My parents met while working at Simon & Schuster,
but not in the way you’d expect for two people who worked in the same New York City office building. Despite them both thinking they knew everyone, for years they didn’t know each other — even though there were plenty of people who knew both of them.
My dad knew everyone in my mom’s sales department and his entire IT team knew her. My mom was even close with my dad’s boss. There were so many scenarios where they should have met but never did. This went on for two years until they finally met in 1994 — 1,200 miles outside of NYC in Boca Raton for a work conference.
My mom almost didn’t go on this trip. She had been so preoccupied with my Nana who was sick with cancer. My Nana would pass away three years from that December and I would be born two Octobers after that, named in her memory.
My dad, however, must’ve looked forward to this trip because my mom recalls a coworker mentioning a “Jason” who was going to visit his grandparents in Ft. Lauderdale after the conference.
Both of my parents flew on the same flight down to Florida. Hell, they even took the same shuttle from the airport to the hotel. Yet as they had for the past two years, they never crossed paths until somehow shuffling in line next to each other checking into the hotel.
Their first conversation — of all things — was about credit card density.
So incredibly romantic, I know. My mom had been standing in line flexing her AMEX back and forth, clearly eager to get to her room. For whatever reason, her fidgeting compelled her to turn around, face my dad, and go, “Have you ever noticed that the corporate card and personal card have different densities?”
My dad always tells me that’s when he “fell in love.”
I still don’t believe it, even after every disapproving head shake he gives me when I say it mockingly. I think if I were to accept this as truth, it would be too overwhelming to internalize. That something so mundane, so ordinary, could lead to what will be 25 years of marriage this August. Even as I write this, I can hear my mom yelling to my dad from the kitchen asking if he wants any tea.
I’ve never questioned if I was adopted, and it’s not because I’ve seen my birth certificate. I don’t even think it’s because I have my mom’s green eyes and left-handedness or my dad’s toothy smile and bushy eyebrows.
It’s because in my bones, I know I am so deeply them.
I’m my dad’s perseverance and determination in pursuit of my mom.
I’m my mom’s stubbornness and independence in being focused on her own life.
I am my dad’s love at first sight.
I am my mom’s boldness.
I’m both of their love for the people in their life and strangers around them.
I’m both of their right place, right time serendipity that’s manifested into so many aspects of my life that it can only be concluded as fate.
My proclivity to write stories must come from this one. Despite growing up on Junie B. Jones and Eloise and Anne of Green Gables — in my heart of hearts, I know it’s this story that got me here. A child of books and storytelling and love and passion and a mix of marketing, sales, and maybe not IT, but definitely social media.
My parents met while working at Simon & Schuster and it will never make sense why their paths didn’t cross sooner. But what will always make sense is knowing that I am my parents’ daughter.