One half of the fabulous blog The Short and the Sweet of It, Alexa, shares her Love Story…
Alexa and Matt Evans
October 4, 2008
Photographer: Orbie Pullen
It was orientation night at UC Santa Cruz, and as I sat next to my new roommate, surrounded by strangers and having massive twinges of anxiety, I had no clue that the man I would marry, the man who would be the father of my children was sitting literally five feet away from me, staring at some other girl. See neither of us buy into that “love at first sight” baloney. I was wearing pajama pants for goodness sake! Doesn’t everyone in college wear pajama pants at all hours of the day? In any regard we became friends well before we became boyfriend and girlfriend. Which I think is good path to take, if you’re intent on finding someone who you want to laugh with fart on, discuss politics with, travel the world with and grow old together. Because let’s face it. Everyone thinks the good looks will last forever, then all of a sudden you’re 31 with strands of grey, eye wrinkles and you’re wearing pajama pants. But a best friend will still think you’re good looking even with wrinkles and then they might sneeze on you or fart on you or ask if there’s any ice cream left so that we might share a pint. And good Lord if that is not love that I don’t know what is.
Once Matt and I decided that we thought the other was smoking hot and couldn’t live a single day without seeing the other at every single second we announced we were officially dating and spent the next year ignoring everything else in our lives. Then one day Matt said: let’s move to New Zealand. I looked up as if he just said, “let’s go to the café down the street,” and said, “Sounds cool.” So that’s what we did. Every one told us it would either make us or break us. Since we had never lived together before, and in a foreign country, where there are sheep! And kiwis! Good Lord. For those keeping track: It made us! Hooray!
After coming home and bumming around San Francisco for a while…because that’s what you do in San Francisco (and drink lattes and eat lots of Asian food) we decided to travel again…to Italy. Where people most definitely do not wear pajama pants (in public or in private).
Just a few weeks after we landed in Bella Italia, Matt proposed to me…. in Italian. I actually don’t think he knew what he was saying. But it sounded incredible. And in fact I told him so, only because he had suggested that we sit on this little cliff and practice our Italian because he had a test coming up. Granted, I thought it was odd that he had to give a fake proposal as an assignment. Silly Italian teachers. Do not worry, I finally figured it out when he pulled out the ring. And it was the most amazing thing. And we hugged and kissed and jumped for joy. And spent the evening eating and drinking bottles of wine and random Italians screamed “Auguri!” over and over again, which is another amazing thing. And a few hours later I got food poisoning and thought I would die. And all I could think as I lay sprawled pitifully on the bathroom floor of a tiny pensione in Cinque Terre, was: “At least I would have married the man of my dreams.”
Initially it was tempting to find an old Italian priest in tiny little Vernazza (preferably one who spoke little to no English) and tie the knot right then and there. But who knew how hard it would be to get married abroad? Plus it was entirely possible that our moms would never speak to us again, because aren’t weddings just as fun for moms as for couples? So we threw one big old bash for our friends and family members because we like them…a lot.
Our wedding was awesome. I know everyone says that…but ours was truly amazing. Our two very close friends (our college roommates from UC Santa Cruz) married us. They were also at that very same orientation…and guess what? We pronounced them man and wife in 2010! There was a toast with wine that my Grandpa made the year I was born (it tasted like vinegar and I loved it), there were photographs in the lovely vineyards and little Italian cookies made by my cousin. I also had the honor to wear my grandmother’s heart locket and my Great Great Grandmother’s necklace, which were special mementos that I hold dear to my heart. My Dad sang in Italian (he speaks much better than either Matt or me), and everyone danced till midnight.
Honestly just one day before I was having heart palpations because the storm of the century was rolling through Northern California on MY wedding weekend. Silly weather. Didn’t it get the memo? The rain stopped three hours before the ceremony and everyone breathed a sigh of relief then promptly froze to death because it was freezing! But it was gloriously clear and smelled like pine. And I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Thank you Alexa for sharing your incredibly heartwarming love story with us! Cheers to PJ Pants, being lost in translation, Bad wine that is Good, family, and one dayum good love story. Today we celebrate you, Matt, and a life time of happiness!