Ashley Salerno of Massapequa recalls when her friendship with future husband Chris turned into love.
Chris and I met in fourth grade at Fairfield Elementary School in Massapequa. It was 1995 and we were 8 years old. My last name was Krebs. We became good friends and would play together during recess with the other kids. In sixth grade, Chris asked me to be his girlfriend, and I agreed. Our courtship consisted of holding hands in the hallway. When my mother found out that we considered each other boyfriend and girlfriend, she made me break up with him. We still joke about that with her.
Our friendship continued. While attending Massapequa High School, we began developing different interests and different sets of friends and went our separate ways. After graduating in 2005, Chris went on to SUNY Cortland while I went to Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.
We didn't reconnect until 2009 when the beach volleyball team I'd been playing on for several years in Long Beach needed another player. One of my teammates, who happened to be Chris' former college roommate, asked him to join. Chris and I, now 23, began hanging out again on the team and with a group of mutual friends.
The following year my grandfather died. I adored him and remember praying that I would find a guy just like him. Chris, my old friend, came to the wake wearing a suit and tie. The tie had images of pretzels on it, which made me laugh. He always knows how to make me smile, just like my grandfather did. We soon began dating and had our first date at Marsala Pizzeria in Massapequa.
In 2013, just before Easter, we went to his family's summer home in Pennsylvania. After going on a hike, Chris cooked spaghetti and meatballs for me -- my favorite -- then told me to meet him downstairs. There I found a trail of plastic Easter eggs, each with a note inside giving a reason why he loved me. The trail led to Chris holding a basket with dyed eggs. They spelled out "Marry Me?" Answer: Yes!
We were wed on May 25, 2014, at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Massapequa, followed by a reception at the Glen Cove Mansion.
Chris teaches math to seventh- and eighth-graders at a public school in Rockaway, Queens. I work with elementary school students with disabilities in the Massapequa Union Free School District. We both tutor students outside of school and work as waiters at The Riviera at Massapequa on weekends.
We have enjoyed our first year of marriage and recently celebrated our anniversary with a weekend stay at the Glen Cove Mansion. I am so grateful to call him my husband! He is truly my hero!