As told by the Bride…
It was a sunny Saturday Morning in July 2012 and I woke up early and couldn’t sleep. It had been a hectic summer so far being knee-deep with exams in optometry school. Being so busy with school, I had joined some dating websites to see if that would help me meet the man of my dreams. OK Cupid, Indiandating.com, match.com, and wait for it…shaadi.com.
So that morning I logged into my shaadi.com account. After scrolling through my Chicago contenders and being dissatisfied with the results, I thought it would be interesting to see what eye candy there was in New York. After just a few short clicks, I landed on Jay Shah. I instantly thought he was cutie and proceeded to read through his bio-data: about him, his ideal partner, his astrological sign, etc, etc. I sent him an interest and later that day he sent me an interest back. I wasn’t a paid member of the site so I thought, well this will never work…how will he reach out to me? Well, Jay being the IT guy that he is, searched for me on facebook and messaged me there…and I’m so glad he did.
We started talking on the phone, laughing for hours, skyping, and 6 weeks later he flew to Chicago to meet me for the first time. We had undeniable chemistry. Obviously I showed him around Chicago and introduced him to deep dish pizza 😉 which he can’t get enough of now! So here we are…after being long distance for 3 years – flying from ORD to JFK, from LGA to MDW. We have racked up some serious frequent flyer miles! Through all of it, Jay has been my biggest supporter, my partner in crime, my fellow comedian, the best travel buddy, the Mickey to my Minnie. I love you Jay and I can’t wait to marry the man of my dreams.
As told by the Groom…
It was summer 2012 and I had been freshly minted out of grad school. Only two things were certain at this point in my life. 1) I needed to convince someone to give me a job and 2) I needed to convince someone to fall in love with me. Hereinafter referred to as Job # 1 and Job # 2 – just kidding.
Being so busy with work and now being out of college, it was nearly impossible to go out and make new friends. I signed up on Shaadi “for fun” to see what was “out there”. Sadly, not much and it probably didn’t help that I didn’t fork over $$ to get potential “matches sent daily”.
Fast forward a couple of weeks later and all of a sudden I get an interest from a beautiful girl named Payal. I first pulled up her profile on my iPhone but it wasn’t enough or maybe I was just in disbelief. And so I opened up my laptop and pulled up her profile again to make sure this was for real. There she was, all beautiful and smiley, just the way I had imagined “her” to be. But hold on, wait a minute, she’s from Chicago! I remember overthinking to myself how this could ever work given that she’s from the Midwest and I’m from the east coast?!
Nevertheless, I pioneered on with my gratis profile and decided that I would facebook message Payal and inquire about her inquiry into me. Sure enough, she did exist and she was so cool in her ways. I remember the first time we spoke on the phone, I was driving home from work and she had just gotten home from class, and the conversation was just perfect. Now, I can’t tell you that I remember what we talked about, but I can tell you it was that conversation that made me realize how amazing Payal really is. After we hung up, I remember sitting in my car for several minutes just beaming with happiness (do men do that?).
After several weeks, and what felt like decades, Payal and I decided it was time to finally meet. Payal had planned the perfect dinner for us but unfortunately my flight was delayed by several hours, which ultimately led to the suspension of her open table account. Through it all, Payal planned a perfect romantic dinner for us to make up for lost time. She was ever so kind, caring and funny throughout our weekend together.
Sure enough, Sunday came quickly and I knew I had been blessed with someone so perfect. Over the next 3 years, we continued this journey back and forth visiting one another and ever so perfectly falling in love. Payal has become my partner in crime, the taste-tester to my cooking and the mentor to my humor.
Payal, I love you a lot and cannot wait for our big day.
P.S. If there is one thing I could change over the years it would be making it easier to get in and out of MDW. Seriously, that airport was such a pain.