4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Matthew Lyons and Kristina McDonald

In love with a Marine’s 17-year-old girl

Matthew Lyons and Kristina McDonald
Matthew Lyons and Kristina McDonald

Met: June 20, 2001

Engaged: February 14, 2004

Wedding Date: July 2, 2005

What do you do if you meet your true love at 17, your love is an “older man” of 22, your mother was raised traditional Japanese, and your father is a retired Marine? You wait. Kristina McDonald could write a book about waiting.

“Matthew and I met at his sister’s graduation party,” Miss McDonald, 20, says on a recent July evening. Sitting outside a Mira Mesa Starbucks, she and her fiancé Matthew Lyons, 25, laugh about their first encounter.

“She was best friends with my sister Angela,” Mr. Lyons picks up the thread. “I saw Kristina at Angela’s graduation party, and I knew right away that I liked her.”

“He came up to me and told me that he had a thing for Japanese girls. I grew up in Okinawa and moved here when I was 11. I told him, ‘I’m only half Japanese, so it wouldn’t work out.’”

Miss McDonald didn’t know how wrong she was. Within weeks, she and Mr. Lyons were seeing more of each other. “Every time I went over to Angela’s house to hang out, Matthew was there.”

Because of their age difference, the couple kept their love under wraps for a whole year. “I was only 17,” Miss McDonald explains. A senior at Mt. Carmel High School, she wasn’t old enough, in her family’s eyes, to be dating a 22-year-old SDSU student. They didn’t kiss for a whole year. “We would hold hands under the dinner table,” Miss McDonald confesses. “Or if we were watching a movie at Angela’s house, Matthew and I would hold hands under the blanket.”

“We played a lot of footsie,” Mr. Lyons confirms. “And e-mailed and talked on the phone.”

Miss McDonald and Mr. Lyons came out as a couple after Miss McDonald’s high school graduation. They dated for two years. This past Valentine’s Day, Mr. Lyons had the day planned. “Then I got the stomach flu,” he says. “We got in a big fight. We were downtown. We were going to go out for sushi. When I got sick, Kristina said she didn’t want to eat alone. She wanted to go home.” Miss McDonald didn’t know that her parents and Mr. Lyons’s parents were waiting to help them celebrate their engagement.

“I finally convinced her to go to Todai,” Mr. Lyons continues. “Then we went over to Coronado to walk on the beach.”

“After a while,” Miss McDonald says, “Matthew said he had to go back to the car to get my gift. He came back with his guitar. He played me a love song he had written for me three weeks after we met. I cried. We hugged. Then he said, ‘That’s not it. There’s more.’ I thought, ‘He’s not going to ask me to marry him. We have no money.’ He pulled a black box out of his pocket and got down on one knee.”

After Mr. Lyons popped the question, Miss McDonald fell down laughing. “I laugh when I’m nervous,” she explains. “I asked him how he could afford a ring.”

“I sold my hot rod,” Mr. Lyons says. For the previous year, Mr. Lyons had been trying to sell his 1978 Chevy Firebird with a 350 V-8 engine. “Some guy from Wisconsin bought it over the Internet. He flew out here on a Friday and drove it home. I took the money the same day and bought the ring.”

Miss McDonald holds up her left hand and the one-half-carat diamond solitaire set in white gold flashes in the setting sun.

“When we got home, our parents were waiting with cake and drinks,” Miss McDonald says. “I was so surprised they had kept the secret. Usually my parents tell me everything.”

Mr. Lyons says he had a hard time asking for his beloved’s hand. “Her dad wouldn’t even look at me,” he recalls. “He was watching TV. I told him, ‘Kristi and I have been serious for a while. I want to ask your permission to marry her.’ He said, ‘Do you have a job?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Do you know when you’re going to get a job?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said I could marry his older daughter, but not Kristi.”

Mr. Lyons will receive his credential next December and plans to start teaching in January 2005. “I asked Kristi’s dad if she and I could get married in December after I graduate. He said, ‘No.’ That’s how we came up with next summer. I will have been working for six months.” Miss McDonald will still have to complete her studies at Cal State University, San Marcos.

The couple plans a July 5, 2005, wedding outside at the Officers’ Club at the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot on San Diego Bay. The reception will follow. “We’re inviting about 150 people,” Mr. Lyons says. Their pastor from Scripps Mesa Bible Church will officiate. Until then, Mr. Lyons and Miss McDonald will have to wait.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

San Diego's thrift stores teeter

Rescue Mission, Father Joe's Villages, Auntie Helen's, Goodwill, Amvets cast about for answers
Next Article

The dine-in ghost kitchens of Barrio Food Hub

Dozens of virtual brands operate in a single building, and it has a parklet
Matthew Lyons and Kristina McDonald
Matthew Lyons and Kristina McDonald

Met: June 20, 2001

Engaged: February 14, 2004

Wedding Date: July 2, 2005

What do you do if you meet your true love at 17, your love is an “older man” of 22, your mother was raised traditional Japanese, and your father is a retired Marine? You wait. Kristina McDonald could write a book about waiting.

“Matthew and I met at his sister’s graduation party,” Miss McDonald, 20, says on a recent July evening. Sitting outside a Mira Mesa Starbucks, she and her fiancé Matthew Lyons, 25, laugh about their first encounter.

“She was best friends with my sister Angela,” Mr. Lyons picks up the thread. “I saw Kristina at Angela’s graduation party, and I knew right away that I liked her.”

“He came up to me and told me that he had a thing for Japanese girls. I grew up in Okinawa and moved here when I was 11. I told him, ‘I’m only half Japanese, so it wouldn’t work out.’”

Miss McDonald didn’t know how wrong she was. Within weeks, she and Mr. Lyons were seeing more of each other. “Every time I went over to Angela’s house to hang out, Matthew was there.”

Because of their age difference, the couple kept their love under wraps for a whole year. “I was only 17,” Miss McDonald explains. A senior at Mt. Carmel High School, she wasn’t old enough, in her family’s eyes, to be dating a 22-year-old SDSU student. They didn’t kiss for a whole year. “We would hold hands under the dinner table,” Miss McDonald confesses. “Or if we were watching a movie at Angela’s house, Matthew and I would hold hands under the blanket.”

“We played a lot of footsie,” Mr. Lyons confirms. “And e-mailed and talked on the phone.”

Miss McDonald and Mr. Lyons came out as a couple after Miss McDonald’s high school graduation. They dated for two years. This past Valentine’s Day, Mr. Lyons had the day planned. “Then I got the stomach flu,” he says. “We got in a big fight. We were downtown. We were going to go out for sushi. When I got sick, Kristina said she didn’t want to eat alone. She wanted to go home.” Miss McDonald didn’t know that her parents and Mr. Lyons’s parents were waiting to help them celebrate their engagement.

“I finally convinced her to go to Todai,” Mr. Lyons continues. “Then we went over to Coronado to walk on the beach.”

“After a while,” Miss McDonald says, “Matthew said he had to go back to the car to get my gift. He came back with his guitar. He played me a love song he had written for me three weeks after we met. I cried. We hugged. Then he said, ‘That’s not it. There’s more.’ I thought, ‘He’s not going to ask me to marry him. We have no money.’ He pulled a black box out of his pocket and got down on one knee.”

After Mr. Lyons popped the question, Miss McDonald fell down laughing. “I laugh when I’m nervous,” she explains. “I asked him how he could afford a ring.”

“I sold my hot rod,” Mr. Lyons says. For the previous year, Mr. Lyons had been trying to sell his 1978 Chevy Firebird with a 350 V-8 engine. “Some guy from Wisconsin bought it over the Internet. He flew out here on a Friday and drove it home. I took the money the same day and bought the ring.”

Miss McDonald holds up her left hand and the one-half-carat diamond solitaire set in white gold flashes in the setting sun.

“When we got home, our parents were waiting with cake and drinks,” Miss McDonald says. “I was so surprised they had kept the secret. Usually my parents tell me everything.”

Mr. Lyons says he had a hard time asking for his beloved’s hand. “Her dad wouldn’t even look at me,” he recalls. “He was watching TV. I told him, ‘Kristi and I have been serious for a while. I want to ask your permission to marry her.’ He said, ‘Do you have a job?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Do you know when you’re going to get a job?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said I could marry his older daughter, but not Kristi.”

Mr. Lyons will receive his credential next December and plans to start teaching in January 2005. “I asked Kristi’s dad if she and I could get married in December after I graduate. He said, ‘No.’ That’s how we came up with next summer. I will have been working for six months.” Miss McDonald will still have to complete her studies at Cal State University, San Marcos.

The couple plans a July 5, 2005, wedding outside at the Officers’ Club at the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot on San Diego Bay. The reception will follow. “We’re inviting about 150 people,” Mr. Lyons says. Their pastor from Scripps Mesa Bible Church will officiate. Until then, Mr. Lyons and Miss McDonald will have to wait.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

San Diego Asian Film Festival 2021 sampler

Reviews of Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes, Inside the Red Brick Wall, and Islands
Next Article

Little apes on a little rock in a sea of nothingness

Scoobert Doobert, Sorry It’s Over, Nortec Collective, Stephen Pearcy, Mrs. Henry
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close