Susan Giuliani of East Meadow recalls the terrible first date she and her future husband, John, had.
My friends, two married couples, arranged a group date to go bowling on March 24, 1972, with the intention of introducing me to John, a co-worker of both the men. They told me he was very nice and, like me, had just ended a long-term relationship. John was 30 and I was 27. I didn't want to go on the date and found out later that he didn't either.
John was driving from Westchester to meet us in our Brooklyn neighborhood near the Queens border. He arrived an hour late and was not very happy. He took a wrong turn coming over the Whitestone Bridge (a 50-cent toll then) and went round and round in circles through Kennedy Airport looking for an exit. Now I was stuck with an unhappy blind date.
We took one car to the Woodhaven Lanes in Queens. Once there, "Mr. Westchester" did not even offer to carry my bowling ball from the car or to buy me a soft drink inside. My friend's husband did both. In fact, John hardly spoke, and when he did he was abrupt. Afterward we went for hamburgers, and he was forced to talk since he was sitting across from me. At some point the other ladies and I went to the restroom together. When they asked whether I wanted to see John again I yelled, "Absolutely not!"
At the end of a seemingly endless evening, John drove me home. He had the audacity to ask for my phone number. I slammed the car door and told him to get it from our friends. I thought that was the end of him, but it thankfully wasn't.
Two weeks later he got the courage to call. He admitted he was rude to me and apologized. Then he asked me out on a second date. I felt I had to say yes for my friends' sake.
We met after work in Manhattan. He took me to see "The Godfather," then to a great Chinese restaurant -- I love Chinese food -- for dinner. John was a different person. We had such a great evening and had lots to talk about, but when he dunked his Chinese noodles into the hot mustard at the same time I did, I knew this was the guy for me.
We were married on Nov. 18, 1973. Nearly 40 years, two daughters and five beautiful grandchildren later, I am so thankful I gave us another chance. We couldn't be happier for it.
John retired in 2000 as a systems technician with Bell Atlantic telephone company and now works part time with Sun Auto Group in Wantagh. I retired in 2006 as a religious education coordinator with St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in Plainview. I am about to publish my first children's book.