In January 2002, Maria Worked as a producer in San Francisco on a short film called Drag Queen Growing Up. “At our packing party, a group of us talked about going to the ’80s and dancing,” she recalls. She finds one of the assistants, Erin, cute, so she invites her to join them as her date. “Eileen also invited a group of friends and roommates,” she said. “It’s a gentle way to show she’s not interested.”
Among Erin’s friends is Sarah, who is an actress. “I went to college with Erin near San Francisco, but moved back to the area shortly after and wanted to meet new people,” she said.
As soon as Maria and Sarah met, they felt a connection. “She’s cute and funny,” Maria said. “We were in bars talking about starting our own singles club. At first I thought she was straight, but when she mentioned she was bi, I thought there might be a chance.” Sarah also likes Maria’s company. “She’s smart and relaxed. We’re not dating, so we can get to know each other without any pressure.”
After the night in the 1980s, they crossed the street with Erin to eat donuts and were invited to a party in another part of San Francisco. “It turned out to be the home of Google’s Larry Page,” Maria said. “Everybody was freaking out about this house.” Soon, Sarah started dancing with another of Erin’s friends. Not wanting to miss the chance, Maria joined the balcony while Sarah was resting. “I put my arm around her and she did the same to me,” she said.
They walked in to check out the “huge sound system” and shared their first kiss. “I went into the kitchen to check if Erin was really okay — but she was very happy for us,” Sarah said.
The following week, they made an appointment at a local bar, and Maria invited Sarah to be her girlfriend. “I said no because it was too fast,” Sarah said. “I want to keep hanging out, but I’m enjoying being single and don’t want to rush it.” They spent a lot of time together over the next few weeks. “One day I said something and Maria misheard and thought I was saying: ‘I love you,’ so she said, ‘I love you too,'” Sarah said. The misunderstanding made Sarah realize the power of her feelings. By the end of February, they had become a pair.
In 2007, Maria supported Sarah in her retraining as a psychotherapist. That same year, they got engaged on a trip to New Orleans. “Maria took me to this car rental shop but it turned out to be a dealership. The taxi driver was waiting outside because he thought we were going to the wrong place. Turns out she bought me a car and told me we Going to drive back to San Francisco,” Sarah said. “There’s a ring in the glove box.” They married in 2008 near Napa Valley, California, and moved into a shared home with Maria’s daughter, Dakota. In 2012, Sarah gave birth to daughter Cleo. They bought a house in 2019 and live there with Cleo. “We were also adopted by a feral cat,” Sarah said. “It comes to our backyard all the time and becomes like our pet.”
Sarah appreciates her partner’s sense of humor. “She was also very kind and had a good sense of morals and social justice. She always wanted to help people in need and we had a great conversation. I also like the fact that we were both willing to do anything.”
Maria loved all their adventures. “We’ve been to a lot of off the beaten track. She always makes me laugh,” she said. “I have some past trauma and she really understands what that means and supports me. We can say anything to each other.”
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