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M: I was very nice, I was kind. I was shy, a pretty girl in her twenties. I was good wife material. He saw that.
D: We went to this Chinese restaurant and I think my sister's husband brought vodka. I think I had some. That's a Russian thing to do, to bring your own alcohol to a restaurant.
M: He talked too much, he was tall, skinny, he had a lot of hair, a mustache. He was a good catch. He knew how to charm people. So it was nice, but he wasn't serious. I was twenty-three, twenty-four, old by Russian standards and I was looking to get married. He thought that every girl would run after him. But I didn't know if I was going to go out with him again.
S: You obviously went out with him again. Dad, did any family members accompany you to the second date?
D: After the first date, we went to Great Adventure, the amusement park, with my friends. I didn't pay attention to her.
S: Mom, don't you hate roller coasters?
M: I was young then. I was okay, but it still a little scary. Mostly, I felt uncomfortable. Your dad wasn't talking to me!
D: After that, she really thought I wasn't serious about her. When I called for a third date, she didn't want to see me. That aggravated me. Here I am, a handsome man and she didn't want to see me. I started pushing and sweet-talking her over the phone. Finally, I convinced her. Then we started dating every day.
M: When he had girls, they were after him all the time. I needed a guy who would give me attention. I expected a serious guy. He was talking about other girls. There was this girl in Texas waiting for him.
D: That girl came to see me in New York, and I was busy with Mom, so I told her we shouldn't meet anymore.
S: Didn't you parents disapprove of Dad?
M: I'll tell you the truth — my parents were trying to talk me out of going out with him. They were saying maybe I should think about it, not rush. Maybe they saw who he was, and they wanted a guy with a nice job, earns a lot of money, they wanted parents that they could socialize with. I don't think they saw any of that in Dad. Maybe that's what made me think twice, too. I don't know how he talked me into it.
D: I decided to go to Dallas to talk to my parents about marrying you.
S: Dad, when do you think you knew?
D: I came one time to her family. The parents were sitting and the children were bringing the food to the table. I realized the family was good, too. I said to her: I want to marry you. After I was dating with her a month, I decided I'm going to be married and this is the girl I want to marry.
S: In one month?
D: Yes, we met in August and decided to get married in September. When you know, you know. She still wasn't sure if I was serious. I convinced her I was serious and not to worry. I got rid of all the girlfriends. I brought my parents to visit her parents. My father was really against it. Her mother, too.
M: We started talking about when to do the wedding.
D: We wanted to do it sooner. We decided to do it in December because her uncle had passed away a while back and in Jewish tradition, you can't go to any celebrations or have a wedding until a year passed.
M: In Russian tradition, you don't have engagements and waiting like you do here. A guy couldn't stay in my house if my parents were there. We had the mentality of Russia, not America.
D: After our parents talked and we decided to have the wedding, we had a close relationship.
M: The bond was pretty strong. He saw how good I could be as a wife. I knew how to take care of the house. For the guy, this is important. I would be a good mother and wife. We would have a good family.
D: She wasn't smoking or drinking. I was looking for a family-oriented girl. One that could take care of me, but also take care of the children.
M: These days, guys and girls are too independent. They are too focused on careers, not enough on family. Young people don't want to commit anymore. Well, obviously something worked back then. We are married almost thirty years!