I’m finally getting around to posting my LA photo blog! Ben and I took a weekend trip to Los Angeles a few weeks ago in mid-October to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. It’s hard to believe we’ve been together for 3 whole years! But what’s even crazier is that this is a story a decade in the making, because we’ve known each other since we were 14. I thought I’d do something different today and share the story of how we met – our “love story” I suppose! – alongside some photos we took in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.
THE BEGINNING – 2007
Ben and I first met through a mutual friend, let’s call her K. We are actually both still friends with K today, but I’m not sure she wants stories from her middle school years publicized on my blog, so I’ll keep it anonymous. K and Ben started “dating” in summer of 2007 – it was middle school, so I think they held hands and then broke up a month later.
During that month if their whirlwind romance, K had a birthday party at her house and invited Ben. It was a big deal at the time to have a boy at your party, and I remember Ben being extremely shy. We didn’t speak much at the party, but we did add each other to our mass chain email contact lists after that. We would send each other (and about 2 dozen other people) emails with survey-questions, how-to guides on how to figure out your ninja name, emails threatening your death if you didn’t pass the email onto 20 people by midnight – you know, normal 2007 stuff.
2008 – 2014
Not much to say here. After the chain email trend faded out, we didn’t really talk to each other. We both went to high school in different districts on opposite sides of town, and lived our separately lives, rarely thinking about the other person’s existence. The only other interaction we really had was adding each other on Facebook when it became popular in 2008. Remember this bit, it becomes important later in the story!
In 2011, Ben and I both graduated high school, and eventually ended up at the University of a Washington. Despite him majoring in Environmental Science and me majoring in Biochemistry (and this having at least a dozen overlapping classes), we have any classes together and I never saw him on campus. I guess pertinent point to note here is that we were both in other relationships for most of college, so we were preoccupied.
I did see his occasional posts and tagged pictures on Facebook. I’ll be honest, since he was in a frat and looked like a bit of a gym rat, I thought he was most likely a douchey-frat-bro. I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but that’s just the truth! I had no desire to even be friends with him and the thought of him never really crossed my mind outside of seeing his posts on social media.
At the end of 2014, I ended my relationship with my long term college boyfriend and went though the stereotypical post-breakup self discovery phase. I bleached my hair blonde, I hung out with my friends more. I also picked up some new hobbies such as rock climbing and playing a video game called League of Legends.
Around the start of 2015, League of Legends rolled out a new feature that allowed you to add your Facebook friends to the game. A little pop up appeared:
“Friend request from The Promised LAN (Ben Brodin)”
I was surprised to see him on the game, but accepted him anyway. He immediately said hi and asked me if I wanted to play a game with him and his friends. I suppose I didn’t have anything to do at the time, because I said “sure!”
We ended up playing a few games together every week for the next few months, never really talking during the games, but he was always nice to me.
I didn’t see him in person until a few months later. It turns out Ben had been climbing for years. I also had a membership at the same rock gym, and I began to inevitably run into him there. I’ll admit… when I first saw him in person for the first time in years, I thought he was pretty cute! He was wearing a backwards hat and a tank top and I remember being slightly annoyed at myself for thinking he was attractive.
By September 2018 I was actually working at the rock gym part time as I tried to figure out what to do with my career post-graduation. We started seeing each other at the gym more often, and I realized he was actually not at all a jerk, but a kind, laid back guy who was fun to be around.
One day after work, as I was riding the bus home from the gym, Ben texted me asking if I wanted to go climb. I replied saying I was just getting back from the gym and was about to grab dinner. He then asked “do you want to get food with me? I’m pretty hungry!” We ended up getting food at a sub-par ramen restaurant on the Ave called Samurai Noodle (his recommendation, not mine – I have since taught him the ways of good Asian food in Seattle).
After dinner, we both went to the register to pay, and Ben grabbed my check, which I thought was strange. I was used to treating friends to dinner and vice versa, but we weren’t exactly close. I must have been feeling bold because after dinner I texted him asking “was that a date?”
Neither of us knew whether it was really a date, but we did end up going on an actual date soon thereafter to Japonessa, a sushi restaurant far better than Samurai Noodle on the Ave. And the rest is history.
2015 – 2018
It’s crazy to think it’s been THREE YEARS since that first date at Samurai Noodle. About 8 months after that date, we moved in together into an apartment in Fremont and adopted two cats. We’ve traveled to Thailand, Paris, London, Prague, Amsterdam, New York, San Francisco, and LA. We’ve both grown so much both individually and as a couple, and while it hasn’t always been perfect, my relationship with Ben is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had.
OKAY – that’s it with the cheesiness! I hope you enjoyed the photos of our quick trip to LA and Santa Barbara. I’d love to hear stories of how you met your significant other in the comments below!