Countdown to Bliss

Rick Fogerty and Kara Kasarjian

Kara Kasarjian’s life is going great-the 5-foot-9, fine-featured blonde was recently promoted to producer at Lou Dobbs’ Moneyline on CNN and became engaged. The problem is, her husband-to-be lives four hours away from her Upper East Side apartment-specifically, New Hampshire!

His name is Rick Fogerty, and he’s a 6-foot-2 state trooper with a buzz cut and a bomb-sniffing, drooling German shepherd, Tigris, who’s so faithful he won’t even eat if his master’s not in the room.

Though Ms. Kasarjian, 29, said it would “kill” her if Mr. Fogerty had to give up Tigris, she isn’t crazy about the risks her fiancé has to take in his job. “If he’s working that day, I don’t delete his voice mails,” she said.

“In the back of my mind, there’s a part of me that always says, ‘You never know.'”

Said Mr. Fogerty, 28, “You have to trust-if you’re well-trained and well-prepared, it’ll all be fine.”

The pair met and became friends at Syracuse University in 1994. Soon after graduation, he was recruited to join the force in New Hampshire, and she started reporting for a Binghampton, N.Y., TV station. It took seven years for their on-again, off-again courtship to evolve into a full-blown romantic affair, mostly because of the ongoing physical distance between them, which they manage by alternating weekends.

Shortly before New Year’s, she found a 2-carat diamond ring with a platinum band on a branch of Mr. Fogerty’s Christmas tree. They’ll be married June 21, 2003, at Lake Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire-by which time, one hopes, they’ll have solved the following dilemma: Mr. Fogerty loses all his seniority if he transfers to another state’s police force, and Ms. Kasarjian has come too far at CNN to go back to the minor leagues in New England.

“Now more than ever, we’re stuck in our two places,” Ms. Kasarjian said. “We don’t know what we’re going to do.”

– Blair Golson

Jamie Skeie and Kimberly Webber

It’s just another Ground Zero love story.

In 1998, fresh out of high school, Jamie Skeie moved to New York from a small Iowa town in order to pursue an acting career. The 6-foot-2 blond signed with the actors’ agency Gilla Roos, and has landed some lucrative modeling gigs and bit film parts: He plays a Nazi soldier in Showtime’s movie The Believer, sings “Happy Birthday” in the upcoming Ben Affleck vehicle Changing Lanes, and has been featured on the cover of a Sweet Valley High romance novel.

Shortly after Sept. 11, Mr. Skeie, now 21, found himself living out a romance story of his own after he volunteered at the disaster site. On a break, one of his fellow diggers brought Mr. Skeie to the apartment of Kimberly Webber, a bubbly, petite 23-year-old with golden hair and stunning blue eyes who’d moved to New York from Oklahoma three years ago. She was wearing an “FDNY” T-shirt. He thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She called it “love at first sight.”

Within a month, the two were living together in a large one-bedroom apartment with a balcony they found in Battery Park City, and she was leaving her dry cleaning under his name. In the mornings, before Ms. Webber heads to her job as a technology assistant at Thompson Financial, she likes to scatter Post-It notes with mushy sayings for her lover to find. The couple bowls together at least once a week at Chelsea Piers; Mr. Skeie thinks it’s swell that his sporty lass has her own ball and shoes. “I’d never believed in soul mates, but it’s as if God were sending us signs to say we should be together,” he said.

At the Greenwich Village Halloween parade, Mr. Skeie wore a bright yellow, Saturday Night Fever–style suit that his grandmother had given him from her Iowa antique shop. Amid the parade’s floats and freaks, Ms. Webber said she wanted him to wear that suit at their wedding. A few weeks later, he got down on one knee in front of the sofa and presented her with a “Gothic-looking” gold ring with a huge tiger’s eye in it-a treasure his father had given him when he was a child-and told her she was the woman he wanted to spend his life with.

“I always thought I’d do it all romantic, but it was just kind of spontaneous,” he said.

The wedding will be this Halloween. Ms. Webber, who has since been treated to a diamond ring with baguettes in a white gold setting, will wear a yellow dress to match the groom’s suit. “When I was in third grade, my mom had a pirate party and everyone came dressed up. It’ll probably be something like that,” said Mr. Skeie. The couple plans to incorporate an American flag into the ceremony.

– Anna Jane Grossman

 

Vanessa Hart and William Schenck

During those decadent days of the dot-com gold rush back in 2000, William Schenck and Vanessa Hart were both working for Atom Films, an Internet movie distributor, and sharing a villa in Cannes, France, that their company had rented during the city’s film festival.

It was well past midnight and they were hanging out in the kitchen, getting to know each other after a night out on the town.

“Naturally, it being France and late at night and just the two of us, it occurred to both of us that this would be a good make-out opportunity,” said Mr. Schenck, who at 35 is tall and athletically built, with piercing blue eyes and a receding hairline. But mindful of a girlfriend back home, he kept his paws off Ms. Hart for the time being.

When the two awoke in separate bedrooms, they found their villa ransacked by thieves. After the anxiety of the robbery subsided, they joked about how they must have made the burglars impatient with their all-night flirt-athon.

“The robbers must have been like, ‘ Mon Dieu, kees her!'” Mr. Schenck said. “Zeez Americans do not know how to ‘andle love.”

By January 2001, both his job at Atom Films and his girlfriend were history. He got a job as Vanity Fair ‘s advertising director and started dating Ms. Hart, who had been hired as events manager for W magazine.

“I was slow on the uptake on this one,” he said. “I wasn’t blind to the fact that there was this 5-foot-10 blond beauty who thinks that I’m funny, but I didn’t really think of Vanessa as being a soul mate for me.”

But that was to change after an all-night conversation: “The sort of thing,” Ms. Hart said, “where you opened up and threw some deep, dark secrets on the wall and hoped that the other person didn’t get up and walk out of the room.”

A child of divorce, Mr. Schenck didn’t think he could muster the energy needed to “perform and keep it interesting” over the long haul. Ms. Hart, now 31, batted those fears away.

“I didn’t take it personally, I looked at it rationally,” she said. “I told him, ‘You’re either going to be alone for the rest of your life, or you can deal with it head-on.'”

Mm- hmm.

While brushing his teeth the next morning, Mr. Schenck decided he would marry Ms. Hart.

In the last week of August 2001, they were spooning in bed while on vacation in the romantic burgh of Seattle. Mr. Schenck’s heart was beating so hard he was sure she’d figure something was up. Short on breath, he began to say that he couldn’t imagine taking any journey without her by his side. It was a rather curious thing to say at 7 a.m., and so she turned to face him. He was holding a four-carat diamond, set in platinum, flanked by diamond baguettes.

Ba-da-bing!

They will marry May 11 in Greenwich, Conn., where they hope to move. They’ve registered at Scully & Scully and Hoagland’s. Someone has already given them the sterling-silver computer mouse.

– B.G.

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via e-mail at engagements@observer.com.

Countdown to Bliss