How My Father Met My Mother
Every couple has Their Story. The story they tell when they meet each other’s families and friends for the first time, the story they tell their children and their grandchildren, they story they whisper to each other during romantic moments
“Do you remember when…”
Every couple has Their Story of how they got together. Some stories are simple, some stories are complicated. Some stories are funny, some stories are serious. All stories are wonderful and have a happy ending.
It was October 1981. My father had moved to California after losing his job and had decided to live at his parents house while they were living in Europe. It was a few weeks before my grandparents actually left and it was the weekend of his tenth high school reunion. My grandmother brought in some of his old high school yearbooks and they were reminiscing about people he went to school with. My grandmother pointed out people she was curious about and my dad promised to let her know what they were all doing. He also recognized someone in the yearbook as someone he had been working with at his new job, but didn’t remember from high school.
The next day, my dad went to the reunion. When my dad was in high school, he was, well, kind of dorky. He was short and bit overweight, and now that he was in his late twenties, he was much taller (having had his growth spurt during his senior year in high school) and had lost weight. Having visions of having the entire high school class be amazed at his transformation, his illusions were quickly broken when most people didn’t remember how he looked at all.
After a couple hours of meandering around the reunion and meeting people, my dad was bored. A woman named Betsy happened to recognized my dad and called him over.
Betsy asked, “Hey, do you know Caren?” (This would be my mom.)
“No, should I?” my dad asked.
“Probably not,” my mom replied.
My mom was working and living as a ESL teacher in the North Monterrey area of California, in a town called Castroville (the artichoke capitol of the world, or so my dad tells me). My mom says that because it was during the school year and she was working, she almost didn’t go to the reunion. Obviously she changed her mind or there would be no story (or a me to tell it!).
My dad and my mom spent all night talking to each other. But towards the end of the night, they briefly separated (my mom thinks one of them went to get something to drink, but she couldn’t remember specifically what happened). Meanwhile, some guy came up to my mom and asked her to dance. Since my dad wasn’t around, she said yes.
And off she went.
When my dad finally came back, my mom was gone. He waited around for her, but after awhile, my dad figured he wasn’t going to see her again. Disappointed and little pissed, he decided to leave without saying good-bye.
After my mom finished dancing with the other guy, she looked around for my dad. She looked and looked, but finally someone told her that he had already left. A little annoyed, my mom left the reunion.
The next morning, my maternal grandmother asked my mom how the reunion went. My mom said that it was good and that she had met a guy, but that he had left.
“Oh well,” she said. “His loss.”
On Monday, when my dad was at work, he saw Cathy, the woman that he recognized from the yearbook.
“Hey, where were you on Saturday night?” he asked.
“Why do you want to know?” Cathy asked.
My dad explained that he recognized her from the yearbook and hadn’t seen her at the reunion. “So, who did you hang out with in high school?”
“Oh, my very best friend was Caren G—-” Cathy replied. (That would be my mom.)
My dad, surprised, said, “Huh. Guess who I hung out with for most of Saturday night?”
Cathy asked my dad if he was planning on seeing her again.
“Nah, I don’t think so.”
“Oh go on!” she insisted. My dad was hesitant but after a little more pushing from Cathy, he finally relented.
My dad, knowing that my mom was a teacher, looked her up at the school district and gave her a call.
That Saturday, they had their first official date.
While they were on their date, my dad told her about seeing Cathy at work and how she encouraged him to call.
My mom replied, “I haven’t seen Cathy since we graduated from high school.”
They got married on April 16, 1983.
And the rest, as they say, is history…
Happy 25th Anniversary Mom and Dad!
Allison and Eric
My parents. Christmas 2007.
Weddings are certainly in the air with the impending nuptials of Gina and Kerri, but even if you aren’t married or engaged, I would love to hear how you and your significant other got together, or about your parents or friends if you’re not with anyone.