Ifong Chen Weddings

September 30, 2014

Natalie and Michael at Glover Mansion

Her story

Natalie & Michael met in a thoroughly modern way – on an internet dating site.
Drawn to one another through their mutual sarcasm, dry wit, and intelligence,
they emailed back and forth until a memorable ‘first date’ – a gypsy/carnival
band at the Knitting Factory. He remembers her comfort in ordering and eating
messy chicken wings. They had a lengthy conversation about the didgeridoo,
both naming bands featuring this unusual instrument. She was impressed when
he said he had actually made one (and proved so with pictures, later) There was
an instant spark, but as that grew and deepened into love, so did challenges and
obstacles they overcame. The couple is proud of the value they place on understanding
each other’s differences and honoring their individuality while nurturing their togetherness.

His story

Natalie and Michael met in a thoroughly 21st century kind of way – Natalie outbidding
Michael at the last minute during an Ebay auction. After sending repeated emails to each
(Michael’s typically ending with something like, “I’m not chicken. USA! USA!” – Natalie’s
usually with, “If you love Air Supply as much as me, you should have bid HIGHER!)
the two decided to continue their argument over a plate of buffalo wings and alcohol.
Their ‘first date’ involved:
1) Natalie securing a room at the Montvale Hotel (in case, for some

odd reason, we had a good time together – she wouldn’t need to DWI),
2) Her work closing that day due to snow storm and

3) An afternoon bottle of wine with her name all over it.

They met at the Knitting Factory over cucumber flavored vodka and buffalo wings.
Michael has since commented how he was mesmerized at how her light blue eyes
sparkled when juxtaposed to the dark red buffalo sauce that was dripping off her
hands and chin.
As if a bottle of wine and cucumber flavored vodka weren’t enough, the couple
adjourned to the entertainment portion of the evening – more vodka, the artiste ‘Lynx’,
and the headliner ‘marching band’ called “March Forth”. Now, it should be noted that
band members seemed a striking mix of ‘fair carnies’, original Woodstock groupies and
tattoo afficionados ALL that could actually PLAY wind instruments). Natalie remembers
thinking Michael was stretching the truth regarding didgeridoos – Michael remembers
thinking, “Wow…she does use that word 500x more when she’s had a drink or 3!”.

And their relationship hasn’t changed much since then. Sometimes it is filled sharp clarity.
Other times, surrealism. And then there are times when all of this is happening at the
same time. It’s what initially created a spark between them. It has caused multiple roller-
coaster rides in their relationship without either of them having to leave their home.
And…it is also what continues to pull them together as a couple – the passion to want to
be with each other – created the desire to really want to communicate with each other –
and learning to value the individual and everything they brought to the relationship as well
as what they both created ‘in’ their relationship – their son.

All this and Michael has still yet to see the inside of a Montvale hotel room.



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