Daring Love on Lake Michigan ⛵
How a playful bet and a daring night out lead to a lifetime of love.
We’re happy to share with you the delightful and captivating meet-cute of Laura and Vince, a couple whose remarkable journey began as college newspaper “rivals” almost 38 years ago. Little did they know that a cheeky little sports bet and a daring midnight escapade on Lake Michigan, surrounded by strangers under a starry sky, would lead to a lifetime of love.
But their story doesn't end there. Laura and Vince share their heartwarming experiences as foster parents, providing hope and stability to children in need, and open up about the challenges, rewards, and the profound impact it has had on their lives. Read more to see how their shared sense of humor, unwavering teamwork, and the courage to embrace each other's unique qualities have played a pivotal role in their incredible journey together.
Laura, Vince, and their grandchild
Can you tell the story of how you two met?
Laura: We met in college. We worked for the same student newspaper, and Vince was the sports editor, which was annoying to me because I applied for that job as well! So I was the assistant sports editor, but I thought he was cute when I met him and it took a whole school year before he asked me out!
Vince: I think the better thing to understand is the kind of work setting. People working together have to be careful about relationships, but I noticed her right at the beginning of the school year when we were working together and she'd always come in and have her nose to the keyboard. In some ways, she was intimidating because she knew sports better than I did. So, beyond just being shy in general about approaching certain people, there was a little bit of an intimidation factor.
And despite being married for 36 years, Laura found that answer to be hilarious, as it was her first timing hearing Vince admit he was intimidated…
Vince: I devised a way to try and get a first date. Back then in the 80s, the Celtics and the Lakers were a big rivalry. So I said, “Which team do you like in the finals?” She liked the Celtics and Larry Bird and I was more Magic Johnson with the Lakers. I thought I was gonna lose because in the first game, the Celtics blew out the Lakers by 30 plus points. It was embarrassing and one of the worst losses in Laker playoff history, but they rebounded and ended up winning the series. So Laura had me over to her apartment for dinner. It was a very quality lasagna!
Laura: I remember saying to my roommates, “Vin just asked me out!” and I was so surprised because it had been such a long, long time!
Laura recalls a second date where Vince took her out to a fancy restaurant. Fast forward to the end, and they did something they never imagined.
Laura: We got on a boat with a bunch of strangers we met at dinner — who had been drinking — and went out in the middle of Lake Michigan at midnight for whatever reason! We survived and our perseverance bonded us.
What would you say is the secret of being together for such a long period of time? Have your personalties blended together?
Laura: I think humor is important, but also, teamwork and raising kids and having a fun relationship. Involving not just ourselves, but our four kids of our own and five different foster kids over the years. And now a grandchild too, so we need to laugh. It helps our relationship and makes us feel good. And occasionally taking a risk whether it's getting on a boat with some unknown couples or you know, river rafting with our kids/grandchild. We’re excited for adventure, but with a little degree of caution. I think appreciating rather than being annoyed by each other's differences is important. Vince is cautious, which is why I still can't believe he got on that boat! I sometimes take more risks, and I think sometimes I'm right about that and sometimes he's right about them.
Vince: We still have fun and even with our differences, kind of laugh about those. I mean she was a longtime Packer fan and I was a Bears fan when we got together, and some people would view that as a challenging relationship. But in the end, we laughed about some of that and she quickly transformed me to the dark side.
Laura didn’t hesitate taking a shot at Vince’s Bears fandom back in the 80’s. It was clear that sports were a big part of their lives together.
Laura: We were big sports fans and our kids played sports, but then they got into theater. That was a really cool thing. We never thought our kids would have been involved in theater — we certainly were not. I love it. I think your kids can teach you so many things if you just let them pursue their interests.
How did you both decide that you wanted to bring in foster kids? Is that something that you guys were both equally excited about or were there conversations that happened?
Vince: I had worked with law enforcement as a prosecutor years ago and just knew there was a need out there. There's a lot of at-risk kids whose parents have struggled and they need help. So, we signed up for it about 30 years ago and had the little baby girl for a while. Then we started having some more of our own kids. But the last six, seven years we started getting back into it. I think Laura would agree that we've learned a lot trying understand the paths that different kids have gone down. We try to help them navigate to a life that has a better foundation, is more calm, and has more enjoyment.
Laura: I was dreading that empty nest and then I loved it. But he did convince me that there was this need and we live across the street from a park and I was like, “Oh man, how hard could this be?” But it can be pretty consuming.
Vince: Very consuming at times, but very soothing and rewarding to be able to play a role in a kid's life whose mind is racing. They've been through a lot of childhood trauma. Just the simple things of being able to rock a kid to sleep when somebody else hasn't been doing that. The formative years from zero to four or five can affect somebody for the rest of their life.
Meet Cutes NYC Takeaways:
Love beyond boundaries: Opening their hearts to foster children to demonstrate transformative, selfless love.
Unexpected connections: College journalism colleagues turned lovers, Laura and Vince’s bond showcases love in unexpected places.
Teamwork, raising children, and facing challenges. A strong relationship requires constant effort and growth… and a little bit of calculated risk-taking and humor along the way :)
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