Editor Riley Bienvenu Bourgeois and her family. Photo by Les Petits Bijoux.

From the Editor: It’s a Love Story

My husband and I met the old-fashioned way: at a fraternity house. Not during an Animal House-style party, though. Just on a mundane summer day.

I was sitting on a denim couch watching my best friend iron the wrinkles out of his already mostly wrinkle-less khaki pants. My now-husband, seemingly also with nothing better to do, sat down next to me on said denim couch when he saw the door open.

Photo by Jordan Hefler.

During the summer, there aren’t many people around LSU sorority and fraternity row. For a select few, though, the mold-ridden structures that are fraternity houses remain home all year long.

There’s a certain magic that time of year, in my opinion anyway—but maybe the mold got to my head. I like the quiet moments. No blaring of “Mr. Brightside.” No girls dancing on speakers. No chaos. The slow summers allow for more authentic encounters, even (or perhaps especially) amidst the steam of an iron on freshly washed khakis.

Back then, I was 19 and he was 21. We talked for a while in my friend’s room and then split up, only to see each other in passing on nights out or at tailgates in the fall. We never had a huge, fireworks moment that pushed us together—just a collection of small moments that slowly drew us closer. And that’s how we have continued together ever since.

There’s a significant insignificance to everyday life. My parents taught me that. They, too, met in the hallowed halls of an LSU fraternity house. And they, too, believe that the real moments aren’t the ones with highly designed invitations or commercialized hype—I’m looking at you, Valentine’s Day.

Many years and two kids later, I still feel that same pang of excitement when he walks through the front door as I did when he walked into my friend’s bedroom on that mundane summer afternoon. And my fondest memories with him aren’t things like our first date or even our wedding day. They’re the late-night FaceTimes we had while I was living in England. Or all those times seeing that same band together. Or the first time our oldest son called him “Dada.”

I know I implied a dislike for Valentine’s Day just a paragraph ago. It’s not my favorite holiday. But I can dislike something and still respect it.

I told you my love story here for two reasons. Firstly, I forgot to put anything else Valentine’s Day-themed in this issue. Sorry about that, everyone. And secondly, I love reading about love.

There’s a reason the romance novels of BookTok are taking over, regardless of their literary integrity. People love love. And there’s no shame in that. Read all the romance novels. Watch all the romcoms. Heck, buy the heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating love, especially the mundane moments that cultivate it.

Someone show this to my husband, so he knows I wrote about him. He loves me but, rather ironically given my profession, he doesn’t love reading.