We were very improbably set up by our dear friends Jen and Steve in 2001. Steve is one of Ben’s best friends from college, and was also in grad school with Ben in Chicago at the time. His then-fiancé Jen and Elisa were roommates in Berkeley. After one of Steve’s visits to Berkeley he went back to Chicago and announced to Ben that he had met the woman Ben would marry.
Ben had learned to take Steve’s somewhat frequent dramatic proclamations with a grain of salt; without knowing Steve very well Elisa had the same reaction. To keep the joke going, Elisa initiated their first communication shortly thereafter, sending Ben an email with the now somewhat prophetic subject line: “From your future wife.”
Several visits later (facilitated by Ben’s family in Berkeley and Elisa’s grandmother near Chicago), we started dating. Ben came to Berkeley for a summer job, then we spent his last year of grad school dating long-distance. After spending the next summer together working in Nepal we lived in DC for a year before moving back to Boston in 2004.