We got arrested on our first date. Well, sort of. At least that’s the way I like to tell the story.
The evening began innocently enough. I walked into a small Japanese restaurant in Maspeth, Queens on a warm June evening for what, by my count, was going to be my 64th date since my divorce three years earlier. After a romantic dinner, during which we shared the questionnaires we had sent each other (hers had 18 questions—she didn’t want to waste her time!) I asked Shoshana if we could continue our date by taking a walk in a park somewhere nearby.
“Yes, sure, there is one just down the street from my apartment,” she offered.
As we sat down holding hands on a park bench by the entrance, a police car screeched to a halt near my car. We rushed out to see what was wrong. “Is my car parked okay?” I asked, concerned that I had somehow misread the parking sign. “License and registration, please!” demanded the officer. “And you too, ma’am.” We were stunned and puzzled. The officer, it turned out, thought we were up to no good and kept asking us if we had criminal records. (You can imagine what he was thinking). Sure, just a pair of nice Jewish singles out on a date—a music teacher and a magazine publisher—out causing trouble.
After a brief exchange of information we were told that the sign next to the jungle gym and kiddie slide saying: “This Playground Closes at 9PM” was supposed to be a warning that the entire park closed at 9PM. It was 9:15. We were both given $200 tickets and a mandatory court date six weeks later. We knew, no matter how our date ended up, that we were going to see each other in a month-and-a-half.
Over the next few days we had to work together preparing for our trial and this most certainly accelerated our relationship. We eventually won the case when we had our day in court (the Parks Department fixed the signs a few weeks later) so we have the NYPD to thank for jump starting our romance!
Five days after we met, just after our second date, I took out a notepad and wrote her a song called “Looking for You” – I had never written a song before. I was sure I had found The One and I knew she felt the same way, too. When I sang the song to her she reached for her guitar and before we knew it, we had music to go along with the lyrics. This was the first of more than 15 songs we have written together; we are working on recording a children’s album this summer. One of the songs is entitled, “The JDate Song” a.k.a ‘Thank You JDate!’
Fast forward exactly one year and one minute after the moment we met. “I came down these steps as a girlfriend, and came back up as a fiancée,” she said, proudly flashing the sparkling diamond engagement ring, as we climbed back into the horse drawn carriage waiting on the bridge next to the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. I’ll never forget those words of pure joy. (Then she called her mother). We toasted with champagne at the Plaza Hotel and started planning the wedding.
As I wrote in a parting message on my JDate profile: “I’m getting off JDate! After three years and more than 40 first dates, a few second dates and a couple of third dates, it looks like I finally found The One for me. So keep trying because your special someone is out there. You just gotta keep looking and keep an open mind. Good luck!”
The rest, as they say, is history!
Shoshana and Bob
Edgewater, New Jersey