How We Met
A Toast to Bernard’s Tavern: Jim and Lynsey
Written by Jim.
It was a Friday night in early Spring 2016. April 22 to specific. The weather was comfortable and balmy in a way that’s only felt the first few weeks following a cold and windy winter. That night, Jim had plans to enjoy the evening out in Columbus with his sister, Elena, and some of her friends who were a couple weeks away from graduating Ohio State’s MBA program. They were celebrating and Jim was too. It was the Friday before he started his first day studying to become a financial advisor.
Lynsey also had a fun weekend ahead. That night, she was out with a fun group of girlfriends, enjoying the weather and some drinks. She was very much happy with things just the way they were. But as fate would have it things were about to get interesting.
As Jim and his friends made their way to Bernard’s Tavern around 8pm, he was in a light and optimistic mood (and slightly stimulated as he and Elena had just recently been gifted free Rockstar Energy Drinks from a promo truck on High Street). He didn’t know everyone in the group and was enjoying getting to know some strangers and make new friends. Then, after about a half hour at Bernards, Jim was approached by Paul Webb. Jim and Paul had recently realized they were kindred spirits as well as fellow aficionados of feminine charm. They had even had been mistaken for brothers on more than one occasion in the weeks leading up to that night. What Paul said next would change Jim’s life forever:
“Jimmy, see that group of girls?”
“Ya,” said Jim.
“We need to talk to them. They are our type of girls,” he said with a charismatic and mischievous smile.
Jim looked over and scanned the group of girls. They all looked pretty, but one in particular jumped out at him. Standing in the middle of the group was a gorgeous redhead, wearing a coral top, laughing and carrying on with some of her friends.
Paul was right. He and Jim needed to talk to them. But despite Jim’s light and optimistic attitude that night, in that moment he favored procrastination over boldness.
“Ya Paul, we’ll go talk to them in a little. I’m going to get another drink and…”
What exactly Jim did over the next 20-30 minutes, may never be accurately recalled. He got his drink, he joked and talked with a few of the friends he was out with, and ultimately ended up talking with another gentleman MBAer he had ventured out with that night, one Adam Tedrick.
Jim and Adam had been discussing where they would head after departing Bernard’s. They had been there for over an hour at this point and other adventures lay ahead.
“I think we’re heading to Novak’s,” Adam told Jim.
“Ya…” said Jim.
“In about a half hour.”
“Alright,” Jim said as he scanned around the bar, landing once again on Lynsey and her group of friends.
“Ayyyy, we should go talk to that group of girls,” Adam said to Jim.
“I don’t know. Paul pointed them out earlier.”
“Ya, he’s talking to one of them at the bar right now.”
Jim looked, and sure enough saw Paul and one of the girls chatting away.
“Which one do you like?” Adam asked Jim.
“I don’t know, the redhead is a babe, but with my luck she’s got a boyfriend and when I walk over they’ll pawn me off on the crazy one…I don’t know. I don’t know.”
“Jim!” Adam replied loudly as he was about to embark on a short but powerful pep talk a la Al Pacino in “Any Given Sunday,” “Girls like that would love it if guys like us walked up and started talking to them! We’re smart, we’re good looking, we’re funny.”
At that moment, through what was both an act of God and the now generous (but responsible) amount of alcohol (and Rockstar Energy), Jim had in his system, Jim realized the truth and power in Adam’s words. In fact, Jim could not recall having heard more rational sounding words before in his life.
With that, something sudden happened. Jim stopped thinking. And when he stopped thinking, his feet started moving and they carried him right across the room right in front of…
“Hi, I’m Jim.”
“Hi, I’m Lynsey,” the redhead responded with a smile.
Over the next 1 second, as Jim processed the smile Lynsey was giving him he felt a wonderful relief…
…which was of course immediately replaced by DREAD in the 1 second that followed.
“Oh my God, I have no idea what to say to her. I didn’t think of a pick up line. I don’t even know any pick up lines, not good ones at least.” Jim thought to himself. “Think of something, think of something…wait, what’s that? The whole group, they’re in the middle of conversation. That’s great, I can talk about anything. What are they talking about? I’ll go with that!”
“Politics!” Jim blurted out to Lynsey. “It sounds like everyone’s talking about politics…”
It was the lead up to the 2016 Presidential Primaries and debates and news coverage were in full swing. Not to mention how polarizing some of the candidates seemed to be.
Lynsey giggled, but before she could respond they were interrupted.
“So.. who are you guys voting for?” asked Alonzo as he turned to Jim and Lynsey to join their nascent conversation. Other than Paul, Alonzo was the only other man mingling with the group of girls.
“Oh great,” thought Jim sarcastically, “THE BOYFRIEND. Or at least my friendly but unwanted competition for Lynsey’s attention. He doesn’t really think I’m going to take the bait on this, does he?”
Out loud Jim answered Alonzo, “I haven’t decided who I’m voting for yet. Still trying to get educated on the…”
Alonzo cut Jim off. “You must not know much about politics.”
Jim did not consider himself to be uninformed; however now was not the time for showing off. Jim looked at Lynsey, “It’s not so much that I’m uninformed. It’s just that, politics doesn’t seem like the best place to start a conversation with a pretty girl you’ve just introduced yourself to at the bar.”
Lynsey looked up and smiled at Jim. “Probably not,” she said approvingly.
Just then, one of Lynsey’s friends got her attention. They spoke for a few seconds and then Lynsey said, “what are you and your friends doing the rest of the night? I think we’re leaving soon.”
“We talked about going to Novak’s in about 20 minutes or so.”
“Really? That’s where we’re going right now. Sorry I have to leave, but I hope I see you there!” Lynsey said, sincerely.
Well, at least Jim thought she sounded sincere. He hoped she was sincere. He wasn’t lying when he said that him and his friends had plans to go to Novak’s soon as well, but he wasn’t so enthusiastic about it until he knew that Lynsey would be there.
As soon as Lynsey and her friends left, Jim started to panic again.
“WHY DIDN’T YOU ASK HER FOR HER NUMBER!? YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO FIND HER!”
“Be calm, be calm. You said 20 minutes. Play it cool for a little while, and when you make your way to Novak’s you’ll find out if it was meant to be.”
So about 20 minutes later Jim and his friends walked down the street and up the steep stairs into Novak’s Bar and Patio. Upon entering Jim’s alert levels were off the charts. Like a soaring raptor looking for the slightest motion of a rabbit or a field mouse in a field hundreds of feet below. Or perhaps a bull looking for the red matador’s cape.
“RED HAIR,” Jim said to himself as he began scanning the bar, and then the dance floor, “Find the girl with the red hair. Shouldn’t be too hard. Red hair is not that common. Oh! There’s a girl with red hair. Let me get a closer look…NOPE. Not her. Oh wait maybe that’s her…or maybe that girl died her hair red.”
Jim kept looking, pushing his way further and further into the packed dance floor, standing on his tiptoes to get a better view of the faces. And looking for the beautiful red hair and fetching coral top he noticed Lynsey was wearing earlier. He probably would have felt self conscious if not for all of the “energy drink” he had consumed earlier, swiveling his head around like a giraffe as everyone danced around him. He looked and looked. Probably 5 minutes went by when reality started to sink in.
“She’s not here. I’ve combed this place and seen every face twice and she’s not here. Oh well, she was probably just being nice when she said she hoped she would see me later. Better go find Adam and Paul.”
As Jim almost resigned himself to a fate without Lynsey and wiggled his way across the dance floor and towards the back of the bar, something happened. It was like the clouds had parted and heaven itself was shining down inside the dimly lit bar. There she was, walking straight through the middle of the crowded back area of Novak’s towards Jim.
They made eye contact and when they were close enough for Lynsey to hear Jim he shouted over the music, “There you are! I was looking for you.”
“I’m glad you found me,” Lynsey replied.
And from there Jim and Lynsey danced. They danced and they talked. Actually, they kind of had to scream at each other over the music and crowd of people, but it sufficed for them to start getting to know each other. They talked about their jobs, and where they were from, and what colleges they went to and they joked and laughed.
After about 15 minutes, they reunited with their friends and Jim asked Lynsey if he could take her out on a date the following weekend. She said yes and the following Friday they went indoor rock climbing together. And since then they’ve been ascending life side by side, growing closer and stronger all along the way.
19 months later Jim proposed to Lynsey surrounded by many of their friends and family the same weekend Lynsey had planned an elaborate surprise party for Jim’s 30th Birthday in the Hocking Hills. They had many adventures, deep conversations, laughs and struggles together in between and look forward to ever greater adventures, conversations, laughs and mutual companionship through life’s challenges after they are married in July 2018.
They are deeply indebted to their supportive family, friends, mentors, and God for allowing them to develop and unfold into the two individuals that came together on that fateful spring night in 2016, and will strive to fully nurture and share their love to the greatest extent possible.
how they asked
He Turned His Surprise 30th Birthday Party into My Surprise Engagement
Written by Lynsey.
We had been wanting to go on a trip for quite awhile. When it came time to plan, it just so happened that Jim’s big 30th birthday was perfect timing. So, we decided together to rent a cabin in Hocking Hills, Ohio, with 25+ of our best friends. Perfect for a fall weekend in November!
Other than that detail and knowing who was initially on the guest list, Jim didn’t know what plans I had up my sleeve. I began inviting all of our friends, crafting tons of corny decorations around a golf theme (including big cut out heads, custom koozies, golf ball confetti, etc.), and schemed up a 30-challenge scavenger hunt for him to complete—with each friend submitting a silly challenge. I even made them all rhyme! Little did I know, Jim was five steps ahead of me. As soon as I’d reached out to our friends, he texted them too. As I thought we had picked out the cabin together (of course, mostly my decision), he had scouted out the cabin and somehow planted the seed in my head. He was also in on the scavenger hunt, tipped off by his sister, Elena.
He began completing the scavenger hunt on the second day of our cabin stay. Everyone was having a blast with it and I was so happy he was having fun. It was going smoothly as we got to the 7th or so clue (Elena’s clue), which challenged him to go on a hike and practice tying Boy Scouts knots (an ode to his hard-earned Eagle Scout status). So… we went on a hike!
As he was showing off his skills and tying multiple knots, I noticed he messed up. I thought he was going to Google how to tie it because he reached into his pocket…. But instead, out comes a ring box! He got down on his knee and said: “Lynsey Danielle Harris, I have one request. Will you help me tie this final knot I’ve been thinking about for a long time?”
I‘ve never had anything flipped on me so hard. I’m a planner, and the weekend was supposed to be HIS surprise! I was absolutely speechless. As an added surprise, he invited my brothers, Nathan and Tyler, and sister-in-law Johanna, to be at the cabin when we returned, and our friends had flipped the birthday decor to engagement decor. We spent the rest of the weekend soaking up our engagement and celebrating with our loved ones. It was perfect!