This is the story of how Brogan and I met. I wrote this short love story for a 2017 piece Lululemon San Diego was doing as a Valentine’s Day feature. We’re going on 5 years married now and this is still one of my favorite stories to tell.
I’ve always believed in fairytales and I waited for mine impatiently. Yes, you read that correctly, super impatient. I knew it would happen, but I didn’t know when. Though chapter one of our story officially began in 2012 in Boston, the cosmos actually sparked our story in 2008. Nearly three years married now, I’d like to walk us all through the prologue that had more than a few serendipitous twists and turns.
Some time in 2008 I was running around the Charles River Esplanade, something I did quite frequently as I lived in Beacon Hill and the river was just a stone's throw away. I remember running under a grey sky, but through warm humid air. Coming closer, running directly toward me going the opposite direction, I saw a massive man. Massive in presence and stature. He had on very low-slung capri-length tights and no shirt. He had inked-up arms and a stunning face. His body? Puhlease. Like a sculpture, breathtaking in all his might. We ran past each other and that was the extent of my first “BG sighting.” Two ships passing in the daylight. That night I wrote in my journal that I “ran past the man I’m going to marry one day. I wonder when I’ll see him again.”
Fast forward to 2010, about two years had passed and I hadn’t seen or really even thought of this random stranger since the river sighting. I received an email from a fellow yoga teacher who mentioned a student of her's who she thought I would be perfect with and attached to the email was a video of Brogan on a pedi-cab acting somewhat nuts (imagine that) wearing a shirt that said “BOLDFACERS” across the chest. I didn’t recognize him at first, but I couldn’t help but notice how striking he was and on looks alone, I told her I’d go out with him. Once she got the green light from me, this mutual friend of ours texted Brogan and told him she wanted to set him up on a blind date. Now, Brogan has the belief that when a friend tries to set you up on a blind date it probably means the woman is “nice,” but mostly “nice” if you know what he’s saying. He declined the blind date, was dating a woman, and was planning on moving to South Florida for a year. Years later he said he wished he’d had a little more information on this blind date “friend.”
Here we are now in 2011, a year after the unsuccessful blind set up was attempted, and Brogan and I started seeing each other around the city. I always somehow spotted him when he was with his then girlfriend and I was with my then boyfriend. We ALWAYS made eye contact that felt like it lasted forever, but keep in mind, at this point, we have no idea who each other are, other than strangers who always seem to be in the same places around Boston. I didn’t connect it that this was the man I saw running the river or that this was the same guy in the pedi-cab video our mutual friend sent me.
I remember spotting Brogan on Charles Street (the street I lived on). He was coming out of Upper Crust Pizza shop and I remember thinking to myself “Gosh that man is quite the specimen. Who is that?!” Side note to you readers, you don’t often see men like Brogan in “buttoned up Boston.” As a somewhat tall, athletic, but stylish woman, I was looking for my equivalent and the men were usually super preppy, on the shorter side, and tattoos and individual style were nowhere to be found. Then on St. Patty’s day, I was taking myself to a solo dinner and movie, and ran into him at Life Alive (greatest vegan restaurant in Cambridge). He was LITERALLY inches from me in line…with his girlfriend, and my heart was racing. I couldn’t help but think “Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit. That’s him! The guy I keep seeing in the city!” I could have half straighten my arm out and touched him. He was inches from me in line. Brogan turned around and we locked eyes. To this day he says, “that 2 second eye contact felt like a half hour.” Awe! So cheesy and damn sweet!
Fast forward to March of 2012 when I taught an outdoor class in Copley Square to 800 yogis. This was a giant event that Lululemon and I dreamt of and built together as a way to celebrate spring and the opening of the Newbury Street store. Consequently, it was written up about on boston.com and that’s when Brogan saw the article, saw my face in the photo, put my name to my face, and with a little help from cut & paste, found me on a social media platform you may be familiar with, Facebook. He messaged me and said, “Let’s get one thing clear. If you’re planning on doing anything this cool again, you’re going to have to run it by me first. These are my streets and everything has to be cleared here first [with the article linked],” and a few more lines of banter. From that moment on, I knew it was him. The guy from the river. From the shared red lights on our bicycles, to the lines at vegan restaurants, the video from my friend, it was all lining up, years in the making!
About a week or two after my big Lululemon event and countless email exchanges with Brogan, we finally met. I’m not exaggerating, when he asked me to meet for a drink that night, I was in the middle of getting a pedicure and I quickly told the woman cleaning my feet to stop and that I would come back tomorrow to finish. I was literally half way through the pedicure. I raced home, wet feet and all, and quickly got ready for what would be the last date of my single life, and the first date with the man who’d I’d later call my husband.
We met at Sevens, a legendary dive bar on the flat of Beacon Hill, which was nestled a mere 50 feet from my apartment door. We lived in poetry, and seemed to stroll through a life seen in postcards. I remember it like it was earlier today, as I opened the door to a dark, beer scented room filled with Patriots jerseys and fitted ‘Sox caps. When I started walking down the slender row of stools that made up the length of the bar, Brogan turned around, looming above the heads of everyone standing around the dartboards. Because of his 6’6” 230lb frame, the bar quickly became as cramped as my studio apartment and nothing else existed but this moment of ours. His giant smile and inviting eyes took me directly in and finally, we were face to face. My world stopped, the freeze was real, like the kind that pauses a bullseye throw in mid air. Now seconds felt like minutes, expressions were explosive, and our smiles already felt like home.
We sat in a corner seat at the window and exchanged stories and details of who we were and the many bullet points of life that brought us up to the current versions of ourselves. The first date lasted about 90 minutes before we both had to leave. It wasn’t more than a couple of hours later that we were back in each other’s view. We shared the night by setting off a taser at a port o’ potty just to see what would happen. Fun, random, ridiculous, exciting, natural, and all built into the fairytale that is ours.
That spring and summer, life moved fast and we seemed to fit long weekends into every single day. November Project was on the rise and I got to watch from the front row as we, the “tribe,” went from 7 people to 307, to 1,007 people. My classes were young and full of loud music, sweaty skin, and college students from all over Boston. We built events, races, trained side by side, and darted off into the night on our bikes laughing and pushing one another.
On New Year’s Eve 2013, about a year and half into what had been the most exciting chapter of our lives together, the fairy tale continued when BG proposed. We will never forget that night and how it all went down. Six months later we tied the knot in front of 75 guests in the backyard of my sister and her husband’s La Jolla, CA. home. I don’t think we would have ever predicted that later that same year we would become residents of California. Like I said at the beginning of this love story, I’ve always believed in fairytales and I believe there is one waiting to be scripted by every single human out there. There’s nothing that holds a candle to love. Love is everything.
NOTE: No port o’ potties were hurt in the making of this true love story
photo credit: Nick Isabella Photography