Geof Brown, living and working in Indianapolis 10 years ago, went to a bar with a friend one night and met a friend of his friend named Joshua.
A few weeks later, when Geof and Joshua were on one of their first dates, they got into some of the pertinent questions, including what was each other's surname.
Joshua said his was Brown.
Geof, naturally, laughed.
"It's just one of those bizarre things," Geof said. "People laugh about it all the time, or at least ask questions about our [ same ] last name. Even my parents were a little freaked out about it at first."
However, come Feb. 24, Brown and Brown will celebrate their 10th anniversary together.
Joshua, 30, is an account manager at C.H. Robinson. Geof, meanwhile, leads an association for fundraising consultants, a position he's held since last Februaryand, he said, "I really like it."
Brown also has been a charity fundraiser away from the office, so to speak. He raised about $1,700 for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) this summer while training for the Chicago Marathon, his first 26.2-mile run, through AFC's Team to End AIDS ( T2 ) endurance-training program.
"The fundraising was what actually scared me," when I registered with T2, said Brown, who will run the Los Angeles Marathon in Marchanother T2 fundraiser for AFC.
Joshua isn't the long-distance runner like Geof, although they did participate in several three- and four-mile runs together this past summer. However, Joshua seemed to complain after each, Geof joked.
"It's good that there are [ interests ] of mine that he's not into, and vice versa," Geof said.
Joshua was totally supportive of Geof during the Chicago Marathon. He even managed to cheer for Geof at four different spots along the route.
Name: Geof Brown
Hometown: Fort Washington, Md.
Job title: Executive director, The Giving Institute
Relationship status: Partnered
Hobbies: Running, cooking, working out, traveling and sports.
Pets: Dog, Missy, an American bulldog-pitbull mix, adopted from Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue
Schooling: Graduated from the University of Maryland
Cubs or Sox?: Cubs
It's a fact: Although he's an East Coast native, Brown said he hasn't even thought of returning. "I'm in love with the Midwest."
Photos by Ross Forman