Signed and Sealed

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/319416283/319416561" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

Two cynics fall in love and write locked love letters to be opened in a year. But one of the cynics has a surprise and takes a risk they can't walk away from.

GLYNN WASHINGTON, HOST:

Now then, sometimes we call SNAP JUDGEMENT's Jamie DeWolf the love doctor, and you're about to find out why.

NATASHA DEWOLF: When I first met Jamie I was really closed off to a lot of people. I had seen that all the relationships that I had before took away from my sense of self and took away from my purpose. And when I met Jamie was really wary of that, but also very interested in him.

JAMIE DEWOLF, BYLINE: I was incredibly cynical when I met Natasha, but she was a filmmaker and an artist who had this huge, big heart. And I started to believe that there was maybe hope - maybe. Maybe love could work.

NATASHA DEWOLF: The whole first year went by so quick. I worked on this project to give to him on our one year anniversary, in secret and in my room, and I hid it under the bed.

JAMIE DEWOLF: And our first-year anniversary, and she gives me this huge book that she's made by hand.

NATASHA DEWOLF: And as soon as he looks at, it seemed like he lost his breath.

JAMIE DEWOLF: Just completely speechless.

NATASHA DEWOLF: The front opens in the middle. It's got two doors that close in.

JAMIE DEWOLF: It had its own padlock on the front of it.

NATASHA DEWOLF: And each page is textured with painted papier-mâché, and there's hidden pockets.

JAMIE DEWOLF: So that was of our entire relationship. It was amazing. Nobody had ever given me anything like that before. So I'm flipping through this book. I get to the last page, and she has a special surprise - four envelopes. Her idea is that we're going to write a letter to ourselves, and then a letter to each other that's going to be opened in exactly one year on that day.

NATASHA DEWOLF: I write a letter to myself. My letter was pretty encouraging, but also a little threatening.

JAMIE DEWOLF: It's like you're coaching the future you.

NATASHA DEWOLF: The letter I wrote to him was very thankful. It was full of gratitude.

JAMIE DEWOLF: And then, I have to write my letter to her. So I decided to take the biggest gamble that I've ever taken in my life, and try to be really hopeful that my future self would agree with me, otherwise I was going to have a problem.

NATASHA DEWOLF: The deal is that we padlock it, set it aside, and we won't open it up for a year.

JAMIE DEWOLF: Our second year was harder than our first year, and over the entire year I kept thinking of the letter. I never forgot what I wrote. It was this countdown to the day when the me of the past is now going to have to reconcile with the me of the future.

NATASHA DEWOLF: A year from that day we're in the same room at the same place.

JAMIE DEWOLF: We have the key, we unlock it, and then we unseal the envelopes. First we read the letters that we wrote to ourselves.

NATASHA DEWOLF: I kind of felt sorry for him a little bit because it seemed like the Jamie from a year before was being a jerk.

JAMIE DEWOLF: I was like, you had better get your act together. You know, this long sort of fatherly checklist of all the things I should have done by this time.

NATASHA DEWOLF: When I read the one to myself, it was almost as if, like, my best friend time traveled. It was inspiring but also kind of frantic and pushy.

JAMIE DEWOLF: And then we get to the letter that we wrote each other.

NATASHA DEWOLF: I was thanking him for the whole year. I was thanking him for all the changes we've made together.

JAMIE DEWOLF: And then she opened up her letter.

NATASHA DEWOLF: Break the seal, take out the piece of paper - for a split second I'm a bit disappointed because it's a really short note, and it wasn't even a full page. It was like a ripped up half a page. It says, close your eyes and count to ten. And I did and I'm thinking, alright well, it better be a bigger note. But then I'm counting down...

JAMIE DEWOLF: ...And when she opened her eyes...

NATASHA DEWOLF: ...He's on one knee, and he's got a ring, and asks if I will marry him.(Laughing) I say yes. He knew he wanted to marry me a year ago. That is very flattering.

JAMIE DEWOLF: I've had male friends of mine say, how did you know you were going to be together in a year? I didn't. You know, I wanted to be brave and take a leap. I'm just glad we landed where we did.

WASHINGTON: Jamie DeWolf and Natasha DeWolf still make art for each other and are partners in shows and films all over the bay area. That piece was produced by Mark Ristich.

It's about that time. You've been listening to SNAP JUDGEMENT - a love supreme. And what? You want to play it for somebody special right now? No worries - full episodes, pictures, stuff - all available right now at snapjudgement.org. And how can you be on Facebook, and SNAP be on Facebook, and we're not even friends on Facebook? It doesn't even make any sense. Twitter - snapjudgment.org. SNAP was produced by the lovers.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.