Eric Vandervort and I have been a team, really, since the first day we met in March 2011. It was spring of my first year of the PhD program at Carolina. I was taking Bud McCallum’s linear regression course (the next-to-last-year he taught it; yes, I’m lucky), and had regular SAS homework in the HB methods course. I was up to my ears in graduate school and still trying desperately to do my work, well, at innovation Management (thank you Kevin and Ann for putting up with me). Neither CounterTobacco.org nor Counter Tools existed yet.
Eric would take me out on the boat and I would read and study in the sunshine while he caught bass after bass. I remember the first day on the boat. “Put this on.” I didn’t want to wear my life jacket, snippy smart ass Allison. “You have no idea how fast this boat goes, do you?” So I did.
Here it is in writing folks: Eric is generally right.
So on Friday evening, May 6th, when he announced that it was time to get married after several years of discussion, and at least a fair amount of occasional pestering on my part, I agreed. (Actually he started repeating “Okay!” really loudly from the couch across the room and it took me a while to get it but when I looked and saw the emotion and the repeated “okays”… I got it!)
My family was already in town for the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health “Hooding Ceremony” for PhD graduates, and we would leverage the opportunity.
We made a plan: Keep the whole thing a secret at the hooding ceremony and graduation party. Make the announcement to our family on Sunday evening May 8th, at dinner, and meet them at the court house in Hillsborough on May 9th, when they open.
Dad paid $20 to the Magistrate. After we did the paperwork at the Register of Deeds office, we waited in the tiny lobby of the Magistrate’s office. The same place where you wait in handcuffs if circumstances are different.
Yaya, Mom, Sophia, Allison on a very special day:
Yaya was my witness, which has really been my only wish for a long time. Dad was Eric’s witness, which makes us all extremely happy and fills a Myers tradition of at least two generations.
At some point, I gave the Magistrate ‘a look’, through the glass.
And then we got to finally go stand out in front of the court house and formally declare our intention to be sweet to each other, now and forever more. The vows were read from a crooked photocopy, long since held at the Hillsborough Magistrate office, our names carefully written in the blanks: Eric, Allison, Eric, Allison, the whole page through.
North Carolina, love each other, number one fan, better or worse, sickness health, I do, I do. Lana photographed the whole thing with Kyle on FaceTime from the airport.
And then I tried to eat Eric’s face and body, while he stayed calm, which is our usual:
Here we are, the happy couple, the most exciting kiss ever, dedicated to our one wild and crazy life as the VanderMyers.