Tim and AnnieBy Annie Kinnett Nichols

Picture a girl reading magazines sitting at the gate of a small North Carolina airport bummed that her departure is an hour late. Now, picture a boy walking by on his way to the ticket counter. “Super cute,” the girl thinks, so at least they’ll be something to look at while waiting.

Boy sits down, pulls out a Wired magazine. Girl is a copywriter and her first ad ever is in this magazine. No one – at least back then – read Wired but total nerds and here is this seriously smokin’ boy with a copy in his hands.

“You read Wired?” she asks.


Wired magazine. I’ve got an ad in there, wanna see it? It’s my first – it made it into CA, the advertising bible of good work. I just wrote the body copy, not the headline so I don’t really get credit.”

“Uh-Huh.” the boy says.

Girl takes the magazine out of his hands, deftly flips to the page and says, “Here, read this! I wrote this!”

That’s how I met my husband. I might have spoken first, but he was happy to reciprocate. The plane was delayed a whopping five hours. We talked the whole time. Travel talk, comparing scars (I won), betting on how many light fixtures were at the gate (he won), comparing gum under our seats (clearly a draw).

By the time we actually got on the airplane, we were hooked. We landed in Atlanta, he asked me out for the next three days in a row and then followed me to New Orleans for the Jazz Fest with his best friend. I mean come on, who can not fall in love in New Orleans with a beginning like that?

If you had told me I would meet my hubby at the airport, I would’ve laughed. But since that day, I have told all my friends, “Dress cute when you go to the airport. No sweats and tees. You could meet your soul mate there – no kidding.”

Through the years I’ve collected different stories from friends, families and acquaintances. Here are some Atlanta couples I know that have unique tales.

My friend, Dr. Bob, met his wife, Lydia, on an airplane. She was a Delta flight attendant and he was in the Navy. He kept getting bumped and finally got on the last plane out that night. Love at first sight. Been together 37 years.

My Aunt Judy met my Uncle Frank on a blind date. My friend Karen from Portfolio Center met my husband’s friend Hermann when I took her to an architect mixer at Columbia, now they’re married with child.

David and Geri met in high school, went to the senior prom, married at 19, and celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this year. Christine met hubby Kenyan at a wedding, he was the saxophonist for the wedding band. Annette met Baye in New York City. She was there for a big soiree for the Hunger Project and after the event, went to a bar in Brooklyn, where Baye was playing the drums.

I introduced Eric to Liz, both divorced, both with daughters the same age. The girls became best friends and so did Eric and Liz. My friend Charley met Jim at Banana Republic through friends. They dated. Broke up. Jim moved to New York. They got re-acquainted, fell back in love, Jim moved to Atlanta and in with Charley.

It’s clear to me that truly, you can meet your mate anywhere. When I met my husband it wasn’t at all where or when I thought it would happen. Tim told me, for him, it was at the exact moment when he had stopped looking. He had me at “Huh?”

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

One reply on “Soul Mate Stories: Love happens when you least expect it”

  1. Thanks so much for the article.

    My boyfriend and I have been together for two years now and he is the only one for me. We are truly best friends an soul mates and our story is unique like yours.

    We grew up about 5 minutes apart from each other in the same small town but we never met. Our parents attended the same highschool and knew each other but did not see each other regularly. Also our grandfathers were best friends (my grandma and his grandma have the same pictures of them playing baseball together) but my grandfather died before I was born, so we did not meet that way. Finally, my mom married my stepdad who incedentially was my boyfriends aunts ex husband! When my stepdads daughter got married my boyfriend showed up to her wedding and I thought he was the cutest boy ever. Of course I asked her to let me see him again and she let me go with her to some get togethers and after a lot of flirting we realized we had so much in common, and there were so many ways we were already connected. It just felt right to be together, as it still does today, and as it will forever.

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