Bridget and JP planned their engagement along the scenic stretch of the High Line to commemorate their first two engagements. There have been three! Read on for the whole love story.
JP shares, “If you’ve had a conversation with Bridget in the last four years, you’ve probably heard this story before. But it’s a good one!
Bridget interviewed me for the position of boyfriend. Actually, Bridget was supposed to be interviewing me for the position of attorney at the Legal Aid Society. She was a forensic social worker there and on the hiring committee, and I had just graduated from law school. When I walked into the interview room, Bridget thought, “he looked good on paper, but he looks FANTASTIC in person.” (OK, I added that part.) Bridget made sure the appropriate boxes were checked, and I was hired.
As it turned out, when I walked into that interview room and saw the panel of five people, I immediately noticed the apparently demure girl in the back left corner. My actual thought at the time was “she definitely isn’t single.” But I took note that she was named Bridget and that she was a social worker.
That interview was May 2012. I didn’t move to New York and start the job until nearly four months later, in September. But I didn’t forget about Bridget. So you can imagine my consternation when, well into the second week on the job, I had been introduced to all the social workers. . . but. . . no Bridget. Finally, as nonchalantly as I could muster, I asked someone, “wasn’t there a blonde social worker who used to work here?” And they said, “Oh, that’s Bridget. She’s been on vacation in Croatia. She’ll be back on Monday.” Faith in the universe restored.
The ensuing courtship was tentative and shy, but aided by unreserved colleagues who, not even knowing if we were interested in each other, decided we should become a couple. “JP, you’re single. Bridget is single. You should date her.” “JP, do you like chocolate? Bridget likes chocolate. You should take her to a chocolate shop.” And “So have you guys made out yet, or what?” These things were said when both of us were in the same room. The obvious embarrassment was highly entertaining to everyone else, apparently.
Well, the joke was on them. We had our first kiss outside the office Christmas party and our first date a few days later. And we managed to keep the whole thing a secret from co-workers until Bridget transferred out of the unit 3 months later.”
Bridget shares the story of how they got engaged, but first JP defines it as: “Slowly. With much prodding. And in three stages.”
She says, “I call JP “Peter Pan” because he is, according to me, “the boy who doesn’t want to grow up.” And so three years and six months after we started dating (JP says this is approximately three years, five months and 29 days after I was ready to get engaged), I announced to JP that I was going to propose TO HIM on August 11, 2016. JP rolled with it.
So I made reservations at Mario Batali’s swankiest restaurant, and then took JP up to the adjacent High Line Park after dinner. I said some lovely things, got down on one knee, and popped the question. To my utmost surprise, JP was actually prepared for the moment. He pulled out a legal pad and flipped through a series of previously written messages (a la “Love Actually”) that included, of course, a “YES!” Engagement #1. But then, another of JP’s notes said that until he could afford a proper engagement ring, he’d like me to wear a Claddagh ring as a substitute. JP pulled it out from his pocket, got down on HIS knee and put it on my finger. Engagement #2.
JP continues, “Fast forward a few weeks. We were walking along the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park when Bridget spotted an old brick façade where someone had written in chalk: “Will You Marry Me?” Bridget decided it would be funny—since we were newly engaged—if I stood by it and she took his picture. But as she snapped the photo, she realized I had a black ring box in my hand. Completely and utterly shocked—again, this was the procrastinatory and cash-poor schlub who couldn’t get it together enough to propose to her first—she approached. I opened the box: it was Bridget’s grandmother’s wedding ring! In the weeks since the initial proposal, her paternal aunts Arleen and Kathy had reached out to me and made the tremendously touching and generous offer to pass the ring on. We pulled the Claddagh ring off her finger, and replaced it with the real thing.
So…Bridget didn’t know if she was ever going to get engaged, but it eventually happened. Kind of three times. She can relax now.”
Bridget adds, “Oh, and JP didn’t write the “Will you marry me” message in chalk. He had been walking around with the ring box in his pocket, waiting for the right moment, and it presented itself.” JP has told me he recognizes that he is quite a lucky dog when it comes to Bridget, and really hopes the streak continues!
This is the spot, with it’s quiet corner, where they both got down on one knee and they both said “YES!”
They will be getting married in Manhattan this September. Congratulations you guys!