Our Story (by Lilia)

Short version: We met at a bar.

Long version: I started working at the Phoenix New Times in 2006. Lou worked upstairs for a different department. We would see one another occasionally but we never talked.

Fast forward two years.

I was on my way home from an art show on a Friday night. I had already seen some friends and it was getting late. But I really, really wanted to go to this neighborhood bar called Shady's.

I had been there before. There's nothing special about this bar. But I could not shake the urge to go there.

Since I'm not the kind of woman who goes to bars alone, I mentally ran through the roster of friends I could call to meet me. No dice.

So I bargained with myself ("I'll just drive by, I'll just use the bathroom then leave," etc.) all the way up to the bar. Pushing my luck, I hopped outside to see if I might run into someone I knew on the patio.

Then I saw an acquaintance of mine talking with a group of people. Lou was in the group and I invited myself into the conversation. We recognized one another from work and soon enough, it was just the two of us talking. I felt self conscious because we were standing by the trash can under a bare bulb -- bad lighting is a pet peeve of mine. I also remember making fun of Lou's shirt.

Turns out, the guy has a sophisticated appreciation for good banter.

We chatted until the bar closed and neither of us left the conversation...not even to get another drink or take a bathroom break.

He walked me to my car and we talked for another two hours (I had my keys in my hand the entire time...and, yes, I regretted not taking a bathroom break at the bar). It was tough to stop talking but it was also 4 a.m. so we exchanged phone numbers and I drove home.

I remember thinking, "That's the easiest conversation I've ever had."

I couldn't wait to go on a date with him. We met for a drink on a Tuesday evening and we both agree that that night, we fell in love. Just like that. It's true what they say -- you just know.

A couple months later, after we had officially labeled ourselves as "in a relationship," we were reminiscing about the night we met.

Turns out, Lou had gone to the bar that night by himself, too. And that was a first for him. He had gone through the same negotiations and hesitations as I had but he couldn't shake the urge to stop by.

Pretty wild, eh?