You could call it a classic New York City love story. We met on a rainy summer day in Central Park, but if the weather had cooperated, we might not have met at all (except that we were meant to be so we would’ve figured it out). Emilie was supposed to go to her college friend’s birthday picnic on Governors Island. I was also invited to said picnic—the friend, Emily with a y, was my colleague at the Huffington Post—but I had prior plans at an outdoor jazz festival in Queens.
Aside: If you haven’t guessed yet, this is Ben talking, with Emilie’s sign-off. We remember this all exactly the same way…how crazy. OK, back to the story.
Cue morning showers and a change of plans. Emily with a y called off Governors Island, and I wasn’t about to schlep to Queens. Fortunately it cleared up by midday, and the birthday picnic was relocated to Central Park. With a newly free afternoon, I decided to roll up, shirtless of course, on my sweet vintage road bike.
Aside: If you’re the guy who stole that bike three years ago, I’d like it back.
Emily with a y recommended I talk to her cute friend in the sundress. She had mentioned before that she thought I’d like her friend from USC, and apparently she gave Emilie a heads up that I might be a worthy conversationalist. We hit it off and within two hours were back at my place. Seriously, it started to rain again, and I invited the whole party back to my nearby apartment, the Bordello, for shelter, drinks, and games.
Aside: If you don’t know about the Bordello, feel free to ask. It’s a good story.
Later that night, I took Emilie up on her invitation to come to a party at her friend’s place, after which a few of us repaired to a nearby bar. We danced, I may or may not have taken my shirt off again, and we may or may not have kissed. The rest is history.
And here’s that history, in brief, for you inquiring minds. We went on two dates before Emilie left to cover the Tour de France, but we stayed in touch throughout. When she got back, she had “an extra ticket” to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and thought maybe I’d like to come. I found out later she bought that concert ticket for me.
Aside: Two audience members publicly proposed to their girlfriends during an instrumental breakdown in the middle of the song “Home.” We felt really bad for proposal #2.
Since then, we’ve fallen deep, deeply in love with each other. We’ve traveled the world, from the beaches of Sicily to the ruins of Machu Picchu. We’ve played hundreds of games of Scrabble— I’m sure I’m leading the series; Emilie disagrees—and dozens of games of ping pong. We’ve eaten lots of amazing food and done lots of amazing things. But most importantly, we’ve cherished all the little moments together, behind closed doors, when we’re doing nothing but enjoying each other’s company.
Aside: Back to the ping pong for a moment. I’m undefeated, and if Emilie ever beats me I have to give her a daily massage for the rest of our lives.
Finally, to my own surprise, I became ready to propose. One Friday afternoon in November, I surprised Emilie at work and whisked her away to the Catskills, to a boutique hotel where, three years ago, we had spent our first-ever weekend together out of the city. Flowers and champagne were waiting, but first Emilie had to solve a special crossword puzzle in which all the clues were about our relationship. The final one: Will you ____? (And yes, the answer was “do the dishes.”) Yada yada yada, there was a ring and kneeling and tears and then we were engaged and now here we are.
We’re so excited to be getting married. If you’re reading this, then you’ve been an indispensable part of our lives (unless you’re that guy who stole my bike), and we’re equally excited to share this next part of our journey with you.