As I was riding Daisy, my new love, to the Belmont El stop on Saturday, to meet a girl I had “met” just days previous and only “spoken to” via Facebook and email, with a plan of spending the rest of the day with her traversing the streets of Chicago, I retraced the long route I had taken to find myself in such a situation.
- Winter 2001: Met Laura when I moved back to Chicago from Boston post-graduation and was looking for a way to meet new people; I joined the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society’s Team and Training program for the San Diego marathon; Laura was in my pace group.
- Spring 2004: Met Katy when Laura invited me to join a volleyball team.
- Winter 2006: Met Katie when Katy brought Katie to a New Year’s Eve party hosted by friends of mine.
- Summer 2008: “Met” Brad when Katie e-introduced us because we’re both in the video, non-profit, entrepreneurial realm, and then met Brad when he came to one of my Mac ‘n Cheese Minglers.
- Summer 2010: “Met” Patty when she reached out with a “I’m friends with Brad and was introduced to the work you do through his participation in the Dance Experiment” email, explaining that she worked for Groupon and was spearheading a new initiative that she thought I might want to collaborate on, and then Fall 2010, met Patty when she came to one of the Minglers.
- Fall 2010: “Met” Leah when Patty posted something about the Minglers on her Facebook page and invited me to do the Sadie Hawkins bike ride; Leah saw the mention of the ride and chimed in that she wanted to go but that she needed a date [you had to participate in “couples”]; Patty suggested that Leah and I be dates. After a few FB posts, messages, and some emails, we solidified plans.
And that’s how I found myself riding down Belmont Saturday for a blind date. Would she like me? Would we have things to talk about? Would the date end with a handshake, a high-five, an awkward hug? Would there be a second date?
It’s an interesting exercise to map out how the people in your life come to be in your life. Such random connections, small-world incidents, seemingly minuscule decisions that turn out to be life-altering choices. If I had decided to let the fact that I had never run more than a mile in my life and that I was slow and that I had lots of jiggly fat and that I knew I’d be surrounded by Lincoln Park trixie girls who showed up to training in the most expensive ‘n cute athletic wear, who never sweat no matter how much they ran, and who had muscles and abs and ate organic, if I had decided to not show up that first day and instead stay on the comfort of my couch, which almost happened, my life would be very different today. And I’m pretty sure, not for the better.
Now, the real capper to this meandering down How Did I End Up Here Lane would be if I play Leah’s birthday in the Lotto and win a bazillion point two gazillion dollars…