Rrring...This is one of three calls I received around the same week from different people, each about another girl. While it was very flattering, it was a bit surprising - I was 20 years old and very much against the "marrying young" concept. I couldn't understand why anyone would think it wise or prudent to marry at the age of 20, with 3 years of college ahead of them and no money to speak of.
Ezzie: Hey, Ari, what's up?!
Ari: Hey Ez! [skip through conversation] ...are you by any chance dating yet? I know a girl I think would be a great match for you. I think it's a great idea.
Ezzie (laughing): No, no... I'm not looking to date now. It's the kind of thing where if something fell in my lap, maybe I'd consider it - but I'm definitely not looking into getting set up right now. But thanks - I appreciate it.
A few weeks later, the story with Serach began. After the OnlySimchas incident, we had kept in touch via e-mail or AIM (Instant Messenger), and we spoke on the phone a couple of times as well. As anyone who's ever met Serach knows, communication is not something she struggles with. Ever.
Over the next few weeks, we started talking a bit more and more. She was asked to represent Touro's Women's Division at some NCSY events across the country, so she was travelling on weekends a bit, and was sent at one point to Seattle for a weekend. My brother OD and sister-in-law SIL had asked me to babysit for my nephew Ben one night that weekend, and Serach called me to see what was doing. As my phone either had poor reception in the basement or perhaps it was simply dying, I had her call me on the house phone. We ended up talking most of the time I was there, for about 2 hours. My nephew was sleeping part of the time, playing well on his own, or - a couple of times - got on the phone and "talked" with Serach. It was, as always, great to speak with Serach; yet, for some reason, I still wasn't thinking anything of it.
I did joke that she had to get me some Starbucks from Seattle - specifically, a venti caramel latte. For some reason, she didn't think that would be very wise, but she wanted to know what it was I liked. Later, she called me back about something - but she called my brother's home phone. SIL answered, and Serach (confused) asked to speak with me. She was informed that I had already left, but now my sister-in-law and brother were equally confused.
At some point, Serach needed some pictures to be edited from her best friend's engagement party, but if I recall correctly, didn't have a scanner or way of doing it herself. Somehow, and I'm really vague on what actually happened, that played a role in what was to happen, but I honestly am drawing a blank. Perhaps Serach will fill us in at a later date...
Anyways, Thanksgiving was coming. I had grown up never really having "celebrated" Thanksgiving, but the aforementioned Jon had invited me to his (incredibly entertaining and crazy) home for Thanksgiving dinner. Serach's sister had a baby that week, and her parents were headed to Los Angeles for the bris, and Serach had to decide whether or not to go as well. Her options were to come to Jon for Thanksgiving, then head to a friend for Shabbos, or to fly to LA. Meanwhile, she was already planning on staying at a friend in Queens that Wednesday night whom she hadn't seen in a while.
Serach and I decided to meet up that night, after night seder and maariv were over. But that story will have to wait... I hadn't yet realized it yet, but the woman I was to marry was falling right in my lap.
Ezzie: I'm writing the story as I remember it, and unfortunately that sometimes results in skipping some details. When I remember them, I'll try to fill them in; possibly in the comments, possibly in the posts if it won't make it too disjointed. If anything is unclear or you have any questions, feel free to ask! Serach won't admit it, but she's been reading the story - maybe she'll fill in some of the details and her perspective at some point. I'm still hoping. :)