Love, Actually

By Andrew Lockard

I had this idea for an article that would involve two law students who had suffered through law school and managed to maintain some sort of relationship.  The natural choice was Annie and Nico – their relationship began close to the beginning of their first year, and they had not only managed to preserve it, but seemed to thrive together in an environment that can otherwise be hostile to relationships.

The interviews were conducted separately and consecutively, to ensure no form of collaboration on their part.  They weren’t given the questions ahead of time.  I originally intended it to be more of a funny article – the contrasting answers would highlight typical “Dating Game”-type conflicts.  But something unexpected happened: as I was going through the second interview, I began to notice they were giving almost all of the same answers, relaying the same experience, or echoing almost the entirely same sentiments about one another.  It’s an interesting study in how close two individuals can become.  I found their answers both funny and moving.  Unfortunately, much of the interview was edited for length (or appropriateness of content).  Hopefully the excerpts below illustrate the intimacy and connectivity between them.

 

Annie

Q: When did you first meet Nico?

A: During the library tour.  I think the first words I said to him were “You were really dressed up today.”  He was really dressed up for the library tour.

Q: When did you first feel attracted to Nico?

A: Not for a while.  Probably when… let’s see.  Sometime in mid to late September [2011]… I just thought he was a nerdy kid.  He’s still a nerdy kid.

Q: When was your first date?

A: It was… at the end of, no.  It was the beginning of November.  Very beginning of November.

Q: What did you guys do?

A: He took me to a Thai restaurant.  The restaurant was not very good.  I’m really picky about my food.  It was not very good.  Then we went to a comedy show.  He tried to take me to a comedy show.  But, we get there and there’s no one there.  They’re stacking chairs. The comedy show was cancelled.  So he looks at me, and goes “I don’t have a plan B.”  So I was like, “Let’s go to Shout House.” And it was really fun.

Q: Why, in your own words, did you want to get engaged or married?

A: I like knowing when I’m not there, when I’m not around, that there’s someone thinking about me.  And that I’m thinking about that person.  I’m really in to commitment.  And I’m kind of emotionally high maintenance.  I know how to be by myself, but it’s nice when I’m here, he’s there, and vice versa… I like having him around.

Q: What’s Nico’s best quality?

A: He… will do things, just because I want him to.  I had this ex who I would ask to do things, and if it was out of his way, he’d be like “Why do you want me to do it?”  I just want you to do it!  [Nico] won’t normally question something like that.  “If it’s important to you, then it’s important to me.”

Q: What do you think Nico thinks your best quality is?

A: Probably that I’m an Asian girl.  Honestly, he likes my eyes.  He likes my [rear].  Honestly, I think because I’m an Asian girl.

Q: What would you change about Nico?

A: Here’s something non-physical: he gets scrumpy.  It’s what we call grumpy.  He gets grumpy really easily, if he has to repeat himself.  We have really tiny spats about it sometime… I think he would maybe say I’m too sensitive about that.  One of us has to learn to back down from that.

Q: What would Nico change about you?

A: Probably want my boobs to be bigger.

Q: What is the funniest thing that you both have witnessed?  It’s kind of tough.

A: [Annie gave an anecdote that is not appropriate to publish.  But, see Nico’s answer to this question.]

Q: How has law school affected your relationship?

A: I don’t think it’s… I don’t think it’s had that much of an impact on us…. We don’t let law school affect us or stress us out.

Q: Do you have any nicknames for Nico?

A: Bunny.

A: I also call him honey bee sometimes.

Q: Not honey bunny?

A: No! Bunny or honey bee.

Q: When did you first decide to get married?

A: The summer of 2L year.

Q: What’s Nicos favorite food?

A: He really likes pie… he really likes cheese…  I’m going to go with pie and cheese.

Q: Pie and cheese?

A: He eats to live… he doesn’t live to eat.

Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: Oysters.  I love oysters.  I don’t know if he’ll get that right.

Q: Who cooks more often?

A:  It varies.  It’s pretty equal.  I’m not as good at getting up in the morning as he is.  Normally he’ll take the dog out, get us coffee from downstairs, and I will make breakfast.  But sometimes, I just wont get up, and he’ll make breakfast.  I often make dinner… It’s pretty equal.

Q: Why do you think your relationship has worked?

A: I think because we both wanted the same things.  We both wanted commitment.  That’s why we went to quickly.  I mean, in the beginning it went very quickly.  I also think because he’s willing to do things, just because I want them done.  It’s more of a “Why haven’t my other relationships not worked”?  We’re both emotionally high maintenance.  And I don’t have to ask him to do things… they just happen.  We treat relationships the same way.  Even when we’re out with other people, we’d almost always rather be hanging out with each other.  It’s nice.  It’s not “out of sight, out of mind.”  When he’s with other people, he’s still thinking about me.  I really like that he’s not one of those guys that, when he’s with other people or his friends, he acts differently.  I had an ex who, when I called him when he was with his friends, would answer the phone and all be like, “Sup?”  Is that cool for some people?… [Nico] will say “Hey Babe” and “I love you.”  It doesn’t change.

Q: Summarize Nico in five words.

A: Okay… he is: funny, smart, nerdy, hairy, eyelashes…

Q: Wait, what?

A: I really like his eyelashes.  They’re so long.  Is this going to be published?

 

Nico

Q: When did you first meet Annie?

A: In law school, as you know.  We were in the same section, and even small section. But, we didn’t start hanging out or anything until that first assignment for legal research and writing.

Q: When did you first feel attracted to Annie?

A: Well, I mean, I’m a guy.  Probably sooner than it was for her… I imagine that there was kind of like physical attraction just when I first about met her.  And then when we first started hanging out, it was better than that, obviously.

Q: When was your first date?

A: First date.  See, this is the thing that got me in trouble before.  Because we went on a “pseudo-date” for restaurant week, 1L year… At that point, I think she still had a boyfriend.  But she said something about how she had always been a serial monogamist, and had never been on a date.  “You’ve never been on a date?  I’m gonna take you on a date.”  So, I took her over to a restaurant week restaurant, on a pseudo-date type thing.  And then or other first date was after she had broken up with that guy, and we were becoming a thing.  But it was fairly early on… and that was a fun time.  Everything went wrong, of course.

Q: What did you guys do?

A: Well, my plan was, “I’m going to take her to this nice restaurant that I can’t afford.” And then I’m going to take her to a comedy club.  So, we go to this restaurant that I can only afford because I have like a Yelp deal.  Of course, I didn’t tell her that.  So I wait until she goes to the restroom, and I pull the waitress over, and I ask, “so can we get the bill going?  And I have this…” and I slip her the coupon.  And she gets it started, and Annie comes back, and the lady goes [Nico does a shrill impression of the waitress] “Uhh, sir this coupon…”  Thanks, lady.  So we’re on a date, so my phone’s off.  And we’re walking back to the car, and I’m kind of looking at it [and there are missed calls].  So I didn’t want to call back, so I ignore that.  And we get to the comedy club, and it’s closed down.  I hear the message from the person who had been calling me, and it was the operator of the club and he said “Hey, we didn’t sell enough tickets for the gig, so we’re closing down.”  Okay!  Good stuff.  Eventually, she suggests we go to the Shout House, which was a good time and ended up being pretty close.

Q: Why, in your own words, did you want to get married/engaged?

A: It’s pretty corny, but it was really like people say, when you meet the right one, you know.  And I kinda did.  I’ve always been one of those guys that’s not in to dating or the dating scene.  I’ve always just been looking.  And when I found her, I had to jump on that before she got a job somewhere else.

Q: What’s Annie’s best quality?

A: Kinda depends on what area we’re talking about.  If this were the newly wed game, I’d say her [rear].  And then I’d put up “[rear],” and her sign would say “organizational skills.”  She actually does have great organizational skills.  She actually has a great memory.  She’ll remember everybody’s name, date, which is a double-edged sword, because it gets me in trouble.  So I would say that the most everyday, most impressive thing is her memory.  Which is very helpful for a guy like me.  She’s like my daily planner, who’s also cute.

Q: What do you think Annie thinks your best quality is?

A: I would say funny.  Comedy.

Q: What would you change about Annie?  This one might be a trap.

A: Yeah.  I would say maybe a smidge less opinionated.  Emotional-type stuff.  I feel sometimes she gets too hung up on a particular thing or a perceived slight from somebody or something like that.  I don’t know if that’s me or just being a guy, but I get over it by the end of the day.

Q: What is the funniest thing that you both have witnessed?

A: [Nico described the exact same unpublishable story as Annie.]

Q: How has school affected your relationship?

A: I’d say that it’s shaped it, more than it affected it.  Even though law school takes up a lot of time… for us, I think it kind of made us hang out a whole lot more.  So we were on double time the whole time.  Being in the same small section, we literally spent every class time together.  We were study buddies before we were dating, and we’d go to a lot of the same events.  The fact that we were going through the same experience at the same time.  And that the actual schedule kind of forced our hand…

Q: It’s a good way to get to know somebody.

A: It is.  It’s like in the movies where they go through the apocalypse together and have the shared experience, they end up with each other at the end.  It was kind of like that, only a slight exaggeration about the apocalypse.

Q: Do you have any nicknames for Annie?

A: I tend to call her babe.  She calls me bunny.  Every once in a while I call her love.  I’ve never called anyone else love before.  I tested it out once.  And she was like [Annie impression] “Love?!” She was excited about that, so it stuck.  So now I feel comfortable with that.  But it took her a while to come on to mine.  She was calling me “honey bee” for a while, but that’s way too long.

Q: When did you first decide to get married?

A: Probably towards the beginning of summer of the year we got engaged.  The summer between 2L and 3L.  It was kind of at that point I had been with her for a while; all of our time was kind of “double time.”  And it just happened to come at a time when people are looking for permanent placements… so it was kind of like, do I want to be put in a position where she’s down in San Diego and I’m in Sacramento or vice versa.  Or in LA or something like that.  The answer was a resounding “no.”

Q: What’s Annie’s favorite food?

A: As you probably know, she’s a foodie.  Individual things she really likes are oysters, she likes good Chinese food.  She’s kind of a Chinese food snob, because she was brought up with actual Chinese food.

Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: See, I’m the opposite.  I’m not really a fancy guy.  I don’t have a favorite food I would say.  I had pie for breakfast.  I’m a pie guy.

Q: Who cooks more often?

A: Neither of us cooks that often, these days.  In the morning, I tend to jump out of bed.  She hits snooze a couple times.  In the morning, if there’s breakfast, it tends more frequently to be me.  But also sometimes I’m out walking the dog and she’ll make breakfast.  I’ll say that sometimes, other meals it’s more frequently her.  We don’t really cook all that often.  So we don’t have “one of us cooks, one of us cleans.”

Q: Why do you think your relationship has worked?

A: I think we compliment each other nicely.  We’re both kind of needy.  So the fact we spent our entire 1L year together worked for us.  And then we kind of have ying and yang for various things.  She tends to be more emotional about stuff, and that’s helpful.  She’s much better at calling and complaining about, like, credit card charges.   I would just say, generally, that level of cohesion is good.  We really work well together.  We’re both kind of goofy.

Q: Summarize Annie in five words.

A: 1. Cute

2. Smart

3. Asian

4. Foodie

5. Babe

 

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