I’m starting a new series on love, and wanted to start “The story of us” where it should, at the very beginning.
This is the story of how we met.
I remember every detail, as if it were yesterday.
*I’m breaking the story up into two parts because once I started writing, I realized how long it would be, & I didn’t want to give you an entire novel to read in one, single post. This story is very precious to me, and only a few friends & family have heard it… until now.
I can’t wait to share these series of stories about how we fell in love.
It was April 20th, 2010.
I was a 20-year-old student, living in NYC on 27th street & 7th avenue, in a dorm at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), finishing up the 3rd year of my Advertising & Marketing degree.
I was signed with Wilhelmina Models NY, & working as much as I could to pay for school. In-state tuition was very reasonable, but the dorms were crazy expensive.
I received an email the day before at 4 pm (I still have the email), from my agent letting me know I just booked a photoshoot for Cosmopolitan magazine that was shooting the very next morning.
I was thrilled! The studio that we were shooting at was only 3 blocks from my dorm, but of course being the lazy 20-year-old student that I occasionally could be, I showed up 20 minutes late. I would love to go back & lecture my college-self on SO many things.
When I arrived, everyone was already in full swing at work. Thankfully, there were several photoshoots for the magazine going on, & no-one realized I was late. Phew! I checked in with wardrobe, two snobby girls who dragged out their words like they were Cher in Clueless, & wouldn’t even look me in the eye because I was just a prop to them. They told me my shoot time wasn’t for another hour or so, and I could go eat from catering, and take a seat. I was so, so very insecure during this time in my life that I hated to eat in front of people. I would much rather take my food, and eat in an empty corner of the studio. This wasn’t an option since there was something going on in every nook of the loft space.
Even though this was 7 years ago, I remember exactly what I was wearing. Now please remember, I was a college student. While I was in school from 2007-2011, my fashion taste was less than desirable, and on top of that the fashion of 2010 wasn’t exactly noteworthy. I used to roll out of bed and go to school which was conveniently RIGHT across the street from my dorm, in a baggy t-shirt and old pair of jeans or leggings. I didn’t have extra money for tons of new clothes & definitely didn’t have the cash to buy the designer wear that my classmates were wearing. I mostly shopped at Forever 21 and H&M and gravitated to everything blue and green. Ok. Now that you know all that, this was my outfit for the day. A royal blue V-neck t-shirt from old navy, American rag washed out jeans and my light brown suede platform FRINGE boots from Jessica Simpson. I’m cringing right now, completely cringing at the mere mental image of those boots. I thought I was so cool, and trendy but now realize that they were an abomination to fashion itself.
I grabbed a bagel, and took a seat in the common area where other models were waiting to get hair and makeup done for their shoot. When I sat down and looked to my side, there were two male models sitting on the couch. One was your standard blonde & blue eyed All-American model, and sitting next to him was the most gorgeous boy I’ve ever seen in my life. I say boy because I was 20 years old, & at the time a “man” was anyone who looked 30 or older to me. Chris was 26, but looked 21. I remember this because I had a Facebook page, and wrote a status “Currently sitting next to Taylor Lautner’s older, better looking 21-year-old brother” (I had an unhealthy obsession with Twilight at the time). Unlike the Blonde model, Chris politely stood up when I sat down, and put his hand out to introduce himself. He had the sweetest, most genuine smile on his face & I still have an exact memory of it to this day. I didn’t like male models. In my experience, they almost always lived up to the stereotype of being full of themselves, and not very polite. Chris was not your stereotypical male model. None of his friends or family knew he modeled, only his parents. He did it quietly and modestly as a way to earn extra income, unlike most models who tell you they model the first chance they get as some kind of status symbol. He was kind, sweet, and a true gentleman. I was completely & immediately smitten with him.
I knew I would be working with a male model because my shoot was for a “romance story” in the magazine. These shoots typically consisted of a male and female model pretending to be a couple, having dinner, chatting on a couch or holding hands/hugging. Really simple, easy stuff.
I had no idea who I would be working with, because there were 4 male models there. I remember sitting in the hair and makeup chair asking the hair stylist if he knew who I would be working with. He didn’t, but cheekily asked me “who do you WANT to work with?”, I discreetly pointed out to Chris who was reading a book on the couch. The makeup artist told me he would go ask production & find out.
He came back with a huge smile on his face and told me I was working with Chris. I had a huge celebratory party in my head, immediately followed by complete and utter anxiety. I knew I was shooting in lingerie and my body was NOT where I wanted it to be. I was skinny, but not toned. I wanted to guzzle mouthwash just to be extra, EXTRA fresh (during these shoots you were up close and personal with the person you were working with) and what if at the end of the day, he was in a relationship, or worse, he just wasn’t interested?! I calmed myself down, ran to the bathroom after hair/makeup, and searched the cabinets for mouthwash. SCORE. Ok… one less thing to worry about.
We still had time before our shoot to relax. Chris & I ended up spending the rest of the day together just chatting and getting to know one another better. We had pretty much everything in common. We were both obsessed with movies, and our favorites were the same. Same taste in music, same favorite bands & a few of the same favorite songs. Same introverted personalities. Same love for New York. He was checking every single thing on my compatibility list, not to mention he was seriously stunning. I had honestly never been that immediately attracted to anyone in my life. Tall, tan skin, dark hair, gorgeous green eyes. Check, check, check & check! Besides having everything in common & being ridiculously good looking he was most importantly, kind. I believe you can tell when someone is genuinely nice, kind & respectful within minutes. Chris was a gentleman and on top of all that, he had a great sense of humor.
Every so often we would get pulled away from each other. Chris needed to be fitted for his wardrobe, or my hair needed to be checked. I had curlers in & was wearing a hair-cap for most of the day. Way to kill any chance of trying to be alluring.
But each time we were pulled away, we found a way to get back to one another. I remember during lunch, Chris & I were standing in the kitchen part of the studio where catering was and a song called “Where is my mind?” by Pixies started playing. Chris asked me if I knew which movie it was from and I was over the moon that I actually knew. I told him “Fight Club, during the scene at the end”, I could tell he was surprised.
Well. Hopefully that made up a little for me looking absolutely ridiculous in a hair-cap. Chris later told me how impressed he was, and even though it was only a small bit of trivia, it was just one more reason he was drawn to me. Up until this point, I had never met someone who I could talk so easily to. We had known each-other for a few hours, yet he felt like someone I had known my entire life. I know they say opposites attract, but it is SO much fun to be interested in the same of everything. When we go to the movies, there isn’t a fight over what to see. When we put on Pandora in the car, many of our stations are almost identical. We make each-other laugh every single day & we have the same morals and ideals on how to raise our children. I love that my best friend and husband are the same person.
But back to the story…
2 hours flew by & during our conversation we talked about modeling agencies. Which agencies we worked with in the past, who we were currently signed with, & if we were happy with them. I told Chris, one of my good friends was also signed with Chris’s same agent. Not a moment passed & he casually worked into our conversation “So… is he your boyfriend?”. The answer was no, and before I could stop myself, I blurted out “Do you have a girlfriend????”.
Way to play it cool Bethany!
He said no… Fireworks went off in my head. It was the most glorious no that I had ever received. We were then interrupted by one of the production team, “It’s time for you two to shoot” …
…to be continued on Friday
Our head-shots from 2010.
Such serious faces!