Rica + Paulo
Paulo and I met after a friend of ours very coyly invited him and his friend to join us at our friend's fiftieth birthday party. I think she secretly wanted to see if we got along. I was a bit annoyed when I first met him — I was sitting shotgun and my friend was driving him and his friend got in the backseat and Paulo immediately commented that he couldn't fit and I had to move my chair up!! Still, when we got out of the car, I was intrigued. He was handsome and dressed well. I went back to his place that night and spent the night. I knew he was the one that morning — he was making us turmeric smoothies naked while I smoked a fantasia pink Nat Sherman in bed watching him.
We had a late brunch and we spent the night again. After we met, we didn't see each other again for three months. All we had was text and Skype and I think that made a difference in us really getting to know each other. When we did see each other it was for five days straight, or a month straight. Intense from the start. Full on from night one.
When I met Paulo I was attempting to break up with a boyfriend who I dated off and on since I was seventeen. Problem was, I was no longer seventeen and the destructiveness was no longer punky rebellious fun. I was a woman and needed a man. After I met Paulo, I remember describing him to my best friend, and I said: "he is everything i'm looking for." He had great manners, intellect, charm, sex appeal and most of all, a good heart.
Marriage came up shortly after I moved back to NYC to live with him. We were living together for about five months and loving it and we always talked about it. Then one day we just said, wait, why not now? He went home to London and when he returned, he brought biscuits and some small batch whisky and his mother’s precious little solitary diamond ring that she got married with from the sixties. He didn't "formally" ask, but he said, this is for you, I want you to wear it, or something like that. I am sure I asked,"is this my ring? Am I engaged?" I think he said "yes!".
We always knew it wasn't going to be some big planned event. Originally it was just going to be the two of us, but then so many friends wanted to be a part of our day so we figured, why not let them celebrate? I'm definitely not the girl who always planned my wedding as a princess or anything. The simpler, faster and more intimate the better.
We were married at Borough Hall Brooklyn — we could walk there from our house! We walk everywhere else in our neighborhood, so our ceremonial walk to the chapel was really special yet normal. We made coffee then popped champagne, steamed and ironed our clothes and we floated to the courthouse a little buzzed in the winter sun.It had rained for five days straight before our wedding, but that morning the skies parted. It was a gorgeous sunny day.
Of our six guests, the two who wanted to be there the most, missed the actual ceremony. We were in a marriage "holding tank" where the couples getting married had to wait for their turn in the chapel and when our two friends stepped out to the ladies room. They asked: "do you think you'll be next?" I said, "no way!" Famous last words, they called our name next and the ceremony was over in FOUR MINUTES! We laughed all the way to the bar!
For our honeymoon we went to the Natural History Museum and traveled through taxidermy heaven in the hall of African mammals. Paulo has also always loved birds, so we visited the Hall Of Birds. He knew every single name of every bird— his favorite was the peregrine falcon. Mine was the California condor.
Final thoughts: love happens when you least expect it. I know it sounds cliche, but be open. Listen to your heart. Take a chance: what have you got to lose? Live a little. Spend the night (be safe), and see what happens. Don't settle for anything less than you want. Somewhere in my head I had a mental note of who I was looking for, and, voila the stars aligned and he appeared.