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Friday, March 6, 2009

Coin flip seals fate of lifelong love

In 1976, I worked as a server at the Eat'n Park on Banksville Rd. When summer rolled around, I was transferred to the Eat'n Park on Lyle Blvd. in McKeesport and was promoted to Training Specialist. The company had just built this restaurant, and it was beautiful. I was responsible for conducting orientations for all the new employees and then training them in the restaurant dining room.

So there I was, working my way through college with little on my mind other than making as much money as I could that summer; however I couldn't overlook the extremely handsome trio of men who were managers and general managers. Although I had a boyfriend waiting for me back at school, I indulged in a little flirting. So did the other training specialist. We spent a lot of time working with two specific managers. We were kinda interested in them and they in us.

Sooooo, leave it to the men to decide who would ask out who. They flipped a coin and the winner chose to ask the other girl who, ironically, said 'no'. I was the booby prize. The other manager got "stuck" with me. We couldn't go out on a date at that time because we worked together. However I was being transferred on July 4th, and accepted a date for the next day.

It was a 'magical' day. I was told to dress casually, so I wore a little sun dress. He picked me up at 6 am and apparently our destination was Moraine State Park. I thought, 'how romantic, a picnic at the lake'. He pulled up to a little restaurant/gas station, and I figured he was getting the fixin's for our lunch. He came out with two dozen worms and a big pail of frantically swimming little fish. I must have looked puzzled, at which point he said, "I did tell you we were going fishing, didn't I?" NO, he didn't, but I was game.

I pulled in some beautiful bass while my date proceeded to be the macho man and throw lures into the lake that were bigger than my bass. He got skunked. I think he was trolling for Moby Dick. But wait, there's more. He said we were going to dinner and a movie. I thought maybe this would be a little more romantic than the fishing disaster. He took me to Pizza Hut and then to see a western, "The Shootist" with John Wayne. At this point, I had figured out that we were probably the most mis-matched couple in the world. He took me home and was working up the nerve to kiss me good night. And then it happened! His lips met mine and rockets went off! I was levitating, fireworks shooting everywhere! I didn't even realize the kiss had ended. He asked me out for the following evening. Having just lost the power of speech, I mutely nodded yes.

And so our romance continued. On Thanksgiving Dinner 1980, this wonderful man asked my parents, "Can I have your wife as my daughter's hand in marriage?" If I didn't already love him, that would have endeared him to me forever! Of course, my parents assured him that he could marry me, but that my Mom was taken. That broke the tension. Every Thanksgiving since that day, I give thanks that this man lost a bet a long time ago. We were married on March 27th, 1982. My husband, Jeff, is a General Manager with Eat'n Park with 38 years of service. I stayed with the company for 7 years, at which time I moved on to a job related to my field of study in college. I'm now a stay at home Mom, caring for my 17 year-old son who also works for Eat'n Park. We're an Eat'n Park family through and through! And regarding that coin toss, I'm SO glad that Jeff ended up with me.

Pittsburgh, PA Share

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