Friday, February 14, 2014

A Love Story For the Ages

Ok, so it might not be as romantic as say Romeo and Juliet (there's no feuding families and killing thyself found here) but when we first heard Winky Design's founder Winky and her now husband Ray's love song, we felt the tears well up a little. In honor of Valentine's Day, I would love to share with you, our fans, a story of whirlwind romance presented in a hilarious "he said/she said" format. Men seriously are from Mars and women really are from Venus!

WINKY: I met Ray the night before INSEAD started at the Salamander house party. He was looking kind of lonely (because nobody wanted to talk to the HBS kid crashing our party!) We were joking around about organizing a Chinese students club so I asked him if he wanted to join us. Ray was really easy to talk to and before I knew it, we were talking about our dreams & aspirations, and what we wanted to accomplish after our MBAs. At the end of it, we didn’t even exchange any contact info as I didn’t think I would ever see him again! It wasn’t until after I got home that I realized I had met over 150 people that night but there was only 1 conversation that I remembered having. That's when I knew I had met someone really special! (or maybe I just had a memory problem..)

RAY: I was traveling through Europe during the summer of 2009, and while I was in Paris I decided to visit one of my friends who was about to attend INSEAD. The plan was to hang out in Paris, but there was a big INSEAD party that evening and I wanted my friend to enjoy her first school party of the year, so I (reluctantly) went down to Fountainebleau with her instead. I was chatting with a group of new acquaintances, when Winky approached me with the pick-up line “do you wanna join a Mandarin speaking club”? And the rest is history…

WINKY: Ray cyber stalked me on facebook within 24 hours of the party. After about a month or so of fb msgs, email and skype, I casually mentioned to Ray that I would be headed to Madrid with my INSEAD friends in October, and that if he wanted to come to Spain (from Boston) for the weekend, he would be welcome to join in our activities. I was mostly joking, but to my surprise he said YES! He flew into Madrid for the weekend, and took me out to dinner, a flamenco show, and clubbing with all my friends. It was the perfect first date! After that, every month we would fly and date somewhere new. Our first 8 dates were all in different cities: Paris, Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Hong Kong, Singapore & Kiev/Odessa (Ukraine). It was the most expensive type of dating, and the long distance was REALLY tough at times...but what girl wouldn’t fall for a whirlwind globetrotting romance such as this!

RAY: It started with a few facebook messages, emails, and online chats, and then gradually turned into daily conversations. Several weeks later, Winky was planning a trip to Madrid with her classmates and asked if I wanted to come. Was it really worth it to fly all the way to Madrid just to meet her in person again? I thought why not. Plus, I had a perfect back-up plan – my buddy Cesar was living in Madrid so I had a place to stay and plenty to do in case she turned out to be boring ;) I proceeded to plan a first date and had to convince Winky to leave her group to join me. It turned out to be an amazing time and I fell in love before I knew what hit me. It also turned out to be the most expensive date ever…little did I know at the time that the next 8 dates would be in 8 different cities across the world and not any easier on my budget. Through MBA loans, somehow I survived.

Even though this sounds like a whirlwind romance, Winky and Ray dated for 4 long years, and as you guessed it ended in a beautiful wedding. We laughed, we cried, we danced with Elvis. It was an awesome wedding to top off a whirlwind romance. Here's to a new chapter of many more mushy gushy love stories...