This is the love story of Gabrielle Rubinstein and Anthony Cheong, which The New York Times published some time ago as part of the Vows series.
Watch the video clip and answer the questions below.
The activity is suitable for intermediate students.
1 What did Gabby do in 2003?
2 What did Gabby and Anthony and some other people use to do every Saturday?
3 When did Anthony kiss Gaby for the first time?
4 Why did they take their relationship slowly to begin with?
5 How long did they take to get engaged?
6 What happened in a Montreal hotel?
To check your answers you can read the transcript below.
I’m Gabby. This is the story about how Anthony and I met. I opened up Joe with my brother in 2003 and by 2006 I knew several thousand people and I thought it would be fun to start setting people up on dates. It usually doesn’t work out, but I had one couple that got married, then they got divorced, but I think it still counts.
I moved to New York in 2006 from Sydney, and I was in the hunt for some good coffee like all the Australians do, so I came in one day and ordered my latte, and then next to the counter I saw this sign that said, ‘come and join this running team on Saturday morning’ so in 2007 I started running with the team Joe, and that’s where I met Gabrielle. Now, the next two years, you know, I would show up every Saturday morning and we would be for our run and we became best friends.
So I really wanted to set him up with myself, it’s true. So we jokingly go on these pretend dates where I was kind of hoping they would turn in more than pretence, but then at the end of the night, you know, I got a pat on the back, you know, and then I went home thinking, oh I guess he likes me as a friend.
My last effort was to plan a New Year’s Eve party for all our Joe friends. My plan was to see if he wanted to kiss me at midnight.
Then I started thinking, ‘ah, she’s a…, you know, she’s a really nice woman and I like spending time with her and… then I sort of like as we got to New Year’s Eve I thought, ‘why not?’
Later that night it was time for the kiss and… so I said ‘so, what do you think? Should we have our New Year’s kiss now?’ And so he leans in and he kisses me on the cheek.
Just like this.
And I probably looked at him like that, and then I said ‘So this is your big chance, really, that’s all, that’s all I get? I mean, really, we can forget about it tomorrow, but let’s go for it.’ So then he leaned in for another kiss and the kiss turned into another kiss and before you know it, there was quite a kiss.
I think both of us were afraid of, you know, jeopardizing our friendship, we really valued that so much more than having a short-term relationship or a fling, and so… We… I actually took our relationship slow for a few months.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, we got engaged about six months after we started dating, it was really slow, it was very slow.
We went to Montreal for a romantic weekend, and we were on the plane he started getting very sick with a cold. He was also acting a little bit nervous I thought because he was sick…
Because I am carrying this ring in my pocket for the entire time.
So he kept jokingly asking me, ‘will you marry me? Do you want to spend your life with me?’, and I said ‘yes, of course I do, but stop asking me unless you have a ring’, so we get back to the hotel, we walk in the front door, he pulls me in and says again ‘will you marry me? I love you, do you want to spend your life with me?’ I say ‘of course, you have the ring or not’, and so he pulls out the box and I just froze.
And then I go down on one knee. I could hardly speak, so I was whispering into her ear, ‘will you marry me?’
Just couldn’t wait any longer.
Just couldn’t wait.