Something Special

Tom and Jan #5I remember the night I messaged her on jdate, The day before Memorial Day. May 30th, 2004.

I remember that first date at Henry’s on 105th and Broadway, in the city. June 5th, 2004. She told me she was a licensed massage therapist. I told her I was an institutional bond salesman. She thought I was a bail bondsman.

I remember when she told me that her birthday was 2 days before mine.

I remember when the waiters removed the metal fence surrounding our outside table at Deluxe, on the UWS, as we were eating dessert. They were closing up for the night. We laughed.

I remember the first kiss outside of the entrance to the apartment building.

I still remember the taxi ride down to Penn Station, and the LIRR ride home.

I remember calling my parents and telling them that I had finally found my soul mate, for real this time.

I remember when she called me to tell me she loved the flowers. Delivery wasn’t until the end of the day. The florist got lost. Thought the flowers were going to Johnny Brick on Carlisle St. We still get a good laugh from that one.

I remember that 2nd date in Central Park. It was on a Friday afternoon. I had brought a shopping bag filled with wine, cheese, and beer.

I remember that third date at the Heartland Brewery. I got to Times Square early and hung out at the Times Square Brewery which no longer exists.

I remember when I saw her apartment for the first time. I stayed until 2AM and then had to drive back to Long Island. There was no staying over.

I remember parking my car on Riverside Drive and walking to LaSalle St. It’s a wonder my car never got towed.

I remember calling my friends and my sister in NJ, “Listen can Marlee sleep at your house this weekend? I’ve got another date with Janice.” Tom and Jan #10After four weekends I had no one else to call.

I remember the July 4th BBQ at Robin & Steve Kushner’s house in Manalopin, NJ. That was the first night I stayed over at the now infamous Club 13E.

I remember the 5th date at the 79th St. Boat Basin. She handed me the key to the apartment.

I remember our first movie: The Notebook. She cried all the way through it.

I remember that trip to Fire Island on the 31st of July. We were much older than everyone else. I don’t think they knew.

I remember the day we drove to Rockaway, NJ to meet my parents.

I remember the day she met 9 year old Marlee. Marlee wanted to play hide and seek at the Harlem Street Festival.

I remember going back to Henry’s celebrating my 42nd birthday.

I remember when her friends Tamar & Lisa took us out for our birthdays. Uncontrollable laughs and a ton of inside jokes. I didn’t mind. They were her friends and I was glad she was having fun.

20130213_202042I remember canoeing in Central Park the week after Labor Day and listening to the Guitar Man.

I remember the day we agreed that I would move in to #13E. I was staying over at least 2-3 times a week by this point. We agreed on a trial run.

I remember our 2nd and 3rd movies: Sideways & Ray.

I remember our first Thanksgiving in NJ. Marlee was with us. When we got back to the apartment, she locked herself in the bathroom with the remote.

I remember that first Chanukah when I took Marlee to see “Christmas With the Cranks” during the day while she took a nap.

I remember driving to Roosevelt, NY to tell my friend Andrew, the guy that I was living with, that I’d be officially moving to NYC. We picked up the rest of my things.

I remember our 4th and 5th movie: Closer & Million Dollar Baby.

I remember our first New Year’s Eve in NJ, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, with my friends George & Alex and Robin & Steve.

I remember closing out the P.O. Box in the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City and letting everyone know that I was now a resident of NYC. That was January of ’05.

I remember our 1st trip to Florida to meet her family. January 13th to the 16th of ’05. We met her 11 year old nephew, Jeremy, for the first time. ItTom and Jan #1 was the first time I’d ever been to Boynton Beach.

I remember when my sister and brother-in-law Steve came into the city. We went for a memorable dinner of Japanese at Kinoko on 72nd and Broadway. It no longer exists.

I remember going away on business to Arizona the first week of April of ’05. It was the first time we’d been apart. It was difficult, but we made it through.

I remember telling her about Marlee’s first play. She couldn’t make it. The Who’s “Tommy.” Marlee was in 4th grade and was in the ensemble. What a production.

I remember our first Passover at my parent’s apartment in April of ’05.

I remember us swimming at Marlee’s 10th birthday party at the Best Western in Fairfield, NJ. It was a pool party.

I remember the Memorial Day parade in Wayne, NJ on Valley Road. We sat in the hot sun and reminisced about what had happened one year earlier.

It’s difficult to describe how much my life has changed over the past nine years. I’ve had to battle through the NJ nightclub scene, travel a few hundred miles to the Catskill Mountains and back, fight through traffic on the LIE and Northern State, only to find the love of my life right here in the Big Apple.                                                                                                Tom, Jan, and Marlee #1

In doing so, I’ve witnessed some very memorable moments:

Tomand Jan #11Like the time fearless Jan proceeded to argue with a very overweight woman on the #1 train downtown. The oversized buxom was peddling $ from men in order to feed her friend. Jan became outraged while I just sat and couldn’t care less. The brew ha-ha became heated but Jan won!

Then there was the time anxious Jan went to hail a cab on Lexington Avenue after my Christmas party in 2006. Unbeknownst to her I was right behind her and got a finger in the eye. The contact lens popped out. She felt so terrible she got down on the pavement in her dress and high heels and hunted til she found the lens. Simply incredible.

One of my favorite ones is the time Jan, Marlee, and I went to see The Incredibles on opening night. During the previews, Jan spilled an entire bag of popcorn on the floor. Til this day, Marlee still jokes about it.

And the other time on the number 1 train. This time it was around 1AM. A burly obnoxious guy was taunting a drunkard sitting next to him. The drunkard had been annoying two women a few minutes before, throwing things at them from where he was sitting. The burly man took out a $100 bill, waved it in front of the drunkard and yelled, “I bet you $100 dolla-s you can’t woop my ass!” Jan immediately stood up in front of a tired and non-caring crowd and said to me, “I’m going over to say something.” My response, “SIT DOWN before you get your ass kicked in!” You gotta love her heart.

Or the time when Jan and Marlee walked into the ladies room in a restaurant. Jan went into one stall, Marlee another. Marlee got done first and came out to where we were sitting. Thinking Marlee was still in the bathroom, after Jan finished up, she bent down and started making funny hand gestures underneath the door in the stall Marlee was in, only Marlee wasn’t in the stall. Pretty embarrassing to see the look on Jan’s face when she walked out into the restaurant and saw Marlee.

You may or may not remember the time Jan got stuck in an elevator on Park and 95th for 2 hours! I kept updating my status on Facebook as she texted me. She had been massaging a client and stepped into an empty elevator at around 11:15 pm. I got a text at 11:30 from her letting me know she was stuck. The texts came every 20 minutes. By 1:15AM she was out. I had almost left the apartment to assist the repairmen. She remained calm until they pulled her out.

Can’t forget the time that Marlee got sick on the NJ Transit going from Fairfield, NJ into the Port Authority. It was a tad repulsive to say the least. Courageous Jan ran Marlee into the ladies room when we arrived in the terminal and cleaned her up. She went beyond that extra mile.

Together we…                                                                                                 Tom and Jan #8

have experienced the Florida weather, enjoyed the Jersey Shore, stomped it up at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, dined at over 150 restaurants, seen over 100 movies in the theater, gave standing ovations at the conclusion of Billy Elliot, Hair, and Mary Poppins on Broadway, admired Joshua Bell at the NY Philharmonic, have not only cheered at many a Yankee game, but have gotten the tour of Yankee Stadium, went wild at our only Knick game with our friends Xiomara & Sergio, took Marlee to her very first acting class in early 2005 and stayed there while she cried the entire time, have been front row at Marlee’s 4th grade graduation, 8th grade graduation, and every play she’s ever been in, rejoiced in family bar-mitvah’s (4), Marlee’s Sweet 16, painted the town of Great Barrington, MA 5 summers in a row on Marlee’s visiting day at camp in upstate NY, met Goldie Hawn, watch our favorite sitcoms Seinfeld, Friends, and Two and a Half Men almost every night, actually gave up Christina Park on Fox 5, in favor of Kaity Tong and the crew on Pix 11, worship our favorite television series Parenthood, as well as Girls and Enlightened, have fallen asleep on the brown couch, have entertained friends and family in Club 13E, have been back to Henry’s…

On this Valentine’s Day in 2013 I’m wishing my best friend and beautiful partner the BEST day ever. Thank you for being there through the good and bad, happy and sad. Your support in everything I’ve done makes life so much better. I love you, always. I’ve had the time of my life………….

Now it’s time for Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, a Dylan song, a NY Times book review, and then… a nap 🙂


                                                                                                                                 Heart #4


3 comments on “Something Special

  1. Maria Grande says:

    Hi Tom,
    What a wonderful tribute to Janice. You have a beautiful relationship! Have a very Happy Valentines Day!
    Best regards,

  2. I love the “I Remember” flow of this piece. Full of love, humor and meaningful memories, “Something Special” was fun and moving to read. Not to mention, Jan is an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing!

  3. xm1204 says:

    P.S. I love the photos!

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