Maureen and Ian's
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04 January 2003

Our Story

A long time ago in a university far away...

Episode IV: A New Hope

Enter the groom

Ian Camaclang entered UCSD in the Fall of 1993. He had always dreamed of having a girlfriend, someone nice, but never did, even in high school. Not that he didn't try, of course. He just didn't get it. After about a dozen futile attempts from second grade all the way till junior year of college, he decided he was content to be alone and would take life as it came.

Enter the bride

Maureen Ibanez entered UCSD in the Fall of 1994, just one year after Ian though they were the same age. She was on time. Ian was early (by not going to kindergarten because of some test), and maybe that's what contributed to his eccentricity. She didn't have anyone in high school, and after other things in college so far that didn't work out, she decided she didn't need anyone really.

Keeping the faith

Ian went to the Catholic Community at UCSD, which really renewed and refreshed his faith, mostly due to the great campus ministry efforts by the Paulists who resided there. Because they did not have a church building of their own, the University Lutheran Church gave us space west of campus when we started in 1966. In 1998, the Paulists had to fill other positions, and the Dominicans were able to take their place. In 2001, we needed to find a new home. We are now at the Good Samaritan Episcopal Church east of campus. Ian started going there as soon as he started UCSD and was really inspired by the ministry there as well as the music, and especially how friendly the small community was. He joined the choir in the Fall of 1994. In Christmas that year he picked up his first guitar and started playing for the choir a year later.

Maureen joined the choir in the Fall of 1995 and contributed her sweet voice to the music of the Mass. Ian noticed her right away. Of course he thought she was cute, and for some reason she thought he was too, but he wasn't sure about meeting someone at church, let alone choir.

First contact

One day in February it was raining, and Maureen needed a ride home. The pianist and choir director for the 5:00 Mass, Chris Boyce, offered to give her a ride, then Ian offered also, citing the fact that campus is on the way for him so Chris wouldn't need to bother. However, she would need to wait a little while Chris made copies of the next week's Mass music. He decided to take out the guitar to practice a little more some of the other songs he liked, one of them being "Labour of Love" by frente!, a group Maureen also liked. She noticed that right away. She also noticed that his guitar was the Ibanez brand. Chris finished copying, and Ian drove Maureen home to Eleanor Roosevelt College at UCSD, one of the five colleges at the time. He made a mental note that she lived on campus.

In the following weeks, Maureen came to Mass with an international student Barbara, who was also in choir and had a car. One day he noticed Maureen was there without her ride....

I don't have plans and schemes

For the rest of that Mass on 10 March, 1996, Ian was probably doing something he shouldn't. He paid just enough attention during Mass while planning how to ask Maureen out. There just may have been divine intervention anyway. After the closing song of the Mass, he called out to her and asked her if she needed a ride back. " you need a ride back?" "Sure." "Do you want to get dinner too?" "Sure." Maybe he should have stopped there. "I know when you live on campus it's hard to get out to eat." "Okay." Then Ian's friend Brian Nessia from KP came into the choir area and also asked for a ride, since he lived in the same complex as Ian. "Okay, do you want to get dinner with us too?" A friend buffer. Not bad. "Okay." He eventually brought his roommate Laurence Tan along too.

Turning Japanese

So the four went to Niban and had a good time eating and talking. They drove back toward the UCSD area. "You want me to drive you guys back first so you don't have to go all the way to campus?" Brian and Laurence lived in Ian's complex, which was more on the way to campus than the other way around. It was a legitimate excuse, but they knew what was going on. "Okay." So Ian drove Maureen back to campus by himself. "Do you want to do this again next week?" "Okay." Now it was sort of tradition for the choir members to hug for the sign of peace at Mass instead of just a handshake, so it came naturally that Maureen and Ian hugged when he dropped her off. Ian would later say that he actually looked forward to that part of the Mass just so he could give her a hug, especially when she wore his favorite sweatshirt of hers with the sunflower on it.

To be continued...

About mid-week that week, Ian gets an email from Ray Cara, who quarterly organizes a dinner the Friday before finals week that he calls "The Last Supper" before getting "crucified at finals" he says. This quarter it was to be at Olive Garden.

Remembering where Maureen lived the two times her brought her home, and not having her phone number, Ian decides to just go over there himself to invite her to Last Supper. He knocks on the door. Her roommate Angelina Lee (Wang at the time, no (immediate) relation to Ian's best friend Ben Wang, who he's known since first grade) answers. "Is Maureen there?" "Are you Ian?" "Uh, yeah." "Come on in." So Ian goes in to ask Maureen to Last Supper.

"There's this dinner thing some of my friends are planning for this Friday. Do you want to go then instead of next Sunday?" "Okay." So they talked after that and played some music on her keyboard and sang. Les Mis. Miss Saigon. Phantom. Beauty and the Beast. Favorite musicals for both. Many common interests. They both looked forward to another dinner together.

The next day he went to her apartment and met Natascha Whipple and Julie Correa, Maureen's other roommates, who entertained him while they waited for her. Finally she came around 6:30 PM. She was late because she had a lot of data to process at her volunteer position at the VA on campus. "I guess now that I know where you live, I should get your number too. Here's mine...."

Last Supper fun lasted from 6:00 PM to 3:00 AM, ending with a long hug between the two, as usual. The next Sunday they went out again anyway, even though Last Supper was supposed to be "instead of Sunday."

At love has come along

They saw each other during finals week too, and on Saturday they made it official. They were boyfriend and girlfriend. After Spring Break being apart, they picked up right where they left off. On Easter they drove up to Claremont for Maureen's family picnic. Lots of fun for both including an egg hunt, water balloons and karaoke. Also Ian got sponsor money for his KP show. When they came back that Easter Sunday, 07 April, 1996, Maureen gave Ian a cute Easter Bunny card and they declared their for each other for the first time. This became their official anniversary. Exactly one month later they had their first kiss.

Eleanor Roosevelt College Semi-Formal
26 Apr 1996

[Continue the story: wedding plans >>]

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