Lauren and Howard Lev of East Meadow discovered their "ticket" to love at a concert. Howard explains.
Our story starts in November 1988. My friend Steve had tickets to see Kenny Loggins on Broadway and offered them to his friends. There were about 10 of us at the concert, including Steve's sister, her fiancé, another man and an attractive young woman. I assumed she was with the other man on a date.
When we got to our seats, I was pleasantly surprised when the young woman, Lauren, introduced herself and told me to sit next to her. I was a row before hers. I climbed over the back of the seats, something I would never do, and sat down. During the show Lauren and I commented on music, movies, theater and work. She was 28 and lived in Manhattan. I was 32 and lived in Brooklyn. We both admitted to turning down the concert tickets at first, then for some reason changed our minds. I was falling in love and asked for her number.
I called her the next day and we went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant, Zona Rosa, in Manhattan. Afterward, Lauren said there was a cul-de-sac that she wanted me to see. I was intrigued. I didn't know what a cul-de-sac was until we came to a short street in a very nice area that ended looking out over the East River.
With each date we were becoming a couple. We vacationed together, survived meeting each other's family and celebrated holidays. Lauren and I disagreed with passion, and made up the same way. Seven months later, in June 1989, I picked her up after work for my rehearsed spontaneous proposal on a buggy ride through Central Park. I took my mom's engagement ring out of my pocket, placed it on Lauren's finger and asked her to marry me.
Our ceremony was held on May 6, 1990. My parents were deceased, which meant I would walk down the aisle unescorted. Lauren spoke with her parents, who agreed to her decision to also walk down the aisle alone.
Before the wedding, I had admired a black-and-white patterned bow tie and cummerbund, and Lauren purchased them for me as a gift to wear with my tuxedo. Steve was my best man. The reception was at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadow Park. Our first dance, to a live band, was "Not While I'm Around" by Stephen Sondheim.
In 1995, Lauren and I moved to East Meadow, where we raised our daughter and son. To celebrate our 25th anniversary, we renewed our vows at Temple B'nai Torah in Wantagh with our children, friends and family present. Cantor Steve Sher officiated and gave us a special blessing. We had a luncheon following the ceremony.
Lauren is an advertising executive and an adjunct professor, teaching advertising and marketing communications at three local universities. I work in customer service on Long Island.