A Man After My Own Heart


August 1983

In honor of our Valentine’s Day party at Austen Variations, I thought I’d share a special story from my own real life romance. It’s about the oft dreaded “meet the parents” experience.

As with many couples, my husband and I met because we worked for the same company in California. After we had been dating several months and were beginning to get serious (yes, I know that’s fast), Norm had to go to New York on business. His family lives in Michigan, and so he planned to take the Friday night red-eye to Detroit, visit with his family for the weekend, and then continue on to New York on Monday.

My family lived about an hour south of the Detroit airport in Toledo so somehow we came up with a plan for my parents to also go to the airport to meet his plane. Then Norm along with his parents and mine would go out to breakfast together. This seemed like a perfect plan. Since he was clearly becoming very important to me, I had been wishing I could introduce him to my family.


The Sign Still Hangs in Our Room

Upon hearing about these plans, several of our friends at work started kidding around about how my parents would recognize him when he came off the plane. Those were the days when you could still actually go to the gate to meet arriving passengers! Norm laughingly said that he would be the guy carrying the slide projector, but that wasn’t good enough for our friends. They made him a sign to carry that said “I (heart) Susan” so my parents couldn’t miss him.
Much to my astonishment, he was all in favor of the sign but said he’d have his hands too full (the projector to show recent vacation photos, the briefcase, etc.) to hold the sign. They responded by attaching a red ribbon to the top corners of the sign so he could wear it around his neck.

Now up until this point, I had thought it was just a big joke, but when I discovered he actually planned to wear the sign, I was in shock. I told him if he wore that sign I would die of embarrassment. His response? “You won’t be there!”


Our 30th Anniversary – August 2013

So my sweetheart flew off to Detroit, wore the sign as he came off the plane, and won the hearts of my parents who thought any guy who would do that must be pretty special and must really love me! Needless to say, he received their stamp of approval. The breakfast with all the parents was successful and not too long after he returned to California, we decided to get married. But that’s a story for another time!

(This story is adapted from another blog post from about two years ago, but I thought it was worth revisiting!)

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9 Responses to A Man After My Own Heart

  1. Jane Odiwe says:

    Susan, your gorgeous story brought a tear to my eye-what a special man! You look such a wonderful couple in your photos-wishing you both a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

  2. Susan says:

    Thank you! Definitely a keeper!

  3. What a lovely story, Susan! You have such a sweet husband, he most certainly must have been over the moon for you! :)

  4. JerryT says:

    Susan, what a marvelous story. I have just finished re-reading your book and hope there will be more!


  5. JerryT says:


    I thought I had properly posted a message but apparently not. I wanted to tell you what a marvelous story about your husband and his sign!

    I have just finished rereading your book and hope there will be more.


    • Susan says:

      Thanks, Jerry! I’m close to completing a new book but have been dealing with some illness in the family so it’s taking me longer than expected. I’m hoping it will be out by the end of March.

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