Absolutely Our Kind of Perfect
Written by Rob on September 16, 2013
Rob Schultz&Sara Crytzer
On the walk over to my bag, where the engagement ring was carefully concealed, my mind began to race and my knees became shaky. I wasn’t worried about whether or not she would turn down my proposal, but I just couldn’t believe that I was finally going to propose to someone that I loved so dearly. My cheeks started to tingle and I could feel my lips becoming flush. I nervously smiled, amused at how my body was reacting. Just then, my brother bent over next to me and said “How do you feel?” I felt amazing. Retrieving the ring from my bag I stood up and approached her.
I turned around; he held an open box and was down on one knee. I looked down at his beautiful blue eyes; I could read the excitement and nervousness on his face. Quickly glimpsing at the sparkling ring inside the box, I could feel the warmth rush to my face and my hands begin the tremble. Even though we were surrounded by people we loved, the rest of the world disappeared for a moment.
I had a speech prepared. That’s what I do — plan, practice, and repeat. Like clockwork. This approach has helped me deliver three respectable best man speeches and countless corporate presentations, but when she turned around the words evaporated. I had tunnel vision. My eyes quickly darted around as I rushed to absorb everything that was perfect about her in this moment. Her eyes, her smile, her hair. She quite literally took my breath away. Fighting back tears of joy, I muttered “Sara, I love you. Will you marry me?”
There we stood under a shade tree at The Point. It was a five minute walk from the spot where were first met and from where Rob first met Ryan.
However, this beautiful path we are walking down has taken us so long to get to where we are today. Our story is proof that God truly has better plans for us than we could ever make on our own.
If we ventured up the street to PPG Plaza, I would tell you this is where Rob and I first met. I was working at health and nutrition store where Rob took his lunch breaks with his coworkers and would get a smoothie. Our short, nearly daily conversations were left to things about school and work. I would mention my classes were going well and he would tell me about his work travels, all this during the minute and a half it took for the screaming blender in the background to make the shake. We’d exchange smiles and goodbyes… it was something I’d look forward to everyday.
Though I know that there was always a blender making a racket in the background I rarely heard it. My time with Sara was always brief and I was always focused on our conversations. I looked forward to them daily.
One day I mustered up the courage to ask her out. With my heart trying to climb out of my throat I walked into the store, only to discover that Sara wasn’t there. I asked her manager if she would be in that day. He said “No.” As I turned to walk out the door I stopped, turned around and said “I don’t want to sound like a creeper or anything, but… Do you know if Sara is seeing anyone?”
He laughed. I shuffled my feet nervously.
He looked at me and said “You know you’re like the 20th guy to ask me that today, right? She’s dating someone.” I shuffled even more nervously, apologized, and walked back to my office. We met at a time where neither one of us fit into each other’s lives, but I always hoped that would change someday.
Have you ever just wanted to know someone? Rob was that person to me. He was polite, cheerful and had a great presence about him. He always walked in with a smile on his face, let his friends order before him and held the door for those behind him. I didn’t know anything about him, other than these little things that told me he was a good person. I admired that.
I wanted to know anything and everything that I could about Sara. I could tell from her eyes, her very gentle and kind eyes, that she was a special soul. Unfortunately, we would no longer be able to see each other daily. My interest in aggressively climbing the corporate ladder led me to pursue another job outside of the city.
On April 13th, 2007, Rob came in and ordered his last smoothie. He explained he was starting a new job somewhere else and wouldn’t be working in the area anymore. I boldly (at least for me), wrote down my email address on the top of a receipt and told him to keep in touch.
When Sara handed me her email address, I was elated. Something in our conversations had peaked her interest as well. Unfortunately, while packing up my office, the receipt was lost.
It was a total letdown when I never heard from him*, but I wished him the best wherever he was at.
I ransacked my home office looking for that receipt. How could I lose touch with her?
Fate laughed at me.
For years, we lost contact and ventured deeply down our separate paths. Time passed and brought many changes; both in careers and personal lives. During this time, I gave birth to my son, Ryan.
Sara found me on Facebook and sent me a friend request. The name sounded familiar, but I’m terrible at names, and a number of years had passed. When I finally realized that it was her I just stared at the computer screen for a couple of moments. She had a son, and they seemed very happy. I was genuinely happy for them. He was cute. She was glowing.
I sat back in my home office chair, sighed, and thought “That’s a beautiful kid.”
I was beside myself with excitement when we eventually reconnected through Facebook. It took time before actually meeting up in person, but it felt amazing to see him again after so many years. Even though we didn’t know a whole lot about each other, I always felt somehow connected to him. He was so easy to talk to and when we would get together time seemed to stand still but hours would pass by.
Our newfound friendship quickly surpassed the superficial conversations that we had many years ago. The more I learned about Sara the more I knew that I loved her. I could feel her falling in love with me as well.
Things quickly became serious. Which meant that I needed to seriously think about Ryan as well. I became exceptionally nervous. What did I know about children? I knew about business meetings. I knew about late nights in front of a computer working on pivot tables. I knew nothing about children.
I mean, I knew that I wanted to have children, and even knew that I one day wanted to adopt a child. But that all seemed like a distant thought. It wasn’t.
When the time felt right, I introduced Rob to my son Ryan. We met downtown at The Point to stroll through the Three Rivers Arts Festival. After a couple hours of running around in the grass and eating cotton candy, Rob helped us back to our car. Things continued to go wonderfully from there.
From the day Ryan and Rob met, over two years passed by. Rob has been an amazing person in both our lives. In fact, since we moved in together last year, Rob’s never missed a bedtime story or a hug goodnight.
My nightly ritual of coming home late and sitting in front of a laptop has become a thing of the past. Instead I am warmly greeted by Sara and Ryan and we spend the night playing legos, riding bikes or reading about Greg Heffley’s latest Wimpy Kid adventures.
I knew that I wanted to marry Sara, but it had to be perfect. That meant that I needed to have the blessing of her family and mine. I first asked her dad. He was outside on the front porch of her parent’s house. Sara was just behind the sliding glass door inside of the house, so our time was limited. When I asked him if I could marry his daughter he put his head down and paused for a moment, when he brought his head back up he had a smile on it and we both came to our feet and shook hands. YES!
As the sun was setting Sara’s mother was preparing the fire pit for that evening’s fire. Sara was again inside the house and I hurriedly made my way to her mom to ask for her permission. Knowing that Sara would be out there soon I quickly told her mother how much Sara and Ryan meant to me and asked her if I could have her blessing. She burst into tears and gave me a huge hug. YES! YES!
Later that night, on our walk to the fire pit, I asked her brother as well. His response was “YEAH!”. Thank goodness it was dark out or Sara would have seen me smiling from ear-to-ear.
Over the next two months I put the plan together and picked out the perfect ring. I kept Sara at bay by telling her that I wanted us to be engaged, but had “this” and “that” to get out of the way before I could even consider it. Sara has become accustom to my busy lifestyle and knowing that my todo list was a mile long was nothing new to her. Thank goodness for her impeccable patience.
And so, on August 2nd, 2013, as Rob was kneeling down on one knee and Ryan was running around in the grassy knoll at The Point, we had the support of loving family; he asked, “Will you marry me?” and of course I said “yes” and we officially starting plans to spend the rest of our lives together. What’s the first thing we did after getting engaged? We ran to the shoe store, or course. We planned on heading to the Ducky Tour, but had to make a pit stop to pick Ryan up some shoes (apparently we forgot them as we were heading out the door in a hurry). Sincerely, I don’t think a shoe hasn’t played this big a part in an engagement since Cinderella.
Sara and Ryan have been in my life for two wonderful years. Over that time I’ve learned a lot of things. One of those things is that all plans are subject to change, and shortly after we discovered that Ryan somehow made it into the car without his shoes I knew that this day would be no different! It wasn’t — It was absolutely our kind of perfect.
Nonetheless, one of the things I love about Rob is his attention to detail and his proposal was a great testament to that. Rob’s friend was there to capture the moment, our brothers were there for the proposal and he arranged for our families to meet for dinner that night at one of our favorite restaurants. We toasted to the day, our families, and the amazing love that filled the room. The night came to a close with our usual Friday night tradition, walking around the Starlite Car Cruise. It was amazing to be surrounded by our family; it was absolutely our kind of perfect.
* Remember how I said that I gave Rob with my email address on on a receipt — the one he lost? I found it a week after I moved in! It was buried in between the pages of one of his books. While I don’t treasure too many “things,” I hold that that little piece of paper near and dear to my heart.