| AMY TANNENBAUM
Growing up on opposite ends of the country – Angela in Ohio and Allison in California – they are amazed that their paths crossed one day in March 2013 at a bar in Dayton. Allison had just relocated to Ohio after graduating with a degree in theatre; Angela was in the U.S. Air Force and was out celebrating a friend’s promotion at a local bar where Allison was serving. Instead of waiting an hour for a table, Angela’s friend stole someone else’s open table, and Allison was their server. Allison immediately noticed the table’s guilty expressions and learned of their misdeeds, but she took note of Angela and decided to let them stay.
While Angela was away from the table, Allison picked one of Angela’s friend’s brain on how to connect. After his initial confusion, the friend caught on and morphed into matchmaker. Allison joined the group for a drink after her shift, and she and Angela talked all evening. By the end of the night, Allison made the move and gave Angela a big kiss in front of a patio full of people. Again, it was against her character — “I was never someone to hit on anyone or make the first move,” says Allison.
Angela asked her out the very next evening — and they’ve been together ever since. “I knew she was special right away,” says Angela. Allison moved to Columbus to be with Angela six months later. They moved to Italian Village together, and they love the neighborhood there. In particular, they enjoy the culture, art, proximity to work and the sense of community it offers. Allison also has fallen in love with Columbus– it has proven to be more than she ever expected of a city in Ohio.
Their relationship works because of communication and balance. “Allison has a calming effect on me,” says Angela. “She’s brilliant and intelligent. We have great conversations. I feel completely at ease with her at all times. I feel like I can tell her anything.” She also describes how coming from different backgrounds and having had unique experiences has helped them conquer things together.
Being in the Air Force for 11 years, Angela values the openness that she found when Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed. “Once ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ went away, it was game changer for my life, for the better,” Angela explains. “I was very gun-shy at first when it was repealed, but I was very surprised at how warm the response was. I was welcomed with open arms.”
Allison also describes a calming affect that Angela has on her. She says, “Ever since I met Angela, I feel healthier… I like that she’s not a theatre person, but she has respect for and interest in the art.” Allison explains that Angela is able to ground her throughout her hectic career, and she’s been a source of support for her at countless auditions. “I was jaded when I met her. I didn’t think this was real, that people really do meet someone when they aren’t looking,” she says. “You meet someone at a bar and bam… I feel so incredibly lucky, and I don’t know what I did to deserve her.”
Now that they’re engaged, Allison and Angela are looking ahead to some major life changes. Allison plans to start a theatre graduate program, and this will likely take her away from Columbus. Angela is ready to go with her and is planning to take a year off from the Air Force so that they can relocate and get settled in their new city. And that’s on top of planning a wedding, which they are currently envisioning with close friends and family in Las Vegas.
“It amazes me how lucky we are and that it all worked out. It feels like we won the lottery,” says Angela. “We have the support of both of our families, everything has worked out perfectly. It’s funny how our meeting was such a chance meeting – if my best friend didn’t steal that table, I wouldn’t have met Allison.”
PHOTOS | AMY TANNENBAUM