L.A. Affairs

L.A. Affairs (Illustration by Casey Crisenbery / For The Times)

When people ask us, "How did you meet?" we pause while we try to gauge just how much interest the person has in our story. If she's being polite, she'll get the short version: "We met through friends after college."

But here's the real story:

Part 1: Memorial Day Weekend

Dave and I first met at a party two years after I graduated from college in 1998. I was talking to his friend Mike, and Dave tried to join our conversation by throwing out a few friendly openers. I smiled but kept quiet.

He was exactly my type: wavy brown hair, blue eyes and a great smile. But I was shy and assumed that Dave was talking to me only because he wanted to talk to Mike. So I tried to shrink myself out of the conversation by not joining in.

After a couple of affable tries, Dave left. But he didn't give up. Five minutes later, the opening riff of theRolling Stones'"Start Me Up" blasted through the room at full volume.

Hips thrusting and with zero inhibition, Dave achieved the most ardent Mick Jagger impersonation ever done. He strutted. He sang. There was even a back flip off the coffee table. It was like a flash mob of one.

His performance elicited wild applause from the partygoers. But as he inched closer, I was terrified that he would try to draw me in. So I hid in the kitchen.

Part 2: Two weeks later

Since my dating life was at a standstill, I decided to organize a wine tasting trip. I sent out an email to everyone I knew and told them to invite all of their friends.

Twenty-five people showed up, many of them strangers. But one of them was Dave.

I sat next to my friend Shannon. Dave chose the seat in front of me but kept turning around to chat. Naturally, our talk turned to food, wine and the great joy of eating.

"You know, out of everything in the whole world, chocolate is still my favorite treat."

"What kind of chocolate?" Dave asked.

"Hershey'schocolate kisses are the best," I replied.

I remember the day was warm and the vineyards were verdant. The strangers were all best buddies by early afternoon. Even though the trip didn't help my dating life, I gave myself excellent marks for hosting.

Part 3: Six months later

A college reunion was underway at my favorite bar, and I was optimistic about the possibilities. Surely someone in the place would want to date me?

Shortly after I arrived with my friend Kelsey, Dave wandered over to say hi. He asked about what I'd been up to, then said, "I'm working in TV now. ... Let me give you one of my cards." I put it in my purse. After a few more minutes, Kelsey and I moved on.

Several cocktails later, I was chatting with a potential suitor. He wasn't a great conversationalist, but he asked for my number. I needed something to write on, so I fished around in my tiny purse and found a business card. After scrawling my number on the back, I handed it over and went home.