The surprising birth of a lasting love


Wedding photo croppedTwenty-five years ago this month, Patrick and I were lounging on a Maui beach, toasting to our new marriage with frozen Mai Tais.

I knew I had found my soul mate when we did a wedding budget, planned the honeymoon first, and used the leftover funds for the ceremony and reception.

Hawaii honeymoon framed

Going to Hawaii was a big hairy deal

How was our shallow relationship born so many years ago?

I credit the YMCA and Jay Leno.

I was a single mother and exercised three times a week at the Y to give me strength to handle the rigors of raising a 6-year-old son. In between free weights and the treadmill, a nice guy approached me and started a conversation. He was cute and polite and never left a Cybex machine without a thorough wiping.

One day he told me he was going to an upcoming performance of Jay Leno and offered me a ticket for the 8:00 show.

What I heard: I have an extra ticket and need to give it to someone. It might as well be you.
What he meant: I like you and am asking you out.

I accepted the ticket and when he said he’d pick me up at 7:30, his true intentions bonked me on the head like a poorly executed lateral pull-down.

“You mean like a date?” I blubbered.

With a look of determination, he responded, “Yes, like a date.”

I was excited about going to see Jay Leno, but reserved about the ‘date.’ My opinion that he wasn’t my type was solidified when he drove to my door in a Chevy pickup truck.

I tried to stereotype him as a redneck, but he didn’t fit the mold. He was an engineer, quiet spoken, and when he opened the door for me no beer cans tumbled to the ground. We made light conversation on the drive to the venue, and then he casually dropped a bombshell.

“My entire family will be sitting with us tonight, my two brothers, their wives, and my parents.” I had to go to the chiropractor to get my neck adjusted after I snapped my head around, examining him for tiny horns hidden in his thick dark hair.

What kind of monster was I entrusting my life with for the evening? What could I do? I was trapped but I wanted to see Jay Leno, so I reasoned this was the price I was going to pay for a fifth-row seat.

As we filed into row F his family greeted me with a warm welcome. Two minutes before show time a man with the imprint of a snorkel mask on his face sailed in wearing mismatched shorts, shirt and a broad grin declaring he was the family patriarch.

We howled through the performance and Patrick told me how much he liked Jay as a comedian because his humor didn’t rely on crude obscenities to make people laugh.
Score 1 point.

He took me to Pat’s Pizza after the show without his family.
Score 1 point.

He didn’t tease me when I wolfed down a black olive and onion pizza.
Score 1 point.

I was able to completely be myself or I would have ordered a salad.
Score 1000 points.

When I added up his earned points I said yes to a second date. When he told me it would be the two of us without any surprise guests, he scored a winning point.

Patrick and Molly at the gala 2016

Happy anniversary to the love of my life, still a winner after twenty-five years.

How did you and your partner meet? How long were you together before you met his or her side of the family?


Molly Stevens

About Molly Stevens

Molly Stevens arrived late to the writing desk but is forever grateful her second act took this direction instead of adult tricycle racing or hoarding cats. She was raised on a potato farm in northern Maine, where she wore a snowsuit over both her Halloween costume and her Easter dress.