Share Your Story

Throughout history stories of romantic meetings are chronicled and passed down through the ages.

Now it's your turn to share your story. We want to know,
So... How Did You Meet Anyway?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Gloria and Emilio Estefan

Gloria Maria Milagrosa Fajardo, later known as the wonderful Gloria Estefan, was born in Havana, Cuba.

Her father, a former soldier in the Cuban Army and bodyguard to dictator, Fulgencio Batista, fled with his family to Miami following the Cuban Revolution.

While attending the University of Miami Gloria met and fell in love with Emilio Estefan, founder of the Miami Sound Machine, and the rest is musical history.

With, now, Gloria Estefan as the lead singer, the band went on to sell millions of albums. Gloria Estefan is also known for her courage and fortitude after a near fatal accident in which a truck demolished her tour bus during a snow storm.

A year after the accident, Estefan took the stage at the American Music award to a standing ovation.

And, of her marriage to Emilio, she says he was her first and last boyfriend. The couple remains happily married and live with their son and daughter in Miami Beach.

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens


In December of 1843, at the age of thirty, Charles Dickens was already a well known writer whose fame in Europe and North America drew huge crowds when he was booked for book tours. He was married to Catherine Hogarth and the Christmas season of 1843 had the young couple expecting their fifth child.

As with most of his characters, Dickens own life was a rags to riches success story, but this December found the family in desperate need for money. Catherine’s two younger sisters were living in the household along with Charles’ younger brother Frederick. Book sales had been brisk, but the profit margin smaller than expected. Dickens felt that his publisher was at fault for this lack of profit, and he determined to take matters in his own hands.

Charles Dickens wrote intensely for six weeks and produced “A Christmas Carol”
When it was finished in early December, and he had written “The End” in huge letters, underlined three times, Dickens decided to by pass his negligent publishing house and publish the book himself. 

Recognizing its potential value, he oversaw every aspect of its publication, and the final edition saw the book bound with gilt-edged pages, the title pages in a vibrant red and green, and four hand-colored etchings and wood cuts illustrating the now classic tale.

Just as he hoped, “A Christmas Carol”, released on December 19, 1843, sold out its first edition of 6,000 copies by Christmas Eve. Unfortunately The book sales barely covered the expense of publication, and the hoed for profit of 1,000 pounds, was reduced to a bare 200 pounds.

The gift Charles Dickens gave to future readers, though, is priceless. “A Christmas Carol” is considered on of the most influential pieces ever written, and has become a part of Christmas tradition.

So, as was said of Ebeneezer Scrooge, who finally found the true spirit of the holiday and,
“…that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge…

“May that be truly said of us, and all of us!”

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Big Event

It would be remiss to have a collection of couples' “how we met” stories and ignore the big event of the day; the much anticipated Royal Wedding.  As I was reading about how Kate and William met, I decided to journey back in time and do a little research on the “how we met” stories of some of the Royal family.

Anyone who has seen The King’s Speech remembers Elizabeth joking to Bertie about refusing his first proposal. And, anyone who has seen the movie also knows that Prince Albert was a determined, young man, who decided that he would “marry no one else.” In February 1922, when Elizabeth was a bridesmaid at the wedding of  Albert's sister, Princess Mary, he decided to propose again. Once more, though, Elizabeth turned him down being “afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act as I feel I really ought to.”
Bertie refused to admit defeat, and finally got lucky on his third try. The couple was married in Westminster Abbey on April 26,1923.

Elizabeth II met Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark several times while growing up. Apparently he made quite an impression, because she was in love with him by the age of thirteen and the two began exchanging letters. Interestingly enough, the match was filled with controversy. Philip was considered to be a foreigner and had sisters who had married German nobleman who were later suspected of having Nazi ties. The Queen Mother reportedly referred to Philip as “The Hun”. True love prevailed, however, and the couple married on November 20, 1947.  The wedding could take place only after Philip had renounced his Greek and Danish titles, had converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglican, and had taken on the surname of his mother’s British family becoming Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer had also known each other for many years before they became involved. Charles, under increasing pressure to marry, took a serious interest in Diana as a potential bride during the summer of 1980. They were both guests at a country weekend and she took the time to watch him play polo. They began dating and Diana was well received by all members of the Royal family. Charles and Diana were engaged in February 1981, and married on July 29, 1981. Diana had just turned twenty years old at the time of their marriage.

Prince William and Kate Middleton met at school. They were both students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland when they met in 2001. The relationship went through the usual ups and downs, mostly William not wanting to commit, and then realizing what he was throwing away. Fortunately for him, Kate was willing to try again. This time he took the step, proposed, and she accepted.
The result... the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011...the birth of Prince George... and a new arrival on the way!
 I wish them well.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Steve Jobs

The late Steve Jobs was the iconic, sometimes controversial, and always brilliant mind behind Apple Inc..

To me, he exemplified courage in entrepreneurship and creativity.

He seemed to face his biggest challenge, his battle with cancer, in the same way he faced challenges all his life; to think “beyond what anyone thought possible” and to do “some great work, really great work that will go down in history.”

When it came to romance, apparently Jobs followed the same game plan.

When Steve met his wife Laurene, she was in an MBA program at Stanford University. Jobs was scheduled to be at a business meeting when he decided to follow his heart instead of his agenda;

“If this was my last night on earth, would I rather spend it at a business meeting, or with this woman?”

He ran across the parking lot, from which they were both heading out, and asked if she would have dinner with him. She said ‘yes’, they walked back into town and were together ever since.

I’m sure during the  successful and long lasting relationship the journey was made smoother by some of the lessons Steve Lohr of the NYT writes that Jobs has left behind;

Good ideas take time,
Don’t dwell on mistakes,
And, perhaps most important,
Passion counts for a lot.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mayor Tom Menino and Angela Faletra

When Boston voters elected Marty Walsh as their 54th mayor in the  2013 mayoral election, the city said good-by and thanks to its longest serving mayor, Thomas Menino.

Mayor Menino had been the face of Boston from 1993, serving five terms as mayor and stepping down with an unprecedented 80% approval rating.

On October 30th 2014, Boston said good-by again to Mayor Menino, when he succumbed to the very aggressive cancer he had been diagnosed with, shortly after leaving office.

Menino, a real Boston boy, grew up right in the city in Hyde Park. He was the son of a factory foreman, attended St. Thomas Aquinas High school, and later enrolled in night classes at Boston College.

Like many hard working parents, Tom Menino's father wanted a better life for his son. His dismay was great when Tom, citing President Harry Truman as his role model, declared that college was not for him, and dropped out of B.C..

He later went on to receive an associates degree in business, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Community Planning while serving as Boston's City Councilor.

In March 1993, after President Clinton  appointed then Mayor Raymond Flynn as United States Ambassador to the Holy See, Tom Menino became acting Mayor of Boston and went on to serve five terms in office.

Tom Menino met Angela Faletra in 1963 when she was playing tennis on the court next to his. She and her friend kept hitting balls into the next court. Tom, made his move and suggested a game of mixed doubles. The two "hit it off", fell in love and were married three years later.

They moved back to  Hyde Park, where they still live, had two kids and are now the proud grand parents of six. Angela still works 30 hours a week as an accountant while performing her ceremonial duties for the city of Boston.

Our thoughts are with the Menino family as they cope with this sad loss, and our thanks go out to them,too, for sharing this great man with the public.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Happy Birthday Giuseppe Verde

Giuseppe Verde was born on October 10th or 9th 1813 (the baptismal records state that the infant was "born yesterday") in a small village called Busseto.

As a young man he studied composition in Milan and returned to be the music master of his small village. Much renowned, he was invited by a prominent merchant to instruct his lovely daughter, Margherita, in music.

Of course, just as in opera, the two fell deeply in love and, just as in opera, tragedy was just behind the curtain.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Greta Garbo

Greta Lovisa Gustafsson  grew up in a poor neighborhood in Stockholm; a shy child who preferred daydreaming and play-acting to school. When her father died of Spanish flu in 1920, she had to leave school and go to work to help support the family. Her first job was in a barbershop, as a "lather girl," and she also found work as a department store model. Her modeling jobs led to some small roles in advertising films for the store and for a local bakery.

While studying at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, she caught the eye of silent-film director Mauritz Stiller. He took her under his wing, changed her last name to "Garbo" and cast her in his film The Saga of Gösta Berling (1923). When Stiller signed a deal with MGM in Hollywood, he insisted on bringing his star with him. The studio set about to craft a persona for the aloof Swedish actress, portraying her as a woman of mystery, and though they had only agreed to put her under contract to get Stiller on board, they soon discovered that she had star potential.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SoRo Romance

We met on a Friday night in the middle of spring (we’d actually met before that and said “hello” but she doesn’t remember). It was the last day of law school exams. All over, small parties had erupted in different homes. Everyone was dealing with the sudden combination of exhaustion, relief, and elation. I was happy to be done with exams and even happier that I had three weeks of nothing to do.

Just as all roads in the ancient world led to Rome, all parties in SoRo lead to Crossroads. Crossroads is a large bar/space that serves several different purposes as the primary spot in a tiny New England town filled with liberal law students and life-long residents. It’s a dive bar with cheap beer, it’s a giant outdoor patio and horseshoe pit, it’s a back room with pool tables, and on a night when the  entire law school is hanging out and celebrating, it’s a dance hall; the whole place was thumpin’.

I arrived with about a dozen friends from an earlier house party. It was late, but not late for a Friday night. I bought a beer and worked my way through the crowd, trying to say hello to people who were graduating or heading off for the summer. After a little while, I noticed this girl on the dance floor. She had arrived earlier with friends, and was celebrating her last exam of her first year. I watched as she moved around laughing and smiling; she seemed to know everyone and everyone seemed to love her. Unfortunately my friend, Chris, also spotted her and was pretty confident about his chances. So we made a bet over whether Chris would get a kiss by the end of the night. Chris figured that he wouldn't have a problem because, even though she had been dancing with some other guys, she seemed willing to dance with him and he had faith in his own persistence. Sadly (and unexpectedly) for Chris, I hadn't yet begun to talk with the cute blonde girl; it’s like making a bet on the likelihood that the Yankees will win a game, only to discover later that you’d been talking with Derek Jeter.

I began dancing, trying to surreptitiously edge my way towards my objective, who was grooving like whoa to the music. I arranged an introduction. We started to dance, and dance and dance. It got later and later: midnight and beyond. Her friends started leaving. She suggested I go with them, so we head to the big gazebo on town green. Everyone always wants to keep on spending just a little more time out in the nice early summer weather. We talked and talked discussing all sorts of things, and the night grew deeper. After a bit, it got a little cooler and we went over to her car to get her jacket. At the car, we kissed, and upon leaning against the car, released the emergency brake. The car began to roll downhill towards the green. At that exact moment, her friend wandered by, and we had to scramble to keep the car from rolling over the friend and onto the green. We kept the car (and friend) from catastrophe and I walked her back to where she was staying. I got her phone number, which I promptly lost, but saved myself by emailing her two days later.

Chris bought me a drink the next night.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Heart and Soul

Last year, on August 17th, Bethany Hamilton, of Soul Surfer fame, married Adam Dirks. Hamilton met Dirks, a Christian youth minister, through mutual friends at her church. The two fell in love and announced their engagement last spring.

In an interview with "In Touch" magazine, Bethany confided,

"I always felt it would be hard for me to meet someone, because I'm different. To say that I was completely comfortable looking at myself in the mirror and seeing one arm would be a lie. I just had to trust in God and know that he had someone special for me."

Bethany Hamilton is one of my heroes. She has inspired all with her story of survival and courage following the loss of her arm in a shark attack when she was only 13. Motivated by her family's love, her personal faith and her amazing perseverance Bethany reclaimed surfing for her own, and was able to become one of the top surfer's in the world. She was also determined to use her own misfortune to learn how to motivate others and reach out to those in need.

Bethany's love of challenge is not limited to the world of surfing. This past March she teamed up with driver, Chrissie Beavis, to complete the world's only all-women off-road rally race; the 23rd annual Gazelle Rally.

In the Gazelle, racers must reach a series of check points across the grueling Sahara desert using the shortest distance.

Was Hamilton just "along for the ride"? No way!
Doing the bulk of the driving in a car with no modifications, she negotiated some of the highest dunes in the world while Chrissie Beavis performed the navigation.
They finished an impressive 8th out of 150 teams.

It's no surprise that Bethany Hamilton's "someone special" should be a companion in adventure, in faith, and in love.

"Adam and I love to live healthy, active lifestyles, and we hope to share that with others. I'm excited to go on some adventures with him as well."

Let's hope he can keep up:)


Monday, July 21, 2014

The Real Deal

In an era where heroes seem to be in short supply, and there is a tendency to exaggerate accomplishments to acquire heroic status, Neil Armstrong needed no such crutch.

He was the real deal.

Neil Armstrong gained star status when he took the first steps on the moon on July 20,1969. When he radioed to Houston, “The Eagle has landed.” Houston replied, “You’ve got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.”

Neil Armstrong grew up in small town Ohio and learned to fly before he learned to drive.

After serving in the Navy during the Korean War,fighting in the unit immortalized by author James A. Michener  in “The Bridges at Toko-Ri, Armstrong headed off to Purdue University to study aeronautical engineering studies, his grades rising and a career in sight.

While at Purdue he met Janet Shearon. The couple married in January 1956. By the time Armstrong was tapped to command the Apollo 11th mission, Jan and Neal had already gone through more than most couples their age. A young daughter had died from an inoperable brain tumor, leaving two brothers behind.

Heroism, of course, takes many forms. Perhaps none are more heroic than those who see the hero off on the journey. The ones who stay behind watching, waiting, safeguarding all things precious display an inner strength and courage maybe surpassing those who pursue the adventure.

The Armstrongs remained married until 1994. They divorced and went their separate ways. Both Jan and Neil maintained a privacy that protected both the family and the heroic image the nation had created for them.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Napoleon and Josephine

Le quatorze juillet, the storming of the Bastille in Paris on July 14, 1789, was a rallying point and a symbolic act of defiance, pivotal to the start of the French Revolution. Born in 1763 and married at the age of 16, Marie Josephine Rose Tascher de La Pagerie survived the Reign of Terror, imprisonment, and the execution of her husband, Alexander.

Now a widow, Josephine became the mistress of many powerful men including General Napoleon Bonaparte. Six years her junior, Napoleon's ardor for Josephine has been made famous by a collection of his love letters to her.

The couple was married on March 9, 1796. Two days after the wedding Napoleon left to lead the French army in Italy. Unfortunately Josephine wasted no time in beginning an affair with a handsome, young lieutenant.

Her affair led to Napoleon's own affair and the marriage began its decline, ending in divorce in 1810. Despite a tumultuous relationship in turbulent times, Josephine and Napoleon remained on good terms until their deaths.

He is reported to have once said that the only thing that came between them were Josephine's debts.

Her name was among Napoleon's final words when he died in exile on St. Helena in 1821.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Grace Goodhue and Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4,1872 in tiny Plymouth Notch, Vermont.
He was a smart, energetic, and very ambitious boy who was destined to go far beyond his humble beginnings.

Perhaps his most surprising accomplishment, was his success in winning the hand of the lovely and charming Grace.

Grace Goodhue Coolidge's charm and lively personality were the perfect match for the future president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. His reserved manner led to the nickname, Silent Cal, and to many stories that celebrated his New England stoicism. One such story was that, while at a White House dinner party, a guest shared with the President a bet she had with a friend that she could make him say more than two words. His alleged reply was a simple "You lose."

Grace Goodhue graduated from the University of Vermont in 1902. From there she went to teach at the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts. One morning while watering flowers outside the school, Grace happened to look up into the window of the boarding house across the street. Much to her surprise she saw Calvin Coolidge standing in front of a mirror shaving, wearing nothing but long underwear and a hat. Her laugh made him look and a romance was launched.

Despite the objections of her mother, Grace accepted Calvin's romantic ultimatum of a proposal,
"I am going to be married to you!".
The couple was married at the Goodhue home at 312 Maple Street in Burlington,Vermont on October 4, 1905.

The marriage was a successful one summed up in lovely prose by Silent Cal,

"For almost a quarter of a century she was borne with my infirmities, and I have rejoiced in her graces."

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti

 Sofia Villani Scicolone was born in Rome and raised by a single mother who was a piano teacher, but aspired to be an actress. Her aspirations, beauty, and talents were passed along to young Sofia who, at the age of 14, was entering beauty pageants and eventually enrolled in acting classes.
When her film career was launched Sofia decided to become Sophia Loren. She met the famous film producer, carlo Ponti, in 1950 when she was 15 and he was 37. Ponti was so much in love with Sophia that he married her in 1957. A small problem was caused by the fact that Ponti was already married. After one annulment and one divorce, the couple legally married in 1966 and remained happy together until Ponti's death in 2007. When asked in a November 2009 interview if she would ever marry again, the still beautiful and charming Sophia Loren replied,"No, never again. It would be impossible to love anyone else."

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita

June is the month for gay pride events all over the world, and New York City is proud to be hosting their 20th Gay Pride Fest later this month.

A fitting tribute to NYC's legalization of gay marriage was the marriage between Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita last July 21st.

 Ferguson and Mikita, long time partners in romance, are also long time partners in their support of marriage equality. In September 2012 Ferguson and Mikita co-founded Tie The Knot, a non profit charity whose mission is to raise funds to support marriage equality for same sex couples by selling (what else???) limited edition bow ties. A perfect match for this great actor-lawyer couple!

Congratulations to all, and remember....everyday is filled with Gay Pride!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Wrong Place...Right Time

I never thought I'd meet my fiance in a girl's bathroom.

My future husband Jai spent his teen years in the resort town of Seaside, Oregon, then moved to Arizona for a decade. In 2002, he decided to move back to the Oregon coast to be near family. One of the things he had missed about living in Seaside was the Kajukenbo martial arts school where he had trained for some time and earned a brown belt. I had begun training at that same dojo two years prior, and attended classes three nights a week.

Once Jai moved back to Oregon, he registered for the class right away so he could resume his martial arts training. On his first night back at the dojo, he stood in the lobby waiting for the men's room to vacate so that he could change into his Karate gi (uniform). The instructor of the class, whom we address as "Sifu (teacher)", asked Jai why he was standing around.

"The men's room is occupied, I'm just waiting for it to open so I can change," he replied.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

Being a collector of romantic "how we met" stories, I have to admit that my own chance meeting with my future husband is one of my favorites:)

We've been through many ups and downs together, but together we are...after 33 years...and he's still my best friend.

During my senior year of college I had an internship working at the State Department of Agriculture in our tiny capital city. I had made one of those last minute housing arrangements and planned to live with my roommate's sister's boyfriend. The situation became more complicated when they broke-up the night before I arrived. The ex was still happy to have me stay,and greeted me with the announcement that we would be attending a very special event.

He and a large group of friends had just returned from a weekend road trip to the Jersey Shore.One of the friends had the brilliant idea of carrying a tape recorder so that the event could forever be preserved for group memory.On this night they were all assembling at the local hangout to hear the tape played back.We arrived to a full house and I squeezed into a booth to listen to a hilarious series of interviews and narrations chronicling this historic odyssey to the shore.I quickly noticed that I was one "middle man" away from a very cute guy.

If I could only lose the guy in the middle, I could make my move.Finally as the tape came to an end, the beer that had been drunk prevailed and "middle man" wanted out.The cute guy was even cuter close up. I decided to make a move. I put my hand on cute guy's leg and said,
"I hope you're a lady's man, because I'm a man's lady." (true...we both actually remember that:)
I fell in love, he did, too and the conversation began that night is still going on.

Photo Okayed

One day a proposal came to my father from the prospective suitable boy's maternal uncle.  Our family was known to them.  After the initial proposal, the uncle and the prospective boy's father came to discuss the proposal with my father one evening.  Maa made necessary preparations to receive the important guests.

During the meeting the suitability of the boy was discussed which included his education, which was pretty impressive, his profession and family.   The uncle then asked baba about me.  Both seemed to be satisfied and agreed to progress.  Photographs were exchanged.  The boy's photo was shown to me and my opinion was sought.  I saw the face of a reasonably personable young man and decided he would do. I guess the young man also thought the same, for it was rumored his telegram to his parents read 'Photo Okayed'. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Mom and Dad

The first time I posed the question, "So how did you meet anyway?" the subject naturally enough, was my mother. We were in the kitchen and she was ironing a never ending pile of cotton shirts. She put down the iron and with a wry smile on her face told the story of how she met my father.

My mother was a nurse working in Providence, RI during World War II. The war had just ended and her former roommate, Virginia, was in town to show off her blossoming family. As their afternoon visit wound down, Virginia's brother, along with a group of friends, started to head out the door. Never one to waste the still rationed gasoline, my future grandmother added several items to his agenda along with, "Why don't you drop Virginia's friend off while you're out?".

Several blocks later, not wanting to impose on anyone, my shy mother hopped out at the next stop sign and walked home. My father, hoping to get an opportunity to "chat up" my mother, was dismayed to find her gone.

He went to his sister to ask about my mother's dating status and was given the not too truthful reply, "She's practically engaged." Having lost too many years to service in the Pacific, and never one to waste any time, my dad made his move and the rest is family history, our beginning.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ingrid Michaelson and Greg Laswell

The New York Times did a wonderful interview with Ingrid Michaelson in a Sunday edition. In this interview, Ms. Michaelson admits to loving the "comfy" life.
She and her husband, fellow musician Greg Laswell, like to spend time sleeping in on weekends, hanging out in Starbucks, making late night dinners, and hanging out on their big comfortable couch.

I’ll take comfort over fancy forever: I think that’s what sets me apart from Lady Gaga!

Ingrid Michaelson and Greg Laswell met on tour at a show they were both doing in upstate New York about five years ago. Although both share the same profession, they are careful to keep their home life and work life separate. Laswell recognizes that they may have an overlap in their audience, but their musical skills rarely come together.

 It’s funny because we don’t do music at all when we’re both home. It’s the last thing we ever think of doing. We usually just hang out, go to dinner and watch movies. It’s a very separate thing with us.

The song, "Landline" was the exception to the rule. Riding out a storm, sitting in a church in Maine, Michaelson and Laswell started playing around with the music and lyrics which eventually became the hit song they recorded together.

All I ever needed was a landline, just in case the power lines go down.

Ingrid Michaelson and Greg Laswell were married in Maine in August 2011. Maybe they both found all that they ever needed.

When I See Your Smile

I would say all couples have their own love stories; the story of how they met, how they started liking each other, and how they ended up in the altar. Ours was nothing unusual except that I met my wife when we were 10 years old.

Yup, you read it right. We were only 10 years old when we first met. That was in school.
We were both transferees from different private schools. Our parents both decided to move us to a public school where tuition fees are less. And so we met, on the first day of that school year. We were in fourth grade.

I couldn’t remember much but all I knew was I liked her already. I tried to be close to her so we ended up as very good friends. Our classmates started to tease us, and as a school-aged boy, I would feel embarrassed. But then we remained good friends and would end up sharing school stuff like notebooks and crayons.
The following year, we started a project called “Friends Comics”. I would draw some cartoons on folded A4s, and she would do the same. We stapled our work together, and our “comics” was born. I think we can call this our first “baby”. It was a weekly thing and our classmates (even our teachers) would pass the comics along until everybody has read it. I designated myself as the “editor” and she was the “assistant editor.”

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Closed for Renovations

The first time we met, Alvin was recovering from a failed relationship and I was closed for renovations, not exactly the most ideal of beginnings.

Rewind to the year before. We were each in our own long-term relationships. Mine ended abruptly when my boyfriend died of a sudden heart attack one afternoon in April. His ended with a painful but inevitable break-up late the same year.

It was understandable then, that when we met over dinner arranged by a mutual friend, romance was the farthest from everyone’s mind. To be completely honest though, the fact that he was very cute didn’t escape my attention.

Everything seemed to go right that night. The food was good, conversation was great; we were laughing the entire time. Looking back, I still marvel at how easy and comfortable things felt; it was like the whole group just clicked.

For the next few months, we all hung out as a group, which was fun because Alvin and I got to know each other in a very relaxed, no-expectations kind of way. It was a lively blur of movie nights, group dates and long conversations.

5 months after we met, we became a couple. 2 and a half years later we got engaged, and early last year, we were married.

Alvin is an easy person to love. He puts up with my every-other-week mid-life crisis, he watches whatever movie I want to watch, he listens when I rant. Also, he cooks and has saved me from starvation countless times.

Ours has always been an easygoing relationship. We talk, we tease, we laugh.

I think the fact that we've both been in long-term relationships in the past and that we've both known pain, albeit different kinds, play a big part in how we are with each other. Simply put, we have learned to distinguish the essentials from the non-essentials.

Everything else we take one day at a time. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves

Since I met my husband in a local bar favored by the after-work crowd, I was happy to read that Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves also met at a favorite after work watering hole in West Hollywood.

She watched as a bearded man with a rasta hat worked hos way toward the bar. Her first reaction was to retreat to the other side of the club, but when mutual friend Lance Armstrong made the introductions, she realized things could be looking up.

Camila Alves is a very independent woman who was raised in the farmlands of Brazil. She came to LA to visit an aunt at the age of 15 and never left. For years she worked cleaning houses or waiting on tables before she got her big breaks in acting.

Matthew McConaughey is a born and bred Texan. he was first cast in a series of romantic comedies which formed the early years of his acting career. He took a break from Hollywood films to take on more challenging independent and dramatic roles. His Academy Award for his role in Dallas Buyer's Club is testimony to his versatile and accomplished acting.

Matthew proposed to Camila on Christmas day 2011, about four years after they met. She had never planned to marry, but love changes the best of career intentions.

The Alves-McConaughey family now has three children, two boys and a girl.

Camila Alves showed such love and support for her husband during the Academy award ceremony when she had to turn away from cameras in an attempt to hide the flow of tears which overwhelmed her during his emotional speech.

One more little fact about this couple made me like them even more. After Hurricane Katrina, the Alves-McConaughey family adopted many homeless pets from New Orleans, and more recenlty, Matthew rescued a local cat. Passing some boys who had doused the poor animal with hairspray and were attmpting to set it on fire, McConaughey intervened and took the cat home. Hooray for heroes!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Lady Hamilton and Lord Nelson

Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton
Heart of oak are our ships, jolly tars are our men,
we always are ready; Steady, boys, steady!
We'll fight and we'll conquer again and again.

By the time Lord Horatio Nelson met Lady Emma Hamilton, he was a hero of epic stature in the eyes of the British Empire. His dramatic and bold actions against the French, during the Napoleonic Wars, led to one victory after another boosting the morale and hopes of his fellow Brits.

Although many details of the early life of Emma Hamilton are unclear, she is known to have lived in the village of Hawarden, where she worked as a maid. Her life turned more interesting when she became friends with a fellow domestic servant, Jane Powell, who introduced her to the life of an actress. Emma's beauty and charm led her into high society, where she became the mistress, and eventually the wife, of Sir William Hamilton.

Now, as Lady Hamilton, her former life of uncertainty and struggle was replaced with a solid position in late 18th century England. As wife of the British Envoy, Lady Hamilton met Horatio Nelson in 1793, when he came to gather reinforcements against the French during the Napoleonic Wars. He returned in 1798, a living legend after his celebrated victory at the Battle of the Nile, in Aboukir.

Emma is reputed to have flung herself upon Nelson in admiration, calling out “Oh God, is it possible?” The war had aged Nelson, and he was weakened by the loss of an arm during battle. Lady Hamilton nursed him back to health, under the roof of her husband, and arranged a party of 1,800 guests to celebrate Nelson’s 40th birthday.

In 1801, Emma gave birth to Nelson’s daughter, Horatia. They were still living in the house of Sir William, but this was soon to change. Nelson bought a small cottage near what is today Wimbledon, and set up a home with Emma, their daughter, her mother….and Sir William, who idolized Lord Nelson.

They became the "cult couple" of the time; the two most famous and celebrated Britons in the world. Their romance was tolerated, and even encouraged by all.

Go Navy!

 My husband Kevin was in the Royal Navy and in early 1978 he wrote to our local newspaper asking for pen pals. I had always enjoyed writing, so I sent a letter. We carried on exchanging letters and getting to know each other.

Toward the end of the year he came home on leave, and asked if we could meet. As I was only just 20 my dad made him come to the house, we hit it off straight away.

Within a month he asked me to marry him. 

We were engaged by January 1979 and married that July.

Lots of people said we were mad and it would never last.

On the 7th of July this year we had our 33nd anniversary and we are still happy and together.

 We also have two great kids now 25 and 29.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cupid and Psyche

Pan Comforts Psyche

The story of Cupid and Psyche is the story of what true love is really all about 

Cupid, sent on a vengeful mission by his very jealous mother, Venus, is instructed to make the beautiful Psyche fall in love with a hideous creature. Of course, Cupid falls for Psyche himself and is then left with the dilemma well known to most married men; how to keep both your mother and your bride happy. 

Cupid, trying to protect Psyche from the complications of having gods and goddesses in the family, keeps his identity from her. The lovers are perfectly content until Psyche experiences what most women experience in a new relationship; doubt fostered by "well meaning" friends and family. 

The photo to the left depicts a lovely sculpture showing a very sad Psyche seeking comfort from Pan after she breaks her promise with Cupid. She has tricked Cupid to discover his identity, and he is forced to leave her. Pan looks as if he is teaching Psyche what she already knows to be true. Love thrives on trust, and one must follow the heart when finding that special someone. 

To regain her love with Cupid, Psyche is forced by Venus to go through many terrible tasks. Psyche now knows her heart and is willing to do anything to get her god back. Cupid learns that sometimes you have to make Mom a little angry in order to preserve your marriage; so he insists that the torture cease and whisks his bride away to eternal bliss. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Having The Time Of My Life

This is the story of how I met my husband, he has a whole different story, but, well, that’s a different story altogether. After 21 years of marriage, WE,have established that I am almost always right.

I was 16 and living in Guatemala, my father was stationed there with the American Embassy, and I was having, much like the popular movie of that time, having the time of my life. I was a singer in a 80’s pop foursome, and because of a Guatemalan law, incoming International concerts had to have local act open for them, which was our group.  That meant playing for crowds of thousands of people and boy was it FUN! The largest concert we ever played was a converted bull-fighting ring, and it was a logistical nightmare. The security company decided to bring in some large local College boys, think College Hunks hauling Junk types, and they served as the VIP Security and Security for the different Pop Groups.

I was back stage and had thrown up I was so nervous, there was almost 10,000 spectators, suddenly behind me was man acquaintance and his friend, a drop dead gorgeous hunk of a man. My brain processed there was a beautiful man talking to me, but my nervousness overrode my brain and I did not say much. As they walked away I heard him and our mutual friend talking about me and then he said“She has a rocking body.” As a former fat kid, that was it, I was in love.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

Sometimes love is wonderful the second time around.

Paul Newman was already married when he met Joanne Woodward in 1953. The couple fell in love while acting together in the Broadway production of "Picnic"

Five years later, shortly after his divorce, Newman and Woodward married, and made the decision to put marriage before fame. They moved into an 18th Century Connecticut farmhouse, far away from the Hollywood scene.

Newman and Woodward continued to build stellar careers, but devoted time to their humanitarian aid, their community, their family, and mostly to each other.

When Joanne Woodward returned to school and earned her degree, graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, she walked along side her youngest daughter,Clea. She was also very well acquainted with the famous commencement speaker, Paul Newman.

Known for his quips about marriage and fidelity,
"Why go out for a hamburger when you have steak at home?"
"Joanne is one of the last great broads."
his revelation of a dream he had just before delivering the commencement address really says it all.
He dreamed that a woman had asked,
"How dare you accept this invitation to give the commencement address when you are merely hanging on to the coattails of the accomplishments of your wife.?"

Newman and Woodward celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary the January before Paul Newman died.

The public knows much of the sadness the family experienced, and some of the joy and celebration. It's what marriage is all about: for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.

Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman,fifty years of a full life together...not too bad for the second time around.