On August 23rd, 2018, Michael had a charity event to attend. Dressed to the nines, he went to pick up his date. Unfortunately (fortunately?) he quickly realized that he got stood up. He gathered himself together and went to the event stag. What he did not know at the time is that this would be the first and last time he would ever get stood up again. Once the charity event concluded, the friends Michael was with could tell he needed a pick-me-up and thought that a swanky bar called The Gin Joint was the perfect place to rally his spirits. As fate would have it, Dara was at the Gin Joint that evening as well to celebrate a friend's birthday. Michael and Dara kept catching each other's eyes the whole night and exchanging sly grins. Michael’s friends dared him to go up to any girl in the bar with the reward for completing this dare being a drink on their dime. His choice was easy as he had to know more about the mystery girl he kept locking eyes with. Although probably not the most inviting crowd, when Dara stepped away from the table momentarily, Michael mustered up the courage to approach her friends to ask if she was single. He received the satisfactory response of, "Well, technically she is single..." This was more than enough for Michael, so he stuck around until she returned. When she got back, Dara found Michael sitting amongst her guy friends chatting it up. The chemistry between Dara and Michael was instant. They learned they both graduated from The University of Tampa that year in May. They had many mutual friends in common, including Michael's roommate at the time (now a groomsman) and his best friend (now his best man), but they had never met during their college years or even so much as heard each other's names. They quickly realized they had other things in common such as their mutual love for their cats and good food. As they continued talking, Michael felt a tap on his shoulder - his friends had brought him a stiff drink as his prize for completing the dare. The night ended with Michael cordially inviting Dara to dollar beers at MacDinton’s - a truly classy way to end the evening. She (thankfully) respectfully declined, but said she would be happy to meet up in the future. They exchanged numbers, and within a week, they were on their first date at Green Lemon. The rest is history. In case you aren’t aware, Michael is a How I Met Your Mother fanatic and, like Ted Mosby, a believer in fate. Tampa is a big city, so the couple most likely wouldn’t be together without the fateful events of August 23rd. For that, Michael and Dara will forever be thankful for those who played a part in their wonderful story of how they met and fell in love.