First, an intro, in case anyone new happens to stumble along this page.
Jam and I met in October 2004 at his office in NYC. Backstory: my college friend and neighbor had been talking about Jam a LOT, to the point where I was basically wondering why she hadn’t asked him out. She explained “oh no, I’m not interested, I am just saying he’s the only guy at the office good enough to date on of my girls.” Uh, ok. I didn’t think much of it, but when M planned a post-grad party and insisted that I meet her at her office Friday night, I was a bit suspicious. “You can meet Jam! Oh and maybe some other coworkers” she said, all enthused. Hmm.
So we were introduced. It was a typical, slightly awkward but perfectly cordial, introduction. After exchanging pleasantries, Jam said, “You look like Amanda Beard, the swimmer” and raised his eyebrows. Years later, we would discuss exactly what that meant (he thought I was cute!!), but at the time, I just thought he was nice, but kind of random and weird.
After that weekend, I returned to Boston. I finished out the last week of my job, and entered the dark period of unemployment. The bad thing about being an overachiever and recent college grad from an institution that consistently producing amazing, enlightening, trailblazing women is that I felt like a failure for not getting hired on a permanent basis after my fourth-month stint as a seasonal worker with the Commonwealth. The good thing about being unemployed was the fact that I had endless time on my hands! When Jam made contact again in December (by sending me a bootleg CD via M. Aww that’s love), I was able to dedicate some serious time to “get to know you better” emails, something that appealed to my overachiever sentiments. Finally, something to do after many months of endless, unsuccessful job-seeking!
The emails, like our first introduction, started awkwardly.Lucky for us, I had the sense to save some.
Here’s the first:
Thanks so much for burning me copies of “the bootlegs.” They kept me company on the long ride home from Northampton Sunday night…
(M’s friend, but not the one from Maine)
Seriously, as awkward as that first email is, it was what basically opened the door to our entire relationship. Our love blossomed over bootleg CD’s and email, ha ha ha. So special.
I won’t take you through the rest of the exhausting details of our nearly five (5!!!) year relationship, but after three months of incredibly long emails discussing the New England Patriots, wildlife conservation, Jam’s trips to Mexico and Vegas, my time studying abroad in Africa, hopes and dreams, etc, we found ourselves preparing to meet for the second time for M’s birthday. We got together at her house for a movie Friday night. Again, awkward encounter. Jam and I sat chastely on her couch watching “Napolean Dynamite,” which he found frustratingly stupid. He ended the night with a casual “see you tomorrow” and that seemed like the end of that. Saturday night, however, brought us to a magical place called the Fat Black Pussycat, a bar in the village. Let me just say, for us, that place sealed the deal. Third in-person meeting, first kiss, DONE DEAL. Three weeks later, though I somehow lost the email, he asked me to be his girlfriend.
Thus ensued years of long-distance dating (we’re still long-distance, hopefully not for much longer)! It’s had its ups and downs, but mostly, we’ve had ups. We’ve traveled and done a lot of fun things together, and we’ve tried to capitalize on the time we’ve spent in each other’s company. We gave each other moral support as we both made our way through grad school, we’ve helped each other grow as people and have developed a fantastic relationship, and a wonderfully solid partnership.
Did I know he was “the one” when I met him? No, of course not. Did I think he was special when I started to get to know him? Yes! Did I ever consider a long-distance relationship? Noooo way. Am I glad that we gave it a whirl? Yes, I am incredibly grateful we both threw practicality to the wind and decided to go for it.
One final note to share while I’m busy explaining our “in the beginning” post – while I think the two people in the relationship are the ones responsible for keeping it alive and kicking, we may never have met if it weren’t for our friend M, and we might have never added kindling to the fire if it hadn’t been for the support and love of our friends and family. You know who you are! The fact that we are loved and accepted by each other’s friends and family has been an essential part to our relationship. Yes, I think we could have somehow managed without your support, but it would not have been easy, or as fun. Thank you, loves.