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July 12, 2020
Redding, CT
#Tangerine&Grapes

Grace & Tanner

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Tanner Andrews

and

Grace Blackwell

#Tangerine&Grapes

July 12, 2020

Redding, CT

How We Met -Tanner

Just a Plebe in my Platoon

It is very fitting that I met my future wife during my first week back to West Point after seeing my brother, Taylor, marry his High School sweetheart, Haley, in 2016. My role during the semester of my Junior year was Platoon Sergeant and "Cadet Blackwell" was a new plebe in my platoon. At West Point, it is "against the rules" for upperclassmen to have any kind of personal relationship with plebes (freshman). Fraternization is forbidden, but it did not stop me from noticing this very cute girl in my platoon. I remember going back to my room after meeting my platoon and telling my roommate, Mike Ortoli, "Dude! There is this cute plebe in my platoon! She's so hot!" I knew I could not act on it because (1) She was a plebe and (2) she had a boyfriend. And to be completely honest with you, nothing happened that semester between us. It was small things here and there that made me think "Hmmm....I wonder if she notices me in the same way that I notice her..". I remember standing out in formation as a platoon and I always knew she stood in 1st Squad, right behind me. I would inspect the squads on Thursdays and always try to make small talk with her. I would compliment her grades and find ways to subtly flirt with her without making it obvious that I was into her (apparently it was obvious). I remember knocking on her door to ask for tide pods when I always had my own, but it meant that she would answer the door and we could have a short conversation. Sometimes I would come into her room to "inspect" it just so I could talk to her. The truth is, when the semester was complete, I was no longer the Platoon Sergeant, and we didn't talk again until October of 2017, when we ran into each other in the Mess Hall. That led to me asking her on a date (to Grant Hall), which led to driving 13 hours during Christmas break to see her, and then asking her to marry me on an open rink at Rockerfeller in NYC 14 months later. Grace, you were never "Just a Plebe in my Platoon".

How We Met -Grace

Yes, I Have Tide Pods

I first met Tanner when he about-faced and received the report on August 15, 2016. At 6:30 in the morning, every morning, he was the only person smiling, with those massive lips and squinty eyes. There are many other distinct and nuanced things I remember about my first semester with Tanner as my platoon sergeant: the way he used to crack his back every day, the way he used black sharpie to color in the places in his uniform cap with missing stitching, that he ALWAYS checked off my squad during uniform inspection formation and routinely said "wow, you're smart" when looking at my grades, that he always stopped by my room to "check on us," when he used to announce at formation when each swifty in F4 would make weight, the conversations we'd have when both of us showed up to lunch formations early, and, of course, all the times Tanner asked me for tide pods when he in fact had them the whole time. Although our relationship existed strictly in those glimpses of time, I remember feeling so disappointed when they announced all cows were scrambling, meaning Tanner and I would no longer live close. Little did I know, however, I would re-meet Tanner a few months later when a video of his pick-6 against Cornell came out on October 30, 2017. The video became my conversation-starter in the mess hall when I saw him that next week, which prompted Tanner to walk me back to my room, which led to Tanner DM'ing me the next hour, which led to me temporarily ghosting him, which eventually led to our first date at Grant Hall November 17, 2017 where he bought me soup. That night I texted, "Tanner Andrews you're just as cute and sweet as plebe Grace thought you were!" It was true. It's still true. (also, I'll always have tide pods for you. Because I'll be your wife...and probably do most of the shopping)

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