At promptly 10:00 a.m. on Saturday morning – a bit early, I admit – Steph Brooks ’10 and Hannah Rosenthal ’10 settled in front of me on a couch for two in Henze Lounge. Curled next to each other, both dressed in dark tops, blue pants and sneakers (although they vehemently claimed they weren’t matching), Steph and Hannah certainly looked the part of a cute couple, perfect for the annual Valentine’s Day “Two in 2000.”
So you know what a One in 2000 is, right?
SB: The first and only article that I go to in the Record.
Well, this is not just a One in 2000. It’s a Two in 2000. Valentine’s Day is coming up, and you guys clearly have a love story to tell. How did you meet?
SB: We met playing rugby.
HR: Sophomore fall. We’ve been together since, about two years.
What’s it like being in such a long-term relationship? Has it been steady?
HR: Some people are on and off, but we haven’t really broken up for three weeks –
SB: or anything.
HR: Of course we have little fights and stuff.
At the beginning, was it love from afar?
SB: I kind of had a crush on Hannah. [The girls laugh and exchange glances].
Steph had the crush?
SB: Yeah, I just had this sense that maybe it was reciprocated so I acted on it. And after a lot of long talks it worked out, but it wasn’t like an immediate, “Ah I want you too!”
Did you ask Hannah out officially?
SB: [Laughs] Yes. I wrote her a long note explaining my feelings, and then wrote the question, “Will you go out with me?” and had boxes of “Yes” or “No.”
And how did you deliver this note?
HR: You left it on my bed with a little teddy bear.
SB: When she was gone I snuck into her room.
That’s so cute.
SB: And then she wrote “Maybe.”
HR: You should have had a “Maybe” box!
SB: Then longer talks ensued and three or four weeks later she asked me out.
Do you remember your first date together?
SB: Ahhh …
HR: The cabin?
SB: No, that was later. Way later.
HR: I don’t know actually. Is that bad?
SB: [Laughing] Rugby practice.
Off the top of your heads, what do you like most about each other?
HR: I think Steph is really funny – she has one of the smartest senses of humor I know, so she always keeps me entertained.
SB: Hannah’s really nice. Even before we were dating she came and left me a treat when I was going away for a couple of days – some Gatorade and a snack and a little jumping kangaroo in a little basket. You wind it up and it walks a little and it does a back flip. And then it does it again. Now everyone’s gonna think she’s creepy and always gives me animal gifts.
How should I put this … Have any least favorite qualities about each other?
SB: [Answers immediately] Yes, yes. I don’t know why, she seems to take pleasure in my pain and knows every place that I’m really ticklish. She seems to exploit that.
HR: I’m evil. So I’m supposed to say what I dislike about Steph?
You got it.
HR: She’s very clumsy. Spilling things everywhere.
SB: I have a strictly no eating near anything valuable policy.
Do you have any Valentine’s Day plans?
HR: Well, we’ve both had our birthdays recently, and then there was Christmas, so everything adds up – it’s all very expensive. We’re thinking something low-key. Like cooking dinner or something.
Aw, but that’s the best. Do you know the menu? Any wine and chocolate on it?
HR: I did just buy three bottles of red wine for $13. So I could crack one of those open. But I, ah, changed the price tags so they look like they cost more. Each is a $55 bottle now.
You’re not supposed to tell us that! I bet Steph wouldn’t have known the difference.
SB: Yeah, I don’t really know what nice wines are. Who does? We just pretend to know.
HR: It’s nice wine if you drink it in a real glass. Makes all the difference.
Of course, of course. So Hannah, I’m aware that besides drinking wine in real glasses, you also are a fan of Seinfeld, knitting sweaters that don’t fit, kicking citrus fruits (the bigger the better), breaking things at Goodrich and The Grateful Dead.
HR: Wait, I like breaking things at Goodrich? I haven’t broken anything at Goodrich. Is that up there?
SB: Yes, it is, right under the spot that says“Interests.”
HR: Those are all things I enjoy. Except the first, you know, is kind of like outdated – I still like Seinfeld but I don’t watch it every day anymore. Wait, what was the question again?
I’m just aware of the fact that you like kicking big citrus fruits. What’s up with that?
HR: Once I just kicked a tangerine. And it like spluttered.
SB: No! I thought it was a grapefruit!
HR: I think later I kicked a grapefruit, and I realized that if they are bigger, they make a bigger splash.
Would you say that you two have similar interests?
SB: Well, I’d say I’m pretty entertained by these little hobbies she discovers.
HR: You break things at Goodrich. I don’t. I don’t know why I put that there. I’m taking it off right now.
SB: I don’t think I’ve broken anything there.
HR: Yes, you have.
SB: Oh yeah, I did break something. I broke a milk carafe. I dropped one and the lid broke off. But none of them have lids, so I’m not the only one who does it!
Do you two plan to stay together when you graduate?
SB: We’re trying to. We’re looking at jobs in the same places and stuff.
HR: It would be really nice, but it’s hard to settle on like, Boston in this economy. Hopefully we just get jobs somewhere.
During your time at Williams have you gotten any disappointing responses about your relationship?
SB: At Williams, I honestly have not experienced anything negative. I know some people have hard times with it. But for me personally it’s been fine.
HR: Yes, same here. All my friends have been great. Very accepting.
That’s really nice to hear, especially right after Claiming Williams. Do you have any final words of wisdom you’d like to leave me with?
HR: She’s a cat person, I’m way a dog person.
SB: I like both. Dogs are just more difficult to take care of. So that seems like a logistical problem. What about our jobs? I’m not getting up at 7 a.m. to walk a dog!
HR: We can get up at like 8 or 9.
SB: What about our work that’s at 9? Oh. Oh. What now?
So if you guys had to settle on a cat or a dog – only one of them – which would it be?
SB: You’re going to have to walk it all the time.
HR: I’m OK with cats, I guess.
SB: I’m OK with dogs if she does all the walking and I get to just pet it.