Saturday, March 26, 2011

pay-what-you-can sale story: Rachel

Dear Tanja,

First off all, thanks a million for the chance to own pictures made by you! Your work is fabulous, and I would be so excited to hang it in my home. I can’t afford to pay a lot because I’m currently saving up for my wedding, but I thought I’d take a shot! My proposal is actually for two photos that I think would make a great pair, and in return I could offer you two stories. And since the reason I can’t afford to give you much is because I’m saving for my wedding, I thought I’d start with the story of how my fiance and I got together.

Sean and I had both been working at the American Civil Liberties Union for a while, him on the 18th floor in IT and me on the 19th floor in Communications. Our paths crossed on occasion, when I walked by him smoking a cigarette on my way to grab lunch, or when my computer was acting whack and he came by my office to rescue it. I had always thought he was the cutest straight boy at the ACLU, but little did I know that he had his eye on me as well (apparently he told a friend that he thought I was cute but that I looked mean - I guess that’s the effect of moving from Maine to New York and trying to be cool). At any rate, we became friends on Facebook (as most of our coworkers do) and I gradually became more and more aware of his funny posts, good taste in concerts and pretty photos from trips to Vermont and bike rides to Queens. I commented occasionally, but the back and forth remained casual and intermittent. Then came Sean’s fateful post. It was a Friday night around 9 when the post appeared in my news feed: “Sometimes, a successful Friday is cleaning the apartment and listening to cello music.” Not so strange, except for the fact that I had just spent the last several hours cleaning MY apartment and listening to cello music. Of course I commented on the crazy coincidence. There was actually a long string of comments - mostly from ladies - but he only wrote back to me. He asked me what I had been listening to, and the coincidence grew when we learned we had both been listening to weird, experimental stuff (him, Zoe Keating; me, a random Icelander named Hildur Gudnadottir). Well, this led to him asking me in a private message if I might like to trade music sometime, and I of course said yes. Cello music led to country-ish which led to rock, and that led to more conversation, which eventually led to Sean asking me if I might like to have cocktails sometime. I decided to completely ignore the risks of dating a coworker (I actually sort of embraced them - a secret office romance seemed fun!) and said yes, and the rest is history. We’ve been together since our first date, decided to move in together while on a road trip to the New Harbor, Maine, and got engaged this January. We’re planning to get married in Maine in 2012. And that is the story of how my fiance and I got together on Facebook after working a flight of stairs away from each other for two years.

To compliment that story, I thought I’d tell you my second favorite story: the story of how my parents got together.

It was 1969 and my dad, Steve, and and my mom, Sue, were both students at Brown. My dad was a football player-turned hippie from Texas who had been recruited to Brown when LBJ was president and all the Ivies realized they didn’t have any students from Texas. My mom was a young Eisenhower Republican-turned hippie from the next town over. They didn’t know each other, but they had mutual friends. One night, as my mom stayed in to write a paper, my dad and a few of his friends went to see Kurt Vonnegut give a reading from his new book. There was a keg there, and being poor college students they all filled up their cups one last time on their way out. My dad and his friends ended up in a dorm room down the hall from where my mom was studying, and at some point in the night my mom knocked on their door to borrow something from the girl who lived there. She walked in the room, saw the beers lined up on the table, and said something along the lines of “I’ve been working so hard, I could chug all those beers.” My dad looked at my mom, who he had never seen before, and said something like “if you chug all those beers, I’ll marry you.” They got married in 1971, and they’re together to this day. And I’m pretty sure my mom could still chug a beer in a pinch.

So there you have it. A pair of stories about two pairs of people, maybe in exchange for a pair of photos. The photos I’m interested in are 64616 (Ein Bokek, Israel) and 20409 (Cape Elizabeth, Maine). They are both gorgeous, and I would be so honored to own them! I think your photos look great when they’re big, and I think we could reasonably fit two 30x30 pieces in our apartment. But if that’s not possible for any reason, I would gladly take smaller ones.

I wish you lots and lots of luck in this venture and your portrait project. Sean and I will happily welcome you into our home in Brooklyn when you’re down this way!

Looking forward to hearing from you.

take care,

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