As reported in The Dallas Morning News:
Amy Darrow had a job she loved and a cadre of loyal friends. One of those friends thought she was missing something: a great guy.
So Amy received a gift membership to the dating service It’s Just Lunch. In August 2011, she planned to blow off one of the dates until another friend “read me the riot act and pushed me out the front door,” says Amy, 54.
Al Ely, too, wasn’t looking for anything serious when he met Amy that night at a wine bar in Plano. But there was something about Amy.
“The time went by very, very fast,” says Al, 55. “At our age, when you’re out on these dates, you want to have a conversation to see if you want to invest any more time.”
They hit it off immediately.
“I remember the first time I saw him, he reminded me of Anderson Cooper,” says Amy. “That great white hair and similar kind of build, and I’ve always had a crush on Anderson Cooper.”
Al was also a great listener who asked follow-up questions instead of talking about himself, which Amy says she found refreshing. Over the next two-plus hours, Amy gave Al several outs, but even a Rangers playoff game couldn’t pull him away. Amy was impressed.
“I knew that I wanted to see him again,” says Amy, a Merck pharmaceutical rep.
Another date was quickly lined up. By the third or fourth date, they both say they knew, even though neither of them had been really looking.
“I had made the decision I did not need to get married,” Amy said. “If I found someone who would enhance my life, I certainly would be open to it.”
Over the next few months, they discovered that their intellectual debates were great fun. Despite their different political views, they learned to respect each other’s thoughts and opinions, always welcoming a challenge and a never-thought-of viewpoint.
That summer, a 17-day trip to Maine and Massachusetts only underscored just how right they were for each other, but both agreed that they would wait to get married.
“My grandmother used to say, ‘You’ve gotta know someone for four seasons.’ That was kind of a standing joke with us and our friends,” says Amy. “‘Are the four seasons up yet?’”
So when Al told Amy’s friends that he wasn’t planning on popping the question over the holidays in 2012, he got some pushback.
“They knew the four seasons were up,” says Al, vice president of commercial business at Harley-Davidson. “I just told them, ‘Hey, it’s not going to happen over the holidays.’ Then I started getting text messages. Then it got to the point, ‘OK, OK. I need to hurry up and do this or I’m just going to get so much grief.’”
On Dec. 26, Al handed Amy a card. She had grown to love Al’s handwritten notes, many of which came in the mail.
“I’d rather have a written note than anything else because it just comes from the heart. He wrote me some beautiful letters,” says Amy, who read the card and then closed it.
Al told her she forgot to read a panel. She opened the card again to find, “Will you marry me?”
Amy and Al plan to tie the knot later this month. Amy is glad she waited for Mr. Right.
“What I’ve always looked for in a man is someone who does the right thing,” she says. “And you would think that would be so easy to find, but I can tell you I never found it until I met Al.”
Congratulations to the happy couple! We are glad that It’s Just Lunch was able to be part of the journey.