He was the charming guy that made every girl laugh. She was the girl next door that every guy wanted to date.
Fast forward to May 2009. I came back to Austin to (honestly) avoid all the graduation ceremonies, but partake in all the celebrations for the friends I had entered college with. Saturday night turned into the usual chaos on 6th street, sipping on LIT’s at the Library with the roomies, losing them at Pure, and later spotting Ruchy at the Chuggin’ Monkey.
I grabbed her bony arm and screamed over the loud music, “Oh good, I found you. My friend Shawn—you know the one I told you about– is in town and I want you to meet him tonight.”
“Yayyy” she answered smiling with all her teeth, half interested, half hugging the gaggle of fellow sorority girls.
Burying my nose in my overly bright iphone screen, I typed to Shawn, You will meet your soulmate tonight. Send.
OK. Well, they didn’t meet each other that night, because I couldn’t pry Ms. Popular away from her friends, but I spent the remainder of the night talking to Shawn about Ruchy and why they would be perfect for each other.
“You’re both from Oklahoma, generally good looking (someone’s gotta keep them grounded), and very friendly.”
Despite Ruchy’s no–show, I convinced Shawn to ditch his friends to hang out with us on 6th the next night because it would be worth it to meet my amazing friend. I know, right? And, I’m not even the one working in PR.
“Tomorrow night, let’s meet at Wave.” (RIP Wave).
The Sunday night trio (aka Ruchy, Trisha and I) showed up in our 6th street casual to Wave.
“Dude, you’re gonna love him. He’s gonna be a doctorrrr, he’s from Tulsa (this is key because Ruchy is from Stillwater, I grew up in Bartlesville, and Tulsa had the closest airport we could fly into to get to our respective tiny towns) and plus our moms are best friends (aka family approved).”
I introduced Shawn and Ruchy to each other and took a step back to admire my work.
“It’s happening, “ I whispered to T (Trisha).
“Guys, we should order our guest here the Blue Wave,” I smiled sneakily to my resident Longhorn girlfriends.
“Oo that sounds good,” agreed our seemingly innocent visitor.
“Gimme the blue, gimme the blue, gimme the blue!” “Gimme the wave, gimme the wave, gimme the wave!”
I turned, expecting the bartender to throw a glass of water at Shawn, but was more than shocked to see my plan backfire as she pointed the soda hose in my face and soaked me with cold water while Shawn chuckled and threw back another blue shot. Alright, so he’d been here before. Big deal.
That night was the beginning of a water rivalry (with me), a friendship (with T), and a romance (with Ruchy).
The following summer saw me as a middleman in a blossoming relationship involving long walks through Millennium Park with Shawn and even longer phone conversations with Ruchy who was in Stillwater at the time. All the pieces fell into place when Shawn moved to NYC for his residency to join Ruchy in the Big Apple. Of course, their time would not have been as exciting without their matchmaker slash favorite mutual friend visiting from the west coast and snuggling in between them to watch a movie during our sleepovers.
(Self-captured photo of the threesome sleepover crew at Shawn’s apartment)
A few months ago, I was struggling with some health complications that ultimately led to me getting surgery the day before Shawn was going to propose to Ruchy. Because of that, I was not able to be a physical part of the engagement in Austin. But, I’m lucky that I still got to share in the moment by being Facetimed in to read the beginning of their love story.
(That’s me in the iPad congratulating the newly engaged couple)
I feel so blessed to be a small part of Shawn and Ruchy’s story and to see two of my closest friends fall in love. Marriage is one of the most special bonds in life and I was thrilled to have both Shawn & Ruchy play a meaningful role in my wedding. Now, I’m excited to bring the Baraat to Stillwater and then run back to the bride’s side to steal the groom’s potentially water-filled shoes.
(The cartoons are wearing exactly what the couple wore when they met, that warm May evening in Austin)