Iris and Sy Roth of Mount Sinai experienced a case of mistaken identity early in their courtship. Iris recalls what happened.
When I came home from a date one night in the summer of 1964, my mother informed me that a distant cousin and five of his friends had stopped by to see my sister and me. I hadn't seen my cousin in many years and was perplexed about his visit.
The next day, when I returned home from work at a day camp, my mom said that my cousin's friend Gerry had called. He wanted to ask me to a party my cousin was throwing. I didn't like blind dates and was elated I had missed the call.
Gerry continued calling the rest of the week. I felt lucky not to have been home on any of those occasions, but my mom, feeling sorry for him, told Gerry I would be home Thursday night.
She then insisted that I stay and wait for his call, adding that I could either go to the party with Gerry or spend that night at home. I decided to take his call. I also asked my sister to go to the party with us, so she could be my partner in crime.
I answered Gerry's call and we were on the phone for hours. He was so easy to talk to. He was 17 and lived in Farmingdale. I was 16 and lived in North Bellmore. He asked if I would like to go out with him and his friends to the movies the following night. I told him that my sister would need a date, too. He assured me that wouldn't be a problem.
I thoroughly enjoyed our date. Gerry and I immediately seemed to bond, and the next day we went to my cousin's party, where we danced all evening.
We continued going out on group dates with his friends. Several weeks later when Gerry came to the house alone, my mother called his name but he didn't answer. She called again and he said, "Gerry isn't with me." We knew one of his friends was also named Gerry, but why should she be calling for him?
Later I asked him about it and he told me that Gerry wasn't his name. He refused to tell me his name until I confessed that "Bobbie," the name I went by, was not my name, either. We finally admitted our names were Seymour and Iris.
On June 15, 1968, we were married. We have three beautiful children, two daughters-in-law and one son-in-law. They have given us four fantastic grandsons and three beautiful and fabulous granddaughters. We plan to celebrate our 44th anniversary this year with a cruise to the Mediterranean.
After all these years, our love continues to grow. Sy and I remain best friends and lovers, and we look forward to spending our retirement years together enjoying life with our family. Sy retired in 2010 as assistant principal at Half Hollow Hills Middle School. I retired in 2011 as a graduate program coordinator in the department of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University.