How we met

We met, as so many couples have met throughout the centuries: online. Ben was a First Sergeant with the Albemarle County Police Department, and Chris was (and still is) a Professor at the University of Virginia. You can imagine how difficult it was to arrange our first date! After a month of chatting and getting to know one another, we decided that a breakfast date would have to work. We met for breakfast at Marie Bette in Charlottesville. Breakfast turned into lunch, lunch turned into drinks, drinks turned into a lifetime together! 

Our Engagement

We got engaged on December 5, 2019 - one year after our first date. Ben really wanted to go to Richmond just to "get away for the weekend" and to attend a fancy Christmas party. Chris, with his love of fancy everything, said yes. So, Ben picked up Chris from UVA on his last day of teaching for the semester and they headed to Richmond. Ben was oddly quiet on the drive, while Chris chatted away about his day and munched on cold pizza. Our first stop was to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens to check out their Christmas display of lights. It was stunning, but Ben was upset because it was SPCA day and the Gardens were full of dogs in sweaters (for the record, Ben was upset because he wanted privacy, not because he has anything against dogs in sweaters). Chris was in heaven - Christmas lights with his boyfriend and wiener dogs in sweaters! What could be better? We found a quiet place to take a selfie (Ben, of course had other ideas), and as Chris was getting his smile on, Ben went down on one knee and proposed! Chris ugly cried and said yes! The rest is history! 

The Ring!

Ben is the most creative, thoughtful and visionary person Chris has ever met (Chris is writing this). Chris's engagement ring features 5 diamonds to symbolize December 5th (the day we got engaged). The cubic weight of the diamonds is the numerical average between Ben and Chris's birth dates. The best part is that Ben had the ring custom made and forged and had the jeweler blast Whitney Houston while she was making the ring. Chris's engagement ring is literally infused with the amazingness of Whitney! 

When Chris proposed to Ben, Chris reached out to the same jeweler and had an identical ring made, only this time, he had the jeweler blast Tina Turner as she forged the metal!

Chris Proposes to Ben

There are no rules for gay proposals, and Chris wanted his chance to surprise Ben. Valentine's Day 2020 began with our water heater breaking and the spending of a lot of money. it was also the day Chris planned to propose to Ben. He debated delaying his proposal because of the damned heater, but then realized that life and love are not about perfect moments, but those gloriously imperfect days and moments that define a relationship. So he dressed the dogs up in their finest, and as Ben came home, all the dogs sat, Chris got on one knee, and Ben cried his eyes out. 

Our Pack

When we met, Chris had his trusty four legged companion, Tuna, and Ben had his "kids", Stella and Titan. Moving in together, therefore meant not only combining wardrobes, but blending our families. From day 1, Titan and Tuna got along famously, but Stella needed some convincing. Thankfully, with the help of the world's best dog trainer, and a month supply of anti-anxiety medication, Stella welcomed Tuna to the family. Today, they are an inseparable pack. We are all one pack, one family, and we couldn't be happier.