Monday, January 18, 2016


Sara Okin and James Livengood at their Dec. 31 wedding. Photo NY Times
When 10-year-old James Livengood got into a fight with nine-year-old Sara Okin on the playground at Jefferson School 19 years ago who knew it would blossom into love and marriage?

And that he would pop the question on the same spot where he threw a handful of sticks and mulch at her that day.

Well, strange things happen and readers of the popular Vows column in Sunday's New York Times got the whole story as the weekly section featured Livengood, now 29, and Okin, at 28, in their love story of the week.

As the Times tells it:

It started out as many love affairs do in the fourth grade: not well.
Standing on the tetherball court at Jefferson Elementary School in Maplewood, N.J., James Livengood, 10, angered by something said or not said (depending on whom you ask) by Sara Okin, 9, picked up a fistful of mulch and sticks and threw it at her.
“One of the sticks hit me in the neck and caused a two-inch scratch,” said Ms. Okin, 28, a senior product manager for Refinery29, a fashion and lifestyle media company. “I started crying and went to the teacher. James got suspended. His mom made him write me an apology.”
All was forgiven.

And what made it special was the proposal back in 2014 in that same mulch-throwing spot at Jefferson:

In July 2014, Mr. Livengood hatched a plan. He told Sara he had to pick up something from his business partner, who lived across the street from their elementary school. When they arrived, Ms. Okin was hungry and not interested in taking a walk down memory lane, but she got out of the car to appease him. As the two of them reminisced about teachers and classmates, Mr. Livengood led her to the exact spot where the mulch-throwing incident occurred more than 16 years earlier. One snag: The tetherball pole was gone, though a vague outline of the court remained.
“Coming to this spot was Sara’s dad’s idea,” Mr. Livengood said. “It never occurred to me that the playground would be gone and that they’d put picnic tables in its place.”
But Mr. Livengood needed no mulch underfoot for this moment.
“I thought, ‘This changes nothing,’” he said. “‘I’m still going to propose.’”

 Read it all HERE.

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