Saturday, May 26, 2007

What Has Baytown To Do With Paris?

Our hometowns could hardly be more different: Jacob grew up in Baytown, Texas, which is just outside Houston, an hour inland from the Gulf of Mexico, near the Louisiana border; Emily grew up in Paris, France, which is, well, Paris. Jacob's backyard is one of the largest concentrations of oil refineries in the world; Emily's is the Luxembourg Garden, home to the French Senate; Jacob fondly remembers sticky hot summer mornings riding bikes with his brothers to the bowling alley, and stopping on the way back for a snow-cone or Big Gulp from the corner gas station; Emily remembers rollerblading with difficulty over cobblestones, sitting in smoky cafes on rainy mornings, and dipping buttered bread into hot chocolate.

How do these two people, how did we, with such dissimilar geographical upbringings, meet and fall in love? Put simply, we went to the same college. But we also credit the stories of King David and Esther, and the words of Jesus, which we both heard as children, and still tell to each other today. We both credit feeling free as children--to be interested in reading (we just this minute found out that we both loved Nancy Drew!) and drawing, or whatever we liked--which would lead us to writing and photography. We can credit a post-college book club, jokingly and accurately referred to as a dating club. Emily's annoyance with rush-hour traffic on the Eisenhower, which led to more and longer dinners at Jacob's apartment. A shared urge to tell meaningful stories, through words and images, leading us travel to Athens, Greece, last summer to document the sex trafficking industry. Our love of cooking together.

Whatever other inscrutable factors in our joining together, we look forward to celebrating the mysteries and complexities of our previous, separate lives, and all the possibilities of our new life together.

p.s. For some internet fun, we present Wikipedia Challenge, a Seven-Degrees-to-Kevin-Bacon-type game where participants compete to find the shortest Wiki-link distance between two Wikipedia entries. Today's challenge: the entry entitled Oil Refinery to the entry for Luxembourg Garden, or Jardin du Luxembourg. Fewest clicks wins. I did it in four.

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