It all began on his birthday. Sort of.
My husband grew up about 5 houses down from me (right up the awesome neighborhood rollerblading hill). His little brother, Andrew and I were best friends…but somehow I never really knew Simon (perhaps because he was 4 years older and when you are kids…that is an eternity. Or maybe it was because I was a total dork.)
I was reintroduced to grown-up Simon during family weekend at Northwestern. Andrew’s whole family came to visit him at school and they ended up dining at the restaurant where I worked. It was a steakhouse. I thought Simon was so cute that I dug-deep and delivered the flirtiest steak tray presentation in the history of moderately-priced chain-restaurants. Apparently, my attempt at being a steakhouse hussy went unnoticed by everyone except for Andrew…who asked me after dinner why I was being such a weirdo.
Fast forward: 4 years later
I was living in NY (and Simon was in Chicago). It was a beautiful March afternoon and I was cell-phone chatting with Andrew on my walk home from the subway. He casually mentioned that it was his brother was having a bummer birthday. Bummer Birthday? No! Emmy to the rescue!
I figured this was a perfect excuse to shoot Simon a “happy-birthday/hey-do-you-remember-me” email.
(Mind you, the extent of our friendship was exactly 1.5 conversations …several years prior…but something told me to just hit send on that note!)
I was going through my inbox a couple of months ago and found the very FIRST emails we exchanged! Looking back, I am sure thankful that Simon ended his first email with “Write back if you get a chance,”
…and even more thankful that I listened.
After this initial contact, we emailed back and forth for a few weeks and decided it was time for a reunion! Hot big brother asked this quirky little chick from the ‘hood out on a date.
I flew back to Chicago…ostensibly to see my family….but really, I came home to see about a boy.
Here it is….our first exchange!
From: “Emily” <REDACTED@hotmail.com>
To: “Simon <REDACTED@hotmail.com>
- Subject: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
- Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005
Hello there Simon,
Long time no…….
Word on the street is that today is your special day, so I figured I would drop you a line and wish you and incredible year filled with…everything you have ever wanted!!!
I hope all is well with you. Your brother mentioned that you two are in the middle of planning an exotic adventure…come on, NY can be extremely…well…(I was going to say exotic, but who am I kidding…it is rather adventurous though, and that has to count for something!) :)
Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you on your very big day!
Happy Happy Happy Birthday.
From: “Simon” <REDACTED@hotmail.com>
To: “Emily” <REDACTED@hotmail.com>
- Subject: hey you
- Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005
Wow…it really has been a long time. I was so surprised upon opening my JUNK MAIL folder to find a message from you! (Just so you know, you are no longer part of JUNK - I even made you a contact!)
I have to say that things are going pretty well in Chicago these days. Sure, the frigid weather is beginning to bore me a little, but it has been pretty fun to have my dad in town to hand out with this winter. I’m sure Andrew told you, but he (my dad) is spending a quarter at Northwestern, so we’ve been kicking it pretty often over the past few months.
Work is…work. I can’t say that I’ve got the best opinion of the teaching profession these days- I found out ON MY BIRTHDAY that I won’t retain the position at my school next year. Our district has some serious financial issue (so much so that they are closing one of its schools), so us youngbloods got canned. Oh well, I was planning on leaving the profession after next year to attend law school anyhow. Rather than depressing me, this whole turn of events has actually been sort of liberating. Now I just have to figure out how to survive for a year…
Enough about me…How are you? How’s the Big big city? Work? Love interests? Pets? Yankee” (anything else going on that’s good?)
I think my trip with Andrew may have fizzled for the short term, but we will probably do something over the summer, I do plan on going to a friend’s wedding in Long Island sometime in July, so if you are around I may need to request you as a tour guide. I’ll let you know when the wedding is- I’m not really sure of the date myself right now.
Write back if you get a chance,
ps. Thanks for the birthday wishes…they truly were unexpected (and accordingly, were much appreciated)!