DAVID GREENE, HOST:
It is Friday, which means it is time for StoryCorps. And today's conversation comes from Octavius Humphries and Seth Smiley and Seth's mom, Carole. They came to StoryCorps in Atlanta to talk about what Christmas Day has meant to their family. They story begins in December 2010 when Octavius and Seth met online. And even though Seth is 19 years older, Octavius agreed to a first date on Christmas Eve.
OCTAVIUS HUMPHRIES: We had an amazing first date. I mean, you said, so I've told my mother that you'd be coming for Christmas dinner.
SETH SMILEY: I just thought nobody should really be alone on Christmas.
HUMPHRIES: Me being black and you being white and the age difference, I thought that this was just going to be a recipe for a disaster.
CAROLE SMILEY: But the minute you walked in the door, you just lit up the house. And I felt maybe this is Mr. Right. And I think that I kissed you.
S. SMILEY: You didn't just kiss him. You kissed him on the lips.
HUMPHRIES: On the lips.
S. SMILEY: (Laughter).
HUMPHRIES: As shocking as it was, I knew I was home. You know, when I was 22, I lost my father. And two years following that, my mother passed away. And so Christmas and the holidays was just a constant reminder that they were missing. But when I met you and you invited me into your home, it gave me that sense of family again instantly.
C. SMILEY: Is that why you chose to propose to Seth at Christmas?
HUMPHRIES: Yeah. It was our third anniversary. We're sitting there at dinner. I remember starting with, I just want to share with you how special this is for me. Everyone stopped eating because they were hip to what was about to happen except for Seth.
S. SMILEY: I was like, oh, my God. Here we go again 'cause you're such an emotional person. Like, oh, jeez, now I got to listen to this.
HUMPHRIES: And so Seth just continued...
S. SMILEY: I had no idea.
HUMPHRIES: ...Shoveling food down his throat.
S. SMILEY: And then I realized it was a proposal.
C. SMILEY: I was so happy. It was awesome.
S. SMILEY: You know, having come out in 1983 in Atlanta, Ga., I never would have - always wanted to get married, always wanted to have a family. But today it's a reality with you.
GREENE: Octavius and Seth Smiley-Humphries with Carole Smile in Atlanta, Ga. Today, Octavius and Seth celebrate another milestone, the first Christmas with their 10-month-old son. This conversation is archived at the Library of Congress. And you can hear more on the podcast. You can get that at iTunes or at npr.org.