A Match Made in Sag Harbor
written by Meredith Fochetta
It’s hard to believe how a patch of pavement can have such deep meaning. Luckily, there is such a place in Sag Harbor and we visit that spot often. It disappeared from our lives for a few years but, we found it again and it still has the same magic that it did seven years ago.
Back in 2005, I was working as an elementary school teacher in Brooklyn, NY. After enduring 10 months of stories about the 8 year olds in my class, my dearest friend inquired about my plans for summer. She pointed out that it may be a good time to focus on my own life and persuaded me to try MATCH.COM. I relished the thought of two months all to myself, but trusted her instincts and gave in. The two of us spent an afternoon in July ‘summing me up’ in 50 words or less. Then she took some pictures and I entered the high-tech dating world.
Considering it was her idea, I insisted that she preview profiles before accepting a date with anyone. After a series of, “not good enough for you,” “you’re kidding, right,” and “no ways,” someone made the cut. . . Mysteryman66.
Online ‘winking,’ progressed to three days of emails. When it seemed that we really were as compatible as our profiles suggested, we decided to talk on the phone. The call was set for Saturday morning, August 20th.
Friday afternoon, while driving east on the LIE, I came down with a bad case of vertigo. I felt terrible and decided to stay at my mom’s house in Nassau County. Originally, I had hoped to meet my sister and her boyfriend at their ‘share house’ in Hampton Bays. He was videotaping a band playing at Jeff & Eddy’s in Sag Harbor on Saturday night. My sister and I planned to enjoy the music together, while her boyfriend worked. Not sure if the vertigo was brought on by an illness or the thought of having to stay in a ‘share house’ on the East End.
Saturday morning at 10 AM, I made the call.
“Hi Tom, it’s Meredith.” The conversation was easy and led to, “What are you doing this weekend?” The last thing I wanted to do was mention how I was curled up on my mom’s sofa dry-heaving. So, I decided to tell him my original plans of visiting my sister in Sag Harbor figuring that would be a good excuse not to meet him just yet.
Tom’s reply, “Sag Harbor?!” made me a little nervous.
Tom, “I’m in Sag Harbor right now!”
Tom, “Yeah, I recently bought a home here and came out for the weekend. I’m sitting on a bench in Marine Park looking out at the harbor. Do you want to meet tonight?”
Too late for the vertigo excuse, so I agreed to meet.
That evening, at 7:30, I was waiting on the patch of pavement outside of Magnolia Restaurant for my Mysteryman to arrive. Standing with me, my sister and her boyfriend relentlessly teased me until he did. Feeling like I had brought too many people with me on this date, I was relieved when Tom suggested we head off on our own and meet up with my sister later in the evening. Drinks at Dockside turned to dancing at Jeff & Eddy’s and ended with a slice from Vincenzo’s, the only place still serving food at midnight on Main Street. After a successful, second date in New York City, we planned a third back in Sag Harbor. That third date never ended.
Later that year, over the winter holiday, we ate dinner at Magnolia. They gave us the table by the front window, overlooking our patch of pavement. Sag Harbor became an important part of us and it just seemed like all things were right while we were there. Even when the weather was cold, we couldn’t wait to finish up work on Friday and get out East.
On the year anniversary of our first date, Tom took me for an overnight trip to Montauk. We had some time before check in, so he suggested we take a photograph by the Montauk Lighthouse. I’m sure you can guess where this is going but honestly, I didn’t have a clue. Tom got down on one knee and proposed.