The StoryCorps archive in the Library of Congress is no doubt full of stories about first meetings. Those fateful moments when the lives of people become suddenly and irrevocably linked. Sometimes it happens at a cafe or in the toothpaste aisle at Wegman’s. Sometimes it happens on a blind date the night before you head out of town to work at the Worlds Fair!
For Heather Zajkowski and her husband Chris it happened by mail. “I got on the mailing list of the band you were in, the Essentials, here in Rochester, New York. And you had your [other] band the Squires of the Subterrain [for which] you were sending out postcards,” recalls Heather. “I was like 15, I think, maybe I’d just turned 16. I’m not sure, but I had babysitting money and you were selling tapes and I was like, ‘Oh wow! Yeah! I’m totally going to buy a tape!’”
“You were hilarious,” says Chris. “You actually responded andÂ you were probably the first and only person to respond with a check and a silly letter and you asked something about like ‘What is this? What am I buying here?’ But you ponied up the money and it was so exciting!”
“Yeah, the whole five dollars,” says Heather. “That was my tip from babysitting.”
“Obviously, a bunch of time went by during our pen pal relationship and it never went further than that,” recalls Chris
After ten years of correspondence and random encounters around town, however, they finally started dating. When it was time to get married Heather took the bull by the horns by saying: “Well, I’ve found the rings I want. Let’s go order them! Come on!”
“I should have popped the question and been a man,” jokes Chris. “But she was more manly than I.”