And it wasn't ice cream.
He had something more in the princess line on his plate.
Megan Warner was volunteering in the booth four years ago during the run of the annual fair. De Vries was in line one day with his mother, Randy de Vries, and they spotted Warner.
“The first time I saw Megan was at the Evergreen State Fair,” Brett de Vries said. “I noticed a pretty girl, tall, with dark hair, working the cash register at the Purple Cow ice cream booth.”
He said he had a hunch about the cashier, and apparently his mother had the same hunch.
“As I was looking at Megan while in line, mom was elbowing me saying, ‘Get her number.' ”
That wasn't how de Vries rolled. He tried to catch the young lady's eye, but Warner simply went about her job.
“Brett proceeded into the dairy barn,” Warner said. “I grew up showing cows at the fair, served as the Snohomish County Dairy Princess, then as the Washington State Dairy Ambassador, so there were quite a few pictures of me posted on the walls.”
The smitten young man noticed the photographs, connected the dots, and asked his dad to hold his ice cream.
He headed back to the Purple Cow booth.
De Vries didn't take his A game.
“When he approached my mom, who was volunteering with us, she asked why he was back so soon,” Warner said. “Brett said ‘You have good ice cream here.' I didn't think a thing of it and just gave him another ice cream.”
For the next six months, whenever anyone would ask de Vries why he didn't have a girlfriend, he'd say, “I'm waiting for a dairy princess.”
It became a standing joke.
De Vries' mother was chatting with a friend who heard about the royal wish.
The friend happened to know several dairy princesses, including “Megan” from Snohomish.
Brett de Vries' phone number was passed along to Warner, then a student at Washington State University in Pullman.
“With a good chuckle, I set the number aside,” Warmer said. “About a week later, I was planning on coming home for a visit. For some reason, walking home from work at school, I pulled Brett's number out of my day planner and left him a voice mail.”
De Vries, 26, didn't fumble this time. He called Warner back. They decided to meet, where else, over ice cream in Snohomish that weekend.
“I was expecting him to be unattractive with minimal social skills given he had waited so long to meet me,” Warner said. “I was wrong.”
On Feb. 17, 2007, Warner pulled into a Baskin-Robbins parking lot. Standing there, she said, was a handsome farm boy leaning against his truck.
“I ordered chocolate chip mint and he ordered a scoop of chocolate chip mint and a scoop of chocolate,” Warner said. “We talked for hours. Before parting ways, he asked if I would return the next weekend for a company dinner.”
She came back.
That was that.
“We've had a wonderful dating period filled with a lot of the usual date nights and courtship activities, but some were more unique dates, like checking on cows or helping either one of our dads put up hay in the summertime. It was no surprise to Brett's friends that he'd end up with a farm girl and it fits my lifestyle perfectly.”
She finished college and is a registered dietitian.
De Vries graduated from Pacific Lutheran University and bought a house on Monroe farm land.
On April 1, de Vries told Warner, 25, they needed to swing by Baskin-Robbins in Snohomish to pick up Easter dessert.
The farm boy had his moves down pat.
“Right outside Baskin-Robbins, he turned to me and started talking about the first day we met,” Warner said. “I tried to remain calm because this wasn't the first time I thought he might be going into a proposal. He kept talking about us.”
Her beau dropped to one knee and took out a ring.
“I said ‘yes' and both of our families came running out from Baskin-Robbins. We ordered the same ice cream we had together three years prior.”
Sunday night, 10-10-10, they'll be married on her parent's dairy farm. Instead of cake, they'll be serving ice cream.
“I couldn't be more excited or feel more fortunate than I do right now,” Warner said. “Who knew there were any farm boys left out there looking for a dairy princess?”
Kristi O'Harran: 425-339-3451, email@example.com
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