LA affairs: I proposed four weeks after we met


I graduated from UCLA and worked for an accounting firm. I had passed the certified public accountant exam, but still needed another seven or eight months of on-the-job training to gain the experience needed to become a certified public accountant. I had also applied for law school on the east coast and was accepted. Life felt like professionally on the right track for a career in tax law.

My private life was a different matter. I was engaged to a woman in college, but we discovered we disagreed on the most important things. For one thing, she wanted to be a housewife right after we got married. (I couldn’t afford that.) We canceled it.

So I started dating a few different women whose company I enjoyed, but neither did I see any of these long-distance relationships. I would see one woman on Friday night and the other on Saturday night and then maybe switch days the next weekend. Back then, a guy usually only met on weekends.

In early December that year, I was in the office at a Christmas party and met a former colleague, and when we met he asked if I saw anyone. I told him a little bit about the women I was with, but said I was still looking for someone special. I would also be leaving for law school next fall.

Not long after that, I met one of my brotherhood brothers at a basketball game at UCLA and we started talking – what else? – Women, and I told him the same thing. That I was together, but not in a serious relationship. I wouldn’t mind meeting anyone, I added. He said he had a distant cousin – her first name was Toby – who recently moved to LA after graduating from college in New York state. That was all he could tell me because he had never met that particular cousin. He just suspected that since she was new in town, she might be looking on a date. He called me with her number a few days later and said he would let her know I would call.

That’s how it was done back then. A friend agreed to meet you on a blind date. Or you met at a mixer or at a dance event. Today young people have dating apps on their smartphones or can go to bars. But it still seems a lot harder, despite all the technology, to meet someone special.

So back to my story. My brotherhood brother said he would tell Toby about me. But he did not do it. I found that out when I dialed her number and she didn’t know who I was or why I was calling. So I had to explain a lot. The call went well, however, so I asked her out on a date this Friday, December 30th.

When I went to their Miracle Mile apartment, I was a little nervous. I had no idea what she looked like. I didn’t know what to expect from the evening. I was pleasantly surprised when a very pretty young woman in a striking green knitted dress and a page hairstyle opened the door.

“Wow,” I thought.

We went to the cinema and ate something to eat and when we got to her place she invited me over. We talked and talked and talked and got to know each other better. It was so easy to speak to her. I really wasn’t ready to leave, but when I looked at my watch and saw it was 2am I thought it was time to leave. But not without making plans to see her again as soon as possible. I had already made plans for the next night, on New Year’s Eve. (It was actually a date.) So I invited her to a party my brother and sister-in-law were holding at their house on New Years Day to watch the Rose Bowl game.

That’s right, just hours after I met her I was ready for her to meet the family.

When we stood across from each other at her front door that evening, I couldn’t decide whether to kiss her. Back then, you rarely kissed on a first date. But then I saw her tilt her head up. So I put my head down

I later told my brother and sister-in-law all about the pretty young woman I had just met and how I had never felt so comfortable on a first date. My sister-in-law’s advice? “Take it easy,” she urged. Don’t rush into anything.

The New Years date went great, and about a week later we went on another date, a UCLA basketball game. And who should we meet there? My old brotherhood. So I actually ended with the introduction him to his own cousin and told him that Toby was a nickname and that her real name was Tovia.

At the time, I was only with one woman – Toby. Everything was so easy with her. We seemed to agree on everything. Politics. Religion. Where did we want to go to eat. I think it’s important to like a lot of the same things. If you disagree on fundamental matters, you will have problems in your relationships.

One night, about four weeks after we met, I suddenly said, “I think we should get married.” Your answer? “Well, you have to ask my mother.” (Who was just visiting town and happily gave her blessing.)

A couple of dates later we met this old work colleague, the guy I saw in the office at the Christmas party when I said I was dating but hadn’t met anyone special.

You should have seen the look on his face when I introduced him to “my fiancĂ©”.

We’re going to be married for 70 years in February, and I can still remember the moment when she opened the door of her apartment on Friday, December 30th, 1951 and I thought, “Wow”.

The author, who just turned 93, is a will, trust, and estate attorney practicing in Torrance. He and Tovia have three children, two grandchildren and one great-grandson.

LA Affairs records the search for romantic love in all of its glorious expressions in the LA area, and we want to hear your real story. We pay $ 300 for a published essay. Send an email to Submission guidelines can be found here. Here you can find previous columns.