Although Ms. Buerman and Mr. Carvolth overlapped at Cornell in 2011, it wasn’t until each moved to San Francisco in November 2015 that they would finally meet. Shortly after he had arrived from New York and she Boston, they crossed paths at a San Francisco supermarket.
“I was shopping with my brother at Safeway, when I saw this beautiful woman there,” Mr. Carvolth said. “Then I turned and said, ‘Hey, I know that girl, she went to Cornell.’” She was someone, he also told his brother, he had “admired from afar” while at Cornell.
“She was always with a lot of friends,” he said. “She seemed like the kind of person that everyone wanted to be around.”
He tried his best at being around her at Safeway, positioning himself in areas of the store he hoped she might see him and start a conversation, but Ms. Buerman, who had never seen or heard of Mr. Carvolth, simply went about her business and then headed for the checkout counter. He managed to get directly behind her while she attempted to pay her bill, and watched as she struggled through a conversation with the clerk who had been asking for her loyalty membership card. Knowing the store could look up members by telephone number, Mr. Carvolth stepped in and saved the day by offering his own card, thinking that would create a spark, but it didn’t.