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Love Story: Jonathan and Mindy Rich, Oceanside

Jonathan and Mindy Rich of Oceanside celebrated their

Jonathan and Mindy Rich of Oceanside celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary with a trip to Cancun, Mexico. Credit: Rich family

Jonathan and Mindy Rich of Oceanside have her mother to thank for bringing them together. Mindy explains.

In 1989, I was a senior at Brooklyn College. At home, I had been moping around after a recent breakup. My father, trying to pep me up, said, "Don't worry, you will start dating again when the letters start coming." Then quickly added, "Oh, no, don't let your mother know I told you."

He explained she had written an ad for The Jewish Singles Hotline dating service. She wrote, among other things, that I was 23 and make a great stuffed cabbage.

Packages of letters, via the service's post office box, began arriving in November. I had a few dates but none panned out. By now, I was frustrated and had no interest in even opening any more letters. Of course, my meddling mom pushed me to open them.

Literally, the last letter I opened that December was from Jonathan, a 25-year-old suitor from Rego Park, Queens. He was a graduate of Stony Brook University and was working for American Express Federal Credit Union in the World Financial Center in Manhattan. I liked his picture and called to introduce myself. I was Mindy Alban then.

We made a date and two weeks later he drove to my house. He'd never been to Brooklyn. Since I knew he was not earning that much, I took him to Between the Toes restaurant in Bay Ridge, where they served a dinner special for $9.95. When he drove me home later, I invited him inside. My mother was waiting for me, and I had to beg her to go upstairs and not meddle any more than she had.

After watching "Saturday Night Live," I walked Jonathan to the door. He asked if he could see me again. I said yes and went to kiss him on the lips, but he turned his cheek toward me. "Great!" I thought, he doesn't like me. He left thinking I did like him and called me again.

Our relationship was unlike any other I had ever been in. It was based on honesty and trust. I never felt unsure of his intentions and never worried about him looking for someone else while dating me.

In June 1991, we became engaged. At my wedding shower, my mother gave me the canceled check for the ad she had taken upon herself to write, and on July 12, 1992, my parents walked me down the aisle at the Kingsway Jewish Center in Brooklyn.

We moved to Oceanside in 1993 and welcomed our daughter into our lives in 1996. For 25 years I have been a teacher in Canarsie. I am teaching social studies now. Jonathan has worked for Nassau Financial Federal Credit Union for 18 years and is the coordinator of branches. In July, we celebrated our 23rd anniversary with a trip to Cancun.

Thanks, Mom, for meddling, it led me to my best friend.

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