The Anniversary of Two Friends and Good Times

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On Dec. 30, 2003, I married one of the funniest, sweetest guys I know.

I still can’t believe it really. Especially considering that when I met him I wasn’t really interested in a boyfriend, let alone a husband. I mean, I yelled at the guy the first second I saw him!

But within hours of what would be a very hilarious and very sweet first date, I felt like I would die a little if I never got to see him again. Lucky for me, I did. We’ve been together ever since.

Travis is the real deal when it comes to awesome people. There isn’t a soul out there who has ever met him and not liked him. I’m sorta harder around the edges, but he has made me softer. I think that of all the things one can wish for in a friend, one main thing would be to be with someone who just makes you want to be a better person every day of your life.

It’s kind of a bonus that he’s also pretty hot, and likes to travel and eat as much as I do, and that we made cute babies together. But, you know, whatever.

I want to publicly wish Travis a Happy Anniversary. So much has happened, and yet not enough. There’s not enough time to the years I want to spend with him, but I am so grateful for the ones I’ve been gifted.

The New York Observer interviewed us, separately I might add, for our engagement announcement. I am copying it here because it actually made me blush when I first read it, but it’s one of the funniest announcements I have ever read, and one that truly defines us as a couple – also, how courageous we are as we were Internet dating long before it was “normal” to do so.

Our wedding was a bit of a disaster, heavy on family drama, thieving wedding guests – many of whom we had never met before – and stolen money. The make-up and hair lady had it in for me and made me look ridiculous. Our honeymoon consisted of both of us spending it vomiting into a toilet bowl from food poisoning. But our marriage and friendship has been a dream…even when it has not been, we’ve come around quickly and unscathed. Can’t believe how quickly the years have gone by! Looking forward to a re-do of our wedding celebration and many, many more years together.

Carol Alvarez and Travis Cain

Met: Jan. 31, 2003

Engaged: March 12, 2003

Projected Wedding Date: Dec. 30, 2003

Admit it! You’ve eyed those Lava Life ads on the subway, which show hip, androgynous types looking lustful, skinny and happy.

It was three years after divorcing a health-care administrator that Carol Alvarez, 32, an administrative assistant at New York Presbyterian Hospital with full lips and long black hair, bravely plunged into this dark tunnel of Internet dating. “I was a victim of marketing,” she said.

Her profile quickly attracted the attention of Travis Cain, also 32, a freelance graphic designer who’d arrived from Wisconsin to get his M.F.A. at the School of Visual Arts. Ms. Alvarez was intrigued by the juxtaposition of his picture (“He looked like he could be trouble, sort of cocky looking-like a bad boy,” she said) and his text, which professed a benign interest in meeting new people.

Mr. Cain proposed dinner at Ruby Foo’s, promising an “exotic atmosphere,” but showed up 15 minutes late. Ms. Alvarez, waiting outside, wasn’t amused. “I come from an island, so I’m not good with the cold weather, and when I finally saw him coming, I was just like, ‘Where the hell were you?!’” she said.

The green-eyed, hard-bodied Mr. Cain said this tirade marked the moment he knew she was “the one.” “I like strong-willed women who aren’t afraid to make a stand,” he explained. “She doesn’t put up with shit.”

And she warmed up considerably by dessert, ordering something with a chocolate-fudge dipping sauce and suggesting Mr. Cain lick it off her finger. Ms. Alvarez recalled: “I thought to myself, ‘You know, I really, really like this guy. He’s so, so, so great-so that probably means he won’t call me.’” She was also concerned about how the new guy and her 6-year-old son, David, would get along.

The tyke was a little jealous at first. “He’d lash out a lot at me when Travis slept over,” Ms. Alvarez said, “and he’d try to get into the bed with us, which was kind of weird.” Screen Kramer vs. Kramer for that kid, stat!

But Mr. Cain gradually earned David’s love, roughhousing and showing him how to draw Spider-Man, and by spring the three were living together in a Washington Heights two-bedroom-the Midwesterner introduced some very “American customs” into the household, like drinking milk with spaghetti-and spending blissful weekends at those places where you can paint pottery.

Mr. Cain proposed on a vacation in Ms. Alvarez’s native Santa Domingo with a silver and amber ring he’d gotten at a beach gift shop. They’ll be married on that same beach. The amber bauble has since been replaced with a princess-cut diamond in a white-gold setting, but Ms. Alvarez still feels sentimental about the original ring. “That ring cost maybe 12 bucks,” she said, “but I showed it off like it was the biggest rock from Tiffany’s.”

From “Countdown to Bliss” by Anna Jane Grossman, Published in The New York Observer on December 8, 2003.


 

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Carol Cain

Carol is her happiest when on an adventure, either close to home or farther away. She's the mom to three fun boys and wife to a handsome Irish/Scot. She lives in New Jersey with her happy crew, but will always be a girl from Brooklyn. You can read her full profile here.

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14 Responses to The Anniversary of Two Friends and Good Times

  1. Quiana says:

    Loved reading your feature! What a fun story and I love how your original ring holds so much sentimental value for you. Congratulations!

  2. Carol Cain says:

    @Quiana: Thank you Quiana!

  3. Nubia says:

    So cute! Belated congrats on your anniversary!

  4. Carol Cain says:

    @Nubia: Thank you!

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