Rachael Brady

January 20, 2016

Made In Akron – A Story of Love

I was born and raised in Akron, OH. I met my fiancé there when I was living in the Highland Square neighborhood (the only ‘hip’ neighborhood in the whole city). I was walking my dog one day when this dapper fella came walking by with an instrument case. As our eyes met, it’s as if the world slowed down. He walked inside but I knew that I couldn’t let him go without knowing who he was. I knew most of my neighbors at the time, so I went inside and looked at the mailboxes to determine who I didn’t know. A couple of young guys moved into Apartment 3 and I realized I had never met any of them before. I chose a name and decided to look them up on Facebook so that I could introduce myself. Moments later I found who I was looking for, so I sent a message. Much to my surprise, he responded with interest. I could feel my palms getting sweaty and my heartbeat racing.

We decided to meet at my apartment since I was on the top floor and had ‘sweet’ roof access (you had to climb out my kitchen window). We thought it would be a good idea to break the ice over some coffee, but hours later I realized my pot was still full and cold. We talked the entire evening, and he took me to my first jazz club. Needless to say – this was our first date because, after that evening, we both knew we wanted to be together forever. We exchanged movies and music in each other’s mailboxes, he even left me flowers in the mail. I was completely smitten.

We have now been together for four and a half years and we’re getting married this summer on June 25th! He proposed last February on my 26th birthday. He had come home the evening of birthday and said we were going to dinner. I didn’t think much of it, until he said I had to be blindfolded. We drove around for what felt like hours. He said we had been to this restaurant before so I thought, why do I need to be blindfolded? I was getting pretty hungry by this point. The entire car ride was rather silent, and I had my suspicions. Once we were at our destination he had led me out of the car – I stepped right into a snowbank and I was wearing flats! I was freezing and hoping we would get into the restaurant soon. He started giving a speech and still I thought, all this for dinner – how strange. He said I could lift my blindfold and to my surprise, he was down on one knee with the ring! I believe I shouted “yes” and completely cut him off during his speech that he was far too nervous for anyway. We both just started crying, it was magical (even if it was below zero, and our tears could’ve frozen).

Additionally, as I looked around, we were nowhere near where I thought we were. He drove me around aimlessly to throw me off. We only went downtown Akron which was only a short drive from our apartment. It was very fitting considering this is the city that made us, individually and as a couple. Max and I share a mutual passion for architecture and cities. It made sense that he wanted to propose with a view of the biggest skyscraper in the city. I’m pretty sure a homeless man witnessed our engagement… Anyway, even though we left the rubber city for the steel city, we will never forget our home and where we came from.