Mitchum's Take Flight - Jessica & Damon

How did you meet?

(Jessica's perspective) It was a Sunday night in mid-August of 2013 (the 18th to be exact). I was traveling from New Orleans to Atlanta. I was a third year medical student at the time, and was ready to get back so I could get a good night’s rest for another Monday morning on my psychiatry rotation. I had booked my flight last minute and refused to pay the price for a nonstop flight, so I settled for a cheaper one with a connecting flight in Charlotte. I sat in the terminal with my earphones on listening to music and people watching, hoping my flight would leave on time. Eventually, boarding began and I breathed a sigh of relief. I wanted to catch a quick snooze on the flight since I had a long drive from the airport. I nestled my way through the narrow aisle looking for seat 20E. Once I found my seat I immediately realized that I was both lucky and unlucky. I was lucky that I wasn’t going to be seated next to someone with a small crying baby. I was unlucky that seat 20E was the middle seat. I HATE middle seats! They are uncomfortable and there are no real rules on who gets to use the arm rest. I placed my carry-on in the overhead compartment and braced myself for the middle-seat-awkwardness that was about to ensue. I sat down, snuggled my purse between my feet, put on my seat belt, then adjusted my earphones to drown out the noise of those people who feel the need to make that one last phone call (that everyone can hear) before the flight takes off. There was a white guy to the left of me who was probably doing the same. He had his earphones plugged into his phone and was minding his own business. A black guy sat to the right of me and was doing something on his phone. I glanced at him and quickly scoped him out. With smooth skin and neatly trimmed facial hair he looked pretty young too, maybe mid-twenties. He was dark chocolate in complexion and had a low hair cut. I didn’t want to look too long, as not to make eye contact with the random stranger sitting less the 3 feet from me. He seemed to be minding his own business as well. That is until the flight took off. The black guy looked over and, in a raspy, almost hoarse-like voice, said, “Hi.”The introvert and sometimes anti-socialist in me wanted to say, “Uuuum, sir…do you not see my earphones in my ears? Do you not realize that means I do not want to engage in conversation with strangers right now?” But of course I said no such thing. I spoke back and smiled. After all, he was just saying hello. Well, that hello turned into him asking me my name and where I was flying from. He told me his name and that he was flying from Baltimore. That was the start of a conversation that lasted the entire flight. Before I knew it the 1 hour flight seemed to only last for 10 minutes. As we prepared for landing, I realized that there was something interesting about this man. He was able to grab and captivate my attention (when I clearly did not feel like being bothered). He had an amazing smile and talking to him felt like a breath of fresh air. Once we landed, I got my bag from the overhead bin and headed to exit the plane. We said our goodbyes, and the whole "nice to meet you deal" and kept it moving. In the back of my mind I knew I wanted to talk to him again but did not want to seem too forward. I quickly came up with a game plan. As we walked off the plane I slowed down my pace so he would catch up with me. It seemed like he was headed to baggage claim, so that’s where I was headed (even though I was traveling with just a carry-on). He did catch up with me and we made small talk while walking. Then it happened. He said, “Hey, if you ever want to hang out sometime give me a call.” He gave me his number and I put it in my phone. I played it cool, but in my mind I knew my planned had worked. I left Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport that night knowing that there was something special about this man, and I wanted to know more. Time had gone by and the only communication Damon and I had was the occasional “Hey, how’s it going” text message. He was busy doing his own thing, and I was busy with clinical rotations. It wasn’t until months later that we actually hung out. Over time, we built a genuine friendship and the more we hung out, the more I realized that he possessed the qualities of a man who I could see myself marrying and spending the rest of my life with. He is a man who knows what he wants, and made it very clear. I, on the other hand, was hesitant to take our friendship to another level. It took me more time, but I was reassured that what we felt for each other was real and that God had allowed our paths to cross on that flight for a reason. On November 6, 2014 we went to McKinnon’s Louisiane Restaurant in Buckhead for a delicious New Orleans inspired dinner. It began as any other dinner with us does, lively conversations and tons of laughs. I had bought a card for him earlier that day and wanted to share it with him (those who know me best know that I am a card person). So in the middle of dinner I pulled a lime green card out of my purse and gave it to him. It was a humor card, but basically said what I had felt for a long time. I told him that I knew we had something real and that I was ready to take the next step. So in essence, I asked him to be my boyfriend. It’s been an incredible journey so far and we’ve had our ups and downs, but I know that I would not be the person I am today had I not met my amazing fiance years ago. He covers me in prayer, he encourages me, he supports me, and most of all he loves me, flaws and all. I could not have asked God for anyone better. I thank God for that connecting flight in Charlotte back in 2013. Moral of the story: Always look nice when you go to the airport, you never know who you will meet. :-)

Where did you go on your first date?

Texas Roadhouse. Damon was late, by the way.

Tell me about your proposal...

(Damon's perspective) I knew I wanted to marry Jessica, but I really wanted to make sure it was done the right way. I had a 3 hour Facetime conversation with both her mother and father. After a series of questions and discussion I was granted approval from her parents. Now it's time to buy the ring. I shopped around quite a bit, and I stumbled upon this black owned jeweler here in Dunwoody, GA. Dunwoody is a community where not a lot of people of color own businesses, so I was surprised and happy. After weeks of deciding on the right ring, I finally did it. I will say the jeweler was very professional, well kept, and over exceeded my expectations. I was happy to support his (being that he was a person of color) business; that's until I found out who he was. His name is Bruce Levell, a Black republican who is on Trump's Board of Advisers for Diversity (pissed me off!) Feel free to look up his CNN political rants, coonery and buffoonery on YouTube. I contacted all of Jessica's family and my family. I got hotels set up for everyone to come here to Atlanta for the big proposal. Months in advance I had already contacted Jessica's hospital to make sure she would be off the weekend I needed her to be. I told her that we were going to a banquet where I was being recognized as one of Atlanta's young and upcoming "All-Stars" in the Automotive Industry. She was very excited, but little did she know all her family and friends were waiting patiently at the restaurant for her arrival. We made it upstairs off the elevator and she was greeted with huge roar of "Surprise!". She had no clue what was going on, then as she walked in the room, she started to notice her parents, my parents, and lots of friends. Then that's when she started to figure it out, I led her in the middle of the room and started to utter something that was supposed to be a speech I had prepared. I couldn't even get the first sentence out, I was so nervous I couldn't keep my voice from shaking. After the first sentence, I couldn't get anything else out, I just got down on one knee and said, "...forget it, Jessica will you marry me?" The crowd erupted in celebration. My hand was shaking so bad, I could barely get her ring on her finger. It was really a good time.

Tell me something interesting about your Fiance'...(Jessica's perspective):

Damon is very well rounded. He can talk to you about finance, politics, religion, sports, and so much more. He loves to debate, which sometimes gets us fired up, but it's never a dull moment with him. Also, Damon sings in the car and in the shower. He can actually hold a note when he wants to. Damon's perspective: Something that was very interesting to me is that I saw a framed letter Jessica wrote to herself in the 4th grade saying that she was going to be a doctor, and she actually followed through and did it! She is also multi-talented, she plays the piano, has a HUGE talent in writing (one of the things I love the most), and has a pretty good jump shot actually.

What's the significance of your wedding date?

No real significance to our wedding date. We literally just pulled out our phones, looked at the calendar, and picked a date.

How did you come up with the concept/theme for your wedding?

We wanted an aviation theme since we met on a plane.

What are the colors of your wedding and why?

We selected a jewel tone colored theme. The colors are navy and midnight blue, plum, eggplant, and goldenrod. Jessica's favorite color is purple and Damon's favorite color is blue. We wanted to incorporate shades of blue and purple.

Favorite song, places to eat, travel or anything significant you want to share...

Favorite places to eat: Spondivits, Negril Village, and Harold's Chicken. Favorite place to travel: Jamaica. Favorite things to do: bowling, trying new restaurants, and going to festivals.