How I Met My Wife

This is taken from the short-lived wedding website we put up in 2007.

The marriage of Christina and Stentor is in reality the latest and greatest accomplishment of Mr. Lore Christian Fitzgerald Sjoberg. Way back in the ancient days of 1997 -- when you had to carry your own data through the internets, barefoot, in the snow, uphill both ways -- Mr. Sjoberg and his trusty sidekick Dave Neilsen launched a website called the Brunching Shuttlecocks. Brunching was a repository of sarcastic geeky humor. Brunching drew in a crowd of strange and often socially awkward fans, so they (or more specifically, one Pahl Milirons) created a message board on which to discuss matters Brunching as well as other mind-numbingly senseless topics. Sometime around the beginning of 2000, Stentor joined the Board. Christina was a little slow and didn't register until 2002.

Thus it was that Stentor and Christina became vaguely aware of the existence of individuals going by the usernames "Acsumama" and "Anathema," respectively. And so it was for several more years, as the Board went through various crises and upheavals. As it happens, Christina and Stentor both spent the summer of 2002 in Washington DC, and even independently attended the same They Might Be Giants concert, but never actually met.

The tubes finally aligned in October 2004, at which point Stentor was living in Worcester and Christina was living in DC. Stentor happened to post a picture of himself in the photo gallery of the Board. Christina replied that she "*likes muchly*." This caused Stentor to wonder about this "Anathema," about whose existence he had been only vaguely aware, and about whom he knew almost nothing -- being unsure even of her gender. He discovered that she had a LiveJournal and an IM screen name, and so he decided to talk to her from time to time. Christina was a little surprised her impulsive comment had such an effect, but thought this random Internet Person was cool.

Shortly after this, Stentor decided to get rid of a beloved cardboard box. This particular box was beloved because he had bought it at the Australia Post office, and it was the only box he had that was wide enough to hold A4-size paper. But it was also old and beat up, whereas his housemate Anna was getting rid of a number of much nicer boxes. He was inspired to write an amusing break-up letter to the box in his LiveJournal. Christina responded by offering to take the box in and love it. So Stentor mailed it to her (thus learning her name, as it was decided that her housemates would be confused by a box addressed to "Anathema"). Stentor and Christina still own the box, although it is not invited to the wedding.

Stentor and Christina had decided to meet in early January 2005, as part of a larger get-together of people from the Board. As they talked more over the course of November, Stentor decided that perhaps they should be more than just friends. Following a long conversation in which Christina joked about sending Vikings to abduct him, he got up the courage to ask. Christina left him hanging for one horrible, heart-wrenching moment, then said yes. Christina wants everyone to know that she "left Stentor hanging" because she was talking to two other people at the time, and she had to get rid of them before she could give Stentor her full attention.

Later that week, Christina decided not to go home for Christmas. So Stentor offered to stop by on his way home to Pennsylvania from Worcester (geography majors may note the irrationality of this plan). And so he did. They went to a Thai restaurant where the staff ignored Stentor's existence, and then to a Cosi coffeeshop where they staff ignored both of them and they ended up almost locked in at closing time. At Cosi's, Christina put Stentor to the test: she declared that she wanted her wedding song to be Tom Lehrer's "I Hold Your Hand In Mine." Stentor replied "that's awesome."

A year of amassing frequent flier miles on Southwest followed. Both sets of friends and families seemed to approve of the match.

In August 2006, the couple moved to Arizona so that Christina could begin working for the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. As they left Stentor's house in Pennsylvania, his dad reminded them to pay a visit to his friend J.P. -- you know, the Justice of the Peace. When they arrived, they thought about the fact that they were a thousand miles from their nearest relatives and close friends. After researching what would happen to their student loan and credit card debt if one of them were to die, they decided to get married. They arranged to have a JPing on February 1 in order to secure their legal rights in case something unfortunate were to happen, but they arranged a real wedding for October 2007 so that they could celebrate with their friends and family. The wedding will be was held in Massachusetts at a Unitarian church as a gesture of solidarity, as these were the first state and church to establish equality for all couples in their marriage rules.

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