The Story of Us


Let’s take it back in the fall of 2015. Jesse was a member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority at the University of Alabama, and a requirement to keep good standing in the sorority was to be an active member in at least two other organizations on campus. The chapter meeting where this was announced was as classic as the movies. One by one, different sorority members stood up to pitch an organization they were involved in to try and recruit new members. If you know anything about Jesse, then you know she would never dare go near anything to do with sports, politics, or academics, but she loved to dance. Given this information, you would not be shocked when you heard she was intrigued when a member pitched an organization called Dance Marathon. Knowing nothing, other than it was an organization that raised money for Children’s of Alabama and involved dancing (or so she thought), she went home to fill out an application. When selecting which committee she wanted to be on, it only made sense she chose “Morale” because she is nothing if not bossy, loud, convincing, and energetic. It seemed like a match made in heaven.

At this same time, Henry was a freshman looking for a way to get more involved on campus other than playing Ultimate Frisbee. During “Get on Board Day,”  where students go to see all the organizations The University of Alabama has to offer, he was drawn to the Dance Marathon table. If you knew Henry back in 2015, then it would surprise you zero percent that he was drawn to the outgoing, creative committee that is Morale. It would also surprise you zero percent that he included in his application that he was gorgeous under “Why should you be selected for Morale?”

Chapter 1: How they met

Now, this isn’t an instant love story. It's more like a slow burn. Jesse and Henry knew each other because of Dance Marathon, but they didn’t have any real friendship until right before their first Dance Marathon event in 2016. That event took place on February 27th, but February 15th was Jesse’s first real memory of Henry and the start of something new. That day, they worked the tables for Dance Marathon together with the goal of getting people to sign up. Since it was the day after Valentine’s day, chocolate was 50% off, and Dance Marathon was handing out Hershey Kisses to try and recruit new members. Henry being Henry, thought it was funny to walk up to girls and ask them if they wanted a kiss, get their reaction, and then open his hand with a Hershey Kiss placed in his palm. It was the first time a slight panic of jealousy was felt by Jesse, but she laughed it off like nothing. Nevertheless, this was the beginning, even though neither of them knew it.

Chapter 2: A friendship was born

The next year was relatively uneventful, but a friendship started to develop. They would attend Dance Marathon events together, hang out with friends, and had Criminal Justice 101 together, which Jesse has Henry to thank for passing because he gave her every single test answer. During this time, admittedly, Jesse was not the nicest to Henry. Henry wanted to always hangout and go to the Gamma Phi house for meals, sit next to her in class, and talk to her when they were together (how dare he). To be fair he was beyond annoying, ask anyone. I would say it was giving grumpy sunshine vibes, but both were grumpy and neither were sunshine.

Chapter 3: Frenemies to lovers

We have made it to finals week, spring 2017. Lets just say, both parties involved knew what they wanted but one (Jesse) was simply not ready for any relationship. Henry shoots his shot and Jesse says no. This is where it gets good. Fall 2017, the ball is in Jesse’s court. She has made up her mind, and on Henry’s 21st birthday, as any sane person does, she takes five shots of tequila and finally tells him how she feels. Every single person in their lives is zero percent surprised by this, and the words out of their mouths are, “FINALLY!”

Chapter 4: Long distance

Fall 2018 is when things took a turn. Jesse graduated and moved to Florida to work while waiting to hear back from graduate schools. Henry was still at Alabama for another year until the fall of 2019. This was the beginning of a full 14 months of long distance. People thought we were INSANE to even try long distance because it is rare to make it out together. A year of plane rides, tears, not being able to talk for days on end because our schedules didn’t line up, and the unknown of if or when we would ever be in the same place because of Henry's job. Needless to say it SUCKED. It was rocky and there were many almost breakups but Jesse never woke up without a “good morning, Babycakes" text and never fell asleep without “a good night, I love you” text. In August 2019, Jesse packed up and moved back to NYC to start grad school but the end to long distance was nowhere in sight.

Chapter 5: Henry in the Big Apple

November 2019 was the month we finally were able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. After months of applying to jobs, and over 250 applications, Henry was offered a job in New York. It was an absolute miracle! We were so excited and had plans for him to move into Jesse’s 500 square-foot studio apartment, but it didn’t matter because doing long distance would FINALLY be over and we could start living our NYC dreams.

Chapter 6: Jokes on us

February of 2020 is when Henry took his 2 suitcases—literally, that is all he had—and moved to Manhattan. We were finally living together and so excited to have the most exciting 2020. LOL. On March 6th, 2020, they went down to Florida for Jesse’s spring break and as everyone knows, the world shut down. For 10 weeks they stayed in Jesse’s mom’s two bedroom apartment with her mom and sister, but somehow, everyone made it out alive.

Chapter 7: Their first born

Anyone who knows Jesse or Henry knows that their pride and joy is their fur baby, Jonas. Somehow, in January of 2021, Jesse convinced Henry to get a dog, who would quickly become their whole world. Jonas (named after the Jonas Brothers) made them paw-rents.

Chapter 8: It’s a love story, baby just say yes

Fast forward through 2023: Jesse has finished graduate school, started working, they moved 3 times, and Jonas is still ruling their lives, like the king he is. On March 25th, 2023, Henry FINALLY did the thing. He got down on one knee, asked the question, and you know Jesse said, "YES!"

Chapter 9: To be continued

Now, we know this is really just the beginning of our story but it goes to show that things fall into place as they are meant to. Without a random girl standing up in a sorority chapter or the dance marathon booth being where it was, this union might have never been made. The odds of a girl from New York and a boy from Chicago meeting in Alabama seems crazy and unrealistic, but I guess for us… it wasn’t.