It was the fall of 2007, I was a senior in college and Jordan had transferred to the same school for what turned out to be only one semester. I wasn't really dating and had my mind focused on graduating.
Jordan and I started as friends. Our common interest in music lead to burning mixed CDs and putting them in each other's campus mailboxes. Sometimes there was a note, sometimes the note was the title of the mix.
I was constantly in and out of flea markets - a lifelong hobby. I had the only record player in the dorm and a large Bob Dylan poster hung in my dorm room all 4 years. To be fair, I had a pretty weird array of interests music-wise. I was always hunting for old Frank Sinatra albums or Barbara Streisand. I was always pretty casual about the vinyl, but after a few trips with me - Jordan got really into it. He liked the rare hard-to-find stuff, he was always looking things up, making lists. He even wrote Tumblr music reviews for a while.
He kissed me for the first time on the back of a church van after I got stung by a wasp on a hayride. It was late October. I remember that kiss like it was yesterday because even with the sting, I floated the whole night. The next day he asked me if I wanted to go steady.
During a long-distance stint, we would read to each other over the phone. One of our favorite books we read to each other was Love Is a Mixtape by Rob Sheffield. Each chapter started with a mix.
Fast forward almost 15 years later, his kisses still make me float. We still make each other mixes - though they are swapped via music streaming apps & Bluetooth. We just celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary - and while we've seen a lot of hardship, our love has weathered those storms.
I grew up on the Outer Banks, and it's been home for me my whole life. Jordan and I lived here for several years at the beginning of our marriage when I was the Marketing Director for Kitty Hawk Kites. That was 10 years ago. After being out here for a while, we decided that since all of his family and all of my mom's side of the family were in Arkansas - we should move back. We had babies on our minds. Sadly, babies aren't a part of our story. We weathered those losses, too.
Jordan has always wanted to own a record store. When I made the leap 5 years ago with the nudging of my mom and him by my side to open the tea shop the "& things" was open-ended to tack that on once he was ready to leave his career and go for it. In the original design of my very first tea shop website, I even had tea & records on the about page.
When COVID hit and then never ceased, Jordan and I kept coming out here for little stay-cations. Trying to escape the heaviness of COVID and the surging cases. Every trip out here, we both could feel the pulling of the tides. Then he looked at me and said, "What would you say if we moved back?" I said, "Don't even say it out loud if you aren't serious." He was.
For the last 6-9 months we've been trying to figure it out. Make it work and find a way to do it. Every single door opened back up for us. It was time, and it was time for Jordan's dream, too.
If you have seen Everything Everywhere All At Once, you may know my reference here. Jordan is my Waymond. He is the kindest human I have ever known. And not kind in a saccharine way - genuinely the best person. He is patient, supportive, and unwavering. I cannot tell you how proud of him I am.
Jordan's record store will be housed inside the tea shop! A big part of the reason I dropped the restaurant side of things was the blows of COVID and the hassle of the ups/downs/customer rants but also it has made room for Jordan's new adventure.
The Bob Dylan poster will hang at the shop, and so will the Radiohead poster along with two large shadow boxes showcasing our mixed CDs, notes & concert stubs spanning our lives together. I bet there will be more of those to be made, too.
You can follow his Facebook Page Sudden Light Records. He's on Instagram @suddenlightrecords, too. Help me share the page and get his likes up on both accounts. You can sign up for his e-mail specials & announcements at www.suddenlightrecords.com.
Pinch me, y'all! We're doing it. Tea & Records by the sea - together!
I love you, Jordan. Thanks for being my best friend. 🍵🏝🎸