by Chad Aronson
It was December 23, 2010, and I was getting ready to go to the Latke Ball with the two friends I had made since moving to San Francisco two months prior. I was anxious to meet Jewish women, as I had not been finding much success on JDate. I was disappointed when they both cancelled on me, and chose to spend the evening with my brother, the only family I had in San Francisco, instead. However, in a twist of fate, another friend chose to go to the Latke Ball at the last minute! I quickly informed my brother, who then wished me luck on my quest to meet someone special.
Latke Ball 2010
When I arrived at the Latke Ball, I was blown away by the venue and excited about meeting so many new people. After a few hours, my friend convinced me to accompany her to the bar next door where we could enjoy some free drinks since she knew the bartender. Initially I went with her, as I was new to the city and didn’t know many other people, but ultimately returned to the Latke Ball to continue my night.
I danced with some new friends for a while, and later retreated to the (much quieter) upstairs bar for a cocktail. By the time I reached the top of the stairs, I noticed two women sitting together at the bar. I figured I would walk by and see if they would look at me, or show any interest. I happened to catch one of the women looking at me as I did this, so I took the chance and introduced myself.
Within the first thirty seconds, I felt a real connection with Elana. I can’t really explain why, maybe it was because I was six cocktails deep at the time, but there was something about her smile and the ease of the conversation that made me not want to stop talking with her.
Elana’s path to the Latke Ball that evening had also been complicated and, like me, she only decided to come at the last minute. It truly felt like fate that we had met. After dancing the night away, I remember kissing her goodbye and hoping that she had had as great a time as I did as I looked forward to our first date.
Two Years Later
As Latke Ball 2012 and our two year anniversary approached, I was ready to take the next step in my relationship with Elana. I had already convinced her that we would be spending our anniversary at the Latke Ball, and Emily Whitehead-Coppola, YAD Development Assistant, and her team booked Ruby Skye’s VIP room for us where I surprised her with a proposal. SHE SAID YES!
We popped some champagne, and she was so excited that she she wanted to call her friends and family right then. I got her to hold off, and surprised her one more time- before she could even finish the first glass our loved ones appeared in the room to celebrate with us.
Thank you so much to Emily, the rest of the YAD staff, and everyone else who helped make this night possible. I know I will look back at this night in forty years from now and remember how special the Latke Ball is both to me and Elana.