OLD TOWN, Maine — When Rachel Rier met Sean Carter, it was instant nerd love.
The two, both University of Maine students, met at the Bear’s Den during karaoke night.
“He chatted me up about math languages — be still my heart. Then we sang ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley,” said Rier as Carter started singing the tune and dancing on their love seat.
Their second date? They played Mario Kart.
“She won,” said Carter.
And now, 2½ years later, right in time for Valentine’s Day, the two decided to get married.
Carter popped the big question in last Thursday’s The Weekly Question, a front-page feature of the local newspaper that comes inserted in the Bangor Daily News. He is shown in a picture holding a ring out and the caption reads, “Rachel, I have a question for you …”
The proposal didn’t quite go as he planned. The original plan was that Rier already would be at the Old Town home they share when Carter would get the free newspaper from the mailbox and bring it in.
“I was going to say ‘Look at the riff raff they put in the paper these days!’ And while she read it, I was going to pull the ring out,” Carter said.
It went nothing like that.
The paper went to their mailbox on Thursday, but their roommate must have misplaced it. When Rier went into her work at a university lab on Friday morning, her boss told her she was in the newspaper. Rier initially thought the worst — was she in the police blotter for some unknown reason?
“I thought I was in trouble,” she said.
“If you see Rachel Rier, immediately call police,” Carter joked.
So Rier quickly found a copy of “The Weekly” and immediately called Carter’s cell phone.
“The answer is ‘Yes’,” she said. “Then he said, ‘That’s not how it’s supposed to work.’”
Neither Rier, 24, of Lubec, nor Carter, 32, of Ellsworth thought they were the marrying type.
“I wasn’t the kind of girl who watched princess movies, but I met Sean and it felt right,” Rier said. “Before I met Sean I didn’t think I’d get married.”
While she talked the two held hands and smiled. Rier couldn’t get a sentence out without smiling and giggling, still ecstatic from saying yes.
“I never thought I would get married,” Carter said. “I didn’t think I was that kind of guy. Then I met Rachel — turns out I am that kind of guy. There is no logic to it. It just feels right.”
Some of the logistics of their relationship already have been worked out. In their home, the poster of the USS Enterprise goes above the TV and stack of video games. Rier cooks, Carter does dishes. Other things are less clear for the young couple. They both want to get jobs in Maine when they graduate — Rier from her graduate program in math and Carter from his engineering undergraduate studies. Carter wants 14 kids. But Rier doesn’t want to seem like Michelle Duggar from the TV show “19 Kids and Counting.”
The couple is planning an August wedding in the Lubec area.
“Now I know someone will give me Ensure [liquid meals] when I am 85 years old,” Carter said.