Mark Lane of Little Neck, Queens recalls an unforgettable drive home after a date with his future wife, Sharon.
In 1983, I decided to attend a singles group get-together that was held at an apartment in Brooklyn. I was 33 and lived in Little Neck, Queens. Being the polite, courteous, respectful mensch I was, I brought a crab quiche for the hostess.
This was a nice change from the bar and club scenes and the blind dates. The relaxed non-pressured environment made it fairly easy, even for a usually shy person like myself, to be able to talk to strangers. During the evening if one of the gentleman was interested in a young lady or vice versa, the hostess, with the lady’s permission, would pass along her phone number.
The hostess gave me the number of one woman named Sharon Simms, in the possibility I might want to contact her. Apparently my quiche aroused her interest. I surmised she wondered who the handsome gentleman was who made this noble gesture.
However, I was interested in another woman at the gathering. I requested her number from the hostess and called her after the event.
We went on one date. She turned out to be Sharon’s friend. I found out much later that she actually thought I’d be a better match for Sharon. She was right.
Eventually, I called Sharon and something must have clicked because we went out several times. She was 35 and lived in Bayside, Queens. I really liked Sharon and wanted to impress her in the hope that our relationship would continue.
On one date, we went to a concert at the Westbury Music Fair. I don’t recall much about the evening except for our drive home.
I have an aversion to spiders that I don’t divulge to most people. While driving on the Long Island Expressway from Westbury, a rather small spider suddenly appeared traversing the inside of my windshield! My panic mode emerged. To Sharon’s surprise and alarm, I pulled onto the shoulder, screaming for her to get out of the car. I then got an umbrella out of the trunk to squash the arachnid from a safe distance and disposed of it by rubbing it on the concrete.
After this unnerving event that tarnished my male libido, I drove Sharon home with neither of us uttering a sound. By the look on her face she must have been thinking, “Who is this nut I’m with?” I thought I’d never see her again but she surprised me and we continued dating.
We were wed on Aug. 11, 1985 at Temple Torah in Little Neck. Our reception was at Chateau Garden in Great Neck. We traveled to Asia for our honeymoon.
Sharon works in the college office of Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village. I work for a merchandising company dealing with local supermarkets.
We have one daughter who surprised us last year with a party for our 30th anniversary at an elegant restaurant on Long Island’s North Shore. This month we marked our 31st anniversary with a family dinner.
I suspect my quiche and boyhood charm won out over my fear of spiders back then. We’ve survived all these years although I’m still anything but unflappable around anything with eight legs.
With Virginia Dunleavy