Above: Allie Brodsky, a two-year captain of the Kalamazoo College women’s soccer team, is greeted by…
On Bended Knee
Everybody loves a great love story. Many of us grew up dreaming of the romantic scenario that would play out when we got engaged. With Valentine’s Day upon us, here are just a few of our very own local love stories:
Mikki & Josh
Mikki and Josh Rubin, now 37 and 41 respectively, met when Mikki was 16 and Josh was 20. “We have always been great friends.” Josh says.
The two spent a lot of time together and even worked together. “We were never single at the same time so nothing ever happened between us,” Josh says.
In April of 1999 that changed; Josh ended a relationship, and Mikki’s ended, too, just a few weeks prior.
Soon after, Mikki took a trip to Florida to clear her head. While talking to Josh on the phone, she mentioned moving and a fresh start. “He found me a house to rent right across the street from his house,” Mikki recalls.
When Mikki moved in, Josh sent her roses with a note that said “Welcome to the neighborhood.”
A few days later, while the two were out with friends, Mikki told Josh she was going to marry him one day. Four days later they started dating.
“Josh has always been the good guy that does right by all, and everybody likes him,” Mikki explains. She knew in her heart that she would end up with somebody from a strong family like hers who had a similar upbringing and similar religious beliefs.
“I knew I wanted to marry Mikki,” Josh says.
In September of 1999, he asked her parents for their permission to marry her, and then he came up with a plan to propose.
Their families had always been big Detroit Tigers fans. They had only two tickets for the final game at Tiger Stadium and, knowing what a diehard fan Mikki’s dad was, Josh told Mikki to take her dad.
Meanwhile, June 6 is Mikki’s birthday, so during the sixth inning at 6:06 p.m., at the very last game ever played at Tiger Stadium, Josh made his way up to right field where Mikki was sitting.
Mikki, confused, saw him coming toward her. “My heart started racing. I kept thinking, ‘What is he doing here?’”
One of the ushers cleared the way for Josh to get through; he got down on one knee and proposed to Mikki.
“I always told Josh when we got engaged I wanted a good story. I wanted a memory to share with our children.”
She got her wish.
Both Josh and Mikki’s parents were in on the plan and were there to witness it along with a photographer from the Detroit Free Press who took a photo of them and put it into the Free Press’ commemorative book, Corner to Copa.
The couple was married in September of 2000. They live in West Bloomfield with their two children Lainie, 9, and Ryan, 7.
“We have a true 50/50 partnership in every way,” Josh says. “If I could close my eyes and design the perfect woman, it would be Mikki. I am still crazy attracted to her. I’m blessed.”
Shana & Rotem
Shana Subelsky Tibi, 35, of West Bloomfield moved to California for her master’s in social work. While working at Children and Family Services after graduating, she was doing a home visit and accidentally locked her keys in her car.
Rotem Tibi, 30, relocated from Moshav Lappidot, a tiny little northern town in Israel, to California. He didn’t know any English, but he had a desire to work hard, make money and live the American dream.
“He tried every job imaginable — from being an ice cream man, to an 18-wheeler truck driver, to a locksmith,” Shana says. Fortunately, he ended up owning his own locksmith company.
After locking her keys in her car, Shana dialed 411 and asked for “any locksmith in the area.”
They connected her to Rotem.
With a lot of urging by the mother of the home Shana was visiting, the two agreed to meet for lunch, and they have been together ever since.
Six months later, Rotem invited Shana to Israel to meet his family. “I met all of his family members, and he has hundreds of cousins.”
His grandmother told Shana that they were going to get married.
After leaving Israel, the two traveled to Florida to see Shana’s parents. Her mother gave Rotem Shana’s grandmother’s anniversary ring to give to her.
On the flight home, much to Shana’s surprise, the flight attendants began bringing trays of fruit and cheese, a bottle of wine and two wine glasses.
Rotem proposed to Shana with her grandmother’s ring, telling her that he always wanted them to be that “elevated” for the rest of their lives.
They announced their engagement over the loud speaker, and the whole plane started clapping.
“I had a bunch of different ideas in mind how I was going to propose,” Rotem explains, “but as soon as we sat down on the plane, I thought to myself, ‘This is the perfect place.’ It was so spontaneous; I knew she would be surprised.”
They got married on June 23, 2010, in Nahariya, Israel. They have a son, Adir, who is 19 months old, and they have twins on the way.
Katey & Mitchell
Katey, 30, and Mitchell, 29, Wagner first met when she was 11 and he was 10. They attended Camp Tamarack, where they shared a four-week camp romance and their first kiss. They lived quite a distance apart though, forcing their young romance to end with the summer.
“I didn’t know it was a date; he came alone and I showed up with 10 of my friends,” Katey explains.
The two didn’t talk again until April 2009 when he contacted her to ask her on an official date. She said “yes.”
They moved in together five months later.
Shortly thereafter, Mitch nonchalantly showed Katey his grandmother’s ring that was missing the diamond. Katey knew then that Mitch was up to something, but she wasn’t sure what.
“At first, I kept thinking any day he would propose, but it wasn’t until 1½ years later that he made his move,” she says.
Mitch got the call from Heartwear Designs letting him know that the ring they designed using his grandmother’s diamond was ready.
“I got extremely nervous and picked it up right away,” Mitch says.
He went to see Katey’s parents, brother and grandparents to get their approval. He then called her bubbie in Florida to get the final approval.
“I couldn’t hold onto the ring for long; I was too anxious!” Mitch recalls.
He arrived home and snuck a letter into the mailbox addressed to “Katey Wagner.” He then asked Katey to get the mail.
Because Katey just returned home from the gym she assumed it was a cute love letter, but inside the card it read, “Katey, you were my first kiss. Will you be my last? I love you. Mitchell.”
She still didn’t realize what he was up to until she turned around and saw Mitch on one knee.
The couple was married 16 months later. They live in Berkley with their 12-week-old daughter, Aviva June.
Honey & Jeff
Laura “Honey” Solomon, 50, was divorced with seven kids. The idea of meeting Mr. Right and having him be excited about meeting a woman with seven kids felt like an unrealistic dream.
In fact, while dropping her son off at daycare one morning, she was talking with one of the caregivers when “a handsome man in a beautiful car” pulled into the lot. She said to the caregiver, “A guy like that would never be interested in dating me with my seven kids.”
She lived barrack-style, or, as she likes to call it, “organized mayhem. “With seven kids, four dogs and two cats, it’s the only way,” she says.
A year went by and Jeff Solomon, the handsome man in the beautiful car, 47, saw Honey on JDate. He was reluctant to date online at first, so a friend posted his profile for him.
Honey, on the other hand, was dating somebody she knew she would never marry. “He suggested that I try JDate,” she says.
Honey and Jeff met and fell in love — a year after Honey first saw him out that window.
“As it turns out, Jeff was in the military and was very comfortable living barrack style,” she notes.
It became clear that the two would eventually be married, but they didn’t have any plans as far as Honey knew.
“Jeff asked me to go to a Christmas party with some old friends of his. I’m not at all comfortable in social settings where I don’t know anybody. I complained nonstop but reluctantly agreed to go,” she says.
To make matters worse, a girl at the party tasted the crab dish Honey brought while asking her what it was. It turns out she was allergic to crab and the girl started choking, requiring an EpiPen to save her.
Honey thought to herself, “This night couldn’t possibly get any worse.”
That was until a particularly lengthy Christmas speech began. Honey couldn’t get out of there soon enough.
Before she knew it though, the gentleman who was speaking said Jeff had something to say. Knowing how shy Jeff was, she was shocked.
Jeff got down on one knee and proposed to Honey.
Her first thought was “What are you doing?” but she said “yes.”
“Anything’s possible,” Honey says. “We are coming up on our 11-year anniversary. Things happen exactly how they are supposed to.”
They live in West Bloomfield and share nine kids between them: Brad, 14, Tony, 15, Alex, 16, Jordan, 16, Jake, 18, Lindsay, 18, Sam, 19, Dan, 24, and Zack, 25.
’Tis the season. What will your love story be?