Where and how did you two meet?
Where, when, and how was the wedding?
Where and how was the honeymoon?
Why did you move from Philadelphia to Los Angeles?

Q: Where and how did you two meet?

(Answered by Aaron)

The short answer is that we met in New York City during my first summer in law school. Specifically, we met in front of the Second Circuit Federal Courthouse on Chambers Street. Regarding "how," we were essentially set up by our friends Melissa and Michelle.

Here's the long answer: During my first year of law school, I was dating four or five different girls, but none of them were "the right one." Then one morning I showed up to my Criminal Law class and fellow law students were talking about a computer virus called the "Melissa Virus." I had just woken up and gone straight to class, so I hadn't heard anything about it yet. A colleague said that AOL (America On-Line) had published a detailed article about the virus and he suggested that I go to their website and read it. So, after class, I did. I had approximately twenty minutes before my next class, so I decided to surf around the AOL website, which I was visiting for the first time. While virtual meandering around their site, I came across something called "Love@AOL," which was a series of personal ads. I thought about posting an ad for a moment and then said to myself, "Hey, what do I have to lose? My ideal woman is probably online surfing around somewhere and maybe she will come across my ad." So I posted an ad.

At the time, I already had a free personal webpage on Geocities, and I had even created a subpage to my Geocities page listing in detail the traits I was looking for in my "ideal woman." After I posted my ad, I received plenty of e-mail replies and even went on a date with one girl.

Irith was single while all of this was taking place. Since the end of her last relationship, none of her friends were being helpful in setting her up on dates. Finally, one of her friends, named Michelle, suggested that she try "Love@AOL" because she had used their service before and had met some nice guys through it. Irith took her advice and came across my ad. She liked what I had written and my sense of humor (e.g. "Love@AOL" asks which celebrities you look like and I wrote, "Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Sean Connery, Will Smith. Ask a silly question..."). Then she clicked over to my Geocities website, which I had linked to my ad, read through my "ideal woman" subpage and said to herself, "This is me!"

In May, 1999, Irith wrote me an e-mail and said, "I am your ideal woman and here is why..." I e-mailed back that I hoped she was right. We chatted online a few times, and then spoke on the phone a few times. Finally, we set up a date in New York City. The rest is history.


Q: Where, when, and how was the wedding?

(Answered by Aaron)

The wedding was held at the Gan Ba Museon in Tel Aviv, Israel on December 26, 2000. Tel Aviv is Irith's birthplace, and she has more family there than she and I have in the United States combined.

We had a traditional, orthodox Jewish ceremony (as are all wedding ceremonies in Israel). The Rabbi said a bunch of things in Hebrew, which I couldn't understand. He did have a nice singing voice, though. When Irith was being led to the Chuppah, she stopped for a minute so that I could put the veil over her head and make sure it was really her. During the ceremony, we drank some wine and I said a few lines in Hebrew. Irith was not allowed to speak, since it was an orthodox ceremony. However, I know that she approved because she kept smiling at me during the ceremony and didn't run away before I stomped on the glass.

The real action took place before the ceremony, however. I was brought into a private room to fill out the Ketubah with the Rabbi, my father, Irith's father, and our witnesses. At one point, the Rabbi asked me, "How much are you willing to pay if you break the relationship?" "Excuse me?" I replied, rather confused. He explained that it was part of the Ketubah. I told the Rabbi that he could put down any number he wanted because (a) I have no intention of "breaking" the relationship and (b) if Irith is going to have a price tag on her head, it should at least be a high number. Apparently, the number we put down was a really high number indeed because everyone gawked during the ceremony when the Rabbi said how much was on the Ketubah (later, Avi told me that when he was married, he had the Rabbi put down something like 18 sheqel and a camel on his Ketubah).

After the ceremony, everyone ate dinner. The food was delicious. Even Uri, our familial food maven, seemed pleased. Our jazz band played a bunch of tunes, and we danced. Then we ate desert, which was also delicious. Then the band found out that Irith sings professionally and they got her to sing a few songs with them. We didn't charge people extra for the concert, but the idea did cross my mind. Some time later, we left as husband and wife and the next morning we departed for the honeymoon.


Q: Where and how was the honeymoon?

(Answered by Irith)

The morning after the wedding, we left for Italia, where we spent 7 nights in Firenze and 6 nights in Roma.

We rented a car while we were in Firenze, and used it to visit other places within Toscana. Our hotel in Firenze was called the Monna Lisa . It is a converted 13th century palazzo, and was a wonderful place to call home for a week. We loved both Firenze and Toscana in general. Highlights of our stay included a trip to Pisa to see the Campo dei Miracoli , a pleasant wander around Lucca , and visits to the synagogue, Uffizi, Accademia, and Cappella dei Medici. Just about everything in Firenze was wonderful, though. The food was fantastic, the people were friendly, and the architecture was amazing. It doesn't get much better than Firenze, and the list I provide above hardly even begins to touch on all the great experiences we had in Toscana and Firenze. We regretfully left Firenze for Roma after seven nights. We were less regretful about leaving the rental car -- Italian drivers are worse than Israelis!

In Roma, we stayed at the well-regarded Hotel de la Ville Intercontinental, which is at the top of the Spanish Steps. The staff and service there were impeccable, but the atmosphere was much less interesting than the Monna Lisa's. Roma highlights include the Galleria Borghese, a guided tour of the Colosseum, and visits to the synagogue, Pantheon, and, of course, the Musei Vaticani . We were less fortunate with food in Rome, although we did find a fantastic pizza place, as well as a terrific place for Gelati. Still, all in all, Aaron and I both preferred Firenze to Roma.

It was a wonderful honeymoon, and we are especially grateful to my father for generously funding the trip. It was a trip we will always remember fondly.


Q: Where will you be living after Aaron graduates and why?

(Answered by Irith)

When Aaron and I first met, Aaron was already partway through the job process (looking for summer employment for 2000). Since the job process is so time-consuming, and each additional city means a great deal of additional research, Aaron had narrowed his original set of desired cities (Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco) to just two: Los Angeles and San Francisco. He spent a good deal of time, money, and effort investigating various firms and flying to interviews in those cities.

By the time Aaron needed to choose which offer to accept for the summer, he and I were seriously involved, so we discussed the options together. Several weeks of deliberation later, we decided that the best offer, by far, was from a firm in Los Angeles called Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman Machtinger and Kinsella LLP (GGFCMK). Aaron spent the summer working for them, and soon confirmed that the work was interesting and that their billable hour goal was reasonable, unlike that of most other law firms.

Meanwhile, I was spending the summer discovering that West Los Angeles is not at all what I had expected. West L.A. was breezy, pleasant, and sunny (rather than polluted, hot, and humid), comfortable both during the day and at night. I only used the air conditioner a few times during the entire summer. Most of the time, opening the windows was all that was necessary. Best of all, the people at the firm (and their families) turned out to be lovely people, most of whom I clicked with almost immediately.

Aaron received an offer of permanent employment from GGFCMK. Nonetheless, in September 2000, since he felt guilty that his job search the previous year had not considered my needs and geography, Aaron decided to undertake the job search again. Since Aaron had already done a comprehensive search of firms in Los Angeles, had determined that GGFCMK was the best firm there, and had received a permanent offer from them, no further investigation there was necessary. An investigation of the Philadelphia market indicated that the hours to pay ratio was not acceptable, but the San Francisco market held some promise, and despite all indications to the contrary, we also decided to see if we could find a firm with a decent lifestyle in New York City.

At the end of the Fall 2000 job search period, when we weighed our various options, it became obvious that a job with the conditions offered by GGFCM simply did not exist elsewhere. GGFCMK's hours are extremely good by law firm standards (a truly reasonable billable hours target to which the firm adheres strictly), the people are great, the work is interesting, and the salary is generous, even considering the cost of living in Los Angeles. In the final days, Aaron was still considering one firm in New York City seriously, but I had already decided that GGFCMK was the best choice for us as a couple. After all, what good is it to live in NYC if you and your husband never have any time to enjoy the city?

San Francisco had knocked itself out of the running during a visit in August, when each of us had been hit by a car (I very mildly, Aaron more seriously -- he only escaped serious injury through quick reflexes and a little luck). New York City simply did not offer a reasonable quality of life. Los Angeles, on the other hand, offered a likeable, reasonable law firm that believes in letting its workers have a family life. It also offered beautiful weather and much more culture and entertainment than I had expected. I expect that it will take me less than a year to find everything I need within a reasonable distance of our home in Los Angeles; if nothing else, San Francisco's opera and orchestra are just a short plane flight away.

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