Because Facebook has taken it upon itself to remind me of my own anniversary, I’ve decided to post here a piece of our wedding day. This week we celebrate our two year wedding anniversary, and five years since our first date. Yes, we got married on the anniversary of our first date.
This His & Her commentary on how we met was included with a Subway giftcard as favors to our wedding guests.
How We Met, According to Tony
A little over three years ago, I knew Ashley only as the “Subway girl.” Initially, I found her off-putting. She rushed through orders with minimal eye contact, very little conversation, and what came across as a real disinterest in her job. She was quick, though, and never got the sandwich wrong. I came up with a scheme to test her, to see how well she could keep up. I went to Subway a few times in a row, hoping to see her, and finally she was there. She asked what kind of sandwich and I gave her the entire order in one rapid-fire delivery. Taken aback, she looked at me. Really looked at me, as if to question my motive. Her eyes seemed to sparkle with a new intensity, a recognition that I knew she was bored and wanted to help. I gave a little smile, and gestured towards my food. I think she messed up the olives or something, but I left the store having changed my tune from mild annoyance to curious interest.
I started going to Subway more often, and I think Ashley began to recognize me. We chatted a bit, exchanged smiles, joked about sandwiches. I began to wonder what she did in her free time, what kind of music she listened to, what her favorite tv shows were. One week, I ended up going to Subway four of the five days. I wanted to ask for her number, or ask her to dinner, or something, but it all seemed too weird, too calculating, too lame. By Friday, I still hadn’t made my “move”. It was a little more hectic in the store that day and there was some sort of snafu with my payment. Ashley got very flustered and seemed nervous. As I walked out the store, I looked into my cookie bag, and she had given me two instead of one. Looking back, it seems very weird and trivial, but I recall this being some kind of a sign. I left, determined to make my move the following week.
The next morning, I got up early. I knew Ashley was opening (she’d mentioned it at some point), but I wasn’t sure when they opened. I was going to drive the 20 minutes up there, give her my number, and leave. Easy. If things went badly, I never had to go back in there again. If things went well, I didn’t have to stress about it all weekend. I got in the car, turned up the Seeger Sessions, and drove north.
The parking lot was empty and they clearly weren’t open. I looked inside and didn’t see anyone. I went around to the drive-through window, saw Ashley rushing from one side to another, and knocked. She recognized me, but seemed a bit startled. “Do you want to come inside? I can open the front door.” “No, I’m here for something else.” I opened up the pre-written phone number (I didn’t want not having paper or a pen or a shaky hand to be one more excuse for me not to do it), and handed it to her. “Here’s my number, maybe I could get yours?” She fumbled her words a bit, and said she could give me hers the next time I came in for lunch. We exchanged awkward pleasantries, and I left. It was both a win and a loss. I had gone through with it and hadn’t been outwardly rejected, but the magical moment I had hoped for or seen on tv hadn’t occurred. I didn’t know it then, but that Saturday morning drive would end up being the best thing that ever happened to me.
How We Met, According to Ashley
I had been monotonously working at Subway for a year when Tony first stood out to me. I guess he had been coming in regularly for awhile, but I wasn’t entirely aware. What I remember is one day, during an incredibly busy lunch rush, he comes up and responds to my query of “What can I get for you?” with his entire sandwich order. Bread, meat, cheese, veggies, condiments–the whole shebang. At first I was thrown, but then I was amused and accepted the challenge. I’m pretty sure I didn’t remember the whole thing, but it was a nice change of pace to try.
The next memory I have takes place on a Saturday morning, also at work. I am the only one in the store and it’s early enough that our dining room is not open (this particular Subway also had a drive-thru that we operated exclusively through at the beginning and end of the day). I am coming out of the back room and am startled by someone standing in the huge window displaying our sandwich station to the drive-thru customers. It’s Tony, and I end up letting him into the dining room, even if it’s a little early to have it open.
I think this is where he gives me his phone number. Upon which he writes Tony,” thus he will always be Tony to me. I think this is also where I tell him I am not likely to call him and instead give him my number. Maybe not. I’m sure his timeline is better. Eventually he started to call me. And call me. And I never picked up. Looking back I am so incredibly grateful for his persistence, without it I can’t imagine him and I would have ever become we.
This must have gone on for a couple weeks, because I know the number exchange was sometime in June. And our first date was July 11th. The date came to be when I profusely apologized for not taking his calls (again!) and suggested we instead just schedule a date, explaining that I really was interested but, at that point in my life, I was more likely to show up than to answer my phone.
Tuesday evening came and Tony picked me up at my apartment. Actually, I had him wait for me in the parking lot. He looked so cute, I remember he was wearing an old-timey looking hat, and he gave me a single rose that I still have. We went to dinner and talked a lot and had a pretty instant connection. I remember thinking, on our first date, that this was someone I could see myself marrying.