Thursday, May 26, 2011

Prepare for landing!

With just under 30 hours to go until the big moment, it's about time to wrap up this story time. Of course, there are so many stories that we could additionally share with you. While we are about to land this particular "courting" plane, the "married" plane will take off after a short layover in the beautiful redwoods at Nestldown.

But before we head for the final descent, I wanted to share one more anecdote with you.

In a relationship, once a guy or a gal gets to that moment of thinking "I love you," the question becomes "when do I say it?" I'll never forget the first time that Kim told me that she loved me. She was in India at the time and I was in San Francisco. I was in my apartment when the phone rang. Unfortunately I didn't hear it ring so it went to voicemail. When I did discover that I had a message, I heard the following:

"Hey babe, just thought I'd try to catch you before *crr* *sss* out later *acc.* Hope you have *crrr* later. Maybe we can *ssssss*. Love you, bye!"

Sometimes Skype doesn't work so well, but there was no mistaking those last three words. Love you, bye. I couldn't help but smile at the fact that we had become so familiar with each other that I had just received the typical family "end of message."

Kim caught her mistake and as soon as she called me back, she was quick to say "Don't worry about that voicemail, you can just delete it." But the cat was out of the bag. Love was definitely in the air. Not too long after that, on her next visit back to the states, I told her that I loved her. She was so surprised that it took her a day to return the sentiment. But that's a story for another time.

And just a year after those very first official "I love yous," within days of Kim returning from India, I got down on my knee and asked Kim if she'd accept my love for the rest of her life. Tomorrow, we will all celebrate that love together. Can't wait to see you all there!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

*Ding* Ladies and Gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the seat belt sign

No journey would be complete without a little bit of turbulence. And while Ben and I have been fortunate to have pretty smooth sailing, all things considered, there was one night/morning while I was in India that we had a bit of miscommunication.

It was his morning and my evening when we had agreed to chat later that night when I got home (see, Ande, I think we DID plan phone dates occasionally…but Ben sees it differently, as this story will explain). He clearly didn't remember that agreement because while I waited up waaay past my bedtime (and that’s late!) to get a text from him saying he was ready to chat, I didn't receive one until I could barely keep my eyes open anymore saying "hanging out with the guys -- talk to you tomorrow!" (the time difference was about 12 hours).

Since I was already in that loopy stage of tired, I typed up a snippy response and went to sleep. The next morning, I woke up and hoped that I hadn’t actually sent the response, as I realized it was pretty childish. But, when I ran to the phone and checked my sent messages, sure enough, this was sitting there in my outbox:

"Oh. Well I just stayed up late thinking that we were going to talk tonight. But I guess not. Whatevs."

Whatevs. Nice, Kim. Very mature. That's what I left Ben to ponder for the rest of his night with his friends. Text messaging isn't always the best for communicating emotion, but Ben certainly got the picture and later told me that he was quite nervous about what I was going to say when we did get the chance to talk the next morning. I, of course, was completely embarrassed. Fortunately, he diffused the situation pretty well (as he does) when we got on the phone by saying, amidst his apology for the miscommunication, "Whatevs? Really? That was pretty funny." To this day, whenever we start to get a little snippy, one of us will simply chime in "Whatevs," and that seems to break the tension quite nicely.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Speaking of turbulence, Kim is working on a post to tell you about one of our turbulent moments while in India, but alas, we have hit a bit of turbulence now just five days before the wedding as Kim has come down with a cold! So our apologies for pressing pause on this blog as we make sure Kim gets better for the big day Friday. Can't wait to see you all...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Drink and a snack?

Ok, some titles of these posts can't quite fit the model that we've established thus far. This is one such post!

But anyway, when we first started hanging out in January, 2008, I knew Kim was planning to work in India for a year, come that fall. I honestly had no idea what our relationship would be like at that time and as such, we agreed in February that we would just enjoy each other's company and keep hanging out as long as it felt like the right thing to do. In many ways, this "day by day" approach really helped us make sure that we never got too far ahead of ourselves with respect to expectations in the relationship.

Of course, then September came. And we were facing the fact that we really were quite attached to each other. So the idea of splitting up sounded completely awful and certainly not the right thing to do! We decided we would try the EXTREME long-distance thing and we would continue to take the relationship one day at a time, trying in earnest to be completely honest with each other as to how we were being impacted by that amount of distance. Admittedly, I was skeptical that we could continue to grow closer and closer despite the long distance! But the day finally came when she had to leave. It was September 29, 2008. And I was choking up at the airport as I waved goodbye. Interesting tidbit for those of you who follow the stock market, the Dow dropped 778 points that day. Coincidence? I think not. Kim Whittaker was leaving the country and we all felt the impact.

Luckily, for us, several things played in our favor once Kim was abroad. My phone seemed to be the ONLY one Kim could send to or receive texts from in the States, which made it much more easy to connect via phone or Skype. In fact, in the entire time Kim spent in India, we never once set up an official "phone date." Also, Skype had improved tenfold from even just a year before, making it possible even to SEE each other while we chatted as long as there was electricity in Kim's apartment. And I had plenty of frequent flier miles from my old job such that we were able to see each other every three months.

Still, there was some turbulence that we had to get through, but that story is for another time.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cruising at an Altitude of 30,000 Feet

Early on in our friendship, before any official dates, Ben had asked if I’d like to join him in Paris for a weekend before he had to work at a trade show. All the usual concerns came to mind, but when I asked my supervisor about taking a day off for such a trip she told me that if I didn’t go, she’d fail me. She didn’t have to tell me twice.

Since we had both done the touristy thing in Paris before, we spent most of the weekend enjoying the sidewalk cafes and long conversations. I did manage to get Ben up to the top of the Eiffel Tower, though, which was one activity he had missed on previous visits. Another highlight was when Ben basically told me, as he does, that I was his girlfriend. Okay, it was more like “hey, so, I’m not planning to see anyone else. It’s cool if you do, but you’re the only one I want to see. And I’m going to call you my girlfriend, but you don’t have to call me your boyfriend.” “See,” for those who may be wondering, is the same as date-apparently.

Now, I had just assumed this about us-that we were only dating each other. My bad. Ben has certainly taught me a lot – especially about being more direct in my communication!

Friday, May 6, 2011

You may now turn on your electronic devices

Before getting to the story of our first date, I would like to make a special shout out to the iPhone for its role in Kim and I becoming an item.

As Kim mentioned, one of the key conversations with respect to her decision to come to San Francisco came via text message. Here's a little secret -- before I met Kim, I never really texted. Sure, I knew of its existence, but I could never see the point of typing out 22424633942334235 just to send a simple message to someone. However, I got the fun new toy, the iPhone, just
weeks before meeting Kim in January of 2008. And since texting was her preferred mode of communication, and certainly was way less committal than phone dates, it was the perfect medium for our budding relationship. I can remember the excitement I'd have when I heard that little "ding" on my phone, knowing that she had another quip for me during the day.

Anyway, it was time for our first date! We were well into February now and I was planning another trip to Boston for work (I would plan more and more trips to Boston over the coming months, obviously!). I told Kim that she should plan this particular date -- that we could do anything she liked. So she orchestrated (pun intended) the most wonderful evening for us. She knew that I liked fine dining so she found a restaurant called Sibling Rivalry in which two chefs (brothers) prepare meals with a special ingredient of the night and people can come and try each version to determine which they like the best.

Then, she surprised me with tickets to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. We spent an hour and a half listening to beautiful classical music (I'm sure she was bored to tears but I enjoyed it a ton).

And then, we went to this place, called Top of the Hub, on the 42nd floor of the Prudential Building. The views were amazing (as was the cover charge for what was supposed to be just a dessert date). Due to the minimum charge, we ended up having a couple of glasses of port as well as dessert. The port and one of the desserts were not so memorable, but the the other dessert was so delicious that we've decided to pay tribute to it at the wedding, so we will tell you that part of the story then!

This night was so fun that the Top of the Hub was one of our favorite spots from then on (though we were known to simply sit at the bar instead of a table to enjoy our dessert sans cover charge).

Our first official date was coming to a close, when as promised (or warned), I gave her a kiss. Or maybe it was two or three...

We were well on our way. The only problem was, of course, that she lived in Boston and I lived in San Francisco and she was very busy in grad school and I was very busy with a startup. How would we ever find the time to see each other enough to really connect?