I was just thinking the other day how random it might seem that I’m here in Chile at all right now. A California girl in most senses of the term and I’m HERE?? Of all places, here???!! Well, there IS a story to be told of course, that involves two people, living their random lives, and randomly, coming together to realize “oh yeah, I love you!”
Obviously I’m talking about how Gonzalo and I “met” and fell in love. I say that we “met” because really, we “remet” since we were first introduced back in June 2005 during a convention in New York City (see logo below for your viewing pleasure).
He was married back then (in the typical Chilean fashion, where getting married at 25 is no big deal, and having kids at 27 is even lesser of a deal) so when we met it was all about work. In fact, I can’t even recall our meeting together though I’m sure I talked about Naruto or some other brand and he talked about his company and the cool notebooks they make.
My schedule at that convention was jam packed. The reason I know is because every year at that convention my schedule is packed, so I can assume that 2005 was no different. And also I’m pretty sure I was dating someone — let me think — oh yeah, I was, though of course now he’s an inconsequential person who was merely there to divert my attention while I waited for the man of my dreams (AKA Gonzalo) to come along.
Cut to June 2008, same convention, different year.
His reality: dating someone.
My reality: had recently been annihilated by a spineless little fraction of a man and my entire belief in the concept of love had plummeted to the depths of the Titanic in the cold Atlantic.
So perhaps I sound a little melodramatic … but let me tell you, I was devastated and the concept of throwing about airs that I was fine and dandy, while attending to business at this said convention, left me exhausted. Though obviously that didn’t stop me from partaking in the festivities of 230 Fifth one of those evenings, where I happened to run across my future fiancee.
See a pic of us having a good time at that said encounter.
But he had a gf and I was somewhere else…and though we shared a cab to our respective hotels that night (and I think we may have flirted for the first time ever) he was a pure gentleman and he dropped me off at my hotel before whisking away in NYC’s yellow cab finest.
That was the first time I had seen him out of his “nerd” element. Seriously, in the work capacity I don’t think anyone compared in the NERD ALERT category. And during meetings? DRY AS A BONE. I think he may have cracked had he tried to smile at any given point during a meeting. So you see? This encounter at 230 Fifth in Manhattan, though brief, was ultimately important because a saw a lighter side of him…and it was cute.
Fast forward to October 29, 2008. Bellavista. Santiago. Chile.
I was still living in CA but my mother had moved to Santiago after 28 years living in the SF Bay Area. In October she had been in Chile for a little over two months and on this particular day, it was her 60th birthday. I was in Chile on business and was going to tack on some much needed vacay time to spend with her. On October 29th a group of us went to a restaurant in the Bellavista area of Santiago to celebrate my mom’s bday. One of my friends (and work associate here in Chile) who happens to also be good friends with Gonzalo, invited him to join us at my mom’s dinner. Random? Perhaps. But the sentiment that evening was truly that of “the more, the merrier.” Up until that point my only encounters with Gonzalo were either all about work and then that one time at the rooftop bar in NYC. That’s it. And now he was on his way to have bday dinner with my mom and my sister??? Yes, slightly random but again, the mood was festive that night so it didn’t dawn on me to be anti.
And of course he showed up in a manner in which I had NEVER seen him before. Mr Nerd Alert NO MORE… now replaced by Mr Jokes and Life of the Party.
Note the pics of that eventful night:
Ahhh good times. You can tell I was taken aback by this “new” Gonzalo before me. And what of our realities at that point in time? Him – single. Me – finally getting over the ultimate annihilation from months before and ready to MOVE ON! Of course back then I had NO inclination that moving on would be with someone who lived in the other extreme corner of the globe! But that comes later …
I was in Chile for two weeks, vacationing, as I had mentioned and seeing my mom’s new life in Santiago. In that time, Gonzalo and I went out – in groups – twice. Once we went dancing… see pics here:
We went out one more night during that trip, seen here in a pic that at present is framed in our home office (we didn’t know that this would be the case when the picture was taken. Geez we hadn’t even smooched at the time it was snapped!)
And then I went home to California…and there was this emptiness that went with me. I later figured out that it was because I REALLY liked him. REALLY REALLY TRULY liked him. So we did what any normal long distance couple does: we Skype’d day and night, whenever we could, we were on Skype. Skype allowed our relationship to evolve and I will forever be grateful for that little piece of technology. Daily Skype calls, phone calls, Facebook messages (and I mean LOOOOONG EMAILS via Facebook mail), emails, text messages, carrier pigeon – what have you – led to his first visit ever to SF, as seen here in this self portrait at Twin Peaks:
We also had some profesh pics taken by this AWESOME photographer in Napa named Sarah Lane… TRULY amazing work… and our favorite pic of that session:
Ahhh memory lane. Such a sweet walk it is. :o)
That led to a quick rendezvous in Mexico where he had to go for work and heck, I figured that I might as well take advantage of the fact that he was a mere 4 hours away from me on a plane, rather than the usual 14+ it takes to get from SF to Chile. And so I flew to Mexico City for a stay that lasted only a little over 36 hours…
Which led to THE EVENT which you all know about due to the pics I’ve most likely made you view not once or twice but more like three or four times… but it’s nice to remember (ooooh warm fuzzies!):
That there, is a love story that took less than six months to unfold but which began with two people, living their own lives, who happened to meet over four years ago at a random convention in the best city in the world – NYC. Two people who, for the next few years, would go their separate ways and live their own lives, unaware of the existence (to a degree) of the other person… but where on one fateful night over four years later, in Bellavista in Santiago Chile, everything changed.