How I Met Your Father: 30 Years, 30 Things


Dear Corey & Mia,

As you know, your dad and I have known each other for quite a long time.  I actually remember him from elementary school, but he doesn’t recall meeting me until middle school.  I’m going to chuck that one up to women having better memories than men do. 

This upcoming May we will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, but we’ve actually been together for (gulp!) 30 years. We are, what they call, high school sweethearts. Some think that is sweet, others think it’s insane…I think it’s a little of both!

We grew up in the same neighborhood and were in the same group of friends.   When you’re a teenager, your feelings are fickle and you tend to “like” a different person every other day! For some reason, the day that I started “liking” your dad never ended.  

His High School Prom 1987, Bronx NY

Has it been perfect?  Nooooo….Of course not…I think you’ve seen that. We have ups and downs, but something important to know is that most relationships do.  But on this Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing 30 silly facts that represent us……for better or worse…..

  1. Your dad was once of the nice boys.  Therefore, I wasn’t interested.  In fact, the first time someone told me that he liked me – I cried because I didn’t want to hurt him.  I was 16 and he was 17.
  2. I can credit 3 people for pushing me to give him a chance – Grandma Joyce, and my friends Cindy and Michelle.
  3. Before we were together, he accidently hit me in the face with a softball, leaving me with a bloody lip.  Oddly enough, Grandma saw it happen from her bedroom window – on the 22nd floor of our apartment building.
  4. Your dad might say that he first realized he liked me on a summer day we spent at Orchard Beach with some friends.  I mixed up my words and instead of saying “My toes are sandy” and it came out as “My sands are toesies.”  This apparently sparked something!
  5. Grandma Joyce and Grandma Phyllis went to high school together in the Bronx and they were in the same graduating class.  They didn’t know each other, though.  And Grandpa Herby grew up with Grandma Phyllis’ first cousin.  Small world!
  6. Your dad and I started dating when I was a junior in high school and he was a senior in high school.  I always envisioned “letting him loose” when he went off to college, but he wouldn’t have it.
  7. Before we started dating, I had desperate crush on your dad’s good friend from high school (at the time I thought I was being subtle. Ugh, I was so not!) – who, in turn, he roomed with in college.  That was fun. And embarrassing.
  8. A couple of friends and your dad threw me a surprise party for my 17th birthday.  I thought we were just headed to a friend’s house for a few hours, but when I walked in my family was there, as were a bunch of friends – all yelling “SURPRISE!”  I was majorly surprised and felt frozen.  I was happy, but I didn’t know how to act or what to do.  So I turn to your dad and asked “Did you know about this?” He answered “Yes!!”……and my reaction was to slap him across the face!  Sweet thing wasn’t even mad at me.
  9. That time I told him that I was craving a hot pretzel, and he proceeded to drive to Yankee Stadium just to buy one.
  10. My grandfather, who wasn’t exactly the skinniest of men, once told your dad (probably at around 20 years old) to stop eating so much because he was a little chunky.  Grandma Joyce and her mother (my Grandma Florence) were so mortified that they ran away to the other room leaving daddy to fend for himself!
  11. I would often drag your dad to hang out with me and my friends.   And usually it was your dad that wound up being the 3rd wheel!
  12. When I worked in a local supermarket in high school, he always would walk me to work and pick me up.  Everyday, every night, without failure.
  13. We went to different colleges and we would speak every night at 11pm.  My roommates knew that the phone had to be free.   This was before cell phones and we had one landline for 6 of us.  (I guess that was sort of rude of me! Sorry roomies!)
  14. Lunchables, strawberries and champagne were his go-to romance staples back in the day.
  15. You know that I have a little obsession with shoes!  Before shopping online was a thing, you physically went to the store to buy products.  If one store didn’t have my size, your dad would drive me all around to different stores just to find my size. 
  16. He’s a talented artist – Mia, that’s where you get your skills from.  I’d love to see him use that talent more than he does.  I think he’d like to also.
  17. One of the primary reason I keep him around is to kills bugs that enter our home.   If I see a bug when he’s not home, it’s not a pretty sight.  Remember that stink bug last week?
  18. He’s a die hard Yankee fan and I’m a die hard Met fan.   The late 90’s/early 2000s were rough around here.  You are lucky you weren’t born yet!
  19. He orders pizza with olives and mushrooms on purpose- which the three of us think are the two grossest things ever – so no one will pick at his food and he can have it all to himself.
  20. You probably don’t remember this, but I didn’t drive until about 7 years ago.  Your dad drove me everywhere.  I’m sure he didn’t love it, but he never pressured me to drive.  They only thing he’d complain about was making a pit-stop for me to grab a cup of coffee.
  21. Ages ago your dad was looking to buy book called “The Bronx Zoo” about the Yankees – this had to be like 1994 – again before purchasing online and all that good stuff (see #16 above).   He called all around searching for this book and drove to an abundant number of book stores.   He never found it for purchase.  This was before we were married and I was still living with Grandma and Grandpa.  One night I came home from a night out in NYC and your Grandpa says to me, “I was at my friend’s house and he was getting rid of a lot of crap.  I saw this book and thought Steven may like it…..” Lo and behold it was the “Bronx Zoo” book.  I kid you not! What are the chances?  My dad had no idea we were on the hunt for it!   I recall feeling that it was a certain sign that we were meant to be together.
  22. He’s not the biggest communicator in the world, but he notices more than I give him credit for.  It makes me a little sad that he doesn’t read my stories as soon as they are published.  But when he finally does read them and pays me a genuine compliment, it’s all good.
  23. When he travels on business we hardly ever talk. We text often, but hardly speak on the phone.  Who has time for that?!
  24. He grew a beard and goatee because I asked him to….to look more like Robert Downey Jr.  No joke.  It didn’t exactly work out that way – but we both wound up liking it (as does Mia!) so he’s still sporting a light beard and goatee. 
  25. He lets me write stories about him, which don’t always show him in the best light. (Hmm…maybe that’s why he’s not always in a rush to read them?)
  26. Your dad was “the” parent when Corey was a baby when I couldn’t “mama.”  He had to be both mommy and daddy because I was sick for a long time.  He took perfect care of Corey, and he had to take care of me, too.  There was a big weight on him, but outwardly he never seemed rattled.  It was not an easy time for us, but your dad got us through.
  27. Your dad thinks I’m too easy on you guys; I think he’s too tough on you.
  28. That picture posted here is from your dad’s senior prom in high school in 1987.
  29. For our first Valentine’s Day, he bought me a #1 sweetheart necklace charm and I freaked out because it was “too serious!”  
  30. Last year for Valentine’s Day, he bought me a bottle of wine, a little box of chocolate and a large cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts.  Because married.  Because kids…..and it was perfect.

This is “How I Met Your Dad” and a little more…..I tried my best to make this about “us” and not you two!  But you guys are part of “us,” so you know how that goes…..   Add it all together it makes us the family we are today. 

Happy, Happy Valentine’s Day to my two hearts.



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Melissa is a Bronx native who moved to Westchester County after she and her high school sweetheart got hitched in 1997. She and her husband live in Mount Kisco with their son Corey (2004) and daughter Mia (2007). Melissa spent many years working in Human Resources and currently works in enrollment and marketing for a child care organization. Melissa is a two-time survivor of Postpartum OCD. She initially became interested in writing to raise awareness for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders but has discovered that writing is a newfound aspect of her life that she thoroughly enjoys. Melissa is excited to write with the Westchester County Mom team and hopes you’ll enjoy her stories of the trials and tribulations of a born-n-raised city girl raising teenagers growing up here in Westchester.


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