Dani and Matt

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Our Story

Our story is about a long series of missed connections where we almost never met at all. We didn’t grow up a thousand mile apart, but we both found our way to Syracuse University. A point to note here, is that no Tennessean has any business going to Syracuse for school—they simply are not prepared for that much snow. But there we both were, and where we graduated one year apart from each other. We never crossed paths there despite having multiple friends in common. When Dani graduated, she moved to Charlotte, NC and Matt moved to a town outside Philadelphia, PA where life continued on very different and diverging paths.

Five years after graduating, Matt moved to Durham, North Carolina, which is only 2 hours driving from where Dani was living in Charlotte. At this point, you can see how our lives are finally getting closer. A couple years later, Dani made the short move to Raleigh, NC (at last, so close!). This would be the logical point for us to meet—two Syracuse alums, with friends in common, and living so close to each other. However, it wasn’t yet time, because only a few months later in September, Dani went to the airport and flew East to Saudi Arabia and that same month Matt hopped a plane West to San Francisco.

At this point, we were literally living half a world apart and there’s really no logical reason that we would have ever found each other, but after a little less than a year, Dani traded her abayas for the San Francisco uniform of jeans and puffy coat (getting closer!). So, a few weeks later Jim and Allie were having a housewarming for their tiny house and Matt was asked to give one of their friends a ride (spoiler: it’s Dani). Matt was given a name and a number, but didn’t really ask any questions about it. Just before leaving to drive to their housewarming, Matt got a text from Dani that she wasn’t going to go after all. When Matt got to Jim’s, Matt asked a few questions about the girl he was supposed to give a ride to. When he found out that she was a Syracuse girl and new to the area, he later reached out to be friendly and we planned to meet up for a drink one afternoon.

When we first met, we were both standing on the corner of Fillmore Street and Sacramento Street. This time and place will remain indelible for our whole lives, because neither of us could have or would have predicted what came next. At the same intersection in Pacific Heights is where we moved in together, where we got our first apartment together, where we got engaged, and where we started our family. For as long as it took for us to finally collide, it was worth the wait.

Robin Ott