Sunday, July 4, 2010


For Americans, July 4th, or Independence Day is a day where they celebrate independence from Britain. The celebration usually takes the form of gathering with friends and family, eating delicious foods, and blowing things up. Mostly fireworks, but pretty much anything goes today. A nice part of this holiday is the day off work that comes with it...

For Ben and I July 4th will always have a special memory associated with it. July 4th, 2003 (yep, 7 whole years ago) was the day we first met. And to commemorate that, here's a stroll down memory lane... Most of you have probably heard this story before, but I'm telling it anyway!

I was hired for the summer as a research assistant in a lab in the psychology department at the University of Michigan. I needed somewhere to stay while I was there, and began researching apartment sublets. There were a few that I found that seemed reasonable, and I settled on one in particular. Due to a variety of things (none very interesting) the one I planned on fell through and I finally got hold of my number 2 choice and agreed to stay there. The person I was subletting from gave me the information of the person who'd be staying in the other room, and after a couple of phone conversations and a few emails I was confident that this person was not only not a psychopath, but seemed like a really nice guy. I'm talking about you, Jim!

I arrived on July 2nd, though my luggage did not. I'm not sure if it turned up on the 3rd or 4th, but I was very relieved when it did because my new roommate and I were going to have going to hang out and go to a fireworks display with his cousin and some people for the 4th of July, and I don't think they'd have appreciated my new "Scotland never gets this hot and I only have one spare shirt and it's already pretty nasty" scent.

We were picked up on the evening of the 4th and piled into the car. In the front was Jim's cousin Ben, and his friend Peter, and in the back was a girl, who was the girlfriend of one of them, but I wasn't sure which one exactly. I remember thinking "I hope she's not the cute one's girlfriend, because that would be just my luck" but at no point on the drive over did it become clear, and I felt too awkward and shy to ask.

Once we arrived at the location of the fireworks I figured out that the girl was with the "other one" which was good news, and not only that but the cute one spent the duration of the evening standing with his back to the fireworks chatting with me. He seemed very nice and friendly and funny, and let's not forget about the cuteness, and I had a very pleasant evening.

Of course, all good things come to an end. But not before we all stopped for a snack on the way home and I discovered that the big scoop of ice cream on my french toast that I took a bite of was, in fact, butter (first of many exciting discoveries about American food customs). A few days later I told Jim I thought his cousin was cute, and shortly after that we had a group outing where he decided I was cute too, and then asked me out for real on a real date where he paid for my beers and made me laugh and smooched me on the doorstep (sorry, Dad), and the rest is history.

And now, if you made it through all that, are some pictures for your enjoyment!

There are very few pictures of us together from that summer, but here's a really bad one...

And here's one from a few months later when he visited me at Christmas. Wow, we were young!

And because that day led to big things, here is a picture of the girls from today, ready to party!

Happy 4th of July everyone!


david said...

Awww. Did you head downtown for the fireworks this year?

Anonymous said...

Great story and pics! Too funny about the butter. Hope you had a Happy 4th!

kate smith said...

That was from Kate, btw.

Michelle said...

I loved hearing this story the first time around and it was so fun to read it again today! I love telling people about my friend that went to the USA for one summer and came back telling us she'd met the man she'd marry - it's like a film! Happy 4th July!

Mum said...

I love a happy ending! And I don't think either of you looks a day older!