn't want to get sand in my shoes. Matt was driven; he noted that I was wearing boots and it would be romantic to take a quick stroll on the sand. I obliged.
We walked about thirty feet when he decided to stop near some stairs to open the cute presents... In case you're wondering, I was still clueless.
First, he presented me with a cute stuffed animal. Then, he handed me a lightly wrapped box that he said was handmade. I opened it up to find a blue velvety pillow-top box with silver tassels dangling from the corners. On top was a note. He could not decide if I should read the note first or open the box first. He finally settled with "open the box first."
I opened the box. Inside sat a miniature glass slipper with engravings. I removed the slipper, and he sat it atop the box. One side it said "Amy and Matt," and the other said "February 7, 2003." The gift was two-fold. One, the engravings were to commemorate our one year anniversary together. And two, since Matt was Prince Charming at Disneyland and his screen name on 100hookup.com was AFKA (the Artist Formerly Known As) Prince Charming, he told me that he finally found his Cinderella, his Princess. Very cute idea.
He then proceeded to read the beautiful, self-composed poem that was originally atop the box. As he read the last line of the poem, "I pledge my love to you forever," he got down on one knee and proposed, "Amy, will you marry me?"
I was SHOCKED! The ring was/is stunning! It took a good minute or two of clinging onto him to absorb the reality of it all, collecting myself, controlling my quivering and trying to speak. In fact, Matt had to ask again, and I responded with a resounding "YES!" We laughed, cried and talked for a while on the stairs...
Then, we called for his car from the valet. Matt, the joker that he is, opened the door to this random, black stretch limousine that parked itself right in front me. I looked at him as if to say, "What are you doing?!" He looked at me and said, "Well, we can't just hop in my car after getting engaged." I jumped in - head first!
So, then I was in the balloon-filled limo sipping Dom Perignon (which he had put inside ahead of time) and calling my parents, when he told me we weren't going to a show, rather we were headed to a five-star hotel, the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. (He even had a suitcase packed with my clothes and makeup, which was already loaded in the limo.)
In the suite he reserved for the night were chocolate-covered strawberries (one of my favorites) and a welcome note from his cousin Adrian who was a manager there. It said: "To Mr. Matthew Sitzman and Fiancée." (WOW, "fiancée." I was getting married!)
There's so much more to that weekend and the following weekend -- more surprises and more elation. There's more to tell but that's the engagement night in a nutshell. Big nutshell, I know!
We got married on February 7, 2004 at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa. It was a beautiful wedding with all of our closest friends and family and was the fairy tale wedding we'd dreamed of. The rest is history or, shall I say, the Beginning.
Amy and Matt
Newport Beach and Irvine, CA