I know I may be biased, but I love our “how we met” story. Sometimes I just start with “We met in Rome,” which prompts the question “Wait, he’s Italian?” Nope! His hometown is just down the road from mine and we went to the same high school. See, Mr. Sphinx is four years older than I am, so we were never in school together. But his sister, BM C, was in high school with me and brought home word that a few teachers were organizing an EF Tours trip.*
Most of our group—that’s me and Sphinx on the very left.
Several of my friends and I signed up for this trip, as it was right before our senior year, so what a great senior trip option! Sphinx was unable to find any friends to accompany him on the trip, but travels to Rome and Athens were enough to convince him to sign up too. If it involves Caesar, SPQR, the Spartan 300, Alexander the Great, etc., he is all over it—and can probably tell you enough over a beer to write a paper about it.
Sphinx’s excited pose at the Temple of Zeus at Olympia with Friend R , me, and BM TPerk
There was a large group of rising seniors, and a couple of “other” travelers in the group, along with some parents and teachers. Sphinx started off with the older members of the group, but after a while started hanging around our group more. In our hotel room, BM TPerk, Friend R, and I all giggled about funny things that he had said, and even presented him with a “Hot Boy” certificate (things got weird on our long bus rides around the Greek countryside), but I thought of him as part of that “older” group, and the thought of him being interested didn’t really cross my mind.
Sphinx as a Spartan, hanging out on the hotel rooftop in Athens
Checking out the scenery when our overnight cruise pulled into Greece; Sphinx on the left with BM TPerk, Friends R, M, and J
It wasn’t until after we started dating that I realized Sphinx was hidden in the corner of all these pictures I had from the trip. He wasn’t hard to spot because he was sporting a gold LSU baseball cap every day. It’s like playing Where’s Waldo with my trip pictures!
On the Spanish steps
Walking the streets of Rome
Inside the Vatican
Little did I know, he was sneaking pictures of me too. So he says—maybe I just got in the way of his shot of the amphitheater at Epidaurus. / Photo via Sphinx’s camera!
The summer passed, senior year started, and I tried out for the improv murder mystery/comedy with the drama club called America’s Next Top Murder. Sphinx’s sister BM C was the blind model, BM TPerk was the stereotypical plus-sized/sassy black model, and I was cast as Tyra. Some days after practice, Sphinx would come pick up his sister from the front of the school. BM TPerk and I were all like “Ooooooh that cute guy from Europe, oooooh we should go wave at him!” We were real cool, guys. Sphinx came to the performance, and the actors had to mingle with the audience and I made sure to go chat him up—in character, of course!
Cast photo, with faces covered to protect the innocent (excluding the BM—y’all are in this with me)
Little did I know that Sphinx was asking his sister for my number all the time since we were together so much, but he was a nervous dude. Finally, in December he sent me a message via AIM (yeah, remember when that was a thing?), then we started talking on the phone, then he asked to hang out somewhere.
He came to the coffee shop where BM TPerk and I worked, we chatted throughout the night, we closed down the shop, and he left. Fortunately, my friend J was there, who was also on the Europe trip, and told him he should really go ask me out because he thought I’d say yes (thanks, J!). Since the shop was closed, Sphinx drove around to the drive-through and asked me out on a real date through the window. I tried to be very, very cool, said yes, I would love to, shut the window, and screamed at the top of my lungs. BM TPerk was in the back of the shop and came running to see if I was being murdered. J heard it outside in the parking lot, and I didn’t care because I was so excited.
Throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain. Ignore how cool Miss P thinks her outfit is…
While we didn’t have an Lizzy Mcguire Movie-esque romance in Rome, it came around eventually! Maybe I wished for that while throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain, and it just took a little while? Technically, I only threw one coin (over the left shoulder, with the right hand like the legend says), which just means you will return to Rome. Two coins means you can ensure a marriage soon—well, maybe I got a discount on the fountain but it took the long route!
No picture of him with the fountain, but this guy looks intent on getting himself a woman.
And that’s how this whole Pyramid thing started!
*Also, we highly recommend EF Tours! There’s also a college version called EF College Break and the more adult-geared trips through Go Ahead Tours. They organize everything for you and you have a tour guide the whole time, and the prices are reasonable considering they include everything!
All photos personal