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Love story: Mary and Bill Colgan of Valley Stream

Mary and Bill Colgan of Valley Stream discovered their lives had crossed paths many times before they met. Mary shares their story.

My sister Alice and her friend Jane decided one evening that they should set up a blind date for me with Jane's brother Bill, based on the fact that we were both Islanders fans. Alice thought we had a lot in common. She had no idea.

A few days later, on Oct. 17, 1997, Bill and I went on our first date to dinner at MacArthur Park restaurant in Rockville Centre. We hit it off and talked until 1 a.m. It was unbelievable how much we had in common.

Both Bill and I were huge sports fans - especially of the Islanders. We both followed St. John's Red Storm basketball, and we both enjoyed watching football - although I'll forgive him for being a Giants fan while I'm a Jets fan! We have the same likes and dislikes in food, and we are big fans of "Survivor," "Amazing Race" and "24."

We both grew up in Valley Stream. When we met, he was 29 and I was 35. Our parents bowled together every week. Our siblings attended school together. Our families attended the same church, yet we had never met.

We were both working for Chase Bank but in different buildings. We had both graduated from St. John's University and were working on our master's degrees in business.

Over time, we found out we had even more in common. On our fourth date we were at a friend's house when Bill's birthday - April 27 - came up in the conversation. I laughed and said, "Yeah, right. Did my sister tell you to say that because that is my birthday?"

I let it go at that point, but as we were leaving I asked if that was really his birth date. He pulled out his driver's license: Sure enough, we have the same birthday!

Bill proposed to me seven months later at Jones Beach. We got married at Blessed Sacrament Church in Valley Stream on Jan. 15, 1999, had our reception at the West Wind Yacht Club in Freeport and honeymooned on Sanibel Island, Fla.

Here we are, 11 years later, with a house, three children and two dogs, and we couldn't be happier.

Every day brings us the possibility of learning something new about each other or something else that we may have experienced "together." There is no one else I would want to experience life with except Bill.

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