How did you meet?
It’s my favorite question to ask couples. It’s never what you would expect. In fact, my favorite part of writing for a wedding magazine is learning how couples met and then sharing their unique love story with readers. So when Dove Chocolate reached out about their newly debuted Love Less Ordinary videos, which feature real couples and their love stories, I was smitten.
BEFORE WE MET
She Said: It was the summer before my senior year at the University of Texas at Austin, and I was beside myself because I had just landed my first internship — an internship where I would actually be paid to write. Nevermind that what I would be writing was descriptions of cars and parts that I didn’t — and still don’t — understand.
He Said: It was the first dotcom boom and I had been recruited by a software company in Austin with the promise of funding a startup if I came to them with a good idea. As a car fanatic, I thought Why don’t we sell cars online? And thus, a little startup was born.
THE FIRST TIME WE SAW EACH OTHER
She Said: I was typing away on my monstrous black laptop in my cubicle, headphones in, when I looked up and saw the back of his head as he walked by. There was only one more cubicle beyond the one I shared with two girls, and I’d been working at the startup for a few weeks and thought I had met everyone. But apparently I was mistaken. He wore either a white or a blue shirt and jeans, but without yet seeing his face, I distinctly felt I’m going to marry that guy.
He Said: I walked into the office after a business trip to California, and a cubicle, which had been empty before I left for my trip, now had three young girls working in it (not that I was much older). One of them (Kelly) was wearing a Candy Land tshirt and shorts. (Kelly: Actually I believe it was my Hostess with the Mostest shirt, very professional). The attire was not really office-appropriate anywhere else, but in Austin it worked. I noticed Kelly, but at that second I am not sure I realized that I had just met my future wife for the first time. That said, I do remember the moment clear as day, and I remember asking my office-mate, Who’s that new girl!?!
She Said: I always joke that the startup was kind of like The Bachelor. Nearly everyone was under the age of 25, so much so that we affectionately nicknamed the one person in his 30s who was working there Grandpa. Money was being thrown around fast and loose. As interns we were treated to weekly dinners out at the city’s best restaurants, bar nights, unlimited taxi rides, trips to Breckenridge and the Bahamas, and fully stocked cafeterias (at one point I only came to work for the food). There was a lot of inter-office flirting and dating taking place.
He Said: Everyone also worked 16-hour days. I even slept at the office on more than one occasion, so I guess it’s not surprising that people were dating at work. That said, even though there may have been some harmless flirting, Kelly and I were only friends. Although I wasn’t Kelly’s direct boss, I didn’t think it would be appropriate for the founder of the company to date a co-worker, let alone an intern.
She Said: Eventually, my summer internship came to an end, and I started back to school, but I was hired on by the company to work part-time in the PR department.
He Said: During this time, I moved from an apartment in the South Congress neighborhood to a townhouse in the Far West neighborhood.
She Said: Directly behind my apartment. On a street called Hart Lane.
He Said: I knew it was in the same neighborhood, but I had no idea that our balconies faced one another’s.
YOU’VE GOT MAIL
He Said: During this time, we rapidly grew the startup from about 20 people when Kelly first started to over 300 employees in the span of just a few months, so we relocated to a new building with more office space. There, our cubicles were nowhere close to one another, but that’s when we began to get to know each other better…
She Said: Over ICQ! It was all very You’ve Got Mail. After school, I would arrive at work around 4pm, log on to my computer, and suddenly an instant message would pop up on my screen. “Hungry?” my screen flashed. I was always hungry, so we would hop in his car and zoom off to dinner.
He Said: This started happening multiple times per week.
She Said: He would message me as soon as I showed up to work, and then we would leave almost immediately. So after dinner, I would return to the office to actually get my work done. And I would inevitably be the last one there. With the lights turned out. Just me and a security guard.
He Said: In the dotcom boom, it became increasingly hard to find good talent, so the security guard may not have been the sharpest of guys.
She Said: The guard would always saunter over and ask me bizarre questions. I’d awkwardly laugh it off and then sneak into Fred Baby’s office to call him so I wouldn’t feel so alone. Talking to him made me feel better.
He Said: We would talk for hours on my cell phone — and this was before the age of unlimited calling plans — so my phone bill would be $300 at the end of the month. But I didn’t want to not talk to her.
He Said: I was working around the clock trying to deal with the growing pains of a startup. One night, we were both at the office so I asked Kelly if she wanted to go to dinner.
She Said: I said no because we were just friends and, with it being Valentine’s Day, it seemed like way too much pressure. He must have asked ten more times and I continued to say no every time.
SENDER DID NOT LEAVE NAME
She Said: The next morning, a dozen red roses were delivered to my apartment. The card read “Sender did not leave name.” Being that we would have long talks about how we were just friends, and that there were a few other, ahem, interested suitors, I had no idea who the flowers were from.
He Said: Days went by and I never heard from Kelly about the flowers. Eventually I got up the nerve to call and asked her if she had received anything.
She Said: Oh, the flowers?, I asked, finally realizing that HE was Sender Did Not Leave Name.
He Said: I never told the florist to write “Sender did not leave name.” Those bastards almost killed our relationship. 🙂 I asked her if she’d like to go to dinner at The Oasis, a cliffside restaurant overlooking the lake.
She Said: It was February 18, 2000. As the sun began to set over the lake and we munched on Mexican food, he asked me a very unexpected question. The kind of question that could have caused a lady to walk out on the spot, but it was so disarming that instead of leaving, I started laughing.
He Said: We’ve been together ever since.
She Said: That was nearly 15 years ago and we will be celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary next week.
Let me know which one speaks to you.
Now tell me…What is your love story?
This post is brought to you by Dove Chocolate, who you can follow on Facebook and Twitter, if you’d like. As always, all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies who help make Kelly Golightly possible.