Jamie Gillespie and Andrea Seltzer got together the way most 16-year-olds do: He asked her to sit next to him at a party, which—obviously—meant he liked her. Then, he borrowed his mom’s minivan to pick her up for their first “date,” a hiking trip with another couple from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. One awkward phone call later (Jamie: “My friends asked me what we are.” Andrea: “My friends, too.” Jamie: “I want to say you’re my girlfriend.” Andrea: “I want to say that, too.”) and they were officially dating.
“We don’t really remember much else,” Andrea says. “Not in a mean way, but it’s not like you’re thinking your high-school boyfriend is the person you’re going to marry or anything.”
Of course not.
Ten years later—even after going to separate colleges—Andrea and Jamie were still dating. One day last June, they found themselves debating about what Andrea should wear to work for “pajama day” at Ashburton Elementary School in Bethesda, where she’s a guidance counselor.
“Are you sure you’re going to wear pajamas today?” Jamie asked.
“It’s pajama day!” Andrea said. “Why wouldn’t you want to wear your pajamas to work?”
She set off, happy to be in her PJs and even happier to find herself spending an unusually quiet morning in her office. That lasted until lunchtime, when she heard an announcement paging her to a fourth-grade classroom. She sighed.
“Being a guidance counselor, it’s always like ‘We need you here, we need you here,’ ” Andrea says. “But I had just gotten my lunch and I was hungry, so I was like, ‘ugh.’ ”
But when she got to the classroom, the kids weren’t there. The teacher wasn’t there. The room was empty—except for Jamie. And a ring. And now Andrea, in her cloud-pajama pants, saying yes to a proposal she had never seen coming.
“I got her best friend, who teaches fourth grade there, to clear the kids out for lunch,” Jamie says. “Then while I was proposing, they were waiting outside the room. After Andrea said yes, they all started screaming.”
After that, the principal came on the PA to congratulate the couple. Apparently, every one of the teachers, kids, and other staff members had known what was coming—which explains Andrea’s quiet morning: Nobody would talk to her in case they let something slip.
Andrea and Jamie are “planning away” for a summer 2008 wedding. Is it surreal to be marrying someone you’ve known since high school? Actually, that’s the wrong question to ask—because these two have known each other for much longer. The first time they met was in sixth grade.
“We’ve just always been friends,” Andrea says. “In fact, pretty much our entire bridal party has been our friends since we were ten. It’s kind of like Saved by the Bell.”
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