How I met Hannah starts with me introducing my friends. Peter and Henry had met these girls from Westchester, NY at a conference somewhere. I guess they all got along because they kept in touch after the conference. In the Summer of 2009, Peter had asked if we all wanted to hang out with these Westchester girls and specifically he had someone in particular that I should meet.
We all met in the parking lot of Borders and from there headed to a Japanese restaurant in my car. At the restaurant was where I first noticed this beautiful girl in a white v-neck and jeans (little did I know, this was not the girl that Peter wanted me to meet). Later that evening as we loitered in front of a 7-11, I got a chance to talk to her more intently and the first thing that intrigued me was how she was a French and education double major. I don’t know why, but that was the moment I really knew I wanted to date her.
Throughout the summer our group of friends continued to meet up and hang out. The more I learned about her, the more I became interested. Of course, she wasn’t interested in dating anyone, let alone me. Still we would talk through AIM and eventually on the phone. I remember the first time she called me as I ran from my desk at work into the stairwell to pick up the call. She just wanted to talk as she walked to her French Cinema class.
Finally, I mustered enough courage to tell her my intentions and as I was pouring out my heart she responded by leaving the conversation without giving me an answer. For the two weeks following that, we didn’t talk at all. It was one of the most excruciating two weeks of my life. Finally, she IM’d me and said yes. I got my first date, although she made it very clear that it was one date and nothing more.
Of course, that brings us all the way to last Thanksgiving weekend when I had the privilege and joy of asking the love of my life to marry me. This time, she didn’t keep me waiting and said yes right away.
It was July 2009, right before my senior year of college. I drove with a couple of my girlfriends to New Jersey, to hang out with a newfound friend and his buddies. We parked our car in the parking lot of Borders (R.I.P.) and climbed into the backseat of Peter’s car. He introduced us to his front seat passenger, a lanky, glasses-wearing guy who immediately gave off a West Coast relaxed vibe, with a twist of New England prep. As we hung out, I noticed that this guy could strike up a conversation with anyone, and he could talk with me about any topic of interest: French, jazz, education, traveling. I began to see in the back of my mind that somehow, he and I, we were alike. And yet I was oblivious to what this would mean.
During that summer, we hung out a few more times. As I later found out, I was being pursued. Hardcore. His friends orchestrated authentic moments for us to be caught alone. He dressed to impress. I was constantly nudged to talk to him. I was constantly nudged to talk about him. And you know what I did? I resisted. Hardcore. Despite feeling the constant desire to talk to him, to know him more, I also ran away, fearful of misunderstood expectations. Fearful of not being able to reciprocate and then of ruining this great new friendship. One fall afternoon, as I walked to French class, I decided to give him a call. The phone rang once. “Hello?” he answered skeptically. I teetered between having hours-long conversations with him to not speaking to him, lest I should lead him on.
But guess what? He continued to pursue me. He was bold. He was straightforward. He told me what he wanted, what he intended, and he let me choose.
And after a few weeks of indecision, I chose. I agreed to one date. I didn't want him to hold me to any expectation that I wouldn't be able to meet. And he graciously accepted my conditions.
And thus began our adventures. One date turned into two. And two dates turned into six years. Fortunately, it wasn’t until later that I found out that David, this front seat passenger, had in fact been brought to meet not me, but my best friend. It was extreme fortune that I didn’t find out until much later that he had tried to move on from me, going on dates with other girls during my period of indecision. And it is beyond fortune – it is by design – that he got down on one knee last November, so that we get to continue our excellent adventure together.