just wanted everyone to know how awesome my boyfriend is.
Everyone has that significant place where they met their girlfriend or boyfriend. Most people hold the memories of these places very close to them and won’t ever forget them. Whether these places are something as cliche as a blind date at the movie theater or even just saying hi while holding the door open for them at the coffee shop in town, they are memories that some will never lose. There is a place that is significant to me and it isn’t exactly what most people would consider a romantic or interesting place to meet that special person. This place is just a two car, white colored, fiberglass doored, average sized garage. It actually does go by the title of “The Garage” though. If you came to my town of Bayville, New Jersey and asked around about The Garage, most would be able to tell you quite a bit about it. To many in this town, including myself, this garage holds great memories of nights that are never to be forgotten. The significance of this place to me all happened on a brisk winter night in February where it just seemed like any other usual, boring, lonely night. It is the night that would lead me to meeting the girl that I would fall in love with. The house that has this specific garage is just a few streets down from the street that I live on in Bayville. It’s just a small, red brick, one story ranch with a two car door garage. The street is populated with houses just like this one. So only until recently, around the end of the summer of 2011, this house became more than just a carbon copy of the rest on the street. The family that lives in this home has two sons that are both talented. The two sons of this family are both musically talented. The oldest son plays guitar and is an amazing vocalist. The younger son plays bass and quite a few other instruments. The two of them started playing bluesy/country/folk music together while also writing quite a bit of their own lyrics. They later formed a band consisting of themselves and recruited a drummer and a second guitarist. They called themselves Bird Bath. As they started to play and practice in their garage, they began playing their music at local venues like fire house halls and high schools. After quite a bit of playing at these venues, they realized that playing music in their own garage would essentially be a great idea for bringing more people to come hear their music. It would be free and they would hold shows on their own time, not just a specific date or set schedule from a venue. This idea of playing their music from their own garage would form what is now known as going to The Garage. It was a wintry Friday night in the middle of February when Bird Bath was holding one of their biggest shows to date. They had invited several local bands and one band that was signed by an independent label called Thomas Wesley Stern. They were a folk band with one member who played stand up bass and another a banjo. I had missed Thomas Wesley Stern the last time they were at The Garage because I had work early the next morning. This time around though, I wasn’t letting getting up at 6:30 in the morning for work get the best of me and I would force my already work driven, tired self, to go to The Garage that night. I picked up my phone that night and texted my friend that we were going to this show no matter what. I didn’t care if I was a walking zombie the next morning. I just wanted to get out of my routine of lonely, Netflix movie marathon, nights in my room. I drove my truck to my friends house that night to pick him up for the Bird Bath show. We drove to the liqour store and picked up a 12 pack of Miller Lites. I knew I was driving and that I also had work before the sun even came up the next day, but I was destined for this night to be a good one. The both of us got to The Garage and walked up the driveway with an now even colder beer in our already ice cold hands. As we walked up the driveway there were already so many alcohol influenced teenagers huddled around in groups, talking, yelling, and dancing. Most of them were doing anything they could to keep warm because The Garage was already filled to capacity with raucous teenagers. As my friend and I walked closer to The Garage we could overhear the distortion of guitars, the howling vocals, and the pounding of drums. As the both of us walked towards the doors, out of the the corner of my eye, I saw this girl. Right at that very moment I knew I wanted to somehow find a way to spark some sort of conversation with her.
She was petite with short strawberry blonde hair. She had freckles and wore these clear framed hipster glasses. She was wearing an oversized white quilted sweater that most would find in their grandmother’s wardrobe. I said to my friend that I needed to talk to that girl at some point tonight, but I wasn’t good at starting conversations. I’m a shy person and especially around people I’ve never even seen or talked too. After that first encounter I didn’t see this girl for a majority of the night. I finally managed to get into The Garage to see the band I had originally went there to see. They were the next band to perform and everyone started to fill in the garage like sardines because it began to flurry outside.
As Thomas Wesley Stern started their banjo influenced first song, my friend walked up behind me with another beer for the both of us. At this point, I started to feel a buzz and I began to loosen up with the sound of upbeat folk music being played around me. As I stood there stamping my feet to the rhythm of the music, I looked to my left and saw the strawberry blonde haired girl had walked up next to me. I have no idea what had come over me, whether it was the influence of the alcohol or my mind that told me to just go with it, but I lost all sense of being shy. I turned to her and said “Hi, would you like to trade places with me so you could have a better view?” She smiled and blushed and said “No I’m perfectly fine right here.” That small little question sparked a whole conversation between the both of us for the rest of the night. That conversation would develop into a slow dance with myself putting my hands on her waist and swaying back and forth to the smooth, slow, vocals being sung throughout The Garage. After the band had finished she had to leave, but before she left she told me her name was Emily and that she would find me on Facebook. She gave me a very big hug and walked out of the garage into the flurry filled night smiling back at me until she was out of my sight.
I will never forget that night at The Garage that would develop into the start of an amazing relationship. It would lead me to having someone I could call my best friend and say “I love you,” too. With every new venue we visit and band we watch perform, I still get that memory of holding Emily’s hips while Thomas Wesley Stern played that February night in The Garage. It is memory I never want to lose. It is a significant moment that I’m sure many can relate too. For me, The Garage isn’t just that place where music was played to entertain the kids of Bayville, but a cherished memory of where I met the girl I fell in love with.