He Proposed the Moment When Total Solar Eclipse Occured…

Series: Since I Met You

When the eclipse reaches the“second contact”, you will see a brilliant segment of light lies on the rim of the moon, just like a shiny diamond ring. It is said if a man proposes at that moment, he will get a “yes”for sure, because the “diamond ring”he gives to his loved one is unparalleled. ” — — Qiao

Meet Qiao

Qiao is from Chengdu in Sichuan province, China. She is a creative designer. Qiao and Chris have been together for 6 years. They got married last year and they now live in Oakland, U.S.

Qiao and Chris first met in the racquetball court at Ramsey on the UGA campus.

Chris: We were friends of friends at that time… all we said at first was “hi”, but our smiles lit up the room. That night, we met again with friends and watched a movie in an empty lecture hall. I asked Qiao to sit next to me, she did. Soon after, I took her side for the first time: everyone wanted to watch a horror film, and Qiao HATES it, so I convinced them to watch WALL-E instead. After that, we hung out a few more times, and I finally worked up the courage to make a move.

Qiao and Chris often create little romantic surprises for each other.

Chris: We’re at our best when writing letters to each other. It’s a great way to express our feelings thoughtfully and permanently. It saved our relationship more than once.

Qiao: The most impressive memory for me was when Chris asked me to marry him. He proposed on August 21st, 2017, which was a day of a total solar eclipse. I heard in the astronomical world, there’s no other event that’s more important than a total eclipse. When the eclipse reaches the“second contact”, you will see a brilliant segment of light lies on the rim of the moon, just like a shiny diamond ring. There’s a tale in the west that if a man proposes at that moment, he will get a “yes” for sure because the “diamond ring” he gives to his loved one is unparalleled.

On that day, Chris brought me to a park in North Carolina to watch the solar eclipse. The location was in the path of the totality where people could watch the totality for about 2 minutes. When it happened, the whole sky went dark and it felt so unreal. Witnessed by the spectacular “diamond ring”, I said yes with all my heart. For me, I can’t think of any other way of proposal that could be more romantic than this.

Qiao and Chris had two weddings, one in the U.S., and the other one in China.

Qiao: The wedding in the U.S. was totally designed and planned by myself, including the time, location, wedding dress, the evening party, the ceremony, etc. It was exhausting but it’s well worth it. Georgia in October was gorgeous. Everything that happened on the day of the wedding, as I’m recalling it now, still feels like a fairy tale. I wanted my evening party to be under the light of dawn, so we set the ceremony time at 4 pm, which was perfect, and we had plenty of time to prepare, take photos and enjoy the first look during the day time.

The wedding in China was completely handled by my parents. They chose a Tang-style wedding for us, which was also what we liked, and everything went the way we wanted. The wedding took place in a small town in Sichuan, China, which is my hometown. The ceremony was set to start at 9 am in the morning. Chris carried me to the bridal sedan chair at 8:08 am (which was picked by my mom and it was supposed to be a blessed moment). I couldn’t see anything sitting in the bridal sedan chair but I could hear the sound of drums and gongs, and people cheering and celebrating. I could feel that almost everyone living in that small town came out and watched our ceremony that day, it was really exuberant and exciting.

I walked arm-in-arm with my dad to the site of the ceremony; my mom combed my hair three times; I and Chris as a new couple stepped across a fire brazier and a saddle; Chris uncovered my bridal veil; we did three kneelings and nine prostrations…these are all very interesting wedding traditions. After the ceremony, there were also performances including Kun opera, Peking opera, Sichuan opera. My parents did so much to make this wedding for us and I really appreciated it.

When Chris and his family were in China…

Chris: My family and I felt we were having feasts every night while we were in China, which was not so common in the US. We ate all kinds of food and really loved it. There were people (Qiao’s relatives or family friends) who came to our table and congratulated us with drinks and kept talking us into drinking more alcohol, which was a little shock to us. In addition, the nightlife in China was really enriching.

Qiao and Chris came from different cultural backgrounds, but the cultural difference is not a big deal in their relationship.

Chris & Qiao: We never thought about our relationship in purely cultural terms. Having an intimate connection with both cultures puts you above petty political squabbles and cultural differences. The feeling of filial warmth is what matters. Everything else is just something learned, and a way to get closer.

For Qiao and Chris, marriage means…

Marriage is an oath to stay together through everything. Having marriage as a goal, or going through it casually are both catastrophic mistakes. Getting married is a spiritual experience; it’s how you tell the world you’ve found your soulmate.

Qiao and Chris travel a lot together. Travelling adds depth to them as a couple.

Chris: We travel to discover more about the world we live in, which is massive, diverse, and incredible. Our next destination is definitely Japan for a variety of reasons (food, friends, culture, sites). Traveling is stressful for me especially, so the benefits manifest themselves as experiences that add depth to us as a couple.

Qiao: The most memorable trip with Chris was the one in Puerto Rico. Walking in the tropical rainforests and along the beachline was truly amazing. Actually, before Chris and I met in the summer of my freshman year, I was already prepared to go on a solo trip to Puerto Rico. But the original plan was interrupted by this unexpected romance. It was really hard to leave one another while we were in the love bubble even though it would be just a two-week separation. It made him so sad.

I remembered when we walked past the church on UGA campus, he held my hand and sat me on a bench in front of that church, and said to me with a serious tone that he wanted to see me every single day, and he was afraid that I would be “stolen” by some handsome Puerto Ricans…It sounded absurd but I found him so adorable at the moment and I didn’t want to leave him for a half month either. I thought no matter how attractive the scenery of Puerto Rico is, it’s not comparable to the person in front of me. He also promised that he would take me to Puerto Rico in the future, so I canceled my ticket to stay with him. He, of course, kept his promise — we went there together later. To this day I still feel really glad that I didn’t leave then because the beautiful memory in that summer is priceless.

Editor: Yinong | Translator: Yinong
Originally published on Mar. 11th, 2019
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