Rose Greenman of Bellmore recalls a special dinner with her future husband, Bill, and their parents.
In 1979, at age 19, I started my first full-time secretarial job with Carleton Stuart, an air-conditioning distributor in Long Island City, Queens. Bill Greenman, a stockbroker, often called the office to speak to my boss, a client and a friend.
One day, Bill told my boss that he liked my voice and my friendly manner. He wanted to know more about me. My boss told him my name was Rose Maltese and encouraged Bill to ask me out for a date. He thought we would be a great match. Soon after, Bill called and asked me out to dinner.
On Jan. 19, 1980, he picked me up at my house in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for our date. He took me to a French restaurant on Nostrand Avenue. That evening, we discovered we had much in common, including our enjoyment of many different types of music. Bill also made me laugh and made me feel very comfortable. He was 29 and told very interesting stories. He was also knowlegeable about a variety of subjects. We both knew, from the start, that we had something special. As we continued seeing each other, my parents came to love him as a son.
Six months later, I moved in with Bill in his apartment in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. We then invited our parents over for dinner to meet for the first time. My family is Italian and Catholic. Bill’s family is Jewish. Everyone was warned to be on their best behavior. When they arrived, we put on an opera record. My dad and Bill’s mom started singing the Italian words to the aria, immediately breaking the ice.
Some months passed and I began to feel that Bill was too comfortable with our relationship. So, one evening, we sat down and had a heart-to-heart talk about our future plans. He said he loved me and had wanted to ask me to marry him, but was too afraid. I told him I felt the same way. We decided to get engaged.
On Aug. 29, 1981, we were married in the garden at The Manor Restaurant in West Orange, New Jersey, in a civil ceremony officiated by the mayor; it was followed by a three-week honeymoon in Hawaii. We first lived in South Ozone Park before moving to Bellmore in 1989. We have two wonderful daughters.
Bill, who now works from home, has been a stockbroker for 35 years and a financial adviser with Certera Advisors since 2012. I retired from Nassau Community College in 2015 as administrative assistant to the comptroller. I volunteer at Last Hope Rescue for cats and dogs and at Book Fairies, which distributes books to underprivileged children. I love gardening, concerts, street fairs, and arts and crafts. We enjoy bicyling, traveling and movies — we have a large DVD collection. Bill loves people and will strike up a conversation with whomever is around. He has an amazing mind, teaching me new things all the time.
In August, we celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary. Sharing the same dreams and goals and, especially, the humor, is what has kept us together all of these years. We always take the time to stop and smell the roses. I am truly lucky to have met such an amazing person to share my life with.