I'm not always a fan of the New York Times's Vows section, but Deneta Howland and Bryan Sells' story is one of the better ones I've read in quite a while.
Bryan Sells knew he was attracted to Deneta Howland the moment they met in 1989. She was the first person he saw when he arrived as a freshman at Harvard for a community volunteer program. “My cab door opened, and Deneta was there to greet me,” said Mr. Sells, now 36, remembering the sunny day and the vibrant smile of his group leader.
They were both native Virginians and shared a passion for social justice, becoming friends while painting a mural at a homeless shelter in Boston.
My favorite part, though, is this: "Mr. Sells worked up the courage by the next summer to invite her to an Anita Baker concert. Dr. Howland assumed his interest was platonic. He assumed Anita Baker would put anyone in a romantic mood. They were both mistaken." And I can tell you -- in 1990, Anita Baker was the move any white guy would have made. It took Mr. Sells another decade of dogged persistence to seal the deal.
My wife spotted and read this article to me, and after we talked about it for a little while, I asked her to show me a picture of Dr. Howland and Mr. Sells. I said about Dr Howland, "She is six kinds of attractive." She said of Mr. Sells, "He needs a beard." All of this tells me that my wife and I are perfect for one another.