Aisle Say: Meet Christina and Darrell
By Christina Apostal
When people ask where Darrell and I first met, it’s always fun to say “Barcelona.” Because even though we didn’t start dating until several months later, it’s kind of romantic that the first time we laid eyes on one another was in Spain.
We were both new to our jobs in a global company that has offices all over the world. I was a corporate event planner. With over 400 employees in the Providence location, it wasn’t surprising that we didn’t cross paths in the office.
My first big event with the company was a customer conference in Spain. Many of our employees were traveling to the event, so I was nervous to make a good first impression. Anyone who works as an event manager understands the long hours that go into perfecting every last detail, so by the time the event was underway I was running on nothing more than fumes and caffeine.
On one of the first days of the conference I was walking towards one of the meeting rooms when I bumped into this tall, gorgeous man with a disarming smile. Darrell introduced himself and we chatted briefly, but I was busy and had to quickly move on to my next task. Later that night we had a team dinner with all of the employees. Several times we would lock eyes and smile but I was pulled in too many directions to have a proper conversation. Plus, I was in a relationship at the time so I wouldn’t have acted on any feelings, but I definitely felt an attraction. The event wrapped up, everyone went their separate ways, and I returned home having forgotten about the handsome stranger with the kind eyes. Even though we worked for the same company, I assumed he was in an office somewhere far away so it wasn’t even worth a second thought.
That summer my relationship ended and I used my single girl time to focus on myself and my happiness. I took a week off at the end of July and spent almost every day at Narragansett Beach where my family has a cabana. I surfed in the salty waves, laid out in the sun and enjoyed myself so much that I absolutely dreaded the idea of going back to work.
On my first day back in the office I headed to a meeting room, tired and grumpy to be working when the sun was shining outside. Just as I turned the corner I was shocked to see Darrell standing in the hallway with a big smile. We chatted for a bit, discovered we both worked in the same office and had a good laugh about the fact that we never ran into each other after our trip to Spain. After a couple of months of talking and getting to know each other, I invited him out for happy hour with some of my work friends on a Friday afternoon. We had some drinks with the group and then went out for a nightcap after, just the two of us, at which point it became clear there were major sparks. My birthday was a couple of weeks later and he took me to Siena for dinner on Federal Hill. After a delicious Italian meal and lots of celebrating, Darrell admitted he had a crush on me and I told him I felt the same way. From that moment it was pretty much history!
While it hasn’t always been picture-perfect, our relationship has remained strong not only because of our compatibility, but because we work at it every day. We talk things out, play board games together, plan weekend getaways, have dance parties in the kitchen with our chocolate lab, and say “I love you” everyday…and mean it. We are both supportive of each other’s goals and are appreciative of all the little moments spent together. I have his back no matter what, and I know he’ll always have mine. We are teammates and best friends.
Although it already feels like we’re married, we’re both looking forward to making it official on October 1, 2017 at Regatta Place in Newport. We’ve already started planning and it’s such an exciting time with so many fun moments to look forward to!
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