Every so often I have realization that all the decisions I have made for a particular stretch of time have led me to this particular moment. Looking out my hotel window in Newark at the awning of the pawn shop that proudly proclaims “In business since 1890” I had one of those moments. This time the span of time in question was my whole life, or at least the past ten years with my husband. From the outside it might seem peculiar to drive to New Jersey in the unwelcoming month of November to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary, especially considering our wedding took place in Maine in heat of August. How could we be nostalgic, romantic and excited for the future all in this one drab location? On this particular weekend a small patch of the Garden state sat on mystical ley lines tying together everything we are as a couple and a lot of what we are individually. This is a condensed story of how that came to be.
Jeff and I met in college when we were both searching for our stride and working to be as weird as we could. He was more comfortable with this process having declared at a young age “I’ve been weird since I was a baby!” in response to someone pointing it out to him. I’m sure his weird cred was a lot of what drew me to him in the first place. He had shaggy hair, wore a full sized fedora – not the abbreviated narrow brimmed ones you see in stores now- and was an active nerd. By that I mean he played Unknown Armies as well as computer games, made his own electronica, practiced Aikido and built computers. I was a costume design major with delusions of grandeur, who was dabbling in being hardcore. My hair was just growing back from chopping it all off to perform in the drag show. When we started to actually notice each other I was at the height of my acting career in the role of the sex worker in the Vagina Monologues. You know the moaning monologue? Yeah that gets you noticed.
How does this relate to New Jersey? Ok so among all the other geeky habits we have we love certain sports. Jeff loves baseball, really loves it. At one time he had five fantasy baseball teams! I learned to like baseball in our first summer together and just in time too. The Sox broke the curse that fall. When I need to remember what year we got together I think of the world series in 2004. The year is etched in my brain. It’s the very first major event that I remember us sharing as a couple. After game seven of the ALCS, when the Sox came back to beat the Yankees and move on to the world series, the entire campus was united for once in an enormous celebration. A few cars even got flipped that night – out of love and joy of course.
I was raised on hockey and though I had turned my back on before when we met, I am now back on board in a big way. Jeff ever the supporting partner, has invested his football time to the study of hockey and hockey analytics. So where can you find the one hockey player from the early nineties – when I was first starting to love the game – still playing in the NHL? Tada, New Jersey! but wait there’s more. When I was first a rabid hockey fan there was the team I was born into, the Toronto Maple leafs, and the team I chose, the Colorado Avalanche. So when Jeff and I decided we wanted to go to a Devils game and I found out they were playing the Avs at home I was sold. Bingo all the things I love in one place if I can just get Jeff there, right?