Jon and Khalie Aker of Lynbrook found love at an iconic Long Island store. Jon recalls their courtship.
I was 18 and in college in June 1998 when I started working at the Lynbrook Dairy Barn. It would prove to be a life-changing experience. The Barn provided a chance to meet many new people. Some customers were especially memorable and enjoyable to talk to, like Cathy and David Wood, also from Lynbrook.
One morning in 2002, Cathy drove up for her daily cup of coffee with someone new in the car. She introduced me to her daughter, Khalie, who was 18 and just starting classes in the education program at Molloy College. She was very cute. I told her I was a teaching assistant with the Hicksville School District and was also taking graduate courses.
Over the next four years Khalie would regularly drive up for coffee, and we'd chat. I developed an interest in her but assumed she was dating someone else.
When I finished my graduate program in April 2007, I needed to create a teaching portfolio. Khalie was now working as a teaching assistant in the Freeport School District, and I asked her permission to look at her portfolio to use as a guideline. I figured it might also give me an excuse to spend some time with her. She dropped it off the next time she came by for coffee.
When I was done with it, I decided to stop by her house to return the portfolio. Khalie was out, but I had a nice chat with her mom. It was then that Cathy began to suspect the Dairy Barn guy had more of an interest in her daughter than in the portfolio.
A month later, I finally gathered enough courage to invite Khalie on a group date to a comedy show in Manhattan. I told her some of my friends were going and that she should bring a friend. We were to meet at the LIRR station.
Our date started with Khalie and her friend running to catch the train at the last minute, a trend that hasn't changed much since, while my friend and I held the doors open for them.
Khalie and I continued dating, and on Nov. 11, 2011, we were married at St. John Nepomucene in Bohemia. Everyone enjoyed themselves at the reception at Windows on the Lake, especially the Dairy Barn table.
Khalie teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in Freeport. I left my job at Dairy Barn in November 2008. I am a special-education teacher in Hicksville. We look forward to a lifetime of good coffee and great conversation.