Our story began many, many moons ago, August 2002 to be exact. We both participated in the Volunteer Experience program at Lehigh University. I met Andrew at the Volunteer Experience BBQ, which was held the last day of the weeklong experience. I remember seeing a tall, handsome blond boy and going over to talk to him. We exchanged numbers and information. Being a sophomore, I thought; "Uh oh. He's a freshman." I didn't want to rob the cradle (little did I know he's actually four days older than me).
We got along great over the next couple of weeks. He invited me back to his hometown in Pennsylvania, to visit his High School, Malvern Prep, for his fall homecoming (Freshman Alert). I went, and I think I drove since freshmen weren't allowed to have cars on campus (Freshman Alert). We had a blast and that's when I got to meet two of his future groomsmen, Tom and Brendon. I also had a chance to meet Mrs. Lees!
That first month of school, I tried giving Andrew sage advice, such as: don't pack all your textbooks in your backpack at once (after he lamented his backpack was too heavy), and enjoy college to the fullest. In classic Marineé fashion, I suggested he enjoy being single for as long as he could while in college, over dinner at Pastaficio. He obliged and insists to this day that he ended dinner saying, "Let's pick this up where we left off some day", and we went our separate ways, always staying friends.
Several years later, we met up again and I realized how much I had been missing. Although I was skeptical of long-distance relationships, making one work with Andrew was easy. Andrew was the happiest soul I had ever met and I knew I wanted to be around him the rest of my life.
I'm thrilled to have a best friend and a true partner in life in him. I couldn't have dreamed of a more perfect match for me than Andrew.
We met at Lehigh, one warm afternoon, at the end of August in 2002, before the responsibilities of school kicked in. I was new to college and was hanging with my roommate, Griff, at a BBQ. When I looked over somewhere between the burgers and mustard, I said "Whoa that girl is beautiful. Griff, excuse me while I bebop over there and talk to this girl." Meanwhile, in real life, Marineé (who never wastes a minute) didn't give me a chance to make it over there. Everyone knows by now she's faster at things than I am. So all of a sudden, I looked up and she was standing there, and we just started talking.
After she got over the fact that I was only a freshman, we had a good conversation. Fast forward through a lot of engineering classes at Lehigh, a couple of years after we graduated, and business took me to Manhattan, where I knew that, in addition to two million people, Marineé also lived. So I gave her a shout, and we met up after my business meeting and then the entire train ride home, I couldn't stop smiling about how much fun we had just had. We met up a couple more times as friends. Fast forward another six years and we met back up again. I decided San Antonio was a good place to hang out for New Year's Eve that year. Despite the resistance on the other end of the line since Marineé knew she was having a tonsillectomy days before I was planning on arriving, I totally downplayed the severity of that procedure in my head and refused to let that be a reason to not go down to Texas. So I bought my ticket despite her weak attempts to convince me otherwise and packed my bags for San Antonio, Texas. When I got to the airport after that trip, all I could think about was how I could get back to San Antonio and make the long distance thing work despite it's obvious challenges. I knew I wanted to spend forever with her because of what an awesome team we are together. It's easy to be with Marineé and I wouldn't have it any other way.