Well, Facebook may be considered a bit passe by today’s social media standards, but as Monica Givens and Lynelle Osborne of Linden found out, it still has its relevance. The couple, who is now engaged, met on the site.
“There’s this Facebook group, Michigan Lesbians, that we were both a part of,” said Givens. “She mentioned something about still being single and I said, ‘I don’t know why. You’re so beautiful.’ And we just started talking from there.
“The first time we talked, we started talking and just never stopped. It was an instant connection,” Givens continued.
“It was just everything about her,” Osborne said. “From her personality down to her … I don’t know. It was a connection I could never explain. I’ve never had this connection before and I just knew.”
Online conversations flowed so easily, Givens recalled.
“Everything we talked about was dead on,” Givens said. “She agreed with everything I said. We’d both been through some things and everything she said it was, ‘Oh my God. Me, too.”
However, the couple was forced to proceed slowly because of distance, living across the state from one another.
“It was hard in the beginning,” said Givens. “I was like an hour and a half away from her. So we’d have to get hotel rooms or I’d have to drive out to Battle Creek to her house. Then, in April, we got a place together in Linden.”
Last month, the two became engaged at Ann Arbor Pride. The two had begun discussions on the topic a few weeks earlier.
“We had been talking about it and I just kind of threw it out there,” Osborne said. “I said, ‘Let me see what kind of rings you want.’ So she said, ‘I want something like this.’ And I said, ‘I kind of need to know more exactly.’ I said, ‘You get a couple rings that you truly like and then you give it over to me and I’ll take it over from there.’”
But that wasn’t good enough for Osborne.
“I wanted the element of surprise,” Givens said. “I knew the ring was coming. So I decided I was going to get a ring and ask her first. We have a little millpond in our town so I took her up there. She was mad because she wanted to be the one to do it. So we went to Pride and she had actually already gotten the ring.”
Osborne approached the emcees while away from Givens.
“I said, ‘Can you please make time so I can propose to her? I‘ve got to do it today.”
“As soon as the guy walked over and handed her the microphone I knew what she was doing,” said Givens. “She was shaking so bad she almost dropped the ring. I was glad she did it at Pride because everyone was talking about marriage and equality and it couldn’t have been a more perfect time. It fit into the schedule with everything they were talking about.”
“I was glad they let me do it,” Osborne added.
Initial wedding planning has begun but the couple is taking it slow.
“We wanted to do it this fall but I just don’t think I could get it together in time,” said Givens. “Then we were also thinking of spring but we’re also talking about buying a house in the spring so I don’t know if we can do a move and wedding at the same time. So, it’s looking like fall of next year.
“We live together, so it’s no hurry,” Givens continued. “Nobody’s going anywhere so it’s not like we have to run to the church to get it done.”
Givens said that she and her fiancée are still talking about what kind of wedding they want.
“I’m like super girly so of course I want a big wedding,” she said. “But I don’t know that we can afford a huge wedding so we’ll probably have an outdoor thing with just our closest friends and family. I don’t even know what she should wear. I’m trying to connive Nell that she should put on a dress for a change. And I’m still torn between whether we should do a normal, traditional wedding or go all out and have a big, fabulous fay wedding. We went to one where all the bridesmaids had different color dresses so it came out like a rainbow. That was pretty cool.”
As for a honeymoon that, too, is still to be decided.
“I can get school loans and I was thinking we should take some of that money and go on a vacation,” Givens said. “She just works so much and I’m always so busy with the kids and their stuff so we don’t ever take any sort of vacation. So I was just thinking that it would be really nice to take some of that money and get out of here for a bit.”