I'm talking about Sid and Anita, Hyphen's poster couple for speed dating. Six months after meeting at Hyphen's speed dating fundraiser last year, the web developer/taekwondo teacher and the Asian American Studies academic/activist moved in together. As Sid says in his testimonial, "I love her more and more each day."
She's taken up rock climbing and camping, he goes to Jane Kim fundraisers. They moved to Oakland, the mid-point for her commute to UC Davis and his trek to Foster City.
I met with Sid and Anita last night to hear their story of unexpected romance. That they should find a relationship that opens new worlds and motors on with compromise and affection is amazing to me --and may very well be one of Hyphen's most life-changing accomplishments. When we planned speed dating, I don't know if anyone expected serious commitments. We were in it for the fun, the cash, the entertainment value.
But here they sat before me, with the banter and ease that couples comfortable with each other can quietly take for granted.
I wondered if they knew right away, the moment they saw each other. You know, like on West Side Story, when the pair see each other and the rest of the room fades away and they do a cheesy little dance with each other? Did that happen? No.
Was four minutes enough to get a good idea of who the person was? "I just followed my gut," Anita says, and admits she would've been turned off if Sid had said he was a Silicon Valley computer wrangler. (He only mentioned the taekwondo part.) He says her fiery passion for politics and her engaging, outspoken personality didn't really come out in the 240 seconds he spent with her. But he thought she was cute.
Both of them said they liked the fact that it was a Hyphen fundraiser --for one thing, if the night was a bust, at least the money went to a cause they liked. And the fact that people were drawn by the magazine meant that they would hopefully have at least some political engagement or participation in the community. Plus, now they can say they met at a fundraiser in San Francisco, if they don't want to bother with explaining speed dating for the millionth time.
Sid waited a month for their first date --her speaking engagements took her out of state. When she returned, she suggested rock climbing --something she'd never done before. "I got halfway up the rock and I suddenly remembered that I'm afraid of heights," Anita recalled. She wanted to go back down, she said she couldn't do it anymore.
Sid impressed her with his response. He told her to take a rest, look at the outcropping and just think about how she could get around it. She did, and when she reached the top she realized she was with a really great, supportive guy.
The moral of the story?
Some of it's luck, some of it's persistence, but there's some really fascinating people out there --and they like Hyphen. If you want to meet some of them, there's no better way than our Speed Dating fundraiser --plus you help us print the magazine. So grab a friend, click and show up. Maybe it'll change your life. It certainly won't if you don't come.
This Saturday evening, Jon Sims Center. I'll be there.