Jennifer and Souri

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How We Met

When people ask how we met, and I tell them, “Craigslist,” the response is usually a puzzled expression and an awkward smile. I’ll admit that that this wasn’t the storybook romantic encounter, where we locked eyes while rushing through a crowd of commuters in a train station. It was an unforgettable encounter nonetheless.

In July of 2008, I received a call in response to my Craigslist post advertising my condo for rent. On the line was a soft-spoken female with a southern accent named Shauna. After a quick conversation, we were set to meet. Later that day I was in the lobby waiting patiently for a “Shauna” to arrive. I notice an African American fellow with two Asian gals – one of whom seemed to be dancing to music that no one else could hear, while the other was curiously looking around as if she was trailing a fly. So I asked “excuse me, have you guys seen a girl come through here?” One of the girls gave me a funny look and asked, “Wait, are you Story?” I thought, “Oh Lord, is she butchering my name or is she really waiting for a ‘Story’”? I replied “I don’t have a story for you but my name happens to be Souri. Are you by chance Shauna?” She said “Yes” and introduces to me to her two companions, Jennifer and Randy. We all gave a brief intro and I soon learned both Shauna and Jennifer are Vietnamese and from Arkansas, while Randy is Guyanese and from Florida. I thought, “Wow, these people have a great sense of humor! How’d they come up with this!?” Not revealing their real identity to a stranger is one thing, but this is something else. In any event, I chuckled and we proceeded to the condo.

They walked around and checked out the unit, with Jennifer still semi-dancing and making me even more curious as to what music is she’s hearing. As I was checking her out, I realized this girl is wearing a black turtleneck shirt in the middle of the summer with some weird baggy wide leg cropped pants. Something about her was very intriguing to me. They expressed interest in my condo, so I gave them an application. Their visit was short, but just long enough for Jennifer to accuse me of being OCD, then going completely off topic and inquiring about what bars in DC are good for happy hour. Not even bothering to defend myself, I just gave them a random list of places. After some Q&A’s, off they went. I thought, “Wow that was the most interesting 30 minutes ever.”

After a few days, Shauna called and she, Jennifer, and Randy invited me out for drinks at a bar in DC. When I arrived, Shauna struck up an awkward conversation, pretty much about nothing. Then finally explains that she found another place. I was actually relieved. I later learned that they called me out for drinks that night because I was the only other person they knew and making another friend on Craigslist was too much of a hassle for a Friday afternoon. They purposely scoped me out to make sure I wasn’t a serial killer from the ID channel, Web of Lies. Once I assured myself as trustworthy person they started to invite me to daily happy hour and late nights at DC finest, Adam’s Morgan.

Jennifer and I quickly bonded since she was always challenging me; whether it was drinking, eating, or doing something silly and outrageous. From there, our relationship developed into what it is today. Every day is adventure to say the least. I can now hear the music that Jennifer dances to. I have to admit, it’s an exciting feeling to live life to its fullest with her by my side. I would like to thank Mr. Craig Newmark, without him there would be no Craigslist and therefore, no Sourifer.
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How He Asked

It’s hard to explain, but you know when you have that intuition that “today is the day”? Well, that happened to me on that faithful Friday in November. I woke up with an instant smile on my face because I received a text from Souri inquiring if I’d like to have a spontaneous date night after work. Instead of getting out of bed, I was daydreaming of all the many ways he could surprise me. I am a self-proclaimed queen of party planning and the ultimate schemer of surprises.

So when I realized an hour had past and I’m still in bed, I ran full force to the shower then quickly applied make-up before my favorite song ended, Party in My Head by September. I didn’t bother to blow-dry my hair or even comb it since I was already 2 hours late and I still haven’t figured out what to wear for the day. I truly love Fridays. It’s the only day where I can dress like a hobo to work and still be accepted. So naturally, I picked out a pair of bright red pants and a plain t-shirt before dashing out the door.

Souri greeted me outside that morning to drive me to work. He seemed puzzled with my outfit selection and kept asking if I was okay with wearing it all day. I looked at him and said, “Yes, I promise to clean up before our date tonight” He seemed okay with my answer. While he was driving, I knew something was different about him. He shaved, has a new haircut and when I leaned in to give him kiss I noticed this scent – it’s his AFTER SHAVE! Maybe I’ve never noticed this before, but it was as if this was another sign that TODAY IS THE DAY!

When I get to work, I told Aquera about my inkling and intuition. She rolled her eyes because she’s been hearing this for years leading up to this day. I don’t know how she doesn’t sucker punch me every time I tell her about my outrageous hunches. She looked at me up and down then says, “How did you leave the house looking like that?” I quickly responded that I was going shopping for the perfect date night outfit during lunch and that I would clean myself up. I instantly saw the fear in her eyes as she shook her head, “No”. I quickly called my Sr. Vice President explaining it was an emergency situation and that I needed to go shop for a new outfit. He gave me his blessings and off I went with Aquera and Ashlee.

After my shopping spree I received a skype call from Souri and his nephew Liam. As happy as I was to see baby Liam, this threw me off and made me doubt my hunch because he looked too relaxed. That was the moment, I reassured myself to keep my daytime job because I would never pass a day as a Fortune Teller. On the bright side, I was able to shop all day with my girlfriends.

As 5pm rolled in, Aquera ran into my office insisting I join her and Ashlee for a quick drink on the rooftop. Ashlee grabbed my belongings (which is a stack of 20 cards secured by a hair band) and ran with Aquera to the elevator. As I trailed behind, it didn’t occur to me that this could be the moment. I just thought how silly was to drink on a rooftop on a cold November night. However, Souri text me earlier to tell me he was running late, so I figure why not join them on this crazy debauchery.

As soon as I opened the door to the rooftop, I caught a glimpse of heaven on this cold and chilly night. When I walked out, I saw my handsome boyfriend surrounded by thousands (since this is my story, I’m going to exaggerate a little) of vases with floating candles making a path leading up to him. As a fan of the Bachelor, this is like receiving the final rose. With that being said, I’m so glad I was never a contestant on the show, because I definitely didn’t know how to keep my composure. I awkwardly did a weird disco dance move and was screaming “Woot woot.” I made sure I greeted our photographer, Tommy, while dancing toward Souri.

When I reached him, he looked at me nervously, went down on one knee and said “Hi love… will you marry me?” I instantly replied with a “Woot woot”! He interpret that as a yes and slipped that beautiful diamond on my finger. Everything was surreal and it felt like we were the only two people in the universe, beside our photographer and my girlfriends.

Because Souri kept this as a secret from everyone since the beginning of the summer, we had the honor of revealing our engagement to all our family and friends in person. On our way to make our rounds, I called my parents to share the joyous news! They were excited to have a stand up man who is loving, trustworthy, and can handle being surrounded by such a high energy family like ours. I am also one lucky girl, to be joining the Soup family, who has openly accepted me and all my weird perks.

Our proposal was the happiest moment and the greatest day ever that I will treasure forever. I know this is just the start of something beautiful and that we will share more days like this as we grow old together. From this day forward, we are no longer Souri + Jennifer but together as Sourifer.

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Special Thanks

Tommy Nguyen
Photographer
Stephen Elliot
Engagement Photographer