This week marks mine and Michael’s 8 year anniversary of being together. 8 whole years! So much has happened in that time. We met when we were just a couple of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed 21-year-olds. Even though we’re now “grown ups,” I still see him as the cute guy who asked me to coffee on campus. In honor of our anniversary, I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane to see where it all began...
The story of how we first got together actually starts two years before we even met, during my junior year in college at the George Washington University. It was the fall of 2008 when I met an awesome freshman girl named Rachel during sorority recruitment. We instantly connected and she became my “rush crush” - someone who I wanted to have in my chapter potentially as my “little sister.” (It’s still so funny to me to think back to my college days - I sometimes forget I was in a sorority!) Although she did not end up joining my sorority, we stayed friends and hung out on campus. She told me she had a brother my age but he was studying abroad in London for the year. The spring of 2009, I spent the semester studying in Buenos Aires, Argentina so I didn’t reconnect with Rachel until I returned for the fall semester of my senior year. A few snaps of my sorority days below!
That fall, I remember Rachel mentioning her brother Michael to me one day and how she really wanted us to meet. But we had pretty different class schedules (and I was busy with a musical, Hillel leadership board, my a capella group, and my sorority) so we never ended up meeting. All three of us were connected with a campus rabbi and his family who hosted regular Friday night Shabbat dinners. Fast forward to January of 2010, the beginning of my last semester of college. Rachel invited me to join her and her brother at one of these Shabbat dinners. I wasn’t sure if it was meant to be a “set-up” or she just thought we’d get along, but I decided to go to the dinner. What did I have to lose? Even if the dinner wasn’t amazing, I knew Rachel would be there and we would have fun together.
I don’t remember too much about the dinner, but my first impression of Michael was that he was the strong, silent type. Meanwhile, I was chatting up a storm and even made some short remarks about the Torah portion of the week (what a dork, I know!) We spoke a little bit about Avatar (I guess the movie had come out that year) and then went our separate ways. I thought he was nice and that was the end of it. But I guess it made an impression on him because a few days later, I got a Facebook message in my inbox from Michael, inviting me to get coffee with him that week. I immediately Facebook stalked him (as much as I could without being friends on FB yet) and decided it couldn’t hurt. Not to mention, I couldn’t remember the last time someone asked me to coffee! How adult! When we met one-on-one, he totally opened up and we hit it off. I guess you could call that our first date. We started hanging out pretty often and then came SNOWMAGEDDON! In early February 2010, Washington DC (and the rest of the east coast) experienced one of the most severe snowstorms it had ever seen. Since the city was poorly equipped to deal with weather of this kind, GW shut down for 10 days and Michael and I spent almost every day together.
With our shared love of travel and food, we’d explore different parts of DC on the weekends and meet in between classes on the campus quad for quick hellos. Michael prepared an intimate and romantic dinner for my 22nd birthday and I threw him a surprise party for his. He was different than other guys I’d dated - he was mature and sophisticated, with a strong sense of self and a confidence I was really attracted to. He wasn’t just trying to play games. I fell for Michael fast and hard. How could things have gotten so serious so quickly?
After graduation, Michael planned to go to law school in Massachusetts and I was planning to move to NYC for graduate school. I remember feeling nervous to have the conversation about our relationship and what would happen after we graduated. Michael put all my worries at ease and without skipping a beat, said of course we would stay together. Long distance wasn’t ideal (though even the thought of being apart was awful) but it wasn’t a reason to break up.
Graduation came and went and we had the best summer together. Come fall I moved to NYC and Michael to MA. After two years of traveling back and forth to Boston, I ended up moving there to be with Michael during his last year of law school and for the first 4 years of my professional career. Maybe I’ll save the story of how we successfully navigated a long distance relationship for another post.
Little did I know, that what started off as a casual fling my last semester of college would turn into the love of my life. He may not think this anniversary counts anymore (if it were up to him, our wedding anniversary would be the only date we’d celebrate or remember) but it’s every bit as important as the rest of our story. Happy 8 years, babe. Here’s to many more!