How They Met: Parent’s Edition

For some meet-cute stories, I decided to look beyond my friends in relationships (how many Tinder turned true love stories do I need to hear and only sort-of believe?), and ask my friends and fellow HCers how their parents met – back in the good ole days of chivalry before guys tried hitting on girls by texting them unsolicited dick picks.

 Let’s imagine we’re in a phone-free, romantic world together for a few minutes…

 Kathrine L. says, “My parents met through doing an internship in India together! They were both MBA students at UVA and worked together all summer. They traveled all over India together for three months, and started dating when they got back to school.

 My dad's best friend and college roommate married my mom's best friend and introduced my parents. They eventually started dating, fell in love, and got married. My mom was an attorney in New Jersey, and my dad was working at the Treasury in DC, so they didn't even live together until my twin sister and I were 10 months old! My dad took the train up every weekend after we were born until my mom finally gave in and moved to VA. – Haley P.

(Nancy and Joel)

Laughing that they were the original Jim and Pam, Sarah L. says, “My parents worked together at a bank and were best friends for years before they got married, they were friends even before my dad’s first marriage.”

(Jill and Don)

My parents lived in the same apartment building but two floors apart. They went to different high schools and had never known /seen each other until they went to the same college. They met through mutual friends in my mom’s freshman year, while my dad was a senior. They claim their proposal was a “mutual agreement,” probably because they had already bought a house together before marrying – Samie L.

 In utter disbelief that her parents were engaged at her current age, Kate M. shares, “My parents met in high school and were really close friends and would always hang out but never dated. They went to different colleges, my dad is two years older, and my mom needed a date to a formal freshman year, so she asked my dad. They started to date after that, and my mom got engaged her junior year of college. They had me five years later.

(Kris and Bill)

 A mutual friend set them up on a blind date. Six months later, my dad proposed to her, in true 90’s fashion, in a surprise horse and carriage ride - Sarah C.


(Mr. and Mrs. C in Texas)

 "My parents met at a bar, and my dad said he noticed my mom because of her long legs. He asked for her number and said he was going away on business and he’d call right when he got back. My mom wasn’t expecting him to call, but then he did right when he said he would. "– Megan N.

 “My parents met in bible college, and they didn't talk at first because my dad was 'too cool for school', but they were in the same social circle. My mom was actually on a group date with another guy, and my dad was there with a friend. My mom's date went to the bathroom and she turned to my dad and said, ‘Listen, I know you like me. So ask me out, and we'll leave." So they left. 6 months later they're married!” – Monica H.

(Mrs. and Mr. H)

 Leah N.’s parent’s story shows that humor is sometimes the fastest way to the heart. Her mom says, “It was at the Moshulu in the ‘service area’ where waiters/waitresses go to place orders, pour coffee and get drinks from the service bar, etc., and he seemed very pleasant and friendly. I had worked there for three years, and he was new. He laughed a lot, and I did too, so we had that in common right away. I don’t remember exactly what we said the first time we spoke. I remember that he thought that Moshulu supplied white shirts for the waiters, which they didn’t, and he seemed a bit concerned and said he would have to put in a special order for a shirt with extra-long sleeves because he had very abnormally long arms. Everyone was teasing him good-naturedly and laughing about his extra-long arms. I have never heard anyone else say that in my whole life.”

 Lynnea L.’s story hits close to home ~PGH~ as you’ll see: “My dad got the courage to ask out my mom when they were in ninth grade, and they've been together ever since. After their junior year of college, they went on a day trip to Pittsburgh, and my dad proposed to my mom in the Cathedral of Learning.”

(Jamie and Sheryl as juniors in high school)

 "My parents met while they were both working at Bamberger’s (which is now a part of Macy's) at Quaker Bridge Mall. They met in May and their first date was in July." – Jesse P.

 Luck was involved in Alex P.’s parents’ story as her dad almost didn’t go to their first date: “My parents were set up by their best friends who were dating. It was a Monday, August 3, and my dad only went because it was on his way home from work.”

(Ken and Irene)

For Christina L., her parents’ story is a practical joke turned into a story they’d tell over and over of how they met: “Jimmy and Pauline were forced into a double date when their friends who set them up invited them to a ‘family picnic,’ but actually, they were the only ones invited.”

(Mr. and Mrs. L)

 "My parents met because they lived in the same neighborhood and hung out with the same friends." – Charlene S.

 Lauren F. loves her parents’ story almost as much as her mom’s 80’s eye makeup: “My parents were both freshman in college, and they were in a class together, and my dad was the only person that my mom didn’t know, and my mom was the only person whose name my dad did know. They started to hang out a little as friends, and one night they had apples and peanut butter together which kind of confirmed the flirting. They’ve been together ever since and married for 25 years this December.”

(Diane and Tim)

 Having just celebrated her parents’ 25th anniversary this past summer, Caroline E. finally got to hear her parents’ full story: “My parents met downtown while working for Mellon Bank - my mom moved from Iowa to the North Hills at 14, and my dad was born and raised in Point Breeze. My mom started work in 1988 and joined the team my dad was on in 1989. The first day on the team, she was waiting on the elevator to go to lunch and was startled by a man in a full suit doing a cartwheel off and then back onto the elevator that arrived. Apparently he had been doing that for 8 straight floors. They became best friends, then started dating 3 years later. My dad went to Pitt for grad school, so they have all sorts of pictures from dates on Craig St. and in front of Cathy. While I love the story of how they met because it shows where my strangeness comes from, I love the story of their wedding more. My parents got married in August 1993. That January, my grandfather (my dad's dad) died unexpectedly, and my father found him. My parents had only been engaged for a month, and a lot of the wedding planning coincided with funeral arrangements. Their wedding really meant a lot - it was the happiest moment of the year, and it brought the two families closer.”

(Mrs. and Mr. E., right after saying “I Do”)

 And finally, the story of my own parents, Ed and Sue. My mom says, “Dad was friends with a lot of the guys on my floor in college. I knew who he was, our floor and his floor shared a study lounge where everyone congregated, but didn't really know him.  One day when I was studying philosophy with my friend George, dad came over to say hi to George, looked at our notebooks and said, ‘You are a boy but write like a girl, and you're a girl but write like a boy".  I should have been highly insulted and told him to f*** off, but I didn't, and after that we started talking more often in the lounge and when he would be visiting friends on my floor, he would often end up in my room.  That was in February. By April, he asked me to our dorm formal.  The rest is history.

(Sue and Ed)  

Photo Credits: All photos provided by contributors