AUSTIN (KXAN) — Steve Smith and Janeen Bailey were onetime sweethearts in College Station, before both somehow ended up in Austin after years of not communicating. Five years ago, they reconnected.
“Then one day at Barton Springs…” Steve started.
“At Barton Springs doing the plunge!” Janeen finished, recalling how she saw him in a group of people and immediately recognized him.
“He hugged me, and we’ve been together ever since!” Janeen said.
The two were excited to be repeating the tradition, which they’ve done every year, but this year was to be their most memorable dip yet. She and Steve, wearing matching blue-and-white striped bathing outfits, spoke to KXAN Photographer Todd Bailey (no relation) before jumping into the water.
“Because of how you guys met, is it sort of more significant?” Todd Bailey asked about the Polar Plunge.
“Oh, absolutely,” Janeen said. Steve had even given her a picture for Christmas this year that someone had snapped the moment they remet.
“Actually,” Steve said, pulling out a small, gray box, and sinking to one knee. “It’s a little more special this year. Janeen, will you marry me?”
Janeen’s eyes lit up, and a smile spread across her face.
Steve plucked the ring from the box and slid it over her bright red nail to rest snugly on her finger. They kissed, and she pulled him up to stand.
“Oh!” Steve said suddenly. “I was supposed to say, ‘Will you take the plunge with me?'” He dropped back down to his knee.
“I will take the plunge with you!”
And they did. Literally, into Barton Springs Pool. But soon, they’ll also become husband and wife.