ATHENA + VICTOR
I met Victor while I was bar tending at the Tunnel night club. I’m aging myself here, but I was all of nineteen with a shaved head and a septum ring. Victor and his friends bought a bottle of champagne and from there we developed a strong friendship. We immediately developed an intense relationship that was not romantic, it lasted for two years before we began dating.
He gets the award for perseverance as there really wasn’t ever a first date. We had a series of lunches, dinners, and night club adventures that laid the groundwork for our eventual relationship.
A side of myself came alive when I met Victor, a free spirited kooky-playful side I never even knew existed within me. There was really only one boyfriend before Victor and that was a high school relationship. I was only nineteen remember? Hehe. I suppose I knew we had something special immediately. Though I thought it was friendship, friends and family knew before me that he was my true love.
The bigger moment for us was that first kiss and making the choice to transition from friendship to something more, which happened one boozy night on the rooftop of my Christopher Street apartment at twenty one years old.
It was rather obvious once we decided to be together that we would get married. I knew it was coming, but didn’t know when. He was DJing at the Roxy on his birthday when he proposed on stage over the microphone in front of a crowd of 4,000 people. He got down on one knee and I got down with him, and the crowd had to remind me to say yes. It was not an intimate setting, but it was spectacular and perfect, an unforgettable moment.
Before the wedding I had a sleepover with my mom at a hotel. We had breakfast in bed together before my best friend came over for giggles and childhood reminiscing. My mom and dad both walked me down the aisle. My grandmother was ill at the time and I placed her Virgin Mary statue at the beginning of the aisle, in the fountain, surrounded by flowers. Six of my closest girlfriends from childhood, to high school and college friends, to recent city friends were my bridesmaids. The entire day was incredibly emotional and surreal.
Although food is my world now, it was not back then. That said, I knew I wanted an elegant passed hors d'oeuvres cocktail hour as opposed the pasta and meat carving stations which both mine and Victor's Italian American families expected. Both of our families complained that there was not enough food. The day was just so magical and sophisticated, food included, I don't even recall eating. After dinner in the tent we moved indoors to the ballroom for dancing. I changed into another Dolce party dress for dancing until the wee hours. First we had a Cuban band play and then Victor had the DJ Jellybean Benitaz, who first inspired him to become a DJ, play. The day was incredibly emotional and surreal.