Tomorrow is a very special Throwback Thursday for Ben and me. November 21, 2013 marks 11 years of couplehood. It was the evening of the Apex High School Jazz Band concert. After the show, we went to one of our “usual spots” (aka one of the only acceptable yet cool places to go for teenagers) – Caribou Coffee. There, Ben asked me to be his girlfriend! Shrieks! I don’t think that is how it happens with couples in their 20s or even late teens…but it was how things were done at age 15 and 16. Since then, it’s always been an honor to be Ben’s girlfriend, fiancee, and wife!
Let’s just take a quick trip back to 2002. What was it like then?
For starters, we were going to 80s parties, not 90s. Isn’t that ironic?
American Idol had its first season premiere as we closed out Emmy Award winning Friends.
Spiderman was the top grossing film of the year and Chicago earned the Oscar for Best Picture.
The 2nd most popular Google search was “shakira”. This statistic might not even be an accurate cultural portrait of the time as we used search engines such as AltaVista and Ask Jeeves.
Britney Spears was still in Pepsi commercials. Pepsi still had commercials.
On November 21, 2002, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” earned TRL’s number one spot. “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback was the hottest song of 2002 according to Billboard.
MySpace monopolized the online social world, for anyone who had DSL or RoadRunner. Remember our mutual pal Tom?
Google’s Blogspot competed with LiveJournal (and I’m not going to link to the “blog” my friends and I had in high school – I will let y’all guess as to what that URL is).
Before there was Google Hangouts, there was AOL Instant Messenger. Emoticon art ruled the AIM profile. (Somehow, this form of expression made it to the Facebook ‘wall’ for a short time).
Before Spotify, we made mixed CDs.
Don’t even get me started on the Pinterest of 2002. SO MANY COLLAGES! I think the phrase “maybe she’s born with it” is permanently inked backwards to the back of my thigh from all those hours cutting and pasting from magazines.
One word: Nokia.
2002 was a time when you made a phone call via land line and had to ask the parent who answered to speak to their son/daughter.
We did not text. We passed notes. In fact, we had entire notebooks. And, c’mon. Gelly Roll Pens.
How did people at school know if you had a new boyfriend or girlfriend without Facebook?! Were relationships even official back then?!
As much as we love our instant connection to the world that we now enjoy, we also tend to get nostalgic about these bygone trends. So Ben and I wanted to share the past 11 years with you all using a medium I’ve always been addicted to: PHOTOS! With commentary, of course!
Ben: Was that the first year we were together? You’re really skinny there. That was at your Christmas party. I can tell by the decorations. I remember we were singing “Summer Lovin'”.
Lauren: You gave me a Frank Sinatra Christmas CD as your first gift to me ever. We were only together 2-3 weeks, so I don’t think I got you anything.
B: This is not much later. It was one of our first shows at The Annex. It was a place that would accept our band to play.
L: I remember Kristin and I made t-shirts for the event. We made t-shirts for everything.
B: Yeah she made a drummer t-shirt.
L: Why do you have that necklace?
B: I thought it was cool.
Ben’s Senior Prom 2004
B: [Uncontrollable laughter] That’s a terrible picture. I look so excited. I don’t know what I”m supposed to be looking at. You look really pretty though. You kinda look like you do now.
L: I liked my dress that year. I regret wearing the straps.
B: That was when prom dresses were real prom dresses. They’re weird now.
Chicago, Summer 2005
L: This was like our first big trip together, besides Disney [in 2003] I guess. I think this was before selfies really got big. We did a lot of selfies.
B: When was this, 2007? I had that stupid looking beard.
L: No, 2005. And you have a beard now.
B: Well it’s not stupid looking. At least I don’t think so.
Outer Banks, Summer 2006
L: Ok, I’m not a huge fan of this picture. But this was between Webshots and when Facebook let you put pictures up so we are lacking pictures in 2006.
B: What are Webshots, what do you mean by that?
L: [Proceeds to the Wayback Machine to show him what Webshots looked like then]
B: I don’t think that was a thing.
L: Anyway, you were wearing the same shirt in this pic as you were in the last.
B: I really liked wearing red collared shirts during that time. Actually for a long time. You still wear that dress today.
Kevin & Rebecca’s Wedding, August 2007
B: That’s a really good picture. You have a really goofy smile.
L: You must have been saying something funny. Or I was saying something funny.
L: There is very little I remember about this cruise trip. But I do know it was your graduation present to yourself.
B: Yeah, then I got laid off. That was our first trip alone together. I guess that’s when we started to get our independence.
L: And when my hair started to get brown.
Annapolis, June 2009
L: This is when we met in Annapolis when I was living in NYC and my brother and Becky hosted Crabtacular. Do you remember the exact date?
B: August something.
L: No it was 2009.
B: July something
L: No. 2009. Something big happened in June 2009.
B: Michael Jackson died. That’s morbid.
L: And Billy Mays. The exact date was June 27. Two days after Michael and one day before Billy. And so goes the circle of life!
B: That was good surprise I got you with.
B: Nothing exciting happened between the time we got engaged and when we got married.
L: I like this picture, we look comical.
B: That was probably the best picture out of the bunch.
L: When was the last time you even looked at them all?
B: I don’t know, probably recently. I saw them enough after the wedding, we had to show them to everyone.
L: My favorite picture from San Francisco. I loved reenacting Full House. We’re like Uncle Jesse and Rebecca on a picnic.
B: ‘Aaaalllllriiightttt [in a Matthew McConaughey voice]’ – that’s what Quailford is saying.
L: Do you want to look at more pictures?! [Shuffles through collection of CDs and DVDs] We can check out Quailford’s x-rays from when he ate all of those glass ornaments.
And so ends a summary of our lives between 2002 and 2013. If the last 11 years have been this much fun, we’re excited to live our lives together in the next 11!