SIPA Love Stories: ‘It was hard to recognize you with clothes on’

Here’s our fourth love story of the week. Is it a racy as the headline suggests? I’ll let you figure that answer out yourself. Enjoy! 



Carole and Matthew’s SIPA love story:

“So how does a SIPA girl stumble across one of these rare finds, you may ask? Surely one cannot plunge blindly into the APAM corridors, where a new female presence is immediately detected and where half of the lab doors are labeled “Radioactive: Do Not Enter”. Another challenge is that these scientists often hide their fascinating personalities under an external screen of shyness – which although endearing, complicates the first approach. Here comes the second secret: meet the man outside of the lab, preferably in a more relaxed environment. I chose Uris Pool, which comes with two additional advantages: first, you may have a higher chance of catching the eye of the man in question if you glide by in a swimsuit rather than wandering the corridors of his department looking lost (and fully clothed); and second, sharing a lane in the pool means crossing each-other over and over again, providing repeated opportunities for striking up casual conversation even for the shyest among us. Now to be perfectly truthful, I am quite shy myself and not really as scheming as it may appear. Rather, mutual shyness made Matt and I swim in the same lane, at least three times a week every lunchtime, for about six months without exchanging more than polite pleasantries. “Oh, I’m doing kicks now, I’ll be slower, you first”; “No no, you first, I’m switching to breast-stroke”. But eventually, in May 2010 it happened – on the first stormy day of the sticky New York summer, after a memorable downpour, we met at the gates of 116th and Broadway for coffee. “It was hard to recognize you with clothes on”. A killer pick-up line, but I wouldn’t recommend trying it in too many other situations. As it was, when he said that I just remember noticing how the very dark grey of the sky matched his gorgeous eyes. We’ve been caught in somewhat of a whirlwind since that coffee on a Riverside Park bench (during which, I admit, I oh-so-charmingly choked on a chocolate chip cookie…) We now live in Paris and have travelled to multiple countries together, but one place will always remain particularly dear to us: Uris Pool on the Columbia campus.”

– Carole, ‘11SIPA and Matthew, PhD, ‘13APAM


Find the entire Love Stories collection in Columbia Alumni Association’s Facebook album.