WHEN THEY FIRST MET, Amy and McKenzie had to keep their relationship on the down-low – but not for the reasons you might expect. They met while working at a Staples store together, when Amy was transferred to the store where McKenzie worked. In fact, Amy was McKenzie’s boss!
Amy first noticed McKenzie at party thrown by a colleague six months before Amy’s transfer took place. When she finally completed her transition to the store, she saw her again and “just got warm fuzzies in my tummy.” Amy jumped at the chance to give McKenzie a ride home from work one night; McKenzie began hitting on her and it was then she knew the feeling was mutual. They agreed to secretly meet at a nearby Starbucks after their next work shift. Fearful that their relationship would affect their jobs, they kept it a secret for a little over a year – save for a select few whom they could trust – until Amy was unexpectedly laid off. After that, “We could tell everyone!” McKenzie exclaimed.
Amy was born and raised in Tiffin, a small town in northwest Ohio. Amy came to Columbus to attend OSU, and after spending a few years back home to take care of her mother, she returned to Columbus for good. McKenzie, who grew up in Reynoldsburg, always loved visiting Columbus and knew she’d want to live in a city as an adult. Amy and McKenzie share a love for Columbus – its culture, diversity, and LGBTQ community. They live together just outside German Village.
“We love spending time together,” McKenzie says. They love playing tennis, doing home renovation projects and going on walks with their Chihuahua/German Shepherd/Lab mix Nooner. “There are some days I don’t want to be with anyone else but her, just being goofy and having fun!” says McKenzie. They schedule a date night once a week.
"We’re pretty different,” admits McKenzie, “and we have a significant number of years between us. Our life experiences are different. But the thing that we think is the most important in our lives is communication. We have to work at it every day … we take the initiative to share our feelings with each other. It’s all worth it.”
What is their favorite thing about each other? “My favorite thing about McKenzie is that she really does push me to be a better person,” says Amy. “If I don’t have the confidence or knowledge to do something, she gives me that little bit of extra encouragement to get there, and that means a lot to me.” And for McKenzie? “Amy is dedicated in everything she does,” says McKenzie. “Whether it’s schoolwork or at her job, she performs at her best… and she puts her whole heart into it. That really inspires me, with my work, with me going back to school … we get a little competitive and try to outshine each other. She’s got a pretty good sense of humor, too!”
Wait, there is some bling on McKenzie’s finger. So how did the proposal happen?
“We’d been talking about getting married someday,” Amy says, “but we decided that because McKenzie was much younger, that she should be the one to ask.” Amy agreed that she’d buy the ring – so she asked for her to just give her enough of a heads up ahead of time so she could save up the money and purchase it. Late last summer, Amy’s friend Toni asked her: “Why haven’t you asked? You guys are so great together.” When Amy explained that McKenzie was going to ask, Toni responded, “If you go ahead and ask, I bet you she will say yes and will not be offended.” Amy gave it some thought, began looking at rings, and finally saved enough money and bought one in November.
After thinking of many ways to propose, Amy decided to go back to the site of their first date – at Starbucks. This particular one was inside a Barnes & Noble, and McKenzie went to look for some magazines. When McKenzie returned, Amy asked, “Did you find anything good to look at while we’re drinking coffee?” Before McKenzie had a chance to respond, Amy said, “Oh yeah, I found something good too!” and lifted her hand to reveal a ring box on the table.
Then I cried, and it was cute,” says McKenzie.
Though they have some ideas for their future wedding, McKenzie and Amy have some other things they want to accomplish first; Amy is almost done with school and McKenzie is going back. Ideally, they’d love to get married on a beach somewhere with family and close friends. “We’d love it to be legal here in Ohio when we get married,” says Amy. “But it won’t stop us.”