Why I Owe My Happiness to Ali Bergmann

The story of how Ali Bergmann and I came to be is a great one. It is a story I probably would have never told if it weren’t for a few glasses of wine over dinner in Copenhagen. Most pretentious sentence ever…

I was finishing up my junior year at UW-Madison, and was still taking stupid business prerequisites (read: Accounting). I was struggling in the class, and signed up for a supplemental study group – which forced me to actually look at the material, rather than spill Mac ‘n’ Cheese on it while studying Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 1.11.31 PMI joined the group late and was fairly nervous about my first session. We get started, and I immediately start to fall asleep. Then the door opens, and in rushes this jaw-dropping girl. I mean, stunning. Her waist-length golden hair is perfectly curled. She is wearing great boots. She has thick-rimmed black glasses on, making her look the perfect combination of sexy and smart. Everyone cheerfully greets her. “Oh my gawwddd, hey Ali!”

I decide to hate her immediately.

As the session progresses, it is clear she does not need to be here. She has already done her homework three weeks in advance and knows all the answers to every problem. She has already started studying for the midterm that is six weeks away, and she just wanted to freshen up a bit before she went away for the weekend with her club hockey team. Beautiful, smart, and athletic. I hate her even more.

Fast-forward three months.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 1.27.41 PMI am trapped in a weekly three-hour lecture learning how to study abroad. Things like “don’t get in a stranger’s van” and “everyone hates Americans.” At the beginning of the class, we all introduce ourselves and state our study abroad destination. I’m mid-tweet about soy lattes when some girl announces she is going to Copenhagen for the summer. I look up. It’s her. It’s Ali Bergmann. My arch nemesis. I contemplate switching programs.

The following class I decide to have an attitude adjustment. Mainly “keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” I decide that traveling abroad with a super model may end up working in my favor. Men will buy her free drinks. Men will lead to other men. And sooner or later, I will get free drinks. I sit down next to her, and we make small talk about accounting. I am thankful that I made it out of the class with a C. Ali is still emailing professors about unfair questions to get her final grade bumped from a 96 to a 97…

Ali cracks some joke about illegal drugs, and it turns out she is quite funny. Her stellar personality adds to my hatred of her, but at least I am being entertained.

Fast-forward three months.

Day One in Copenhagen. She is the first person to contact me. She is dying to meet up with me and can’t wait to have the time of our lives together. She thinks I am the greatest person ever and is ready to go party and meet hot Danish men. She bought a bunch of new clothes that I am totally welcome to borrow any time. I decide she isn’t so bad after all.

After six-weeks of non-stop laughter, border-line criminal shenanigans, and Ali basically being my mother (despite her being two years younger …), I decide she is the greatest person I could have ever studied abroad with. This statement is factual, and can be supported by the 19 blog posts I wrote while studying abroad. It’s cliche but I don’t care – it was the best time of my life. And Ali Bergmann was there every minute of it.

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Fast forward two months.

249503_10152166115675066_651599279_nAli is the only person that understands me. She understands how hard it is to come back from Copenhagen. She understands how much school sucks. She loves sushi as much as I do. We are the annoying girls in Grainger High that giggle about all our inside jokes. We support each others ridiculous notions that we are cooler than everyone else.

One day Ali and I are reminiscing about the good ol’ days, and she pulls up a YouTube video about the Danish Bus system. A few days earlier I had applied for an internship at Madison B-cycle and had not heard back from anyone. I was bumming a little about it, but the second I saw the video, my wheels started turning. I could recreate this video for B-cycle – and it would be incredible. Ali forwarded me the link, and I emailed it to B-cycle – telling them it would be an awesome recreation. I got the job the next day.

469007_10151654704990726_1398938757_oFor anyone that has paid mild attention to my blog or my Facebook in the last three months, they have seen how much I love my job at Madison B-cycle. It has been the greatest, unexpected blessing during my time in Madison. And now, three months later, we are finally set to release the video I created.

So here’s the math:
If it wasn’t for Ali Bergmann, I would have never had the time of my life in Copenhagen. If it wasn’t for sharing those memories with her, she would have never thought to show me that Danish bus commercial. If she hadn’t of shown me that commercial, I would have never forwarded it to B-cycle. And I would have never gotten the job. And I would have never been as happy as I am now.

Thank you Ali Bergmann for being the reason for my happiness. And without further ado…



About Melissa Faulkner

1. If I blog, someone will eventually discover me. 2. If someone eventually discovers me, I will become rich and famous. 3. If I blog, I will become rich and famous. Follow me for shorter, daily doses! @melisslyss
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