We both went to the Swedish Institute, the massage therapy school. We thought that was our dream, but it wasn’t. He saw me sucking down a chicken bone in the cafeteria, and he introduced himself. I asked him what the tattoo on his arm said, I thought it said “Emily,” but it actually said “family.” From there we became cool.
We got engaged in Times Square on Valentine’s Day, 2013. We are getting married in July. It was a double date, and I don’t really like double dates. I was complaining. It was really so his cousin could videotape the whole thing, so we have it on camera.
I just wanted to work on a family. I knew she was definitely the one.
How did I know I wanted to marry him? Once I got him in the bed. No, that’s not true. I got really sick one time, I was sick for a few months. I was out of work and he took care of me the whole time. That is when I knew I wanted to be with him. Actually, when I got over being sick is when he proposed to me, that month.
My father was born in Brazil, he’s an intellectual. He is probably the most intelligent man that I have ever met in my life. He instilled independence in me. He was on his own since he was fourteen in Brazil. He moved here when he was 23 and met my mom. When he first came here, he moved to Miami. He came here because he would watch music videos of Michael Jackson and Prince while he was in Brazil. From there he started his own business. He has always taught me I have to have my own. He taught me history too. You need to look back on your roots in order to move forward. That is the biggest thing that I got from him. I know where I came from, where I stand, and I am humble from that.
My mom is from New York, her family is from the South. My parents were very free spirits when they met. They worked at 125th at the market, they made jewelry together, and my mom made pottery. She told me it was funny because he didn’t speak English. They had a baby the next year, I was his little girl, she said that he was just really into me.
My mother is from Charlotte, NC and my father is from Camden, SC. They met in a hospital where they both worked. My father was a manager in the cafeteria; she and her girls came walking in the cafeteria. He tapped his boys and told them, “That’s going to be my wife.” They had three boys together. My family is big on pictures. I can just go back and see all these pictures from my great-great-grandmother, she was Cherokee Indian. Family is just it for us, we just love to get together. Just laughing all the time, lots of jokes. I guess you could say they’re loud.
We are having two weddings. One will be in Brazil. My father wants to take me to this temple out there. My father is very spiritual; he just wants to marry me out there. So we will do a very traditional wedding. I know it means a lot to him because he isn’t coming to the wedding in America.
I am excited for the wedding in Brazil as well. It is just a new experience. Totally out the box for me, so I am going in there ready to learn, take it all in.
My hope moving forward is that we don’t lose who we are as individuals. I think we should remain the way we are. I think that once people get married they often lose their values. I don’t know how to put it, I think they feel like there is more pressure, and there is a certain standard you have to live by. Like there are certain things you have to do as a wife or husband. At the end of the day we keep the communication open, we are great friends.
Something that we have been talking about is that we don’t want to celebrate any holidays. We want our kids to be extremely humble. He and I don’t celebrate Christmas. I really want to incorporate Kwanzaa and African traditions. I want them to know the value of things, not material things. I want them to know the importance of family and just being thankful. I think we get caught up in the holidays, and what we need to do and buy, that’s crazy. We are going to create our own traditions and do our own things. We might even celebrate holidays on different days. And we’ll have lots of food, we are going to eat a lot. And history, lots of history. I want them to know what’s going on in the world, I don’t want them to be afraid but they need to know the truth.