Fifteen years ago, a friend invited me to a party.
Her boyfriend, a graduate student, was having a party with his housemates and she wanted someone to talk to. The boyfriend, housemates and all their friends were graduate students in physics and she claimed she didn't want to spend the whole night talking to a bunch of geeks.
For the record, we are both pretty geeky ourselves, just in a different, less applied science sort of way.
I was 25, living at home, and working in the city. I was lonely.
So I went. I still remember what I wore. A white boat-neck sweater with navy sailor stripes, jeans and Doc Martens. Red lipstick. (I remember, because you tend to remember the details when it's something life-changing.)
At some point during the party, my friend and I were sitting together chatting, and she said, "If you happen to see anyone who you want to meet, let me know."
She left it at that.
But I looked up a short while later, and saw Someone. He was tall, with light brown hair, and a sweet smile. He was talking to a guy I'd met a few times before, leaning in and really concentrating on what Jay had to say. I turned to my friend, and pointed to the newcomer and said "That guy - who is he?"
She didn't know. But I wanted that guy to pay that kind of attention to me.
So the next while of the party was taken up with my friend figuring out who the new guy was and what his connection to the party was. (For the record, he was an employee of the physics department, working in the IT department, but had played volleyball with some of them, and shared office space with one of them for a while.)
We were introduced and made small talk. He had pretty green eyes. I found out that the reason why he'd been concentrating so much. He's deaf in one ear and has a hard time following conversation in crowded spaces.
I didn't care. I was done. I drove him home from the party, exchanged numbers and waited for the rest of my life to begin. We went on our first date a week later.
Fifteen years later, we're still together. Married now for almost 10 of those years, with two kids and two cats.
(Gins, if you read this, thanks for inviting me that night. You changed my life)