Laura Lang of Holbrook recalls how she and husband, Richard, fell in love over lunch.
I was working in the claims department at Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. in Hauppauge one day in July 1984, when a tall, handsome young man came into our office. His name was Richard Lang and he had been hired for a part-time position with us.
I was a 25-year-old single mother living in Patchogue with my two daughters, ages 3 and 5. My life consisted of day care and working five days a week, which didn't give me much time for socializing. Rich, 23, lived in Smithtown and had never been married. He told me he almost turned down the job because he had been looking for full-time work.
During lunch hour on Fridays, two of my female co-workers and I would jump into my Chevy Nova and head to the bank to cash our checks. We'd then stop somewhere for lunch. When one of the women asked Rich if he would like to join us, he smiled and replied "Sure."
Over the next couple of weeks, my friends' hours were changed, which left just Rich and me making the trip to the bank and having lunch together. We began to develop a friendship. We'd talk and talk over lunch, telling each other all about our pasts and sharing our deepest secrets like most friends do. Little did we expect that our friendship would turn into a relationship.
It began when he invited me to his brother's wedding in September and I met his family. A few weeks later, we went on an "official date" to Chuck E. Cheese with my daughters. He brought along his cousin, who was around my girls' ages. Afterward, we went to his parents' house so his mom and dad could meet my girls. By the time we left, they were calling them Grandma and Grandpa! I knew then that this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Within six weeks, we were engaged, and six months later, on March 23, 1985, we were married in Smithtown. Rich's father, an ordained minister, officiated the ceremony. Our union produced two more children, and today we have five amazing grandchildren.
Rich is a cook at the Nesconset Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation. I'm a full-time caregiver to my 93-year-old mother, who lives with us. During the summer, we enjoy taking our annual trip to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.
For our 25th anniversary in 2010, we renewed our vows, then had a reception at a Sayville restaurant. To celebrate our 30th anniversary on Monday, we went to dinner and then had a quiet, romantic evening at home.
So, to sum it up, Rich's temporary job position turned into a permanent husband position.