We met while working together at the American Museum of Natural History. After 8 months of bonding while driving Winnebagos through the streets of NYC, Elise moved into a new job in the Anthropology Department. Shortly thereafter is when the magic happened. We moved into an apartment in Brooklyn & we've been living together now for 3 wonderful years. All has been peaches and cream-- except occasionally while planning this wedding ;)
Below are our individual stories of when we knew we were meant for each other.
February 2006. It was a trip up to NH ... to go partake in snow sports. Some people were driving to the mountain that morning for a day of skiing and snowboarding, and lo and behold there were not enough seats in the suv for all of us. As a matter of fact, we were one short. I did not know it at the time but my future wife without missing a beat volunteered to drive to the mountain by herself. Being the chivalrous gent that I am, I would not let her drive the snowy roads alone. The drive turned out to be more than a trip to the hill; it was a glimpse into the life of the woman who, 3.5 years later, I would pledge to spend the rest of my life with.
Back to the drive. We took her parents Alero (not the Stingray like I wanted to) which was stick shift-- a plus right there. The music was exactly what I would have picked myself, we even sung some things in two part harmony. After a tour of her old stomping grounds with anecdotes and clips funny to the point of laughing out loud, and understanding completely where she had come from, she looks at me at a stop sign and says "Highway or back road? I think I know a short cut." It was right there at the stop sign, when we decided not to turn onto the wide solid double yellow lined road, and take the road less traveled that I knew. I had found my soulmate. This was someone who was my equal, my partner, my lover and my friend. The next February we moved into an apartment in Brooklyn together and from that day on I knew Elise would be mine forever, and I would be hers.
October 2006. A Trip up the Lake. I knew Jude as a coworker and a friend for many months before I finally "got" him. He was fun and funny, always up for doing whatever crazy thing you suggested-- whether that was a pull-up contest on scaffolding (he won) or seeing how fast we could run to Broadway, purchase creampuffs and make it back to the bar (15 minutes). But he didn't quite fit in with his surroundings-- and he definitely wasn't like the other guys I knew in NYC. I didn't really "get" him-- he was a little bit of a mystery and always kind of surprising.
It wasn't until October of 2006 that I was able to observe Jude in his natural habitat. And it all suddenly made sense. Jude in NYC is a little like an animal in captivity. You can get a sense of what they're like, what they do, but until you observe them in the wild, in their natural habitat (in Jude's case-- the backwoods of New England), you can't understand the true spirit of the animal.
Jude invited me and a bunch of other museum folks up to Otis, Mass., for Columbus Day weekend. The weekend was full of outdoor fun-- camping, hiking, kayaking, swimming in the freezing lake-- but it was the late nights around the fire that sold me. Jude and I ended up the last two people around the fire--even the few who had made it to 2 am hotdogs went to bed-- and we finished off a bottle of Galliano in honor of Columbus. Yes-- Galliano straight from the bottle. It was sweet and syrupy, but we passed it back and forth and talked until it was gone. We tried melting the bottle in the fire, and it cracked while it was cooling. But that didn't matter because now I "got" Jude-- he made sense to me, I understood him, and I knew that I'd never meet anyone else like him.
We started dating a few weeks after finishing off that Galliano and I knew right from the beginning that this was it-- this was The One.