Lauren Migaki, 31, and Sam D’Agostino, 36, have been together for almost two years. Migaki, an NPR producer, and D’Agostino, a fundraiser at Pew Charitable Trusts, live together in Brightwood and got engaged March 22. We talked to them about how they met and what it’s like getting engaged during a pandemic.
LM: “It’s a very DC way of meeting—we met playing rec soccer.”
SD: “We were all really bad.”
LM: “We didn’t win a game for like, the first three seasons. Suddenly, the team got a little better and I was like, ‘I’m out.’ A year later [on my birthday, I posted an Instagram of] a Yelp review of the doctor who delivered me. And Sam slid into my DMs.”
SD: “Like the kids say. We texted back-and-forth for a little while then we went on this first date—a giant backyard gathering for a house concert. And I got so anxious during it. I got in my head, and to just get out of the situation. I said ‘Hey, I’m really sorry, but I have to go do laundry.’ “
LM: “I think we were both just really nervous. So he walked me to the Metro and was like ‘This was nice. We should do this again sometime.’ And I texted my friend and was like ‘I just had a horrible first date. Can we get drinks?’
“So we didn’t have another date for a like, a month. But we settled on okay we like each other, and so we went to NASA’s anniversary party at the Kennedy Center.”
SD: “It’s been about a month now [of quarantine]. The thing that has become readily apparent is that working from home doesn’t actually make your life any easier.”
LM: “In the beginning [of our quarantine], there were a few tensions to figure out. Just when am I office person and when am I loving partner? We both have a fair degree of anxiety, but have managed to make our home space really kind of a joy.
“One day, I dressed up in a sequined romper just for the hell of it while working from home. I came downstairs, and Sam’s also wearing a sequined shirt in solidarity. And one night I sent a Paperless Post invite to him to have cocktails in the back yard dressed as a favorite TV character. It feels like this is a place where we’ve been able to go a little crazy together, but in a really fun-loving way.”
SD: “We had definitely talked about [getting married] and knew that it was in the future for us. But I don’t think we really had a timeline in mind.
“We’ve had this practice since we moved in with each other to do a weekly check- in. We’d been having our check-in on a walk [one Sunday] and talked about the whole gamut of things: things that were weighing on our minds about Covid life and also just being really happy and in love with each other.”
LM: “There was a sense of like, feeling a little bit scared about the world but also feeling like we were under the same umbrella together, you know? And feeling a source of comfort and safety.”
SD: “I was just feeling the moment. It was a beautiful night, and I just got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. I had made some elaborate plans with friends that definitely weren’t going to happen for a future proposal—I didn’t have a ring, didn’t have a speech or anything prepared. It just kind of felt right.”
LM: “I was totally not expecting it. It felt so surreal—everything nowadays feels really surreal. We walked a block and I was like, ‘Did that just happen? This doesn’t feel real.’ And Sam goes, ‘I’ll just do it again,’ and got down on one knee and asked me again.
“[Our families] wouldn’t normally hop on video chat. Like [Sam’s] grandma just learned to use Skype. And I don’t think we would have gotten to see [their faces when we told them] if we hadn’t all been relying on this technology for the last few weeks. And so we got to do that and there was something really, really amazing about getting to see our family’s reactions.”
SD: “A friend of mine [and I] were chatting the next day. I shared the news and he was just like, ‘What’s really powerful about that is you get to tell a story, and the story is like, there’s no one else I would want to spend a pandemic with‘. As soon as he said those words I was like, that’s exactly it.“
LM: “I’m just so grateful for Sam. There’s the world outside, and then there’s our house, which is just filled with a lot of joy and antics. It just feels like the little spot of warm in a world that is a little dark.”
SD: “We have one detail [planned for the wedding], which is that pizza will be served instead of the normal, boring, kind of taste-less catered meal.”
LM: “Yeah, that’s pretty much as far as we’ve got. I think we would prefer not to have our wedding over Zoom, though, so we might wait.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.