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Once Upon a Time… “I was bartending and this really attractive, tall, blonde-haired, blue -eyed man walks in and sits down next to some of my bar regulars. I would have bet money that he was 25, 26, even 30 years old, but I checked his ID and as fate would have it – he had just turned 21. I was shocked and a little disappointed because as a single lady, I had a set of “deal breakers” that I would enlist whenever I felt I wanted to go on a date with a man, (my top 3 being: he must be older than me, have a job and have this own place.) I was a little bummed, but shrugged it off like, ‘oh well, he’s handsome, but he’s a baby…on to the next’. So anyway, I got him a drink, and sat down and ate my dinner. *I learned later on that Chris had had a thing for me for a couple years. Being that he was younger than me, and his friends were all my age – his friends were ALL my bar regulars. I knew them all… pretty well, in fact. So, Chris had been pining over me for some time.* While I was eating (I remember this like it was yesterday) he got up from the bar and started walking towards me. I remember thinking, ‘Ok, he’s probably going to the bathroom’, but he was coming over to talk to me while I was eating. He was so cute (and awkward), trying to be cool and sexy haha. He handed me this bar napkin with his name and number on it instructing me to “hit him up” after my shift. I was polite and accepted the napkin. As soon as he left though, I threw it away almost immediately! In fact I remember laughing about it like ‘HAH why would I ever date anyone younger than me’. (So dumb by the way ladies…age is just a number and I was obviously pretty young myself, what did I know?!). LONG STORY SHORT – I don’t see him again for almost an entire year. (Crazy right?) He came back into Friday’s during one of my shifts with his friends again, but this time I was sort of dating someone at the time. But, Chris left me his number again, and I threw it away AGAIN. (I know, I sound like a jerk!) Fast forward a couple more months.. turns out Chris started working at my favorite bar down the road. I used to go to City Streets on my days off, with all my friends and it was always so much fun. For weeks, Chris and I would make eye contact. He would sit on one side of the bar, and I would always end up across from him. (Fate?) It was so sweet though thinking back.. every time I would look at him, he was already staring at me. He would look away really fast, but I knew, and it was so so sweet. He started buying me drinks here and there each time I would run into him, and I would always thank him, but he was always too shy to come over and talk to me… September 26, 2013 – I walked into City Streets with some girl friends to have a quick couple drinks and guess who was sitting directly across from me – Mr. Christopher. haha it was like we couldn’t escape each other! BUT… this time, it was his birthday and he was several shots of Jager deep. Shortly after I walked in I hear “HEY GINGER, COME TAKE A SHOT WITH ME ITS MY BIRTHDAY!”. At first, I was really mad, because I HATE when people call me ‘ginger’ 🙁 Then I thought to myself, well, this kid buys me drinks all the time, let me throw him a bone. hahaha SO I walk over, and he made me take a shot of Jager (which I hate, so it really showed my effort). Since he was a little drunk, he was so talkative! I remember thinking to myself, ‘omg he’s actually really funny, and his voice is so sexy.. he doesn’t seem so young.. he seems older than me!’. And just like that, my mind opened up to the possibility that some of my ‘deal breakers’, might be hindering me from meeting nice men. The next time I ran into him at City Streets, he was coming home from a wedding with his buddies, and OMG he was dressed so handsome. He had one of his friends come over and tell me that someone needed me outside right away – and – of course, it was Chris standing outside all tall, and sexy, and handsome. He looked at me with his blue eyes and asked for my phone number and we flirted for a bit, but then I left. I was getting nervous, honestly. I was really starting to like him, and I kind of didn’t want to. So that same night, I am getting ready for bed and I am plugging my phone in to charge and all of a sudden, Chris is calling me. I vividly remember looking down at my phone like ‘aw crap, I was literally just about to get into bed’, but I really wanted to talk to him some more. We talked the ENTIRE NIGHT on the phone. Like, until 6am. We had that magical conversation where you learn everything about one another and make jokes and flirt and compliments are flying back and forth. My most favorite memory about our falling in love (minus me throwing away his number two times!) is remembering him saying this phrase over and over and over throughout our all night conversation: “Okay, soooo… when are we getting married?” We joke about it now because we fell in love that night, over the phone like a bunch of cheesy 14-year-olds. Its also sweet because we fell in love before we had our first date. <3 ” Photo credit: Ed Kedzierski Creative Photography NJ