Wes to Wed: A Valentine’s Day Special II

Pair-of-Northern-Cardinal-in-a-tree

Happy Valentine’s Day, folks! Here’s the second and final installment of “Wes to Wed.” The overwhelming positive feedback this series has gotten makes me hopeful that our Wesleying readers are not so cynical after all. Hopefully this feature series can continue in future years as we cast our net wider and can share the stories of many different kinds of WesCouples.

For a WesCouples overload, you can check out this “Wes-Side story” on Wesconnect that includes pictures from this feature series, a ’98 Alumni Magazine article, and pictures from this flickr stream. Check out the stories of more lovely couples after the jump: 

Bonnie Oliva-Porter ’04 and Tim Porter ’04

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Bonnie and Tim at the ’04 commencement ceremony and them at their wedding this past January

1. How did you meet at Wes?

We were really good friends our whole time there and were in the same dorm in Nics 7 so we became good friends freshman year. We didn’t start dating until our senior year. We just hung out a lot and he lived off campus so he’d always have barbecues at his place. And senior year we just started hanging out more and got together.

2. How did you make the transition from college relationship to ‘real world’ relationship?

We started dating senior year and we both moved back to New York– we’re both from there–after graduation. We both started getting into our lives. I had a job already lined up and he was working a couple different places. I think he moved to DC for a while. Because we started dating so late senior year we wanted to give each other space to focus on our careers because that was important for us. Then in 2006, two years later, he got into law school in Philadelphia and I decided to go with him. And we were like, ‘we’re really serious now…we’re moving in together.’ That is when we really knew that we solidified our relationship.

3. What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day memory together?  

One that stands out, is we went to Montreal one year for Valentine’s Day. We like to do road trips–it’s a big part of our relationship–traveling back and forth. It was freezing and it was really really cold but we got to have a nice dinner and get out of town and that was pretty sweet.

4. Favorite Wesleyan related “couples moment?”  

I mean, maybe our wedding since we just got married [ed. note Bonnie and Tim had their wedding ceremony in the Memorial Chapel in January, a reception at Beckham Hall, cocktail reception at Usdan, and brunch at WesWings at the end of the weekend]. I think Spring Fling our senior year because we had just started dating around that time. We were just having a ton of fun.  Toward the end of senior year, a bunch of us had lived in Nics 7, including my roommates and his roommates senior year, and we all went back to Nics 7 and had a keg party in the showers where we used to live when we were freshmen.

I also used to work in the campus center, back then it was in Davenport. I used to work really late and he would always bring me food, so it was cute.

5. Any tips on best on and off campus date locations/ideas?

We went to Illiano’s for our first date and I remember that because I just put it on our wedding website. Puerto Vallarta is one of our favorite places to go. Sometimes when we drive back from Boston, we stop and have a movie and dinner for old time’s sake.

Cara Herbitter ’03 and Xiomara Lorenzo ’05

Cara and Xiomara at their wedding

Cara and Xiomara at their wedding

1. How did you meet at Wes?

Cara remembers me from an Open House party but my first memory of Cara was seeing her with her spiky hair at the campus center handing out condoms and flyers on behalf of Jewish Women Watching. We really first met the summer after Cara graduated from Wes in 2003 when I was in NYC for a New York Newsday internship.

2. How did you make the transition from college relationship to ‘real world’ relationship?

Cara and I were friends while I was still at Wes. We didn’t start dating until after I graduated in 2005. When we first became friends I remember thinking that she was this cool, Orthodox Jewish person with radical politics – I needed to know more! Cara’s first thought was “Xiomara is a quiet person but she always reaches out to hang when she’s in NYC or when I’m on campus.” We’ve learned a lot about each other since those days especially how much we share in terms of our values despite our different upbringings. Our greatest relationship accomplishments are listening to each other and making it easy for the other to apologize. When apologizing isn’t so loaded, it makes it easier to get to the real matter at heart.

3. What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day memory together? 

We’re more of a “celebrate V-day everyday” mindset. We hide notes in each other’s luggage before one of us takes a trip and we love to dance around grocery store aisles when awesome 80s music comes on. We have lots of inside jokes.

4. Favorite Wesleyan related “couples moment?” 

Overall it has been building family with our Wesleyan friends – while on campus and after graduation – that continues to give us so many great memories. At our wedding, we had a bunch of dear friends – many of whom were Wes folks – singing to us, giving us blessings, doing great schtick, and group hugging us. Over the past few years, we have become godparents to Kerrith (Solomon’03) Rosenbaum’s children. We live in Jamaica Plain around the corner from Joseph Gindi ’03, Ari Lev Fornari ’04, Joseph Berman ’04 (he officiated our wedding!), and a host of other awesome Wesleyan folks. And even though we’ve left New York for a little while, Misa Dayson ’05, Liz Andrews ’05 (holding it down in DC!), and Katiria Calderon ’05 are only a speed dial/Skype call away.

5. Any tips on best on and off campus date locations/ideas?

Foss Hill is magical at night. We LOVE Claire’s Corner Copia in New Haven for Lithuanian coffee cake and fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Any trip anywhere near Wesleyan is not complete without a stop there.

Amit Bob ’10 and Adina Teibloom ’10

Adina and Amit at the '10 Tent Party

Adina and Amit at the ’10 Tent Party

1. How did you meet at Wes?

Amit: We actually met before getting to school; we were introduced briefly a few months before by a mutual friend who had been one Adina’s best friends growing up. Once we were actually at Wes, we were put in rooms next to each other in our freshman dorm (Shout out to Butt A!). We went to our first Frosh dinner together and learned the fight song from President Bennet. Good times.

Adina: We didn’t start dating until the end of sophomore year. We were friends through all of freshman year, and when room selection came around we decided that we would live together in adjoining singles in Nic 7. We lived together for the whole year, and by the end I realized that I had feelings for Amit.

2. How did you make the transition from college relationship to ‘real world’ relationship?

Adina: So after sophomore year we stayed together for the rest of college, but we never lived in the same place again. Once we graduated we decided that we would live together again, which is not an obvious choice. Also, since we had been such good friends before we began dating, it was more clear to us in the beginning that this partnership was a serious one. So the choice to continue our lives together didn’t feel like a big transition.

Amit: I think in college you can be really busy oustide of classes, but your schedules will still look similar enough that it is easy for you to find time for one another. Once you’re in the real world, you have work and other commitments that don’t necessarily line up with each other’s schedule. Adina was working as a teacher in Philadelphia through Teach for America (her take on that experience is for another Wesleying piece), and I was doing different part time jobs including waiting tables at night, so this happened to us plenty. We made sure to set time aside for the two of us to have together (read: brunch EVERY Sunday). It was crucial for our relationship.

3. What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day memory together?  

Adina: Spring of Junior year, I had just come back from being abroad in South Africa. So ahead of time, without me knowing, Amit called my best friend Talia (the one who introduced us) and asked her for some ideas of things that I like. Based on her intel, he gave me little treats and gifts over the course of the day with little cute heartfelt notes attached. Treats included mint-chocolate fudge from the Usdan farmer’s market, flowers, wine, and an invitation for dinner at Thai Gardens. It was so cute.

Amit: Yea, that was of my finer moments. I was pretty happy with myself for that one.

4. Favorite Wesleyan related “couples moment?”  

Amit: Well I don’t know if I would call it a moment exactly. But after we started dating, a lot of our friends assumed we were set and started making jokes about us getting married. I showed up tired and kinda grumpy looking one day to lunch, and one of my friends turned to me and said, “What’s wrong? The tablecloth doesn’t match the napkins?” Everyone got a good kick out of that. And as it turned out, they were all right.

5. Any tips on best on and off campus date locations/ideas? 

Adina: A nice day and a blanket can create a good date wherever you go. I don’t think a good date has to be about a lot of effort. It should about the two of you talking and spending time together. Exactly what you do isn’t the most important part.

Amit: I guess that’s true. But you know what else? Does that carnival still come to Middletown every year? That thing is a lot of fun. Go on a date there, you won’t be disappointed.

Tess Smagorinsky ’09 and Tim Horgan-Kobelski ’09

Foss Hill during spring fling of 2007 - also known as the day our relationship officially began.

Tess and Tim on Foss Hill during spring fling of 2007 – also known as the day their “relationship officially began.”

1. How did you meet at Wes?

Tim and I met on the second floor of Hewitt 10. We were introduced by Liana Hernandez ’09, a mutual friend (Liana and I sang together in the New Group, and Tim and Liana lived across the hall from each other freshman and sophomore year).

2. How did you make the transition from college relationship to ‘real world’ relationship?

When we graduated, Tim went on to do the BA/MA program, so we were actually both on campus for an additional year. I worked in the office of Alumni and Parent Relations as an event planner, and we lived in our very own tenement at 80 Home Avenue. We each had our own bedroom and bathroom, like a mini-dorm. It was like living together, but with training wheels! After that year, we moved into a 530 square foot apartment in Boulder, Colorado, so it was probably a good thing that we had those training wheels first.

3. What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day memory together?  

One Valentine’s Day, we drove to Mohegan Sun and blew a bunch of money on slot machines, cocktails, and dessert. It was totally awesome.

4. Favorite Wesleyan related “couples moment?”  

My (Tess’s) favorite couple’s moment at Wes was probably just sitting on the hill together, hanging out – or doing homework together in one of our dorm rooms in the Hewitts. It’s funny now that we have a “grown-up” place to live to think that so much of our time used to be spent in tiny little cinderblock rooms.

5. Any tips on best on and off campus date locations/ideas?

Amici’s on Main Street has a GREAT martini selection, if you’re into that kind of thing. And to be honest, Illiano’s was one of our favorite casual date spots (we went twice during our fifth reunion weekend last year!). If you’re willing to make the drive and you want to head somewhere a bit more special, Dock and Dine in Old Saybrook is adorable and right on the water.

Jessie Adams ’04 and Brian Adams ’04

Jessie and Brian while students at Wes

Jessie and Brian while students at Wes

1. How did you meet at Wes?

We met the very first night of freshman orientation. I was standing with my roommates, and he just walked right up and introduced himself. I lived on Clark 2, and he lived on Clark 1. We were friends all the way through, but we didn’t start dating until April of senior year. I remind him with some regularity that he cut it pretty damn close.

2. How did you make the transition from college relationship to ‘real world’ relationship?

We had to decide pretty quickly whether we wanted to try and make that transition work, because we started dating less than 2 months before graduation. I postponed my plans to move home, and we applied to jobs in the same cities. We ended up moving to Washington, DC. I think one of the smartest things we did was find apartments that were near each other, but we didn’t move in together right away. That way, we weren’t navigating all those post-graduation changes all at the same time. We had other friends in DC (from Wes and otherwise), and my sister was there too, so we were able to build a solid urban family–we could continue to evolve our relationship in the new context, but we didn’t solely depend on each other. That was a time of pretty intense change, looking back.

3. What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day memory together?

Oddly, it’s not really related to our relationship, but our friend Brad (Wasik, ’04) would always cook dinner for our group of girlfriends (single, coupled, or otherwise) on Valentine’s Day. He’s a foodie and fantastic chef, and it shifted the focus of the day off of whether you had a “special someone” and onto just enjoying friendship. And maybe lots of wine. I look back on that really fondly, especially with the additional perspective we have now. Brian and I tried to take that tradition with us post college, and have always cooked dinner for friends–especially ones who might be feeling kind of left out–on Valentine’s Day. It’s so much more enjoyable than just trying to get a dinner reservation because you feel like you’re supposed to.

4. Favorite Wesleyan related “couples moment?”

Not fit for print. Just kidding…sort of. Not really. Are my parents going to read this?

5. Any tips on best on and off campus date locations/ideas?

It’s been about 10 years, so I’m not sure the restaurant scene in Middletown is exactly the same. We disagree on the location of our official first date, but I’m right and he’s wrong. It was Luce (which was called something else until right before then). Tuscany Grill or Amici were the only other places in M-town proper that were really date-type restaurants, as I recall.

As we all sit here in the middle of a brutal winter, it’s hard to imagine that it will ever actually be warm again, but Miller’s Pond was always a fun date or friend outing in the spring.

Nick Quah ’12 and Katie McConnell ’13

Nick and Katie--not actually pugs but feel well represented by them

Nick and Katie–not actually pugs but feel well represented by them

Any tips on best on and off campus date locations/ideas?

1. The patch of grass next to the observatory. Relatively quiet and off the path, great for night picnics and secret get-togethers that you don’t want anybody else to know. Always pretty handy to keep in your back pocket.

2. You know that one theater/performing arts space where Terp happens every semester? I forget the name now. But the place has these large windows where you can sit and watch stuff from the outside. That’s pretty great too. Plus you don’t have to pay for tickets. Which is tight.

3. The upper decks of the Memorial Chapel. Great for chilling, often secluded if nothing’s going on. Also, very magical, what with the whole religiosity thing.