With the impending 1 year until my wedding countdown I thought I'd fill some of you in on the details of how we met....its a long one!
Melissa and I met through work. She had started as assistant account executive (or something like that) at ZiffDavis handling their online sales program. I was working at my 3rd job, Euro RSCG which was an advertising agency handling the online campaigns for Intel. Therefore, I was buying what she was selling :)
The first face-to-face encounter happened in the summer of 2002 at Aquagrill. Melissa's boss was taking my co-workers and me out to lunch on that warm day in the early summer. It was a quick lunch where Melissa thought I was a complete dork, which i was/am. But that was really the first meeting but not the one where I really caught her eye.
In September of 2002 I left Euro to go work with Leslie at her new agency T-3. T-3 was headquartered in Austin, Texas but they were opening their first office in NYC. My responsibility at T-3 was to do the online planning for Dell, also headquartered out of Austin, Texas. (are you noticing the use of Austin?)
T-3 had an opening party at Roane in the Meat Packing District, this was before it became the yuppie-ville that it is today. For the party, T-3 invited all of the sites who were had worked with over the years and all the site we were going to work with while handling Dell. Melissa was invited to the party with her boss Angelo and this is where the "real first impression" came from.
Melissa was wearing a white turtle neck, sleeveless sweater. Her hair was pulled up in a ponytail. That's the real first impression. I was talking to someone else at the time but saw her walk past the back of the bar to go to the restroom. Basically my eyes followed her the whole time she was walking until she was no longer in site. Barely a word was spoken between her and I at the party the rest of the night. Just one TV moment where you see the person for the first time and it plays out in your head in slow motion.
That was October 2002. As the months passed Melissa and I chatted more often. We spoke via email and over the phone for a lot of work related things. But then one day during football season I decided to let one of those emails become slightly more flirtaous (is that spelled right). I was able to find out that Melissa was a Jets fan, that at one point in time she was at a bar with her friends dancing on the bar...very classy! From there the conversations took off.
We joked over email. She would sign them "Best wishes, Chad Pennington" mine would come through "Best regards, Tommy Maddox." It was cute...we flirted a little over email. Nothing bad. The emails weren't too crazy or too flirtatious...just emails. chit chat.
Fast forward to February 2003, only a few months later basically. Melissa's boss was taking a bunch of us from T-3 to a Rangers-Bruins game in the ZiffDavis skybox. This is where Melissa likes to make fun of me. I was wearing a HUGE sweater and cords. The sweater could have fit two people in it. Either way, just like everything else in life I was late. I must have missed the 1st period that's how late I was.
There I sat, eating my free food and drinking my free alcohol. Melissa and I chatted a bit but she's a big Rangers fan and I HATE new york sports teams. This is where the flirtation picked up a bit. The next morning I sent the traditional thank you email to melissa and her boss. From there the emails kept flying between the two of us.
Being in media I would get free tickets to different events. A few weeks later the Big East Tournement would start and a rep offered me four free tickets. Of course I took the tickets, who would pass them up. The offer was thrown out Melissa, "Any interest in going to see the Big East Tournament?" "Sure"
Melissa's co-workers kept telling her that this was going to be a date.
Once at the Garden, I took 2 of the 4 tickets and scalped them for "beer money." Melissa and I had a good time watching the game and chatting. She was nice enough to spill beer on herself at least three times.
At halftime, we decided it was time to go to the bar in the Garden in order to get some food and a few more beers. And being a client, Melissa was able to expense it. The next few days went by and we flirted over email again. The following week Melissa had two tickets to a Rangers game, she was "going to repay the favor of taking" her "to the basketball game."
She knew that she wanted me...she just needed the rangers game to confirm it. I knew I was hooked but it was more like Reagon-omics or Trickle Down Economics. The more I spent with her the more she would come running :)
Here we are now halfway into March. We've gone to the Big East Tournament, a Rangers game...what sporting event would we go to next...HAPPY HOUR! Melissa and I met at Sutton Place, a completely unplanned meeting until 30 minutes before it actually happened. At Sutton Place, Melissa was looking beautiful as always. Striving to be the business girl, she was dressed in a nice suit. Unfortunately, she broke the heal of her shoe that night. She was now forced to hobble around.
While we were at Sutton Place it began to rain. We headed out the door without an umbrella. Melissa was going to try to catch a cab or run to the subway. Just before we walked across the street to catch a cab, with the rain pooring down, I grabbed Melissa's arm. Her mind was racing, fully expecting me to kiss her. She didn't know how to react until she realized I was pulling her under an awning to stay dry.
She was disappointed and slightly heartbroken. She was hoping that would be the moment. But I was playing with her...thinking she was hooked...but I wasn't thinking of kissing her, just staying in dry.
Our "friendship" had progressed from flirting on email, to face-to-face meetings, to flirting over IM. The following Friday we were chatting via IM when Melissa asked me what I was going to be doing that night/weekend. I told her that there were no plans for the day or weekend. From there she proceeded to put plans together for her and I.
Dinner at Yama Sushi. Then we would grab a drink after that. Those were the plans.
Melissa showed up 30 minutes late because she got off at the wrong subway stop. She got off at 14th street instead of West 4th. Now usually I'm the one whose late! We finally sat down for our email. The wine list came out, we decided that we were going to get a glass of white wine each. When it came time to order, neither of us knew what we wanted to eat or what we always liked. So we kind of shot from the hip.
After dinner we decided to keep the drinks going. Off to the Bower Street for a drink. We walked into Bower Street Ale House which was packed because the college basketball national championship was. We decided to go to another bar. We found Boxers on West 4th. We sat there watching the Syracuse game. The bet was then made...."if Syracuse wins you kiss me. If Syracuse loses I kiss you" from Melissa's lips to my ears! I secretly began to cheer for Syracuse. As the clock expired, we kissed. Right there for the first time in Boxers. It was soft, slow and the best kiss ever!