I met Mike for the first time during the summer of 1999 through our mutual friend, Wayne (Wayne and Mike grew up on the same street, and Wayne and I met during college at the University of Delaware). One of my earlier memories of Mike was his big personality & his big crazy curly hair. In June of 2001, Wayne brought Mike along to my college graduation party, and I remember hitting it off really well, crossing paths a lot during the party, sharing a few laughs. Later on that summer, Mihalia (close friend of mine who was dating Wayne at the time) tried to set Mike and me up, but the spark wasn't there for me just yet. I always joke that it was because of his self-made hippie patchwork pants. That September we took a road trip together to Delaware to visit Wayne, which is when I joke was the official start of our friendship (but Mike swears it was earlier). Our mutual love for music made us connect really well. That summer we made plans to go see Ani DiFranco and the New York Philharmonic, but ended up not going to either. Fast forward to 2004... Mike and Wayne were in a band together (Seer) and I used to go to their rehearsal space often to hang out and listen to some good music. That spring, I became the manager for Seer (mainly by default because I was getting them on television and booking their shows). Mike and I spent a lot of time together in the months that followed... designing album layouts, booking shows, me learning words like backline, sub, amp, and midi. Stressful, but some of the best times of my life. The following winter, I was going on a few dates here and there, hating the dating scene but getting myself out there. During a few dates in particular, I kept noticing myself texting Mike, calling him when I had a spare moment, wishing I were with him instead, and thinking to myself "Why can't I just find a guy like Mike?" Sometime around then, the light bulb went off. We were becoming in separable, spending almost every day of the week together. On New Year's Day, 2005, we finally shared our first kiss, and the rest as they say, is history.
I don't remember exactly when it was that I first met Christina. I can remember times when my friend Wayne would talk about his friend Christina who lived in Franklin Square. At that time, I don't think I'd ever even HEARD of Franklin Square, much less did I know where it was. I remember one time, while Wayne and I were at The Witches Brew in West Hempstead, Wayne pointed down Hempstead Turnpike and said "My friend Christina lives down there." It's funny to remember my life before her, when now I can't imagine my life without her!
We did hang out a few times while Wayne and Christina were in Delaware, when I would come down to visit, and we also did hang out a bit when they were both home on Long Island for breaks, but our friendship didn't really start to exist outside of hanging out in groups until after graduation. I'd often semi-joke to Wayne and Michelle (Waynes then girlfriend, and Christina's best friend) to hook me up with his "hot friend Christina." (and as the story goes, Christina, apparently not intrigued or impressed by the long-lost art of seamstressing, responded to Wayne and Michelle when they tried to set us up with a firm "No, Not Interested!" She claims it was the pants...
I remember Wayne bringing me to her graduation party, and aside from the memories of lots of amazing food and a LOT of people, my clearest memory is Christina, looking very sexy in her tight, pink dress, running around dancing and singing "I don't think you're ready for this jelly" every time I'd see her! The way she made me (and everyone around) laugh was definitely something that always attracted me to her.
We didn't really become close until she started to manage the band. We found ourselves always hanging out together, whether it was travelling to a show, performing/working at a show, working on band stuff, trying (unsuccessfully) to watch entire seasons of 24 in as few sittings as possible, or watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with her mom and sister. It's very hard to say when I realized that our friendship had actually turned into something more, but I think both of us realized that it wasn't normal for two people who are just "friends" to not only spend as much time together as we did, but to always want to include the other in whatever it was that we were involved in.
After all these years, she still makes me laugh, is still that sexy girl in the pink dress (though I mysteriuosly haven't seen that dress since), and I still can't imagine doing anything without her.