Finding Love on the Overnight Shift

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Averi Harper and Kenneth Robinson met connected a San Francisco bid six years ago. As luck would person it, they some had “unconventional schedules.”

Credit...Lauren Cowart and S. Bola Okoye

Vincent M. Mallozzi

Nov. 5, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET

Averi Harper and Kenneth Robinson, who met connected a San Francisco bid successful September 2015, knew they mightiness beryllium destined for a aboriginal unneurotic erstwhile they realized their schedules had thing successful common: neither worked connected Mondays oregon Tuesdays.

“When we archetypal started dating, we had unconventional schedules, we were some moving long, unusual hours,” said Ms. Harper, 30, the lawman governmental manager astatine ABC News successful New York.

A postgraduate of the University of North Carolina astatine Chapel Hill, Ms. Harper has a master’s grade successful journalism from Columbia.

She was surviving successful Oakland, Calif., and moving arsenic a wide duty newsman astatine a tv presumption successful the San Francisco Bay Area, holding down the 3 a.m. to 11 a.m. shift, erstwhile she met Mr. Robinson, an aspiring cook who besides lived successful Oakland and was past moving astatine a Michelin-starred edifice successful San Francisco. Most of his shifts began astatine 11 a.m. and would extremity arsenic precocious arsenic 1 a.m.

“Luckily for us, we some had Mondays and Tuesdays off,” she said, “so we were capable to walk a batch of prime clip together.”

“I made the archetypal determination connected the train,” added Mr. Robinson, who is present 31 and an enforcement sous cook astatine Perry Street, a Jean-Georges Vongerichten edifice successful New York.

“She was beauteous and seemed precise benignant and caring,” helium said. “She besides had a truly great, outgoing personality.”

The period aft they met, astir Halloween, Ms. Harper and Mr. Robinson had their authoritative archetypal date, connected a Tuesday, astatine San Francisco’s Mission Dolores Park.

They developed a regular of sorts connected their days off, spending Mondays with Mr. Robinson’s friends truthful that Ms. Harper could get to cognize them, and reserving Tuesdays for one-on-one time.

As they dated, Ms. Harper’s enactment docket continued to instrumentality a toll connected her. “By moving what was fundamentally an overnight shift, I was eating and sleeping poorly and drinking a batch of state presumption coffee,” she said.

“I would sometimes get sick, and erstwhile I did, Ken was ever determination for me,” Ms. Harper added. “One aboriginal greeting I was sick capable to person to spell to a infirmary exigency room, and the archetypal clip I looked up, determination helium was again.”

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Credit...Lauren Cowart and S. Bola Okoye

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Mr. Robinson, who grew up successful Cleveland, graduated from the International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute successful Chesterland, Ohio. He moved to San Francisco successful 2013 to “chase culinary aspirations,” arsenic Ms. Harper enactment it. After the 2 met, helium got a occupation astatine different Michelin-starred room successful Oakland, but his shifts remained conscionable arsenic long.

“Those were pugnacious hours but I knew, arsenic did Averi, that those were the benignant of hours that we were going to person to support to get to wherever we wanted to be, doing amended jobs successful our respective industries,” Mr. Robinson said, “so neither of america truly complained.”

“Ken was precise hard-working and yet precise gentle,” Ms. Harper said. “He was besides handsome and precise smart, but what impressed maine astir astir him was that helium was a feline who lived each time of his beingness successful the moment.”

The mates moved to New York successful June 2017, erstwhile Ms. Harper took a occupation with News 12 connected Long Island, moving arsenic a wide duty newsman and the big of a nationalist affairs amusement that explored issues and concerns successful the Black community. That aforesaid month, Mr. Robinson took a occupation arsenic a sous cook astatine the Finch, a edifice successful Brooklyn that has since closed.

They were engaged successful August 2019 by the Brooklyn Bridge. Mr. Robinson handed his cellphone disconnected to a alien to instrumentality photos of him dropping to 1 genu and proposing.

The mates joined Oct. 10 astatine Flowerfield, a wedding abstraction successful St. James, N.Y., connected Long Island’s North Shore, earlier the Rev. Mycal Brickhouse, elder pastor astatine Cary First Christian Church successful Cary, N.C., and a assemblage person of Ms. Harper.

Among the 150 mostly vaccinated guests were the bride’s mother, Candace Brown-Harper of Westbury, N.Y., the groom’s mother, Monika Moss-Gransberry and his stepfather, Everett Gransberry, arsenic good arsenic his father, Rodney Robinson, each of Cleveland

“Ken erstwhile told maine to ne'er springiness up connected my dreams due to the fact that thing is possible, and those words ne'er rang much existent than the time I joined him,” Ms. Harper said . “I’ve besides learned from him the value of slowing down a spot and enjoying each infinitesimal of your life.”

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