Erica Hymen and Adamn Arenstein

Recorded February 18, 2010 Archived February 18, 2010 00:00 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: SFB000696


Erica Hymen (29) and her husband Adam Arenstein (28) talk about their relationship, how they met and what the future holds.

Subject Log / Time Code

1st impressions of each other
Long talks on the phone when they first started dating.
Funny memories of traveling in Italy.
Adam’s love of airplanes
Their wedding day.
What the future holds.


  • Erica Hymen
  • Adamn Arenstein

Recording Location

San Francisco StoryBooth


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00:02 My name is Erica Michelle Hyman. I turned 29 on February 11th. And today is February 18th 2010 and we're in San Francisco and I'm with Adam who is my legal husband Gilbert and I'm 28. Almost 29 today is February 18th 2010.

00:28 I'm in San Francisco with my wife Erica.

00:32 So Adam, how did we meet

00:35 We met when we were wheat odds at cotc in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. I was 16 or older and wiser. I just got my braces off and we made it our first.

01:03 Summer camp

01:07 General hang out that much that summer when we go to bed.

01:14 One of the questions here asked me what was one of the first impressions that I had of you and I thought it was important that you know that my first impression of you was a nice boy with a gray sweater vest that you always for. Well you are at a lot and I didn't know anyone else was wearing those sweater vest but you just like took ownership of it and I'm cool. I wear a sweater vest. It was like your special like I'm looking good cuz I'm in my gray. That's just cuz I think I think that goes like my first image of you with short hair and no beard here like this little teenager in a gray sweater vest.

02:02 I have this memory of you in the same summer when you would wear.

02:06 Short sleeve white shirt with egg on top of tank top from t-shirt and I have little red and orange flowers on it. I think we saw a picture of it somewhere, but I remember you bounce around with that on.

02:20 Play some more funny that we both have that memory of what each other warm. Shabbat must been a really special time.

02:27 What's your favorite picture of us? We like when we were in high school, we had the good picture which was one where we were standing in a grassy area and it was really pretty and it was saboten. We're all dressed up and we've had like these classic pictures that have had these little labels on them with your favorite picture kind of holds up his new wedding pictures, very good picture and the one from Chicago because that just showed us at this precious time. You know, what I'm wearing the red checkerboard shirt and Chicago you are on your junior senior trip with our youth group and me and our friend Jamie followed you around and do her.

03:17 I was like driving the little Ford Taurus and following your school bus. That's your whole group was in and we met you guys will really we stopped you guys and ended up at the pizza place, but that picture was taken at I'm sure that pizza place is still there in Chicago.

03:39 Cameron's Coffee hours

03:42 His great. I like that picture that because it seems so you can really capture the moment. We're just spontaneously happy and I know it.

03:53 I think I was just so thrilled that you called us around all day and I got to hang out with you because back then hang out with you with such a rare occasion. We would talk on the phone almost every day and actually getting to see you wasn't as easy as it why isn't even then we didn't have cell phones. They are Free Fridays to talk all the time, which I think is we know one of my questions ask like, what's your favorite memory from then and now you first met

04:20 And that's what I think really Drew us to each other with how we could talk for hours and hours and hours and fall asleep with the phone still one of yours and wake up on Saturdays cuz it was still free ads. I don't know what deal he had going with Sprint, but he had some deal and you could call me and it would just keep the phone alive forever. So we would not hang out and keep talking on Saturdays.

04:45 Rent movies at the same time and press play and fun of me for that. I think it's somebody told embarrassing stories about that at the wedding CCR friend who encouraged us to do this and give give the idea to us as a wedding gift asked a question about when did you first realize that our relationship had lasting potential and what sparks. Thought?

05:16 I thought you might and was pleased when we were hugging. Goodbye at the airport after we had gone to Israel together for the first time also in high school and we were standing in this little median and their car is kind of going by on both sides. And I'm sure we weren't supposed to be standing there probably wasn't very safe. But I don't know we had to separate I probably had the catch my flight to go back to Chicago and you add two catchers to go back to Ohio and I just remember not wanting to say goodbye like it felt like the end of the world in my little seventeen-year-old mind that you know, we were going to leave each other after these amazing and four weeks in his hair out together and I just I think that that was when I really knew that we we our relationship would continue and I had no idea that we would get married. I don't think that I was even thinking about myself getting married at that point, but I knew that our relation

06:16 Had to continue and that this was a special person and

06:22 Yeah, that's my my I remember that moment especially because of the tenderness of the hog was intimate in it was kind of intimacy. I'd never really knowing it.

06:43 Would you agree that that's here. The first time you realized that I think so, but I would say they probably realized during some of those occasions when we were on the phone. And I knew that I would always have something to talk to you about forever. Then we never really get stale and would always kind of evolved.

07:01 And at the same time I think that like I don't feel that pressure to always have something to say if we go out to dinner, you know, just the two of us that there can be silenced. That doesn't feel awkward and can just like I think that's one of the our strengths is that we just can't allow each other to just be and not feel like there's supposed to be either, you know pressures from each other to

07:30 To make conversation or 2 or something, but you know you have a day at work and you're like a it was a day at work. I can be good enough. It doesn't have to be you know, some contrived things for the sake of conversation. I appreciate the comfort in our silence. I think a lot of that comes from you. I don't think that I usually have that ability to just be and I think that it's one of your best attributes that you gifted to me.

08:02 Enjoy it.

08:05 Andre with you

08:08 One of the the top questions on my waist was what's the most challenging thing that we would survive together?

08:18 I think moving to California you agree.

08:24 Linda California was really hard. We were just graduating from college and young and not really knowing what we wanted to do with ourselves and

08:37 It was kind of a leap of faith. Like I don't know if it would work. It was crazy to move from Ohio to this far away mystical land of California. And I think I've been to California once twice maybe before we actually moved here and the combination of finishing that phase of Life of

08:59 No college and being in a school environment and your parents kind of being more of a vital part of your life and then moving out on your own and really having to rely on yourself finding a real grown-up person job and just transitioning our social life to finding friends and there are still many things that were so hard about it and there were definitely x. I I can picture myself sitting on our bed and talking on the phone with a friend Jamie just being like, I don't know I make might need to move back to Chicago this California thing is really hard and I don't I don't know what it was. I don't really remember.

09:43 Moment.

09:46 Our conscious decision. I don't know but we both of us we didn't give up. We just kept day by day. I think it was what worked and made that approach of just kind of figuring it out Moment by moment and

10:02 Slowly waiting for things to fall into place and

10:06 Being patient and knowing that it would take time.

10:10 I know how long have you lived here? And I think that's the key of why our partnership works because we always been fully never break, even though we got monsters challenges like that where we have to give up everything and completely start a new which is what we did and neither of us has ever really had to do that before and you never lived outside of Ohio and when I went to college, I knew people there two hours from home with 5 people. I knew never gone anywhere. I didn't know anyone.

10:49 I had to do it all over again as too hard. So that's the thing. I think I would do it again, but I'm older and wiser. Now, I think I would know what to expect and what I need and yeah, and and when I would need from you to look like pick up and move to some exotic city or something, I think temporarily I like those challenges especially because I remember that first you're doing so much exploring on California and I'd have a day off I would just get in the car and drive, you know and go figure out where the Highway 17 in the sand and I would drive up the one I just enjoy that he thinks that the pressure is not knowing anyone else so

11:30 Yeah, they never you to hang out with and I didn't feel like I had to go spend time with somebody else for this. I just went and enjoyed what you ever want to live broad Maybe.

11:41 I think so. I wrote down Italy cuz I was supposed to write you and I went I miss him so much fun in Cinque Terre to find that place up in Cornelia.

11:54 And the food was so good.

12:03 If you feel comfortable all the time, cakes from all of the July 1st, you can't drink the water, but then you can tow.

12:30 I have a memory of when we went to Cinque Terre before we found that place that we really loved and we stayed in vernazza that City goes down by the bay and we rented that place for us at the mosquitoes 60 Euros and it was like had this amazing view of the sea, but the windows were open who is Seaside and there were so many mosquitoes and I remember sleeping with the seat behind pulled over our heads and tucked in and we woke up and we had so many mosquitoes and we had we had committed to staying there two nights. We went and told the way to be like we are out of here. We are out of here in the first place thing. We checked we went to that place in Cornelia was whether the door is it was higher off the Seas that didn't have mosquitoes hot so we couldn't wear long sleeves to sleep. Otherwise, it would have been way too hot and

13:29 Same time. You've really afraid of the bugs biting you and I'm so allergic to mosquito bites the we are so itchy and it's kind of funny that that's the story that comes to my baby's like a bonding experience. I think.

13:48 Maybe we were like young and naive and thought that this nice little Italian lady would take care of us and give us this lovely little Seaside room. And then sadly we find out with it really get to live with the mosquitoes.

14:07 I was wonder if I would want to live in Israel since I've been there so many times and there's so many people there and

14:16 Sometimes when I'm there, it feels so much like a home-like place and it's like the least foreign country feeling that a foreign country could be like going in there. I feel very comfortable. You know, sometimes you go to a foreign country and it's like whoa, everything's a little different and I'm used to all the different that's there. So

14:37 I think sometimes it would be an interesting experiment or opportunity to take our family there someday and you know live there for two or three years just to have that experience of the perspective of not being in America and getting to live in an environment. That's not the American were the center of the universe kind of place. But at the same time then I think oh God should have to live in that like hectic crazy. It's like a place I love and at the same time is crazy.

15:17 But I don't know. I think it could be a really unique opportunity. If we have kids some day that we can take there and that they can experience a Jewish homeland and such a unique place at the tiny little place. That's so important to so many people and so disputed and

15:36 I think it could be really.

15:39 Growing learning opportunity and at the same time terrifying cuz if it's hard to move from Ohio to California, how hard is it to move across the ocean?

15:51 I really would.

15:56 Make it be hard to leave everything behind.

16:01 Hope you like airplanes original. I can come visit you like airplane airplane. I think if I put found myself in a situation where I would use an airplane enough that it would be worth buying one. Then I would really have one of those houses at the airplane garage in the airplane driveway out the back if I was very selfish and wanted that.

16:38 Explain the effect of a very rich somehow very rich somehow but I think it'd be fun to have it. I would definitely use it if it was right there and I could just go for a morning sky.

16:50 People just go to the gym.

16:55 I had a question. I'm going to ask what?

17:01 I don't want to have fun.

17:04 What about Miriam us grateful for?

17:07 Even unto the next to me just one thing. Did you answer this one? He didn't you don't have to.

17:15 I know lots of things that I am grateful for I think.

17:21 I think the the way that you're so accepting and open not only to me but to all people and

17:34 I learned from that the way that you

17:38 This has such an open heart and just have

17:42 Space for everyone and kind of didn't think about

17:46 Things in a way that isn't as natural to me.

17:55 Nice is such a stupid in generic word. But that's like kind of what it is. Just like a true kindness that's like so genuine and

18:06 It's like real and available to people. I think that that's really an incredible quality that I get to have be like that I get to have it in my house every day that there's someone who's like that who would like to deal with somebody else who is sometimes cranky or you know that

18:26 It's not such a big deal to you. You're just like

18:31 Optimistic and positive person

18:35 It's it's really

18:38 It's a really great presents to have in my life to have that influence.

18:44 And

18:45 I'm also grateful for your extraordinary sense of direction.

18:50 I think that I would have gotten lost 500 million times. If I didn't hold your hand and let you take those me them walk around the correct corner and you'll probably find the car on our way back to the parking garage. I already forgot what level we parked on.

19:11 Double 3s.

19:15 Think about me.

19:26 Bose

19:28 You're so wise and I feel sometimes it gets too because you don't see it as wisdom. It just comes naturally to you, but it's exactly that you're you have this wisdom about you which I think part ways because you're such a good listener and you're able to and you probably have always pulled in this.

19:47 This knowledge from people and you're just so comfortable in your own skin and you're always yourself and I think that the way that you kind of pull all of that together results in when you're really

20:02 Trying to help somebody through something you're able to give them the most personal and sincere advice.

20:08 Can having you as in a my best friend for 15 years or 10 years or whatever makes me feel like I'm really hit a jackpot in that way cuz you're able to break down things to make me feel better and pretty much any situation.

20:25 What do you think about our like label of being high school sweethearts? Because I really think about it. Like our relationship has evolved so far that we're not the kind of couple that will have go to inside jokes from when we were 16 and I like living off the Glory Days and this is the first time we've talked about her past probably since the wedding it all came up then.

20:58 Yeah, we don't I feel like we continuously evolving and have created a lot of new memories and we can deliver the present which I would really have it. No other way. Yeah, I always find it interesting when people are like God can't believe you guys have known each other that long and it's like you don't expect this to happen to you. You don't anticipate that you meet this boy wearing the dorky sweater vest and the like now, he's your husband like I mean, maybe some people do but I certainly did not picture that being the trajectory of my life, but I wouldn't have it any other way, you know, I I I this is completely normal to me. It's going normal that I know and at the same time people people have like an interesting perspective her like almost Judgment of it and it's kind of judgment.

21:52 I don't know. I think that they sing feel like you haven't fully experience all that there is to experience of all the Terrible Bad boyfriend stories or things that other people have liked. Weather.

22:07 You know, I mean, I'm grateful for not having 500 tide boyfriend stories to tell people but

22:15 I'm sure that there's something that we missed as a result of not having dated many people but at the same time I would say to other people there's something that you've missed and not having this experience of

22:30 Throwing up with your partner and really like you're saying evolving and

22:36 And knowing who they were as an adolescent and watching them become more and more of them self everyday. I think that there's something about that that's not better or worse just different than the more typical kind of learned early on with our relationship that it could be a metaphor for so many other things where you know, you're really my first serious girlfriend and we didn't give up and I even though we had our challenges this morning. We had some pretty Lo-Lo's we never gave up their girlfriends.

23:14 And you never gave up which is such a metaphor for other things. Where you when you have your wise you stick it out and you keep going and it taught me that.

23:24 Really? I don't want a relationship like many other things can been pretty far but not break as long as you're willing to stick it out and you know, and I think they were able to be pretty honest with each other and we keep our communication him pretty high so that knowing that we're not in risk of breaking a relationship by being honest with each other or telling each other things that other people may not tell each other for me if we couldn't be completely honest. It wouldn't I couldn't

23:56 I wouldn't work if we met in our twenties question 04 through 42.

24:04 What do you think would happen? I don't know. I really don't know cuz it's hard to say what we would be like.

24:14 What my first impression of you or your first impression of me would be cuz I think we are totally different that are personas initially attracted each other to us.

24:24 Tyra really don't know cuz it's like such a question. But I think maybe we would like your mutual friends at a concert or maybe High Sierra Music Festival or something like that. And if somehow we both ended up still living in California is there was this but you know, it's too many s cuz we traveled on this journey together, so we probably wouldn't be in California if we weren't together, but

24:57 I'd like to think that I would be have the open enough eyes to see the potential that we obviously have and what we have make work, but in reality, I don't think I would I would think that I would be too shy or like too and you would be like, mr. Social butterfly and you'd I don't know if you friends with all the social butterfly kind of girls, and I don't know I think I'd be too nervous to talk to you. I'm glad I found you earlier because I think that I would have found a lot of

25:32 Distracting people. I don't think I would have been able to find you.

25:36 And I'm glad that I did.

25:45 What was one of the happiest moments for you and our relationship so far?

25:50 Our wedding day was pretty really pretty awesome my Notions of what it would be a

25:59 Like a lot of other things was pretty cynical about weddings and and all the Traditions that we're drive down of no sense of meaning just so which I think was really great cuz it inspired us both to

26:26 Completely try to start a new or at least start a new with the meaningful traditions and then stack up and we did our homework and we invited the right people and those people brought their A-game on that day and it really showed it completely blew me away.

26:45 I agree completely.

26:47 I don't think that I had the you know princess fairytale kind of idea of weddings that a lot of girls maybe have like I didn't have any scrapbook or your dream wedding dress serve. No, please buy me this is to the specific Lorraine and I didn't I don't know it and we waited so long to get married, but it didn't even feel like something I had to do or like, you know, it didn't feel like

27:16 Like the movies like you said, it felt like a natural evolution of our relationship. And so I guess because I didn't have all of these preconceived notions and I didn't have some master plan in my head that I really didn't know what to expect and I I had no idea that I would just be so overwhelmed by the whole day and how much love there was from other people who were there to support our love is really just incredible even see my mom like riding and beaming and so happy for us and

27:59 I don't know. It's a was one of those kind of special days that I will definitely always remember and all the people that had watch this kind of grew up together family, of course, but also the friends who just had small group of friends who have really always been there and their wives of evolved the last for looking past the pressure to get married cuz I think our moms like talked on the phone when we were in the dorms freshman year of college and we're like planning our wedding song. We were like 18, so I'm glad that we didn't succumb to the any pressure of any outside forces. I feel like we waited until our moment until I felt right to us and we wanted

28:59 To put our energy towards, you know this big wedding celebration and that we put the the spiritual part and the relationship part for all the party-planning. I mean, yes, like somebody had to eventually pick out the napkins in the plates and then whatever but I just so appreciated the the way we approached it and we made it ours and that it felt like

29:30 Like to lie like that the definition of the word wedding like will too when to each other. I didn't feel like reading like magazine wedding kind of thing. And I think that that's what I almost was thankful for it. And I remember particularly the collaboration of that felt like we were able to

29:51 Really work together on that wedding was such a project for both of us, but

29:56 Have so many of my other friends who I talked to will sit back and let their

30:01 Future mother-in-law or you know if your wife plan the wedding and they have no involvement and I think you really

30:10 I'm going to say let me help but you know, we did it together and we were able to make it really meaningful day for for each other.

30:21 What do you think are some of the lessons that you've learned from our relationship?

30:33 I think that something that I've learned is that you really have to put forth effort to create Harmony. Although we are well suited for each other and we love each other and we want to be together like Lewisville Perfect Harmony doesn't happen every moment of every day without some effort if you have to communicate and really

31:03 Step up and do your part to make the relationship have that.

31:11 Balancing

31:16 I think that we've learned that if we just kind of coast and not remember to check in about things and remember to make space for talking about our relationship that it

31:34 It doesn't it doesn't work as well and that when we

31:39 We are open and really put forth the effort that it takes to maintain the great thing that we have then it works really well.

31:51 Angry

31:53 Really? Cuz I think you're just going to copy my answer. I don't know. I think that we would really appreciate it. How much we

32:05 I mean, I've certainly appreciate how much we have to nurture a relationship. It's it's like a good lawn and you've got to water energy. Just let it go it itself go and something you have to be intentional about when we don't have a lot of cement.

32:22 Play 1011 do I get to ask you another question other than a rock garden?

32:51 You want a dog do when a dog talks herself on?

32:57 They you don't have to nurture a dog as much as you think you do. If they just give you a lot of and compassion you got to feed it. You've got to lock it. But otherwise I'll just be bundles of fun. There's no crankiness from a dog. If you find the right one know my brother's dog ate my first wedding veil. I had so much fun when he did it again. Just a little time. I would really love my family. I think you'd make you very much Mom. I think that you would

33:28 Exude patience and

33:32 Everything that you mean you work for in your daily life with being in the education field. I think that you would bring to bear as being a mother and they would just do that.

33:42 The most self-aware

33:45 Inspired and educated children that anyone could ask for their nose.

33:58 You don't read it correctly. I'm sorry, right, but then when they're finding that it's not working. It's fine. I have an appreciation for the I think you'll be a really good dad cuz you like all the little why questions that kids ask you will be like a good question. Let's figure it out cuz you have that Curiosity that little kids have I feel like yours never went away. You still are Googling things and always wondering what this is and just have this feeling Natural Curiosity for the world. And I think that that will go perfectly with the annoying two-year-old who asks, why about everything

34:45 We will we will teach them Google at a very young age.

34:52 Show them the library first or the library that will then be on the internet. What if we never done together that you want to experience together?

35:05 Family

35:10 I think that would be what's on my mind these days.

35:15 After you know, we've kind of build that Foundation of family. I might have a different answer but for now that's kind of what I feel like our next adventure is answers. I just wrote down create, you know and feel the inspiration to create a lot of things with you one of them and most importantly I think being a family but really anyting you know it for your birthday last week. I could give you an easel art supplies that we would just be so fun to do in tree and art free music anyting

35:51 I mean

35:54 I'm with you. I'm really excited to travel.

35:58 That one's going to be fun going to be super fun. I'm really excited to go to Thailand.

36:04 Going to be rain.

36:07 What are the questions when I get out of this phone? It's okay blows his nose and it sounds like a train is coming through your house. He like it's one handed. My method is two handed his method as one-handed and he has to like do this weird thing re closes. His eyes was eyes kind of like role in his head. It's really not so attractive and he blows his nose every night before he goes to bed. Which maybe is good for Noah's house. I don't know and it's really loud and

36:52 This is kind of gross sounding I don't know. It's pretty gross. I mean everyone knows I'm not saying you shouldn't blow your nose.

37:01 I learned it from my dad.

37:07 I think my pet peeve for you as you can't control. It's your stomach. I really want you to go to stomach back to me get you a new one. That's so he's cranky, cranky and I feel like it inhibits a lot of a lot of things.

37:30 But I think

37:33 That's one thing that has we've gotten older is kind of worn off. Like I sense of adventure we have it in little ways, but I don't know. I feel like that's one thing that takes this funk out of here is your stomach.

37:52 2

37:54 Overcome the stomach and

37:58 Move forward like, you know, it's not going anywhere.

38:07 It doesn't like a lot of food if it's hurts and complains and is not a happy stomach most of the time so I'm not most of the time but sometimes and you know, you can be like wanting to go out and do something and then all of a sudden my stomach hurts and like allergies.

38:31 What is little bit of nine so I had one question I wanted to ask you but I've never asked what that and that was. Why did you stay at Ohio State when you're so miserable and you wanted to leave?

38:42 I tried to transfer and I didn't transfer because I wanted to study abroad which I did in Prague and wouldn't have liked had enough credits and I wouldn't be able to transfer until after I had studied abroad and there was so much paperwork and bureaucracy. Oh, yeah. I really wanted to I did not want to stay at Ohio State.

39:15 But it was just too hard and it was kind of too late to go to Ben junior year by the time that I would have been able to and it just felt hard to stop and rebuild everything and move and do all that stuff. It just kind of the easier choice to stay maybe not the better one with easier room, but we could submitted what we have now, which is which I'm really grateful for.

39:46 Hey.

39:48 Stacy asked asset if we believe in fate and I I really do and I feel like that was one of those things when I was looking back on her history that it had is one of those opportunities where we could have gone separate ways and what we've created now would it be

40:04 And hey, I do believe in fate and I believe in karma and if you do the right thing will happen.

40:11 Hand

40:13 That was one of those things where I felt like you were so close to being pulled away.

40:20 I don't know if I would call it fate, but I definitely feel like

40:25 What is it supposed to be?

40:31 I wouldn't have it any other way.

40:33 And I didn't mean the the road has been twisty-turny and I think that there have been several opportunities where we could have.

40:44 Not ended up together.

40:47 I think it was choosing.

40:50 Always choosing each other instead of that other option.

40:56 Take me to ask 20 questions for you after I felt.

41:04 What do you have for breakfast at the same thing? You had that I got to get the rest of.

41:13 Set an Indian trade from the Farmers Market.

41:18 Address to the morning for breakfast wrap up.

41:34 Hungry for dinner

41:38 You guys do decide to have kids at some point in the future.

41:42 What you think you might name?

41:45 They're going to be nameless. We're not going to be able to decide. We took a long time to make decisions a long time.

41:54 Do we start thinking about our kids names and now we probably do but the thing is is this

42:02 An excruciating method, but very useful method by the end after we really thought through things that we end up with a good.

42:12 Good purchase or a good decision or a good thought or whatever we decide to do. I know that my children won't have generic names and will be Michaels.

42:25 Brooke Howard Hernando throwback name

42:29 I have no idea how to give them a name. That is really.

42:34 I think the name can always have seen it be something that can Inspire someone their whole life if they have a really good name. So I would hope that I would find something that is very meaningful that a child born just to be their name. It wouldn't just be a thing. It would really be something that they can hang their hat on and know that their name was chosen because there is somebody great who came before them who had that name more cuz it stands for value or

43:06 You know something that they shouldn't always be keeping in mind and think about every time they say their name. So what that is, I don't know. It's going to be special.

43:16 I'm going to look for.

43:18 Do you guys have any last words before we go?

43:24 This kind of fun. Maybe you should pretend to destroy a car some other time.

43:33 Bangkok