Almost two years ago, my mean running coach was away for a while, so I was walking at lunchtime nearly every weekday with my friend "C." She and I walked a 5K route that I had discovered. Every day as we were headed out, we would see my friend "J" from upstairs, walking back towards our building.
My brain, although primarily occupied with math, does think about other things sometimes. I had long ago realized that C and J had a lot in common, and would probably make a good couple. But, at that time they were both getting over painful breakups, and neither felt that they were ready to date. Still, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce them to each other in a non-dating, no-pressure environment.
"You know that guy I wave at every day?" I said to C. "He's one of my colleagues from upstairs. He has lost more than 50 pounds since the beginning of the year. I bet he would love to see our walking route. Would you mind if I invited him along sometime?"
Not at all, said C, always a good sport. So I talked to J, really hyping up the awesomeness that was our walking route, and he agreed to try it out for a change of pace.
Alas, the day the three of us were supposed to go walking, I had developed two enormous blisters on the soles of my feet, and was unable to walk such a long distance. My socks were not wicking the sweat away from my feet sufficiently, and the rubbing had caused these two big blisters to develop on the balls of my feet.
"I'm sorry," I said to J, "but I will be unable to walk today. But I'm sure C would be happy to show you the route!" J replied that since he didn't know her, he wasn't comfortable walking with her. Despite my assurances that she did not bite, he could not be persuaded. "Oookay," I said. "I probably won't be better until next week, but we'll do it then."
C came over to my office later that morning, and I told her about my blisters and what J had said. "Let's solve that problem!" she said, and we walked upstairs and she introduced herself to him: "Hello, my name is C, now you know me and we can go walking today."
They went walking that day, and every day for the rest of the week while my sad blisters healed. In that time, they got a chance to talk and get to know each other, and they really hit it off. After my blisters healed, I bought some expensive moisture-wicking socks and walked with them for a few days. Then I was away for almost two weeks, and at one point soon after that they went on their first date.
Their relationship continued to blossom and I learned recently that they got engaged! I have never felt such happiness about blisters as I did when they told me -- I could not have purposefully contrived such a perfect setup.
Still, I think I will keep wearing the expensive socks. I'll figure out another way to help people fall in love.