Happy President's Day everyone!
Before we get to today's big announcement, I wanted to say a huge Thank You to each of the participants to our Lucky in Love Challenge. You not only shared your story with our team, but gave our readers amazing hope and inspiration this Valentine's Day.
We're proud of each of you for having found a partner so perfectly suited to you. Each of you is truly already Lucky in Love...
Finding a winner was such an agonizing task and we spent a lot of time reading and re-reading each of your stories. In the end, we choose a couple who's story we felt exemplified unique characteristics that set them apart from the rest.
And with that, we are pleased to announce our winners... (drum roll please)
Marquina's original entry:
Our love story is about a New York rock-chick – me - meets tough on the outside, sensitive on the inside Architect - Dan. We are a unique combination of bleeding-edge art babe + functional design dude. We are our best when we express our very different personalities, yet embrace the unique characteristics of the other.
A little about me: in social situations, I play the role of the 'fun chick' - and by that I mean, the girl you call when you wanted to forget your troubles and have an adventure! To go out & just have fun. I love to entertain people, because that's what I've always done; either with karaoke, air guitar, dj-ing a party, or just joking around about every day life. I was mostly interested in someone a good time, and not discussing the details, or touching on anything personal. Before meeting Dan, I never revealed anything personal about myself - as defense mechanism, a New York survival skill - so I wouldn't get hurt. Inside I felt, ‘if you don't know me, you can't hurt me’ - so let’s forget the messy details and just have a good time!
In Dan, I found a truly kind, introspective, caring heart. He has a quiet strength and is confident without being cocky. Dan makes me feel confident too, and he believes in me. Dan makes me a better person. He is my backbone, yet are very opposite; an architect and an artist.
Our How-We-Met Story:
I met Dan, or rather - I pursued Dan- by following him into the bar Von on Bleeker St. He caught my eye immediately! Love at first sight! Or, at least a mondo-piqued curiosity. ;)
It was after work - around 7pm - on a Friday in June 2006 (Dan remembers it because it was the first day of the World Cup.) I had just left my job, but changed out of my work clothes in the bathroom so I could rock out! And sing karaoke with my friend Heidi before hitting a club. Suddenly, not ten minutes out the door, this guy chatting on his cell phone crosses our path. I stop dead in my tracks and was like, 'Heidi - woah. Do you see that guy?' She was not having it, and didn't want me to ditch our karaoke plans to speak to this new dude - but I did anyway. Dan was talking on his cell phone outside Von, so I flashed him a smile as I walked into the bar. I ordered a drink but waited for him to come in. I was nervous. sweaty.
In Von, there are mirrors angled on the ceiling so you can be facing one direction and see what is happening behind you. This allows me to face Heidi & look like I'm having a conversation with my back to the door, while waiting for the hot guy to enter the bar.
I am so nervous & don't know what I'm going to say, but I walk up to him - <<Little did I know, Dan was watching me in the angled mirrors too & he swiveled around as I approached him>>> he's flanked by 2 friends now who have met him at Von - I say: 'Hi, I'm Marquina. If you want the chance to get to know me, you're going to have to come to a club at 9pm and I'll put you on the list - what's your name?'
--- eee! I'm try so hard to play cool; confident. My typical modus operandi ---
I find out his name is Dan --- Yes! I got his name SUCCESS! --- and I scrawl the address of the club where Heidi and I will be later & say "Tell 'em at the door that you're with me and you don't have to pay cover. I'll be waiting." - I am so nervous after delivering this statement, that I bolt out the door – DRAMA! In my haste, I momentarily forget that Heidi is still inside! Outside, I text her & apologize for freaking out and leaving the bar without finishing our drink. She receives the text, leaves Von and we carry on with our evening. I'm giddy and hope hope hope to see Dan later.
Here is his version of our meeting:
Well, when I first met Marquina, she was dressed like a pretty hard-core rock star. So I thought it was just gunna be fun to go out and have a good time. It was innocent - not like a 'hook up' or anything. I wasn't looking for like, 'tail' or anything like that at all. She seemed like a fun chick and I was curious to get to know her. It’s rare you meet someone who is instantly intriguing, but also has a good heart.
As it turned out, she was really great. I kissed her later that night because she didn't believe that I was going to call her. I gave her my number on a gum wrapper and put her number in my phone.
Luckily, I didn't judge her by her ‘look’ because she appeared completely different the second time we met. There was no emotional distance between us. She is a really nice and an incredible person - that's why I'm marrying her. And, it’s interesting to remember that my first impression that she was this wild rock person.
Our first date was a week later. I decided to show Dan the real me, and to shed the harsh exterior. We had great conversation over dinner. Dan is patient, kind and has a heart of gold. I decided this guy was so great that I could be comfortable tearing all my walls down. For the first time, someone took the time to really 'see' me and not my tough I-can-take-on-anything exterior.
Dan proposed to me in the Naumberg Band Shell near Bethesda Fountain in Central Park – my favorite place! That area is my favorite because it’s where the tree-lined mall ends and where all the rollerbladers spin around and perform tricks. The band shell reminds me of dancing on stage – my first love!
If you haven't gotten the opportunity to read all of the entries, please take some time to do so - we promise you will not be disappointed...
Marquina + Dan, CONGRATULATIONS to you both! We'll be in touch soon!!
A big thank you also to the following bloggers for helping us to spread the word about this contest: