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Summer in New York City (Part 3 of How We Met)

I’ve been writing about how my husband and I met and got together, especially since I had decided guys named Scott were bad news and he was very much Not Looking. It definitely helped that he was a letter-writer and I had an adventurous streak. This is part 3.

Summer in the City

new york city crew

The second-shift crew from VideoGraphics

For 12 glorious weeks, I lived in an apartment on 6th and Broadway, right across the street from Macy’s. You know, right where all the dancers dance and the singers sing during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Right there. I took over the lease for a girl who was moving to Michigan for grad school. My $640 monthly rent was one-fourth of the total and got me half a bedroom, a mattress on the floor, a bathroom, and use of the kitchen. I was barely there except to sleep though, so it was perfect.

Each afternoon, I walked 2 short city blocks and about 5 long city blocks, past Bryant Park, the Chrysler Building, and Grand Central Station to work at a graphic design agency. My shift was supposed to run from 3-11, but we never knew when we’d actually leave. We were the crew who finished whatever was due the next day. A couple times, that meant working til 5 or 6am.

My main job was to run printed slide decks over to clients’ offices and pick up their edits. I traveled empty elevators and prowled half-lit floors of the Pfizer building every night looking for the right cubicle. Other nights, I ran files to a slide printer or brought carousels of slides back to dust and prep for presentations (these were the days PowerPoint was just emerging). Occasionally, I got to create some of the simpler slides. And I had a couple of special projects to work on with the other interns.

Being out of the Cedarville bubble and immersed in a professional environment in the big city was a breath of fresh air. My coworkers were eclectic, artsy, and eccentric, just as you’d expect of designers in NYC. They had a lovely sense of humor, were nice to me, included me in the annual softball tournament in Central Park, and taught me how to use a Mac.

The One

Scott and Joy in NYC

Remember the 90s plaid and the high-waisted jeans?

And then there was Scott. I learned that he was unflappable under pressure, loved physical comedy, and was just about the nicest best man I had ever met. We spent quite a few evenings racing the clock to finish projects in time for start of business the next day, but he never lost his cool or snapped at anyone.

We went out every chance we got. He made it his mission to make sure I got to do all the good NYC stuff. We prowled all over the city. We saw Les Miserables, strolled through street fairs, watched movies in Bryant Park, and he took me to see the Yankees play. (That was my first major league baseball experience, where I do believe I jokingly asked where the cheerleaders were and what we would see during the half-time show). Work friends invited us to their lake house in Connecticut to water ski (or attempt to).

Garth Brooks did a live concert in Central Park one evening, and we took a day off to go. I think that was the weirdest thing I saw in New York — New York subway cars packed with people in cowboy boots, cowboy hats, and wide belts. Billy Joel made a surprise appearance that night, too. I’ll never forget sitting on a blanket in the middle of New York City listening to ten thousand people belt out “I’ve Got Friends In Low Places.”

On Labor Day weekend, Scott talked me into driving home with him to meet his family. They had visited briefly earlier in the summer, but it was very short and hardly counted as actually meeting them. We drove through the night Friday, arriving in the midst of a dense fog early Saturday morning. I was road-weary and gross, and really anxious about meeting the people I hoped would be my in-laws, especially since Scott had told me horror stories about what his sisters did if they hated someone he was dating. I guess they liked me despite having no sleep or shower because before I knew it, they had dragged out all of Scott’s childhood photos and were sharing their favorite stories about him.

By the end of the summer, we were talking very seriously about getting married. But first, I had to get through one more year at Cedarville, and Scott had to brave another long-distance relationship.

Dating Other People (How We Met, Part 2)

Yesterday, I shared the first part of the story of how Scott and I met. Today, I’m sharing a second part of the story. (Yes, that means there’s a third part. I’m on a roll!)

Letters. On Paper. Mailed with Stamps!


A few casual dates, one formal one (Scott asked me to the Junior-Senior Banquet—a banquet and NOT a dance because we were a decent Baptist college, you see), and several weeks later, Scott graduated from college and moved to New York City. Since I had two years left of school and Scott had been burned by long-distance relationships before, we agreed that we were NOT together. We agreed that we would date other people, and we promised to write (even though I was skeptical – I’d heard that from other guys and the letters never came).

But Scott actually wrote me real letters on paper, with pens, mailed with stamps, all summer and into my junior year of college. I kept writing even though I didn’t think I’d see him again, partly because I wasn’t ready to give up hope and partly because it was so much fun. He made me laugh like no one else. [Read more...]

Throwback Thursday on the Blog: How We Met

Normally, Throwback Thursday is an Instagram thing and a hashtag (#tbt or #throwbackthursday). But I found the entire story of how Scott and I ended up together today and thought I’d post it.

(September, 1998)

The Mikes

It was 1996 at Cedarville College, and I was a sophomore. “The Mikes” (Mike E and Mike M) sat behind me and my best friend Heather in World Lit class that fall quarter. They were a comedy duo, two years older than us, and yet for some reason, they like us and included us in their goofiness. We picked and bantered, teased and joked the whole quarter, somehow incorporating the professor enough to avoid getting in trouble.

I needed the light-heartedness that quarter. I was floundering in the midst of a really sucky year of school. I was a resident assistant (R.A.) in the dorm and having trouble with some of the girls, went out with some less-than-savory guys, and eventually decided that I needed to steer clear of guys named Scott. I half-hoped that maybe one of The Mikes would ask me out, but unless you count a couple of brotherly (and much-needed) “I can tell you need to talk to someone” dinners, I didn’t get a single date out of either of them.

Well, that isn’t entirely true. [Read more...]