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Introductions/who we are

Ry! - (written by Meg)
Ry is that rare type of person who thinks like an engineer and an artist at the same time, and this makes him a gifted conversationalist, problem-solver, and theoretician when, that is, you can manage to drag him toward speech. Perhaps unsurprisingly for such a thinker, he is very quiet. He claims that his natural thought processes & reticence made him unfit for all scholarly pursuits, but in just a few minutes watching him at his job (tech support) his clear gift & passion for gaining & sharing knowledge refutes that idea; he is talented as both a student and teacher, however nontraditional he may be. Ry, along with an adept & unusual intellectual capacity, is, as the saying goes, a man of action. He is always fidgeting, always creating, and always making - sometimes this is as simple as tapping out a rhythm on a subway bar as he rides to work in the morning, other times it is as complex as the beautiful basses he is learning to build. He loves to work with his hands & the rest of his body, a habit that has driven him towards woodwork, photography, computer hardware & coding, bass-playing, various sports, and more - anything that requires both physical skill & physics. He is excellent at packing bags, at speaking in gibberish on Sunday mornings (thanks, David!), and at preaching the wonders of his laid-back lifestyle.

Meg! - (written by Ry)
Meg is a mental grasshopper, always challenging those around her to keep up with her conceptual agility as she makes those thought-links that everyone else wishes they could pull off with half her speed. The combination of her New York roots and her Bryn Mawr education have made her a strong and assertive woman, who truly appreciates having her ideas challenged and the opportunity to change your mind. (Be cautious though, her logical segues will have you agreeing that apple trees grow well on Mars if you aren't careful!) This is all tempered by a profundity of silliness brought on by her love of Muppets, "The Yellow Submarine," and French social theorists of the 19th and 20th centuries whose last names start with the letter "B." She has a fondness for cats, hedgehogs, tea, and books - especially cookbooks, of which she owns quite a few, although it will be a long while before her collection rivals her mother's. Not that she follows recipes; she is one of those rare people for whom cooking comes as naturally as breathing, and can often be found concocting unusual and tasty comestibles in the kitchen. (Leek and white chocolate truffles anyone? Amazingly delicious!) Meg can make any child smile in an instant, and is deeply loved and appreciated by everyone lucky enough to call her a friend.

How We Met

Ry and Meg have been together since August of 1998, and the short version of how they met is that they were introduced during freshman orientation mixer between their two colleges. The long version, however, is much more amusing, so it is included below.

Unknown to each other, we each arrived at our respective colleges for the first time in August of 1998, only one mile away from each other. Meg's parents drove her from New York City, NY to Bryn Mawr College, and Ry's parents drove him from Elverson, PA to Haverford College. We would both have several days of freshman orientation (called "customs week" at both institutions) before classes began. We each had a significant other from high school, and we each had an idea of what that first week of college would be like, and that idea didn't include falling in love with someone new.

We met only two nights into customs week, on a Wednesday, at an awkward mixer for "customs groups" (the freshman halls from each school) on Haverford's campus, where our groups were partnered as "co-custom groups." We were supposed to chat as a group, share dessert, watch a hypnotist's performance, and then attend a dance. Meg began talking to Ry on a silly dare from her new friends to pick up one of the boys in the group. Meg had chosen him because he looked shy, intelligent, and he was wearing sandals (her father claims that men shouldn't wear sandals, so Meg -- ever the contrarian -- has always liked the style). He was everything she thought she saw -- artistic, athletic, quiet, thoughtful, and exceedingly kind (as well as attractive) -- and more. Ry happily took to the conversation, sensing Meg's playful spirit and enjoying that she was the sort of person who addressed social awkwardness by saying "Well this is silly... HI THERE! I'm Meg! Nice to meet you!" The fact that she was gorgeous and grinning at him like a maniac certainly didn't hurt matters either.

We spent that whole night in rambling conversation that touched on almost every subject under the sun except for the fairly serious relationships we'd planned on continuing from high school. Both of us ended the night giddy, unsure if we'd found a crush or a friend, but happy either way. Our only acknowledgement of the major turn our lives had just taken was to make tentative plans to hang out again when our customs group got together later in the week.

Our next chance came on Friday night; the Haverford customs groups were headed to Bryn Mawr where everyone was to watch an a capella show (one of the more questionable aspects of college life, in our estimation), and then attend another dance. Meg waited outside the concert for Ry, and made sure to sit with him during the performance, and Ry happily ditched his orientation group to have another opportunity to hang out with Meg. After the concert, we strolled over to the dance together, an outdoors party in the courtyard/cloisters of Bryn Mawr's prettiest building. Ry was particularly reserved that night, though, or maybe Meg was just particularly boisterous. It wasn't until halfway through the evening when the Beastie Boys' song "Girls" was played that everything fell into place; Ry jumped up & dragged Meg onto the grass to dance with him. We danced awkwardly, near each other but not touching, and then flopped in a corner, under a tree where we could stare at the stars & people equally well. New friends from both colleges joined us, and we spent the entire rest of the night sitting there, drinking soda and cracking jokes in a large group.

When the dance finally wound down, Ry was the only one left from his customs group, and Meg and her friend Emma were the only ones left from theirs. Meg and Emma nervously admitted that they didn't know how to find their way back to the dorm, so Ry, whose older sister had attended Bryn Mawr, volunteered to show the two girls the way back. His chivalry caused him to miss the last bus of the evening back to Haverford. We didn't know that at the time, so after seeing Emma back to her room, we went to wait together for his bus. We sat out, under the stars again, for a few hours, talking, and slowly collapsing into each other -- in exactly the way that you might imagine exhausted, flirting, bashful teenagers doing. Right about when we realized that he must have missed the bus (The sun was very nearly up by then), Ry told Meg that he thought he was falling in love with her, and Meg slapped him. Ry slept in the window seat of her dorm room for a few hours that night/morning, and we spent most of that weekend together. By the end of the weekend, Meg believed his statement, and by the end of the week, everyone knew.

© The Hyphens, 2007