It was the weekend of Thanksgiving in 2012. Carlos was with his brother, Mitchell, taking a break from moving apartments. Daren was with his friend, Josh, for a night of fun. We each stole glances at one another, some stronger than others. At one point, Mitchell turned to Carlos and asked "who's the guy with the creepy mustache, staring a hole in the back of your head?" But, in typical fashion we were both too shy to muster more than a "hello" and a smile in passing that evening.
We found each other online and over the course of the next six months, we began to develop the ultimate friendship. Carlos played hard to get for a while, he liked to refer to it as the "vetting period." But, Daren knew there was more this relationship had to offer, and in June 2013 we made it official.
as told by Daren
The first time I saw Carlos in person I knew there was something special about him. Even though we just barely shared a mutually awkward "hey" at a bar that weekend, some piece of me knew he was going to change my life. Over the next few months it was apparent I was falling in love with someone very special.
Here I was falling for a Cuban against every warning South Florida could offer up. All the boys said it was a bad idea because Cubans are stubborn, loud, passionate, and have crazy families. Yeah? Well, something told me, my personal stubbornness and my loud, passionate, and crazy Italian family had geared me up for what was to come!
Carlos is devoted to the work he does as a planner and urban designer and I love that we can talk endlessly about art and design. I love watching the crazy, passionate Cuban in him come out while we listen to NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" and "Ask Me Another" too. It's a perfect match and I couldn't imagine spending my life with anyone else. I mean, who better to make the cut, than the guy who is often mistaken for my brother and offers me that adorable crooked smirk whenever I look into his eyes? Only my pollito!
as told by Carlos
Daren, the guy in the bar that night with the creepy mustache. I couldn't help myself, really. As we got to know each other, I remember telling him he was "the perfect amount of boring for me." Someone who was okay staying in some nights and didn't feel the need to fill awkward car silence with mindless banter. Goldmine. I put the poor guy through the ringer over the first six months, but he was steadfast and I couldn't deny that I was falling just as hard.
I love the bond Daren shares with his family... both biological and chosen. He and my brother (and bestie), Mitchell, hit it off from day one. When I met his parents, Pat and Lou, I got a true understanding of the pillars that supported his good nature. More importantly though, I love that his family welcomed me into theirs with open hearts.
Daren works in higher education in the "res-life" field and he's great at it. But, it's through his artistry in painting that you really get a sense for his creativity and talent. The bulk of his work references Italian Festivals. Specifically, Saint Mary's Feast, an iconic annual celebration that takes place in his hometown of Cranston, Rhode Island. I love that his work is a visual recollection of his childhood kept alive through his vibrant pieces.