Not long after I first launched Ask the Yangxifu in January 2010, I received an e-mail from an American woman named Michelle about her burgeoning relationship with Kwan, a Chinese-American man she just met. Never did I imagine that, more than two years later, I would follow Michelle and Kwan throughout their relationship (through Michelle’s occasional e-mails) — right through to their engagement and marriage plans.
What a thrill. This is the first couple I’ve ever had the privilege to follow from their first meeting to marriage.
But even better, Michelle agreed to share her story with us for Double Happiness — how she met Kwan, and how he proposed to her. Michelle, I wish you and Kwan báitóuxiélǎo (白头偕老, may the bride and groom live to a ripe old age together)!
Kwan and I met on an online dating site called OkCupid.com in January of 2010. As I was scrolling through my “matches”, I noticed this incredibly big smile rolling by. I had to stop, and when I saw Kwan’s face for the first time I just remember how happy he looked, and how handsome he was. As I looked through his profile it seemed that we shared a sense of adventure, a love of rock music and an appreciation of nature. Since I’m not an old-fashioned girl by any means, I approached Kwan rather than waiting and hoping he’d notice me. The crazy thing is I wasn’t taking the whole online thing too seriously, so I had posted this picture of me dressed in a terrifying gargoyle costume. You couldn’t even see my face other than my eyes, ha ha ha. I had other pictures uploaded of course, ones that showed how I really looked, but I figured anyone I would want to talk to would have to get through the gargoyle-face first. Well, he was intrigued enough to click on my name, and I guess he liked my profile too because before long we were having three-hour phone conversations almost every night. For our first date we met at Penn Station in NYC, and had a fantastic night out on the town watching an Indie film, eating Mexican food and going to a live rock show. At the end of the date he asked me, “Would it be inappropriate to ask for a kiss?” Maybe it would be, but that was so adorable I couldn’t resist. It was in that first kiss that I thought, “Oh wow, I’m in trouble!” It was that first kiss that would bind us together for the rest of our lives. We dated casually for a few months, but by the summer we had decided we just didn’t want to be with anyone else. And the rest is history.
It was our second anniversary, and although we had talked about getting engaged, and married, and starting a family many times before, I had no idea Kwan had actually prepared to propose for over a month. He had spoken to my parents and my sister one day when we were out on Long Island visiting and I hadn’t a clue! He had asked one of my best friends to go with him to pick out a beautiful ring, and again I was blissfully unaware. By the morning of our second anniversary Kwan had been hiding a ring in the back of his wardrobe for over a month already, yes right under my nose and I was completely clueless! He had been so nervous, so excited that he just couldn’t take it any more. He had plans to do one thing or another, but at 7am while we were in the middle of breakfast Kwan snuck over to the wardrobe and grabbed something. He came over to me as I was snacking on the last bits of our eggs and toast and starting telling me how much he loved me, and how he wanted to be with me forever. (I still wasn’t getting it.) The next thing I know there was a ring box on the table, and he was on one knee next to me. I was speechless, and just started hugging and kissing him. We were engaged! It was such a whirlwind, and so wonderful. It’s the happiest day of my life so far, and we just can’t wait to get married. Just a few weeks ago our families met for the first time and everything went fantastically well. Now we’re planning a beautiful rustic farm wedding set for August of 2013. I’m such a lucky lady, because I found the most amazing man to spend the rest of my life with.
Michelle Cullen writes a blog about her career change from teaching to book publishing at Michelle In Turn. Her passion for middle grade and YA books comes second only to the love of her life, Kwan, and their special dog Buddy.
How did you meet? Why do you love him/her (or Chinese men/Western women)? How two different people “complete each other” in unexpected ways? We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.