You know the saying, “Momma’s always right?” Well, it strikes again.
My family had just moved from Indiana to Rhode Island about a year before I had met Tommy Shalvey. My mom was teaching Kindergarten at a local school and found a friendship with one of her student’s moms. The mom had a nephew that also attended my new High School, Tommy Shalvey. Tommy and I both came from hockey families and we both played hockey for the boys’ and girls’ high school teams. For months, my mom harassed me to introduce myself to the cute boy on the hockey team, even going as far as saying it sounded like we would make the perfect couple. This request was always met with an eye-roll.
That is until one day we were both at the rink and it was just a cute curly haired boy and myself in the bleachers. So I, being the friendly Midwestern that I am, went up and introduced myself: “Hey! You’re Tommy Shalvey, right? My mom knows your Auntie Sue and they both keep harassing me to say hello, so now I am!” This was met with a very apprehensive, “Uhhh yeah, who are you?” I thought this meant we would be BFF’s for life while Tommy just thought I was weird and that he should probably run. But eventually over the years we really did develop a great relationship. We went to my Senior Prom together and only parted ways when Tommy left for college in New Hampshire.
Then, when he transferred to the University of Rhode Island, I was so excited! We started hanging out again and eventually our relationship became romantic, though Tommy never actually officially asked me to be his girlfriend. We became “official” when he declared to his mom that I was his girlfriend, sending me into orbit. I was more than apprehensive about having a boyfriend in college, but I knew that Tommy was a catch. He is mild mannered but has a very commanding presence, and most importantly our relationship was founded on years of friendship.
Fast forward almost 7 years, a million growing pains, a house, a dog and countless fun memories, and Tommy and I still were going strong. We had talked about marriage several times prior, but somehow the proposal still completely snuck up on me. On May 28, 2017 ,my nails were chipped and a mess; I had slammed my left hand in the truck door so it was bruised; I hadn’t washed my hair in several days; I had no makeup on and I was wearing the same hiking clothes as the day before. But I had brushed my teeth AND I was wearing my lucky baseball cap.
Tommy and I are both beach bums. Our entire lives revolve around the best beach days of the summer. We’re lucky enough that both our families live and play in the Matunuck area so it makes life that much simpler. This Sunday in May was no different. We packed up the truck, filled the Yeti with ice and beer, and headed down to Matunuck. It wasn’t the ideal beach weather in the morning, so we decided to stop at Trustom Pond to exercise the dog a bit and go for a hike. It was a place neither of us had spent enough time exploring, so I was too distracted by the rush of adventure to notice that Tommy was acting a little bit nervous.
By the time we had made it to the overlook, Tommy had picked me a flower and stopped me twice to tell me he loved me, but I STILL was completely oblivious. In fact, it took him about 30 minutes before we weren’t sharing the overlook with other hikers and he was able to sneak in 5 minutes alone to get down on one knee and ask me to spend the rest of our lives together. In all that time, it still never occurred to me this was about to be the moment I had been waiting for. But after the initial shock, confirming that he had asked my Dad for permission and saying “YES! A THOUSAND TIMES YES! IS THIS REAL?”, it did occur to me that 13 years prior my Momma had been right all along. We did make the perfect couple.