Early last May, Russell sent me a Flirt asking “Can I write you some time?” After giving him the “okay” he needed, we exchanged emails complimenting each other on the fact that it was clear a lot of time went into the creation of both of our profiles. Clearly that time was well spent! I learned all I needed to know from his profile and was eager to meet him. He met my criteria – he was Jewish, lived in New York, seemed to have a big heart and clearly enjoyed his life.
We decided to meet at a Cuban restaurant on May 2, 2008. It was raining hard when I got there so I quickly ran to the ladies’ room to dry off. At that very moment, Russell arrived, peeked in, didn’t see me and concluded that I hadn’t arrived yet. He wasn’t worried as I had left him a voicemail just 15 minutes earlier mistakenly (it turned out) telling him that my cab was stuck in traffic. The salsa band was loud. Russell decided, despite the rain, to wait for me outside; he wanted to take me somewhere quieter where we could talk.
When I came out of the ladies’ room, I looked around, and not seeing Russell, decided to wait at the bar. I waited…and waited. Soon, 45 minutes passed and the bartender, hoping to convince me that I was not alone, told me story upon story about women who had been stood up at that very bar, in that very seat! Other bar patrons chimed in, happy to share their own hard-luck dating woes. Despite the camaraderie, it was clear the place was a magnet for the unlucky in love. Would I be the next to fall victim to the bad karma that now floated like a cloud over the bar? Not to worry!
Despite their predictions, I never doubted Russell would show up. I had a good feeling about him; I was just worried—praying nothing bad had happened to him. My imagination was in overdrive. Russell continued to wait outside, heart sinking, getting soaked and puzzled why I hadn’t showed up. A part of him feared that I had driven up in a taxi, didn’t like what I saw and left.
Finally giving up on our night, I exited the front door of the restaurant. I saw Russell, dripping wet, forlorn, clutching his BlackBerry, and scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, possibly looking for my message.
When our eyes met there was an instant connection. I just looked at him. He has the kindest, chocolate brown eyes that invited you in – and a terrific set of dimples! I thought he was adorable. Russell says now that I “looked very pretty and sweet, just as I had hoped. It turned out to be the best day and date of my life.”
I flashed him a smile, put my hand out, and asked if we could start the evening over and Russell said “It would be my pleasure.” Dripping wet and BlackBerry at risk, he was so charming (hopefully my Prince Charming!). We walked arm in arm up the street as if we had been doing it for years. I fell in love with him from the first second I saw him. I told him “Someday, we’ll laugh about this,” hoping that my instincts were correct.
Five months later, we became engaged and had a stunning, perfect (and fun!) wedding on July 11, 2009 at the 3 West Club in Manhattan, then honeymooned in Alaska and we’ve been laughing all the while…
JDate – you are the second best thing to happen to me since I moved to New York – second to my Russell, of course! I cannot thank you enough. You have been a true pleasure to work with in every way!
Laurel & Russell
New York, New York