S: I love just who you are, I ain't gon' try & change ya, You are a shooting star, that's why you are my favorite
BC: Stay tuned for more from the unlikely duo as the story develops! Printed 5/2011 | ....from here on out!
FC: ELECTRIC | Wonderful | A Love Story
1: It started just as young love does... | Unexpectedly... but with certainty. Abruptly... but sweetly.
2: It all began many years ago when a young Farmer came into Bank of America. James and his mom were frequent depositors and Ashley was a teller there from 2004-2007. Several years later, in February of 2010, both James and Ashley sat feet from each other in a Shari's lobby. Since it was a busy Saturday morning, both James and his two friends, Ashley with her one friend, waited in hungover desperation to be seated. Ashley sensed the guys talking about them and commented that she liked one of their shoes. | Shortly after dialogue ensued, James said, to Ashley, "Hey you look really familiar!" She sized him up and said flatly, "...And you look like any other white suburban boy." He insisted he knew her so they checked ages, schools, friends-no commonalities Then he said, "Hey-isn't your birthday the day after Christmas?" She looked at him in shock. "Yeah...but how did you know-" "You have the same birthday as my mom-you were our bank lady at Bank of America!" And there you have it- how James Farmer & Ashley Wilhelm reunited,
3: Now, to any average human being, you'd say this pair is ill-suited. One is 24 years old, a flight attendant, had been independent from her parents since the age of 18, intensely ambitious with itchy feet and a strong pessimism regarding love. | On the other hand you had James, a 19-year-old party boy without a motivation in the world to keep him sober. A wild soul that no person could tame and simultaneously the sweetest most charming guy you could know. The kind of guy you can't help but love yet you're afraid to because he's wickedly unpredictable.
4: After waiting far too long for proper service at Shari's, the 5 kids went to Black Bear Diner. James and Ashley sat together. | It was there James and Ashley would complain about relationships and high-five for being single. | Several days later, after Facebook friend requests and a few online chats, James insisted Ashley come to hang out. She was hesitant because he was 19 and she knew exactly what was going on: she liked him and disapproved. But she said- 'Oh heck, it'll just be working out AND with friends around.'
5: Well, he was a tricky one, that James Farmer. There were no friends that night at the gym, just him doing a phenomenal amount of pull-ups in front of Ashley. Despite his blatant gestures, she found him ridiculously wonderful. She decided to allow herself to fall for him-besides, he was safe, right? A young crazy boy? She was confident that wasn't a threat to her anti-commitment lifestyle.
6: Soon after, the romantic duo found themselves flirtatiously wrestling, hosting parties and inseparable. All the affectionate bruises, scratches and bite-marks were an absolute symbol: These two were friggin weird.
7: They were also definitely in love. | On March 25th 2010, they made their relationship official. | They took a spontaneous trip to Rockaway Beach to visit James' friend Alberto. Alberto asked them, "Why aren't you guys just boyfriend and girlfriend yet? Are you waiting for a shooting star or something?" James and Ashley blushed. He had referenced the song, "Shooting Star"-the song they both passionately recognized and had fused their bond from the beginning. Sure enough, on the drive back James looked to the sky for a shooting star. Ashley thought he was falling asleep and couldn't bear it anymore. She pulled into a view point, cranked up "Strict Machine", pulled James out of the car. He lifted her up and stuttered something like, "I want you...to...be mine..." and she hollered, "Are you asking me to be your girlfriend?" He shyly said, "Yes." And she yelled, "YES I WILL BE YOUR GIRLFRIEND!"
8: In some ways, the age difference was the best thing that could have happened. | From that point further, it was the most exciting and turbulent love imaginable.
9: Ashley re-learned how to relax, be silly, and have fun without feeling guilty. James finally saw the value in getting a job and doing more than just party. She motivated him so much he was even hired at Nike World Headquarters for his first job! | James had the reputation for being a "cub bear"-an adorable clumsy cub unaware of his strength & power!
10: Everything was perfect. James and Ashley loved each other. Ashley loved his family, her best friends loved him. Everyone was having a good time....
11: Until they weren't. | It was the five year age difference. It was the gap in their professional and life experience. And mostly, it was Ashley's self-fulfilling prophecy that such a relationship couldn't last--- that finally killed it. | On September 9th 2010, the relationship was over.
12: But of course, if that was the end-there wouldn't be this book, would there? | The break up had been neutral but did not stay that way. As James was numbingly self-indulgent, Ashley had a period of self-reflection. With the support of her friends and recognizing her own mistakes-she had a mission: Understand and fix the problem, and win that James Farmer back! | James' 20th birthday party at Bullwinkles September 18th 2010 | Ashley was devastated to discover that James had had enough of feeling young, incompetent and out of his comfort zone. Enough so that despite her extravagant efforts to win him back, he instead spiraled into an even more dramatic state of recklessness and remained stone cold. Everybody told her to give up. It was hopeless to the point that all her gestures came off desperate and awkward.
13: And even so, she pushed on. She knew that the love they shared was infinite. She could never give up.
14: She cried herself asleep on October 2nd 2010, deciding that she would no longer be in pursuit of him but allowing HIM to decide to reunite. Finally giving him the long overdue respect he deserved. The next day, October 3rd, she was in her friend Marissa's wedding. James had agreed prior to attend as her date and Ashley asked him to keep that commitment. Just before the ceremony, Ashley felt a tremendous amount of guilt about having James be there. She felt grief-stricken and that it was just torture for them both. She told him bitterly she wished she hadn't had him come. During the reception, James said he needed to tell her something. Wide-eyed and vulnerable he said, "I was thinking about it, everything...and...I just can't imagine myself in 10 years without you. I just don't want to!"
15: And just like that, everything changed for the better. | At the reception, moments after James's decision.
16: The weeks that followed involved confession, frustration, and reconstruction. Despite the peril of their rejuvenated relationship, there's was something distinctly magical that had happened: Everything was exactly the same, but entirely different. No matter how difficult-nothing was too difficult. The love between them had become cemented in a sacred way. | At John & Joelle Farmer's wedding the next day on October 4th, 2010.
17: From those days forward, the unlikely twosome grew into something more functional and beautiful. They got their own apartment, adopted a precious pug named Rosie, as well as took in "Big Boy" kitty from his childhood home.
18: Mid-year 2011, James and Ashley spend time with family such as parents Kathy Farmer (aka GiGi), Bruce and Deborah Farmer, James's sister Amanda & brother-in-law Justin Pewonka, along with their little ones Meira Joy and recently arrived Jedidiah.
19: Soon James turns 21 and that will no doubt be it's own book! These two are riding off into the sunset with the most nonsensical love imaginable. They're the luckiest lovebirds in the world with a fantastic story to unfold with time!