Jon and I met in Manchester, England in July of 2004.
For some reason, and honestly not sure how or why I had been a Football fan of Manchester United for years back in the States. In the early 2000s we didn't even have Tivo yet, so in order to watch the football, I would have to wake up at 5 am and drive 40 minutes to Venice Beach to watch the game at an English bar. Have a full English and a pint of beer and surrounded by a bar of ex-pats. I found my secret little getaway.
So when I found out I was going to be going to England or the first time, there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to go north to Manchester to check out the city where my favorite team was from. After the music tour was finished in London I headed up to stay with my friend and his mom or mum. Because it was July, all the sports teams were on their summer break so the only thing I was able to do was to take a tour of the empty stadium. Took a photo in front of my favorite Ollie Gunner Scholdscier and had called it a day.
Later that night, my friend's next-door neighbor gave me a ticket to an anniversary party for a local bar in town. When I got there, my friend wasn't there yet so I grabbed a drink and took a seat to write in my journal. While I was waiting for my friend to show up, I was watching everyone come in (checking out the guys obviously) and I remember when I saw Jon walk in I thought ooh...I'm going to meet that guy by the end of the night. A little bit later I went to the bathroom and as I was walking out Jon was standing right there. He had a rock n' roll haircut (shaved on one side and long in the bangs) and was wearing this ripped up t-shirt, held together with black electrical tape. I stopped dead in front of him and just "Hi!" I think I must have caught him off guard because he seemed quite nervous, but I asked him if he was in a band. "Yes," he said. I asked if he had made his shirt? "Yes," he said. I said, "I'm Jada." "Yes," he said. "Do you want to show me around Manchester before I go back home?" "Yes," he said. He gave me his number and we went out separate ways.
Two days later we arranged and met at the train station at 11 am. After a shaky hello we headed straight to the nearest bar. We grabbed a booth in the back and started to get to know each other. I think maybe within the first hour I found out that he was 21 and I thought oh this is never going to work. I mean, I was 24! He was waaaay too young. lol. I decided it couldn't hurt to hang out though and so on the way we went. We walked all around Manchester. He showed me his favorite record shops, bars, and clubs. It was almost 11 pm before we had our first kiss in this basement cavern bar called Corbiers. After the bars closed we spent the rest of the night just walking around, making out on park benches, and just not wanting to part. 11 am rolled around sooner than anticipated and I asked him if he would want to come down south to Brighton with me for a few days before I flew back to Los Angeles. "Yes," he said.
So on we went. One of my friends had a place where they were going to let us stay and we just spent 4 days enjoying each other's company. On the final day as we were walking around the beach town, he almost dropped I love you, which to this day he says he didn't, but I heard it. I flew back to LA and off he went back to Manchester.
I was still pretty convinced that he was too young for me, but when I got back to America, I opened up my email and there was a 5-page love letter from Jon. I had always been the kind of person that ran from boys that liked me too much, but this one felt different. I knew I had a decision to make. I could either do like I had always done and just forget it. He was in England. Too young. It would never work. Or I could invite him to come and visit and we could see if this thing actually had legs. So I gave him a call and asked if he wanted to come and visit me in LA. "Yes," he said.
3 weeks later he was here. Nervous and shaking, but smiling ear to ear. One week later we were engaged and 3 months later I was on a flight back to England. Originally I had just planned to stay a couple of months, but we ended up not being apart for the next two years.
Jon was still in University studying his Graphic Design, so we spent the school year in England and the summers in Los Angeles. While in England, we ended up opening a little vintage shop in the center of town. Every time we came back from the States we would bring boxes and boxes of vintage clothing.
We joke that we were the original 90 Fiance couple because we knew that once he was done with his degree we wanted to come back to the States. (Only for a couple of years or so I thought.) But so before we came back we had to go to London and do the whole K-1 Visa (Fiance petition). It was a fun adventure and not quite like they make it in the movies but we got approved and the rest is history.
2 years later we were married and living in Los Angeles. We eloped and then had a wedding in Tuscany. More to come on those topics in the next blog post!