The Story of Girl Meets Boy

I hope your in the mood for some sap and some goo this morning because for today’s What About Me Wednesday, I’m going to share the story of girl meets boy. It’s a lengthy tale, but a fun one so I can’t wait to tell all of you. Those who know us, know this story already, but I don’t think they will mind hearing it one more time.

rafting down the Yellowstone River, August 2010
Perhaps this should actually be called the story of how girl and boy started dating, fell in love and eventually got married since Shaun and I were friends (more like we had mutual friends, but it’s my version of the story, so I’ll say we were friends) for about 2 years before we went on our first date. Let me back up.

Shaun and I grew up in the same, humongous town in New Jersey. Our hometown is so big, that among 12 elementary schools and 2 middle schools, our paths didn’t converge until our sophomore year in high school. We had a few classes together (like history, english and health, but who’s keeping track?) and I quickly deemed him the cutest boy in school. It didn’t hurt that he was already about 6’2”. I like ‘em tall, dark and handsome. Oh and then I heard him cracking jokes to his friends. And I quickly deemed him the funniest boy in school. I was completely smitten people.

in my sophomore dorm at NYU, circa 2002

Like cheesy high school romantic comedy smitten. You know, looking for him in the hallways between classes, jumping at the chance to be his squaredancing partner in gym class, but all the while pretending it was like it just-so-happened to work out that way, attending the boys’ soccer games in which he played (though this last bit seems less stalkerish since I was on the girls team and that’s just what you did). You get the point.

out in New Brunswick for one of Shaun's birthdays

Anyhow, as our two separate groups of friends merged, we saw more of each other and I suppose entered into actual friend territory. We chatted on AOL (yep, the original) and on the phone a couple of times. And then he asked me out on a date in the spring of our senior year of high school. Not like a group hang out. But a real date. I put on a super ‘90s green sweater and my mom helped me put on eye shadow (she knew this one was special!). It was pouring rain and my sister Kimberly squealed when she saw his car pull up. I put my stone age cell phone on silent for the evening and somehow managed to remain completely calm. He took me out to our local coffeehouse where I pretended to enjoy a cappuccino (even though I thought it tasted like tar), listened to live music and never ran out of things to talk about. We watched a movie back at my parents house and he kissed me. I thought it was the absolute best night of all time and most certainly had to have been a dream.

After that, we went back to being friends. Or as I like to say, all that high school stuff got in the way. We still hung out together at parties, but we weren’t dating. We went with other people to the senior prom, but ended up spending the whole party together. Here’s a major throwback shot for ya...

Our senior prom, circa 2000
And of course the post-prom weekend took place in Wildwood, NJ where we spent the whole next day walking the boardwalk and having breakfast together. The rest of the summer played out as such. We hung out with the group and on our own. Hesitant to believe his intentions after our date that went nowhere, I just went along for the ride, enjoying every moment but not really expecting our fun summer to go anywhere. Shaun, however, had other plans in mind since I noticed he was always finding ways to hang out with me, even to simply drive me home from a party.

Celebrating one of my early 20's birthdays down in Atlantic City 

We spent a lot of time down the Jersey shore, eating ice cream and playing boardwalk games (that’s just what you do in the summer ‘round these parts), riding around in his giant red Astro van listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dave Matthews Band. A mere 3 weeks before we were set to leave for our respective colleges (me at NYU, he at Rensselaer Polytechnics Institute outside Albany, NY), we decided that we were officially a couple and would give it a go despite being 3 hours away from each other.

at my surprise bridal shower, June 2008

...and the rest, as they say, is history. We spent 4 years alternating travel between Albany and Manhattan (never once even ‘taking a break’). After school, we both moved back to New Jersey to get our careers going (and I went to grad school full time for a year) and save money. A few years after that, we had a romantic and breezy beach wedding in Aruba

at our 2008 Aruba wedding, joined by 80 of our closest friends and family

...and here we are, 11 years later. It’s funny how things work out, isn’t it?