Diane Sciacchitano of North Massapequa recalls the secret crush she had on her future husband, Paul, while they were in high school.
In the late 1950s my family moved to Plainview from St. Albans, Queens. I was 15 and starting my freshman year at Plainview High School. One day I spotted this good-looking guy in the halls. Judging by the looks of things he was a senior. I was a huge fan of actor Paul Newman and his piercing blue eyes. My secret crush had the same blue eyes, but he graduated that spring and I didn't see him again.
Several years passed, and I began my senior year. While in gym class I struck up a conversation with a girl named Mary. She was a junior, and we became fast friends. One day, while flipping through each others' wallets looking at pictures, I saw a photo of the guy I had the crush on when I was a freshman. You can imagine my surprise when I asked Mary who the cutie was and she said, "Oh, that's just my brother Paul."
What were my chances of possibly meeting this guy again? Trying not to seem too anxious, I asked her how he was doing.
As we talked she mentioned that her family went to Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in Plainview. I told her that was also my church, adding that I would look for her on Sunday.
Needless to say, it took "forever" that Sunday for me to throw myself together so that when Paul saw me walking down the steps after Mass, Mary would tell him she knew me and, hopefully, he would ask her for my phone number. Well, he did just that.
He called that week. My dad answered the phone, called up to me and I ran down the steps, or should I say tumbled down, and twisted my ankle. I hobbled over to the wall phone in the kitchen and tried to speak casually to Paul while looking for ice for my ankle. We talked for some time, and he asked me on a date to the movies.
We saw "West Side Story" at the Plainview Theater, and we both knew then that we were smitten with each other. After dating for two years, we married on April 4, 1964. It has been 48 years of highs and lows, smiles and tears. There were health problems, but we managed to tackle whatever came along and stay strong for each other and for our three children.
Prayers answered, our glass is once again full. We enjoy being each other's best friend and hanging out. We still love going to the movies and hiking together. Mary, my very dear friend, is also my loving sister-in-law.