How Did Your Parents Meet?

This past weekend, my dad threw my mom a surprise birthday party. This is the second surprise birthday party he’s thrown her in five years, which is partly because I think he just really enjoys organizing surprises and partly because he really loves my mom and this is his way of making her feel special. My parents are still married, which is, yes, increasingly rare, and incredibly bizarre considering how utterly different they are. My mom is a Democrat. My dad purports to be a Republican. He’s an analytical nuclear engineer and she’s a palm-reading, feelings-focused guidance counselor (no, she does not read the palms of her students). Their personalities could probably best be summed up by the way they met. In the early ’70s, my parents both happened to live in the same apartment building in New Jersey. One day, as he was parking his car in their building’s parking lot, he spied my mom trying to walk her cat on a leash and decided he had to meet her. Yes, my mother was trying to walk her damned cat on a leash. For their first date, my mom challenged my dad to a game of chess, even though she didn’t know how to play. As the loser, she had to cook him — the winner — dinner. Except my mom didn’t know how to cook, and so she massively burned the chicken she was making them and the fire department had to be called. They decided to get engaged about three weeks later, and six months after that they were married.

I love my parents meet-cute story, and so I asked the other Frisky ladies to share their parents’ stories. I’d love for you to share yours in the comments. The best ones will be selected for a future post! [Ed Note: FYI, the photo at left is of Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, not Julie’s parents. But close enough!]

“My parents met at summer camp when they were 16 and 17 respectively. My mom had another boyfriend back home but she had her eye on my dad, the camp’s star basketball player. My mom asked him out and on the evening of what was supposed to be their first date, her other boyfriend showed up to surprise her. So she stood my dad up and he was pissed. She convinced him to give her another chance. He beat up her other boyfriend and that was the end of him. The rest is history and yes, they are still married 35 years later. Nothing like a good fistfight to get a relationship going, eh?” – Ami

“My mom was dating my dad’s roommate. They eventually broke up and then she went off to live in Europe for awhile. Eventually, she came back and was kinda sorta attempting to finish her graduate school degree (my dad was in grad school, too). I believe he pursued her and she always liked him better anyway. They started seeing each other, she got knocked up (with me!), and they got married. Nineteen years, one more kid (my brother), and loads of drama later, they got divorced. Oh wellz.” – Amelia

“My mom used to babysit for my half-sisters when my dad was still married to his first wife! My mom worked at the public library with my paternal grandmother and at some point when my dad needed a babysitter so he and his first wife could go out, my mom was recruited to do the sitting. My mom likes to say that if you had told her then that one day she would be adopting the three little girls she babysat, she would have fainted. Sadly, my dad’s first wife died suddenly when she was 28 years old, I believe. My dad raised my sisters as a single parent for awhile and at some point started dating my mother. They apparently married very quickly. My mom said that they weren’t planning on fast-tracking the wedding, but mom could not legally do things like make medical decisions for my sisters unless she legally adopted them. So mom and dad married, mom adopted my sisters, and within the next decade-plus, my parents had my brother and then me.” – Jessica

“My parents met in the summer of 1968 in Central Park. More specifically, they met while standing in line for Shakespeare in the Park, which is so fitting, since they both love literature and theater. The first time my mom brought my dad home to meet her parents, my grandpa wouldn’t let him into the apartment on account of his long hair. So he cut it right there on the stoop. They got married a year later and will celebrate their 43rd wedding anniversary in December.” – Kate

So tell us: how did your parents meet?