Clear Cut Couples: Yves and TJ
In 2016 Yvette (Yves) and TJ had a close "almost-meeting,"where TJ was an attendee at a joint going away party in San Francisco's Dolores Park. Somehow, he managed to meet all of Yves' friends, make it into the background of her then-profile picture, but not meet her.
They did meet in August 2018 at that year's Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, NV. They were both in the same camp, brought together by some of the same folks who were at Dolores park two years prior.
He was instantly transfixed. Whenever she was away from the camp, he would make the rounds with her friends, "I'm in love with Yves; tell her." She had a boyfriend at the time, so all of his attempts were rebuked, but he never lost conviction.
Fast forward a few months. It's mid-October and TJ was in a car headed for SFO, where he was going to catch a flight to visit Yves and her two friends in Chicago to celebrate Yves' birthday. To his knowledge, she still had a boyfriend, but he was obsessed to the point that he would have settled for just being friends with her and her partner if it meant spending more time with her. As soon as he got in the car, his friend texted, "Guess what?" TJ swore he had an experience of premonition, and more or less knew the answer, "Yves and her boyfriend split up."
He has a tendency to be verbose, and he was left silent. They had a great, mostly platonic weekend. Before leaving, he confessed his attraction to her in a much more direct way than he had at Burning Man. It was reciprocated and from there things started to blossom. They have been together officially, 2 years.
They have shared so many incredible memories over the years! Burning Man is a special place for them. As is San Francisco - this where they both blossomed as adults, and where they made the friends that brought them together. In May 2019 they took a very special trip to Mykonos, Greece. TJ actually crashed her best friend's wedding, flying in from India by way of South Africa dressed like a full on 70s era spiritual seeker. In Greece, they realized that this wasn't a fantasy, that it was real, and that really they didn't have any choice but to give it their best shot. During the pandemic they also had an awesome experiment with nomad-living that was also their first time cohabitating. They traveled and worked through Portland, Boise, New Orleans, Miami and Mexico before settling down in NYC where they live now.
TJ proposed on Labor Day 2021 in Dolores Park, SF, the place where they almost met but didn't quite meet in 2016. Burning Man also happens around Labor Day weekend, so the timing was intentional. They had been to the park a few days prior, so he made up a bit of a story about how he wanted to have a date-night at Cha-Cha-Cha a Santeria-themed Caribbean restaurant in the area, for this very specific creamy shrimp dish. (Yves is half-Cuban, and so this all clicked in his mind - plus he really really wanted the dish).
When they got to the park, TJ was coordinating with a photographer to find a decent spot to get on one knee. When they found the right spot, she sat down first so he had to ask her to stand back up. When she did, she started suspecting that something was up. As soon as he pulled the ring out, she started crying, and a few hundred people started to cheer in rolling, rounds of applause. They even ended up knowing someone in the crowd!
TJ got down on one knee and gave her the context on the timing and location, and actually forgot to say, "will you marry me?" She let him know over shrimp and sangria later, and he made sure to seal the deal. TJ had worked with her friends and her sister to get the exact ring she wanted without involvement from her, so everything went off without a hitch. It was perfect! As for their wedding plans, they are still working that out! Congrats you two! We are SO happy for you!