S + N Love Story
Photos provided by; Rachel Miller Photography
It was love at first sight on a breezy September afternoon at Olive Garden when Norm saw Stephanie come in for her first day of training. She had never been a server before and Norm was a pro! Norm had never trained anyone before, but the manager stuck them together. Two hours had passed and barely any customers came in so Norm filled the silence with jokes and stories; Stephanie found him charming, kind, and handsome. He was the known jokester at OG, but occasionally found himself speechless or stumbling for words when he spoke to her. Over the course of a few weeks, they exchanged brief words passing one another in the kitchen or helping each other carry food. As the weather grew colder and Halloween approached, a fellow coworker was throwing a costume party and asked Stephanie to help recruit others from work to come to the party. As she made her rounds asking people to come to it, she saw Norm clocking in just before her shift was over. She ran over and excitedly asked him to attend. At first, he was not all that interested since he would be working late that night and didn't want to show up smelling of soup, salad, and bread sticks, but he said he would consider. Now depending on who you ask, some would say she asked him out, and some would say he assumed she was asking him out and then decided to pursue. To this day they do not agree on who asked who out first, but they certainly agree it was meant to be!
Stephanie's mother had given them her engagement ring/wedding band from her marriage and said they can do whatever they want with it. A few weeks before Norm's birthday they decided to get a hotel room with a best friend and boyfriend because they share the same birthday. They booked a room at the MGM hotel in downtown Detroit, and the week before Stephanie almost ruined the surprise. She saw her mothers' ring sitting out on the dresser and thought *that is going to get lost somehow* so she put it in her jewelry box and forgot to tell Norm. Later that night Norm was frantically running around assuming he lost it. Stephanie told him “by the way I put my moms ring in my jewelry box so it wouldn’t get lost” and he was relieved. It didn’t seem strange to to her because it made sense he was nervous about losing something so special. The four of them went to dinner and Stephanie thought maybe something would happen then, but nothing did - it was Norms' and her best-friends birthdays so it was no big deal. Later that evening Norm said they should all go for a walk downtown. They walked along the green amphitheater and Norm stopped everyone in front of the Michigan labor monument. Which is a large circular statue that he felt symbolizes love. He held Stephanie's hands as their friends stood at a distance, where Norm then confessed he knew right away that he loved Stephanie, that how he wanted to make her happy for the rest of their lives and that they would be married one day. He kept everything from their first few dates and one by one pulled out little mementos that he saved for this day - items he treasured from their time together. One of the last things he showed Stephanie was a Taco Bell packet that he kept from the first time they ate there that said “Will you marry me” and as he showed it to Stephanie he got down on one knee, with her mothers' ring in hand.