Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.
— Scaffolding, by Seamus Heaney
Today I want to tell you the story of Michelle and Jack. A little more than seven years ago, Michelle and Jack met in a Digital Games Studies class in college. She was a sassy freshman who knew about multi-user dungeons, and he was a charming sophomore who invited her contra dancing at the XKCD convention on campus. When I asked them how they knew they were right for each other, Jack said, “My first thought is that we’ve been together long enough now to have seen how we grow and change. Through all of college, a year apart, moving to the city, changing jobs. And all of it has been wonderful and different. I want to keep doing that. But my second thought is, at risk of sounding cliche, I can still remember our first dance together, staring into each others’ eyes while we spun around and around. And I look back on that moment and think, wow, I love this girl! There was no single moment when I realized “she’s the one”, but it just kept making sense, over and over, every day.”
Michelle and Jack also have one of my favorite engagement stories. Here’s how Michelle describes it, “We’d talked about getting married before, without any urgency but one morning, I woke up and thought, “Let’s do it.” I could have dropped some hints, but I realized I could also save us some time and do it myself. I asked Jack’s parents for their blessing, then started putting together a proposal robot, which would do some fun things and then reveal the ring. After six months of soldering and programming and re-soldering, things were taking longer than I wanted, so I scrapped that plan and brought Jack to the Hayden Planetarium… which was closed, so I then diverted him to a bench in Central Park, where I asked him to marry me. It felt just as harrowing as every proposal story I’ve heard from the planner’s perspective, but the surprise and happiness and love in Jack’s reaction made it all very, very worth it.”
Michelle and Jack’s Creative Team
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