The Summer of 2012 was a busy time for both of us. I was in the process of being Serena’s Man of Honor and Jack was working full time at Sam’s Farm and perfecting his tan at the beach whenever time allowed (which coincidently was quite often). We exchanged lots of OKCupid messages and late night texts, however it was not until a sweltering Tuesday night in August that we met face to face. Jack was under the impression that he was coming to meet me as part of my friends’ Summer Bocce League’s “Bring a Date” night. Little did he know that I would be the only one that brought a date for the after party at Wonderland in Columbia Heights.
I ascended to the second floor of the dingy, unairconditioned “ballroom”, working my way through crowds of hipsters, trying to recognize Brian from various pictures we had exchanged (given my eyesight, this is challenge when looking for the most familiar of faces). After a few false alarms and one mistaken introduction, I finally felt confident enough I had identified him that I approached his table. He introduced me to his friends like we had been dating for years and they kept the whole “date night” charade going. Looking back on this moment, I was getting a glimpse of one of Brian’s most endearing qualities: the love and pride he has towards all the people he surrounds himself with and the somewhat awkward situations he creates to include everyone he cares for in everything he does, even first dates. I immediately went up to the bar and ordered two warm pitchers of Stella Artois and sat down with some new life-long friends.
The next few months were filled with Jack wining and dining me throughout D.C. and me getting him to join the Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C. (still one of my proudest accomplishments). Like the night at Wonderland, I admired Jack’s willingness to try new things, meet different people, and enjoy the little things in life. I think some of my favorite early memories of us as a couple are at the beach hosting our friends and enjoying the warm Delaware sun. This is not to say we didn’t have our low points. However, I always knew that regardless of where we landed Jack would remain an important part of my life, even if we had to experience a couple of life’s chapters apart while we figured out what we wanted. That is not to say I didn’t fall victim to “wanting my cake and eating it too,” but even when we agreed to take a break from dating I couldn’t help but be drawn back to Jack’s kind soul, loving nature, and sincere desire to help me accomplish my goals and find happiness in life.
By the third date I decided I was going to spend the rest of my life with Brian. After periods of on-and-off again dating and a steadily developing friendship, I finally invited him down to the beach for what I have dubbed “my last stand.” On June 29, 2014 we spent a lazy Sunday afternoon sipping 312s on the beach, watching the waves break on the hard sand. After I ran and got him his favorite sandwich from Ocean Side we talked through some issues and agreed to give our relationship a real shot. The first year was filled with intense life-altering events. Brian supported me as I gave up drinking that winter. In the spring, he came to me and asked if I would move across the country with him. I started packing my
bags, but made sure I hid my enthusiasm to get a few concessions out of him, one being that when the time came, we would celebrate our marriage in DC.