This article originally appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on August 18, 2013.
It wasn’t easy for Jared Brown to capture Christina La Moglia’s heart. The 31-year-old hair salon owner, a “firecracker,” in Brown’s words, tried to get rid of him the night they met in a bar. When he couldn’t get a date, he tried to at least get a haircut, and she refused. But Brown, 33, was undeterred, and 15 months later, on the night the San Francisco Giants won the 2012 World Series, Brown won La Moglia’s heart and her hand.
She proposed to him, under the light of a full moon.
Coincidentally, the moon was also full the July 2011 night when La Moglia was reluctantly dragged to a San Francisco bar by a girlfriend who wanted to “look for cute boys.”
La Moglia had endured “a stream of bad dating” in recent years, and she really just wanted to go home after dinner with Tania, her friend and a fellow salon owner. But she spied her cousin waiting in line outside the bar, so she agreed to go for a little while.
Brown was also outside the bar that night. He remembers seeing an attractive, smiling woman “flying through the air and wrapping herself around” another man. He felt a pang of disappointment, assuming they must be dating, but he overheard enough of their conversation to realize they were cousins. Then he heard the woman tell the man that she and Tania were “boy hunting.”
It was all Brown needed to hear. He resolved not to leave the bar without her phone number.
“I could tell he liked me, so I made an excuse to go to the bathroom,” La Moglia remembers. “I gave him my business card to get rid of him.”
Her plan didn’t work. Brown sent her text messages over the next several days, and after she shot down his invitation for a date, he tried to make a haircut appointment. She replied that she was booked but that he should go to Tania’s salon. Then she called Tania to suggest that she or her co-workers might want to date Brown.
A few days later, La Moglia received another text from Brown thanking her for the haircut recommendation. Moments later, her cell phone rang. It was Tania begging her to give Brown a chance. Finally, she agreed and scheduled drinks with him and a few of her friends.
“We had a blast together,” she said. “I really liked him once I opened myself up to that. After that, it was on.”
They dated for the next several months, and Brown even scoured the city and e-mailed “about 100 people on Craigslist” to secure a last-minute ticket to Burning Man so that La Moglia could join him at the sold-out festival.
By March 2012, La Moglia was convinced that the man she had spurned for so long might be the one. But Brown, who had been in a six-year relationship before dating La Moglia, was feeling overwhelmed. Fearing that things were moving too fast, he said he “freaked out” and ended the relationship.
“I was devastated,” La Moglia remembers. They didn’t speak for two months.
Brown said he took the time off, “meditated a lot and made sure I was ready for a heavy relationship.” Then he contacted La Moglia again in May.
The couple agreed to rebuild their connection slowly, and by Oct. 28 they – and their home baseball team – were again on top of the world.
After watching the Giants win the World Series, Brown, La Moglia and their friends joined hundreds of other fans celebrating in the streets of the Mission.
“Everyone was drinking and partying and hugging and screaming and honking,” La Moglia recalls. “I looked at him and decided I couldn’t hold back.”
She grabbed a girlfriend and revealed that she wanted to propose to Brown then and there. “Am I crazy?” she asked.
The friend said she’d never seen La Moglia happier, and grabbed her phone so she could take pictures of what was about to happen.
La Moglia pulled Brown aside and told him she loved him and had a question. “His eyes got wide, and he stood up straight,” she remembers.
“Five seconds later she proposed,” he said. “I said, ‘Of course!’ ” He added that he was planning to pop the question himself at New Year’s.
“Then he picked me up and threw me over his shoulder,” La Moglia remembers.
One month later – on the next full moon – Brown surprised La Moglia by slipping an engagement ring onto her finger one morning while the two were snuggling in bed. “I couldn’t see it, but I could feel it,” La Moglia said. And she immediately burst into joyful tears.
The pair wanted to keep their wedding “low key but make it surprisingly nice” on a budget, Brown said. La Moglia didn’t want to spend more than $500 on her dress, and when she fell in love with the second one she tried on at David’s Bridal, she was afraid to look at the price tag. When she turned it over, she couldn’t believe what she saw – $499.
The couple said “I do” May 31 on the fourth-floor balcony of San Francisco’s City Hall. A friend officiated, and then the whole party headed for a picnic reception at Crissy Field. Guests sat on picnic blankets and pillows in the grass and enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, and mac and cheese from the City Smoke House food truck and a cake with strawberries, bananas and whipped cream frosting from Mazzetti’s Bakery.
And instead of a diamond, La Moglia’s ring featured an oval-shaped moonstone – in honor of the full moons that brought them together.