Reed Magazine table of contents | Reed Home
Kathia & Jim | Ian & Carol | Julie & Bill | Laura & Sheldon
Eva & David | Eva & Arny | Ernie & Shirley
Eva and David barely knew each other at Reed, though they did have friends in common. Eva’s impression of David? “Not necessarily positive,” she says. In fact, she thought he was “an argumentative pain in the butt.”
After graduating, they both stayed in Portland, and she heard about him occasionally from friends. She knew he had a very cool car. “An ’83 Volvo painted bright metallic grape,” David remembers.
In 1997, they met again in a Torah discussion group. They both had other partners at the time, but would occasionally hang out in a group together. In July of 1998, they went to the Tao of Tea on Belmont—neither of them calls it a date—and talked until 11 p.m. Shut the place down, in fact. Then they went to David’s house, made more tea, and talked until 4 a.m.
At the time, David was about to leave Portland to attend rabbinical school. “Things were kind of crazy,” he says. “I was selling my house, moving to Philly, and sleep-deprived, but somewhere in the course of that day-and-a-half it occurred to me to think—‘what would be the paradigm switch for me if . . .?’ This wasn’t something that had been on the radar screen. It wasn’t particularly convenient.”
Eva, meanwhile, was “giddy, freaked-out, and sleep-deprived” the next day at work. The thought—“he’s leaving, what’s going to happen?”—went round and round in her head. “I had started to wonder what it would be like to be a rebbitsin”—the wife of a rabbi—she says.
A few nights later, after trading several messages on answering machines, they finally connected. “We became a couple over the phone,” says Eva. It was a transformative two-hour conversation in which they discussed their long-term plans. An open and honest consensus-based process, they agree. “There was no game-playing,” says Eva. “After two hours, David said, ‘maybe I’m going to come over now.’ Our houses were about a mile apart. It was kind of absurd to have done all this by phone.”
One month after their first marathon conversation at the tea shop, they were back there again. David said to Eva: “Hypothetically, would it be okay to propose without a ring?”
Eva moved to Philadelphia to join David, they got married in 1999, and have been back in Portland now for more than two years. Is their Reediness a significant factor in their relationship?
“Absolutely,” says David. “The kind of thinking skills taught at Reed are invaluable in relationships. There’s a basis in rigorous thinking that’s useful—not to settle disagreements or find answers, but to provide a framework for looking at an issue.”
Eva thinks their Reed training has been more useful in helping them start and run a business together “without killing each other,” than in their relationship as husband and wife. “It gave us the ability to understand the difference between a criticism and a critique, to see argument as a process rather than as a negative. It’s allowed us to figure out how to address issues without either of us feeling attacked.”