2013 Entries

How We First Met: Cory and Cora

We met at college, while in high school – competing for a scholarship at the college during our final semester in high school. It was February, and the competitors were all out on a sunny plaza by a fountain surrounded by Santa Barbara flowering trees. I picked up a registration packet and noticed that the next one was a duplicate – nope, then I realized that the next person alphabetically just had a really similar name. I found him, and said something like, “I’m Cora, and our names our 75% the same”, or something, and we’ve been sidekicks ever since. We didn’t begin dating until after college, but and then didn’t get married until after grad school.

PS: Cora won the scholarship

How We First Met: Eric and Marianne

Marianne and Eric first met at USC in 1981, where they were in the same medical school class. Eric loved Marianne from the start, saying to his best friend: “If that girl was not married, I’d marry her.”

They parted after medical school, but kept in touch, Eric always sending Marianne cards from around the world on her birthday, which is Valentine’s Day.

Trauma and drama occurred.

In 2005, they reconnected. Marianne asked Eric if he wanted to start dating again., 24 years after they first met. This began their “honeymoon period,” visiting each other regularly from San Diego and San Francisco.

After seeing each other for 2 years, Eric moved to San Diego, to live with Marianne and her two teenage children. This began their “breaking rocks” period. It seemed no matter how hard they tried to spend time together, children intervened. Adolescents being what they are, life was pretty crazy most of the time.

In 2011 Eric moved back to SF alone! After 2 years apart Marianne retired from her job as an OB-GYN for Kaiser and joined him in SF. They now live happily in the middle of San Francisco on the edge of a forest- with no kids!

How We First Met: Justin and Johanna

Johanna went to Fresno State and I went to Stanford University. In summer 2007 she coordinated a camping trip for Bay Area members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, which are brother and sister organizations. A lot of people went and we were basically roughing it out by a lake, playing games like Taboo and mind-twisters (like Green Glass Door….Google it, it’s completely mind-numbing if you’re trying to figure it out). I thought Johanna was cute but possibly out of my league and my age range. She had joined her sorority in Fall 2003 and I had in Spring 2006. Join dates can become a little cliquish and a lot of the campers were from Fall 2003 so they were very proud about that. That and Johanna had graduated college in 2005. I was only entering my junior year. Thus, I felt super young.

One night everyone was drinking and Johanna and I started talking. I get really talkative when I’m drunk and basically told her my life story. She took it all in and then I eventually passed out. Obviously the next day I was very embarassed. The trip ended and we went on our separate ways but continued to talk from time to time over gchat. I could tell she was at least partially interested in me so I asked her on a date.

She gave a weird response, saying she didn’t think it was a good idea, but she still seemed interested. I figured my ‘love-interest’ radar was off and I backed off. We stayed in touch but both entered and exited other relationships over the next few years.

As I would learn later, Johanna was actually interested in me but hesitant because of my age. I like to joke and tell people she jumped on the chance as soon as I graduated, but of course she remembers it differently.

Fast forward two years. I’ve graduated. Summer 2009. I’m back in the Bay Area for an event. Johanna and I argue over who actually asked who out. We agree to meet up to ‘catch up.’ We talk a little over the phone leading up to the day and soon it feels more and more like this will be a date. I nervously consult my best friend for advice. I plan to a day at a museum in SF, but the morning of I find out they are (surprised!) closed on Sundays. I scramble for a new plan and end up changing it to the zoo. I feared Johanna would be annoyed with the last minute change, but she was totally cool about it.

She picked me up from the Bart station (I was staying on Stanford’s campus) and we had a really good time. There was an awkward moment when she asked if I wanted to drive and I said no. Despite not wanting to, I confessed I had yet to get my license, instead of letting her think I was just rude.

The day went off without a hitch, and we’ve been together ever since. We just celebrated our first wedding anniversary. And yes, I do drive!

How We First Met: Julia and Alex

From Julia’s perspective…

It was early afternoon, Sunday October 31st 2010 (Halloween!).

I had started my day like I normally do on Sunday – cleaning, laundry, errands, preparing for the upcoming workweek. My friend Jenni called me at around 12:30pm and asked if I would PLEASE go grab one drink with her (she desperately wanted to get away from her boyfriend’s parents who had been in town for a week).

I reluctantly said I would go (for one drink!) but told her I needed to be back home in an hour. We ended up walking down to a restaurant/bar in the marina called City Tavern. The day was gorgeous and the Giants were in Game 6 of the World Series. As we approached the restaurant, we saw an open table outside and quickly sat down. Next to our table, we noticed a group of four guys drinking beers and watching the game.

Side note: during this time, I had finally gotten to a point in my life where I was no longer actively looking to date anyone. I had pretty much given up on finding someone in San Francisco (especially in the Marina). I had put myself out there for a year, accepting several offers to be set up on blind dates and bar hopping in the marina in the hopes of finding someone interesting.

About 5 minutes after we sat down at our table, the boys next to us asked if we wanted to push our tables together so we could have a better view of the game that was playing on the monitors inside the restaurant. It was then that I noticed the cute boy sitting across from me and I immediately felt a connection. It was electric.

Long story short, we never even watched a minute of the game. Instead, the 6 of us partook in the longest game of Never Have I Ever – ever. After 6 hours, and SEVERAL margaritas, we knew everything about each other. Nothing was off limits – past relationships, embarrassing moments, regrets etc. We put it all on the table because we didn’t know the guys and it just felt natural!

And that boy across the table? His name is Alex and there was just something about him I instantly loved. I just KNEW this was something special and I had to get to know him. At one point during the game, I reached across the table to hold his hand (I have no idea why!) and we ended up holding hands across the table for a full minute without speaking a word about it. The spark between us was palpable. Later, Jenni announced that the two of us need to date and that Alex needed to ask me out immediately. He did and the rest is history! I honestly had found my soulmate.

Alex proposed to me on June 11th last year and we are getting married on May 26th. I am SO excited to spend the rest of my life with him!

Final side note: Alex later told me that as he and his friends saw me and Jenni walking towards the table that day, they quietly said to each other “please have those girls sit next to us”…and then after my impromptu hand grab, Alex leaned over to one of his buddies and said “This girl is off limits. But you can be the best man at our wedding”.

How We First Met: Krys and Val

The true (and short) story of how a nice polite Minnesota gal fell for a foulmouthed crazy Californian, wherein hilarious miscommunication of epic proportions often occurred. The first time I met Krysta was brief and over 7 years ago – we both had other partners and were invited to a dinner party by a close mutual friend. I was intrigued, she was so cute with her little sweater vest and polite nerdiness and even remember talking about how cute she was with my Ex.

Fast forward a couple years, both Krysta and I were going through horrific break-ups within a few months of each. Right around that time, I ran into her on BART during the lead up to California voting on Prop 8 (hiss) and she was wearing a “Gay Rights for All” shirt and just the saddest puppy dog face you’ve ever seen. She didn’t recognize me; I reintroduced myself and asked what she was doing, “I’m headed to West Oakland to talk to people about gay marriage”. Whoa. I’ll admit it – the combination of bada$$ activism and sad face just did me in. Fast forward another few months, we’re at a friends Valentines Day Birthday party and I finally had her cornered, ahem, I mean, had a chance to really talk to her. Well, that brunch rolled into a late night dance party, a ridiculous amount of flirting and the phone number exchange.

After 3-4 failed dates (hilarious miscommunication is really “our” thing), we finally ended up at the Lexington, basically closed the bar out and from then on spent a ridiculous amount of time together, taking road trips, texting and flirting shamelessly. But the plot thickens! Or how delusional a couple of gals be! Being fresh out of complicated and painful relationships, we were both convinced that we were just not ready to jump into another relationship and therefore we would just be friends. With benefits. So we did this for over a year and a half, to where our friends would even refer to the other as our “girlfriend”, at which we’d fluff up, indignant and proclaim that we were just “friends”. Well, after a couple years of pretending, a handful of times of trying to break it off, we finally got the message and admitted we were totally in love with each other. It’s been 4 years now and this past December I proposed to Krysta – I like to say that I make sure we have plenty of adventure and Krysta makes sure we stay out of jail. She’s my best friend, hilarious, passionate about social justice and a hundred times nicer than me – I mean, how lucky can a gal be?!

How We First Met: Yana and Yaro

From Yana’s perspective on how we met 🙂

We originally met in High School in 1999, I was dating his hockey team mate Paul, and didn’t pay much attention to him.
After high school we both lost touch until 13 years later when my brother was looking for a wedding videographer for his wedding and Yaro was suggested to him by his already hired photographer. At their gig interview it was revealed that we all went to the same highschool and that he was Jewish and single. My brother Ben, immediately told him to add me on Facebook. We of course recognized each other in the photos and he asked me to meet him the following day. We have been dating ever since (a little over a year) and are still considering calling Paul (high school ex) to tell him the good news :).

PS. We are more fun than a Greek Festival.

How We First Met: Tina and Bruce

I was new to Palo Alto and new to my job as Property Manager in a community where Bruce had just moved two months prior – as a newly divorced father of two. He came to the “Meet the Manager” party to complain! Turns out I couldn’t take care of his complaint, but we became fast friends. Neither of us was interested in a relationship, but it was nice having someone to talk to as we established new lives. I was working and going to school full-time and he was busy getting custody of his two children and a messy divorce. Neither of us wanted a relationship! A few months after hanging out, he was helping me hang a picture in my apartment and kissed the back of my neck. Well….That was it! My friend was now more than a friend! He soon had to move out. I couldn’t sleep with a resident of a community I managed and he needed a bigger place for his kids. That was 13 years ago! The kids are grown and one just made us grand parents. We’re actually not married. We like to say “we’re better than married”. Bruce isn’t my “partner” he’s my “heart-ner”. 🙂

How We First Met: Tracy and Nickola

In 1992, Nickola had just immigrated here from Bulgaria and was working for a limousine company. I, Tracy, a California native was living in a one bedroom apartment working at law firm. A mutual friend to both of us, Vili, who just happens to be Bulgarian as well, was in charge of the entertainment at a fashion show one night and she asked a group of us to be her Karaoke singers for the evening. So we could all partake in much needed alcohol that evening, she hired Nickola to drive us all in the limousine.

After the fashion show, we all headed to our favorite Karaoke show at bar in San Mateo. While Nickola was sitting at the bar drinking water talking to the owner, I came up and ordered my usual glass of Remy. For the first time that evening I notice the sparkle in Nickola’s eyes. The owner, Lubo, who was getting married in a month, told us that since we were both invited to his wedding that we should go together. Not sure what so say next, we both said “yeah, sure, whatever.” That night on the way home I sat in the front of the limosine with Nick while everyone else sat in back. (There may have been small talk but in all honesty I have no recollection as to what was said.) When he dropped me off at home I was not the last person in the car so our night ended with a “see ya.” Later, it turned out that I had to work and never made it to the wedding. About a week after the wedding Nickola called me and asked me out on our first date. He said he waited until his parents left to go back to Bulgaria because at the time his brother was dating someone they did not approve of and he did not want them to scare me off. For our first date we went to the movies and saw Wayne’s World. (Dana Carvey will always have a special place in our hearts.)

We got married on January 1, 1993 and have two sons. One who already graduated from Carlmont High School and another one who will graduate in the spring. (Which just happens to be the same high school where Dana Carvey graduated.)

Joanna and Brittany

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Limited dating options in an already small pool led both Brittany and I online to find our true love!

I messaged her first on OK Cupid—-her profile had impeccable grammar and a Mean Girls reference (and of course, she was adorable). Our first attempt at setting up a Saturday night date fell through. She claimed family obligations but I thought she might simply be blowing me off. Luckily, persistence paid off and we connected for a Sunday brunch date.

We clicked immediately over french toast and mimosas, and I discovered she had been a cheerleader at an Ivy League school. It was the best of both worlds. We couldn’t be more opposite: she loves junk food, I eat strict paleo. She’s one of eight in a huge Mexican Catholic family, I grew up between two boys in a small suburb. I’m fiercely competitive in all sports, her exercise of choice is walking.

Despite rejecting her attempt at going in for a first kiss (in bright, midday sunlight), we find our balance in each other. We’ve been together almost two years now and we still joke about how she texted me, “When can I see you again?” immediately after we returned to our cars after our first date.

Jeff and Steph

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I will begin this story by saying Jeff is not my “type.” Typically I date fireman and police officers. I don’t know why I just do.

Jeff and I knew each other casually through a group at work who would meet for lunch. After dating many sweet guys I decided I needed a different strategy. While having coffee one morning at Fat Apples Cafe and Bakery in El Cerrito I made a complete list of what I would like in a potential boyfriend. I had a lot of love to give and just not anyone would do. This person should be a Boy Scout or rather an Eagle Scout, okay, maybe there is a pattern here…anyway, this person should be able to enjoy the great outdoors, but not feel uncomfortable at the opera. Said person should be able to work on cars and not feel uncomfortable under the sink as well. He should be the “yang” to my “yin” although most of the things he will be competent at will mostly scare or annoy me to death. These include skiing, mountain biking, snorkeling, most gardening and housing projects, childbirth…I could go on. My list complete, the sole (and my soul) candidate was Jeff.

Imagine my dismay as he is not my type, but I knew from previous conversations he was an Eagle Scout from Montana and he has skied since he was 5! What luck! I asked him out to a baseball game and he brought along a friend he tried to fix me up with. Apparently I am not his type either. I declined his offer and mentally vowed never to speak to him again. A week later Jeff asked me out to a baseball game. After verifying with some skepticism we would be the only ones going out to this game together I said yes. This was on July 21, 1989. We have been together ever since and I was right. I am still mostly scared or annoyed to death by some of the things Jeff has gotten me into.

Rhett and Ruby

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We met in July 1993 at Big Heart City, a bar in San Francisco, at a weekly dance club called Terminator. The theme was Industrial/Alternative. Rhett was there with someone else and followed Ruby outside to compliment her on her dancing. The story continued at another dance venue called Dance Jam in Oakland 2-3 months later. Ruby ran over and asked if he remembered her. He said no. They were inseparable from then on.

Mark and Pat

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Our two brothers were friends in high school. Mark’s brother told him that his friend had a sister and that he might want to meet her. So Mark showed up at Pat’s house with a made up story about being there to pick up some weights that his brother had left there. Pat loved his great big smile and crew cut and Mark loved how friendly Pat was. They talked for a few minutes and of course never found the weights. Soon after, they talked on the phone and went out on a date. There first date was at the drive-in movie. It was love at first sight! That was almost 48 years ago. Five years later they were married and have been married for nearly 43 years. We continue to grow more in love each new day!

John and Valerie

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I’m a massage therapist and John had booked an appointment with me on his Mother’s birthday. Upon greeting at the door, John tried to hug me which I shied away from. I’m just not that much if a touchy person.

During his session, we talked about a variety of topics and time flew by. We both sensed a connection but we said our goodbyes after the appointment was over.

A few days later, John asked me out to lunch. Over nigiri, I was upfront and unyielding in not wanting to go any further because John was still married at the time.

I didn’t know why, but I was excited when John called again and suggested getting together again. One thing led to another and suddenly we were breaking all of the rules and in a loving relationship.

Two and half years, and a million kisses later, the inevitable happened and we were broken apart. With so much emotion involved, things got to be very messy. So much so
The we had to get a non court order restraining order in place to keep things in check. Nothing says its over like a visit from the sheriff with a letter in his hand. Emotions cooled, attorney fees settled, and time began to heal what needed fixing. While out of each others arms, out hearts were never far.

Almost a year later, I began receiving anonymous gift certificates at some of my favorite establishments around town. Finally, he arrived with a note signed by “Edward Enigma”. I had no idea who this was but didn’t suspect John, because he would’ve been, in a legal hot seat for contacting me. Finally on July 4th, I figured out who my anonymous admirer was. A phone call from John soon followed and I gave him the opportunity to meet with me and try to explained what happened. Over a round of golf, we both learned that all of those emotions and feelings were still there and as strong as before. However, our situations had changed and now we were both available to really move on with our relationship and feelings for each other. Within a month we were back to spending much of our time together.

Plans are unfolding : stay tuned!!!!!!!

Cynthia and Chuck

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It all started on the high seas. I was working on a cruise ship in Greece. A very prestigious position….sitting in a hallway with a TV tray and a box, alongside a row of slot machines. When the passengers handed me a dollar… no, I didn’t have to dance on the table-I handed them quarters. It was quite boring, so I always had a book to read. Chuck approached me and asked if the machines were hitting- I said no, but good luck anyway. As he walked over to play, he turned around and said:” You might want to know that you’re reading your book upside down!” I wanted to crawl INSIDE the book, I was so embarassed!!!!!

The next day, as I was walking across the deck, I spotted that SAME guy, sprawled out on a deck chair, reading a book (rightside up):’ Single after 40″! HMMMMMMMM…
During the cruise, he would ask me to join him (and 30 other singles in his group) for a drink. I had to refuse each time, as the cruise gave us no such privilages. The only thing I was allowed to do was dance in the disco. I met Chuck there the last night,and we sashayed around the floor a few times. We discovered that we both live in California, so he told me to call him when I returned home. He scribbled his name on an empty pack of cigarettes and we parted.

The cruise season ended, I hurled all my formal ship attire in a box, sent it sea mail to San Francisco, and headed to India. After doing the Everest trek and traipsing through the far east, I returned home 1 1/2 years later! I opened the musty banged up box from the cruise, and out tumbled this stinky old cigarette pack. That’s the guy who kept asking me to meet him on the cruise I recalled. I uncrumpled it, and called the number he had scribbled over a year ago!

We went out a few times, and I disappeared again, this time to Indonesia, but only for about a year. You see, all I wanted to do was work, save my money and travel. No marriage, no kids. Chuck would entice me home from my travels with a vacation, so I would fly home, go on a vacation with him, then fly back to MY vacation! He even flew to India in the height of the monsoons to meet me for 6 weeks ( he must have LIKED me back then) LOL.
He would ask me to marry him every few years, and my answer would be : “I gotta take a trip”. Each time I came home , there he was! I figured he was waiting for me, although I told him not to . I failed to realize that of COURSE he’d be home…. he was a school principal and had to WORK!!!

We dated for 12 years, and the 4th time he asked me to marry him was in the parking lot of Ross (of all places) during a heated discussion about the future… I said YES before he even finished the question!!!!
We were married at the St. Francis Hotel right up the street, and just celebrated 20 glorious years!!!

Through all my world travels, I found what I was looking for, right in my back yard!  Gee…. I sound like Dorothy with those red sparkly shoes! We now work on cruise ships together, and dance the night away on the high seas…. all aboard???

There is MUCH more to our story, but my keyboard is melting…

Sunny and Arun

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I was on a two year work assignment to Shanghai, China in 2006 when I first met Sunny. She worked for a business partner and this was just a casual business meeting. I liked her at once – liked her a lot – her style of talking, the smile etc. She was married at the time and so was I – “bummer” and as time went by we kinda forgot about each other.

Back in the US, two years later – I was at work one day and Sunny showed up outside my office – asked if I remembered who she was – She had joined and was working for the same employer. I was like dumb struck!!!

Marriage was going through rocky times for me and for Sunny too what I later found out. At the same time – both of us are strict about “no dating at work” and while in another relationship etc – also discovered later. Next few years – everytime I would see Sunny in hallway, my heart would skip the beat and I would find ways to bump into her and get a glimpse of her. She sat several offices away and at times I would hear her voice as she spoke with others – at times I would be bit jealous for not being able to freely speak with her. Didn’t have courage to say anything – just small hallway conversations about coffee etc. So many times I wanted to hint or say something to let her know that I liked her but just wasn’t able to. I recall at one time she told me that she was in a middle of divorce – I wanted to tell her about my marriage situation as well but I stopped short.

Late 2011, Sunny got an opportunity to go work for another employer and was leaving. I offered to take her out for going away lunch and she accepted. I was so excited and nervous. We had a nice long lunch – time just went by. Besides work, we talked about some of the bars and clubs in SF and decided to go at some point. Our emails and text messaging increased substantially. Sunny sleeps late and is a good writer. She would email to me late at nights once done with daily chores and I would wait for her email or wake up at 2 or 3AM to check for emails from her. I would intentionally wait until next morning to respond although had read her emails dozens of times during wee hours. She landed a job and offered to buy me dinner – we did. We ended up going to the show “Beach, Blanket, Babylon” and dinner at “Pena Pachamama”. Sunny looked gorgeous and smelled gorgeous. She walked next to me, really close – it felt like a date that it wasn’t… It was exciting and those goosebumps just never went away after that evening!!! I wanted to do everything right – she was (and still is) to me. The date ended pretty late into the night and I dropped her off at her home although I just did not want the night to end.

Couple of weeks went by with thousands of text messages and many emails. We decided to go to dinner again and this time after dinner we went to Redwood Room for drinks. I brought her back to her place to drop her off and we kissed – it was the best kiss and lasted a long long long time….until about…daylight. As I left, I was totally DUI – driving under her influence!

Jeff and Nicole

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HOW WE FIRST MET: We met after windsurfing one day. She was talking to my friend Derek, so I introduced myself to her dog Camden. Fortunately, I passed the smell test. Later that night, the three of us went for burritos and she actually laughed at my jokes.

We got engaged at sunset at Crissy Field, I got down on one knee and babbled for three minutes before asking her to marry me. She flipped a coin (but I had given her a rigged coin).

Ann and David

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David flew fighters at a base near Phoenix, Ann got straight A’s at Arizona State. Neither of us dated much. Ann, because her grade point average kept her sorority off probation. And David hadn’t had a date in months because the only females near his base lived in Sun City, a retirement community. One day, a friend of a friend set up a blind pizza date between 3 sorority sisters and 3 bachelor fighter pilots. Ann really didn’t want to go, she had a paper due, but for some reason she was coerced into it by the senior girls. Pizza went fine, numbers were exchanged. David called Ann up to suggest a date, but she couldn’t due to some prior commitment.

Then he tried another time, but no, she had to go to Las Vegas with her parents. Third time was the charm, but the catch was that the date was for a “picnic” trip to southern Arizona, south of Gila Bend, to fulfill a training obligation for David’s fighter course — the pilots had to observe aerial gunnery from the ground before they could fly with actual ordnance. So a fighter class excursion of 10 guys, 7 wives, 2 dates and a solo pilot trekked down the dusty desert roads with coolers of beer and sandwiches. The noise from the first strafing pass over our heads literally knocked Ann backwards off the picnic table bench. It was 110 degrees out. There was no water, and the beer grew warm. At the end of the session, we could finally head back to civilization, sunburned, dehydrated and sore. The only thing to drink in David’s non-air conditioned sports car was more warm beer. We discovered that the flavor of that was made more bearable if you chewed Juicyfruit gum while drinking the beer. David figured that was likely first and last date, but offered dinner somewhere nice the next week. Ann agreed, and we settled on Tuesday. David selected a fine little French restaurant in Scottsdale. Since Ann had only been fed “French” food from Jaques dans le Box by the guys at ASU, it was a hit.

Tuesdays became a tradition. Even now, some 40 years later, our Tuesday dinners are some of the best and most romantic of the week.

Sarah and Ed

Sarah & Ed

HOW WE FIRST MET: After mutual friends set us up, we exchanged some amusing/sarcastic emails for about a week and finally spoke on the phone for the first time on a Thursday night.

Somehow during the course of that first phone conversation, we decided to go to Vegas together — for the weekend, leaving the next day. We hadn’t yet met in person, and Sarah hadn’t even seen a picture of Ed. Apparently his witty emails and sultry phone voice were enticing enough.

After work the next day, Ed swung by to pick Sarah up in a cab (classy) on the way to Oakland airport. And that’s where the awkward weekend began…

By the end of the weekend, we didn’t like each other too much. However, three years later – including one year when Ed ran away to Taiwan – we eloped (not in Vegas) and then made some identical twin babies. Ever since, we’ve traveled the world looking for opportunities to share our inspiring, romantic love story with others.