Staci Sohl – Geek Luv
Couple’s Love Song: Somebody to Love – Jim Boggia
James’ and my love story began as so many great love stories do… at Denver Comic Con Speed Dating.
In actuality, both of us were in our 40’s, and had been single for quite some time. We’d both tried the dating scene… tried meeting people through the bar scene, and work and friends and online… all the usual outlets. James had even been married before, early on. But as it turns out, it didn’t seem that ‘conventional’ was either of our styles. We had both given up on relationships, but had refused to give up on ourselves and our interests. At least, that’s how I came to be at Denver Comic Con. The speed dating part was kind of a lark, really. A curiosity.
And it turned out, as much as Denver Comic Con, with all of its geekiness and art and social acceptance was completely my scene, Speed Dating was an entirely new experience for me. James had actually been before, but as I got involved, I realized how completely out of my element I was. In my capris and t-shirt, I was surrounded by young, busty versions of Harley Quinn and Sailor Moons. The men were all in their late teens and early 20’s. They were what you’d expect of geeks at Comic Con… sweet but nervous and slightly socially awkward, smelling faintly of their mom’s basement. All except for one…
James had come to Comic Con in cosplay. This year, he was dressed as the Great Wizard of Oz, and his outfit was complete with plaid pants, suspenders, a velvet cape and a top hat. As he sat across from me, I realized that he was different than all the other guys there. He was confident, and well spoken. And my age. He mentioned several times about ‘being a child in the 80’s’. I got it. We were both out of place there.
I left feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. That hadn’t been what I thought it would be, and frankly, I didn’t even really have any good stories from it. What I left with was a sore throat from trying to be heard over everyone else in the room, and a very humbling experience. But I also left with a sheet of paper with a phone number on it. As it turns out, it belonged to James, The Great and Powerful Oz.
I waited 2 days, and then I texted him. We went out for dinner. And then on a walk. And then out for ice cream. It ended up being a 5-hour date. We had so much in common (not just being the elders at speed dating), and genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. I hadn’t laughed like that with any of my dates in a very long time. We decided to do another date again, soon.
Our next date was even better. We drove around together in the mountains listening to weird covers of classic rock songs on his favorite podcast, Coverville. We sang along to a mariachi version of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck and a ska version of Big Balls. It was just so… comfortable and fun, and definitely unique to both of our nerdy interests. But the real test was the movie we were going to see that night. I had wanted to go see a midnight showing of The Fifth Element at the Esquire, but none of my friends stepped up to go with me. Was he willing to go geek out with me at showing of a 20 year-old cheeseball sci-fi/fantasy movie? At Midnight? After a full day’s work?
Yes. Yes, he was. As it turns out, this was also one of his favorite movies. At the showing, there was a trivia quiz where they gave away free movie tickets for correct answers. He was surprised when I jumped in with the first answer and won the first ticket. He decided he needed to step up his game, so he had to make sure he won a ticket, too. After that night… I knew. We’ve been together ever since. And having both won free movie tickets, we had yet another excuse for another date.
Since then, we’ve discovered just how much we have in common… including having the very same birthday (I’m older, but just by a few hours) and we share an affinity for Firefly, Star Trek and Doctor Who. We still regularly listen to Coverville Podcasts together, and he’s slowly turning me to the dark side that I used to consider Star Wars. Simply put… we were meant for each other. It’s the love we both hoped, but weren’t sure existed. He still gives me grief because I didn’t write my number down for him during Speed Dating but luckily, he picked up the slack for both of us. If there are any regrets, it’s only that I wish we could have met each other sooner so we could love each other longer. We waited a long time to meet ‘The One’, but now that we’ve found each other, well… we can both say it was well it was worth the wait.