How We Became Engaged

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In July 1992, The Jewish Community Center of Dallas gave rise to Profiles, a Jewish dating service, and the first of its kind in Dallas.  Larry was involved in its creation, and in 1999 the 100th couple became engaged as a result of meeting through Profiles...well, sort of.  The director of Profiles recognized our engagement as the 100th because, while we did not meet through Profiles, the dating service did play a role in how we met, and our story clearly illustrates that we were each other's beshert.  The April/May 1999 JCC newsletter featured our story.  Jenny wrote the story of how we met, and Larry wrote the story of how we became engaged.



"How we became engaged"

by Larry Lachman

Thursday, January 14, 1999, was the two-year anniversary of the day Jenny and I met.  We met at a restaurant here in Dallas (The Magic Time Machine), at a dinner party.

Two years ago, I had attended the Tuesday night lecture held by Rabbi Dubrawsky at the Chabad House, and saw my friend Mark Paley there.  I had no plans to go to the dinner party afterwards, but Mark was going and we had not seen each other in a while.  Since we both wanted to visit and catch up, Mark easily persuaded me to go.

The dinner party was at the Magic Time Machine near Beltline and the Tollway.  When I walked into the little room near the back of the restaurant, all I remember seeing was this very attractive woman sitting by herself at the end of one of the tables.  I knew I had never seen her before, so I went up and introduced myself, remarking that I had not seen her at the lecture earlier.  After meeting Jenny, I was concentrating on finding Mark and sitting next to him.  As fate would have it, he sat down one seat away from Jenny.  So I ended up sitting between Mark and Jenny.  And thus, I met the woman I would spend the rest of my life with.

I had no clue that Jenny knew who I was from my profile.  The only thing that struck me as odd was, just before I left I told Jenny that I was going out of town two days later, for a week and it would be a while before I called her.  So I was concerned that she remember who I was.  She responded quite adamantly, "Oh yeah...I'll remember you!"

Thursday night, January 14, 1999, we went back to the same restaurant, sat at the same table, in the same room, and wore pretty much the same clothes, as we had worn two years ago.

While I was Hanukkah shopping last December, I came across a book in a bookstore, titled, "Our Family Tree. The History of Our Family".  It is a book for recording the husband's lineage, the wife's lineage, children's names, what cities we have lived in, jobs held, schools attended, etc.  So I bought the book.

I arrived at the restaurant about 2 1/2 hours before we were scheduled to meet, and gave the book to the waitress that was to serve us.  I asked the waitress to bring the book, face down, and hand it to Jenny, when I asked for the dessert list.

Jenny had gotten me two cards; a before dinner card (funny and cute) and an after dinner card (serious and sentimental). After opening the after dinner card, I remarked, "I didn't buy you a card this year."

She said, "That's okay." And about ten seconds later the book arrived. 

She looked at the book somewhat quizzically, then at the waitress, back to me, and then back to the book, and asked, "You got me a book for our anniversary?"  Then she turned it over.  Because she just glanced at the title, she didn't read the word "Our", and said out loud, "Family Tree?"

She started thumbing through it and then asked, "Did Sandy send you this?"  (Sandy is my cousin we visited in New Orleans over the holidays, who constructed a family tree for my mother's side of the family).

And I said, "No."

"Did you get this for me because you knew I wanted to trace my family's lineage?"

And I said, "No."

Inside the book, on page 58 (Weddings) was the proposal that I had hand written.  When she got to page 58, I reached over and removed the card and told her I had made a card and wanted to read it to her.

She said, somewhat apprehensively, "Okay."

As I got about two sentences into my proposal, I heard her say slowly and out loud, enunciating each word very carefully, "Our...Family...Tree."  And then I knew the light bulb had come on.

After I asked her to marry me, she had tears in her eyes and said, "I'm shaking...I just want to savor this for a moment." Then, several seconds later she leaned forward and said, "Absolutely!"

I recorded all of this on audio tape. I had brought along a small walkman tape recorder and began taping just after we finished our dinner.  I had hid the microphone beneath some napkins.

We will be married on Sunday, January 23, 2000.

The two pictures, above, were taken just minutes after Jenny accepted my proposal.

This picture was taken during our rehearsal dinner at The Magic Time Machine on January 22, 2000.  It was at this table, on January 14, 1997 that we met.