Soup Kitchen Love Stories

So I was not sure how much I wanted to go into dating and relationships on this blog, but this story goes down in the books.

Growing up in Jamaica, my mom, my sisters and I would volunteer at the Stella Maris Church outreach program. In New York, my younger sister Tricia and I have continued to volunteer at a lot of different soup kitchens – ones in Harlem, the Upper West Side, Hells Kitchen, and now Brooklyn.

On one occasion, we were volunteering at Gift of Love, Saint Mother Teresa’s home for men with HIV/AIDS in the Greenwich Village. Gift of Love has different volunteer crews all the time and that weekend, I met María, who was about my age.

In between cutting vegetables, María and I started talking about a lot of things. At the time, I was back on the dating scene and before I knew it, we were talking about the ‘good on paper’ guys.  For some reason, I was meeting these amazing men, but I wasn’t feeling a connection. Chemistry is not something that can be forced. Between the two of us, we had a lot of stories and we were laughing and commiserating in the kitchen, which I think was quite entertaining for everyone else.

I gave the example of this guy I met in Cancun. It was my first time in Mexico, a spur of the moment thing with my friends Arti and Karen. The water was beautiful, clean and blue, but the waves were really high. I was swimming by myself so I went closer to this guy in case I got into any trouble. It was a strategic move.

We exchanged pleasantries and it turned out he was a doctor (check), who was living in New York (check). He was originally from Fort Lauderdale and his family lived very close to where my older sister lived (check). He went to school in Boston at MIT and then Harvard (check, check) and he was Jewish, Peruvian, but raised Catholic (check, check, check).

Wow, he sounds impressive, right? María looked skeptical. She asked me what was his name.

CRAZY COINCIDENCE #1

Me: His name is David…

We say his last name together. I know this sounds familiar.

Me: What? Wait a second. When did you date him?

She dated him in the summer. I dated him in the fall. She totally understood about the ‘good on paper’. He was fantastic, but the stars did not align. I was so bummed, because he took me on one of the best first dates ever!

Me: He took me Lincoln Center to see the New York City Philharmonic. Then we went to a great Peruvian restaurant downtown, and then to this Japanese bar on the Upper East Side.

María gave me a look.

María: He took me to Lincoln Center, too. Actually, he took me on the same exact date!

We could not believe it. Now everyone in the kitchen was howling. It was so funny.

Chatting continued. We finished cooking. We served. We cleaned up. It was time to go home. Tricia and I lived together and were headed uptown and so was María.

CRAZY COINCIDENCE #2

We all took the train together and got off at 59th Street and Lexington. Then we turned on 63rd Street together. Interesting. María lived in the SAME building as my sister and I!

Me: OMG, this all makes sense now! Whenever David walked me home he would say the fastest good bye. I always thought it was the strangest thing.

María: He was probably afraid of running into me.

Moral of the story: You never know whom you will meet at Soup Kitchen. Volunteer today! NYC Thanksgiving Feeding Programs at Veronica’s Way and We Feed NYC in partnership with Hey There Beautiful, Inc.

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