Chelsea and Benjamin
How We Met
On November 20, 2013, I went to Seattle to see BT, my all time favorite electronic artist, performing at Foundation. I met several new people who were friends of friends, including one Benjamin Kaufman. He was too shy to talk to me despite wanting very much to do so, and my only priorities that evening were wearing a headband and cutting a rug. Despite probably not exchanging one word, we got a great picture together the night we met, even including my dear personal friend, Brian Transeau (lolz).
As I got to know Ben, I discovered we had a mutual background of web dev at the state, Batman obsession, playing Nintendo, cat enthusiasm, industrial grade snark, and “I do what I want” streaks, all of which are obviously vital elements of the most lasting friendships. I also found that he was unlike anyone else I’d known, in that he never treats my eccentric lifestyle choices as challenges waiting to be argued out of existence, always respects my needs and boundaries, shares the same goals, and accepts other people without acting like a doormat or compromising his own values. Ben has ran 13 miles to see me like it’s NBD, hung out with me when I had some swine flu leprosy or something along those lines, and shown me the most honest, thoughtful, intelligent soul. And oh my god, that ridiculous jovial laugh.
How He Asked
Ben and I mutually decided that we were ready to take the next step, and that we would like to announce the “preposal” to our friends and family with a series of photos taken at the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum. Lines for the exhibit were regularly wrapped around the block, so I worked with the group coordinator at SAM to get special admission tickets for Ben, myself, and my brother-in-law Jeffery, whose photography services I commissioned for a “couples photo session” (he didn’t know we were going to get engaged). We knew it would be challenging to get good shots with only 30 seconds inside each room of the exhibit, but Jeffery did an incredible job capturing our proposal in a truly stunning way. Ben got down on one knee inside the room “Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity” and the result is one of the most beautiful moments of my life. We toured the rest of the exhibit, getting fun photos in each of the Infinity Mirror rooms and around the museum, and were blown away by how well everything came together.
When we shared the breathtaking photo set and announcement of our engagement on Facebook, I shared this story of our relationship as well:
“You know I’ve been crazy about you for a while now, right?”
When you confessed your feelings that night a little over three years ago, that’s what you said. Despite my best efforts at preemptively rebuffing the known world and talking myself out of loving anyone, I knew full well how you felt for me, and that I felt the same.
You showed up in my life in your characteristically unassuming way and gave freely of yourself and your heart. I gave myself permission to be vulnerable to you and found that I was softened. I would catch myself starting to wonder. What would it be like to embrace the way you made me feel?
Now I know the answer. It would be the best decision I ever made, because you’ve always loved me like it was as instinctive and natural as breath.
You’ve changed my life in ways I never anticipated with your kindness, humor, intelligence, and absolute devotion. You keep your promises and make my dreams a reality.
Now we can have our forever…