CONTEST: How Did You Meet the Love of Your Life? Phyllis Sigal January 3, 2020 Share your story in Weelunk’s “How WEE Met” contest and win a “Romance Weekend” prize package from Oglebay! Details below. Here are three couples’ “How WEE Met” stories — to help serve as examples: WHEN PHYLLIS MET BRUCE (A hair-raising love story): He says he fell in love with the back of my neck. You see, he was my hairdresser. But he started out as my friend Louise’s hairdresser at Your Father’s Mustache in downtown Wheeling. I’d just tag along when she’d go for a haircut — to feed my high school crush. But he was older. And unavailable. Three years later, I was older. And he was available. It was Thursday, Feb. 9, 1978. We ran into each other at Wheeling’s premier club, Tin Pan Alley, the night after we both had attended Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver” concert at The Capitol Music Hall. (On Wednesday, I had fallen “in love” with a guy in Huey Lewis’ band, “Clover,” that had opened for Wright. But, when Bruce — who would turn out to be the “Mr. Right” of my dreams — asked me out, I forgot all about Sean-the-drummer. Album note: Love Is Alive, Made to Love You and Power of Love were just three of the hits from “Dream Weaver.”) A couple of nights later, Feb. 11, we went to see the movie, “The Turning Point.” And, it was! Forty-four years, (38 of them as husband and wife), two children and two grandchildren later, he’s still cutting my hair. But, just mine. In our kitchen. He hung up his professional scissors — when first-born Amanda Rose was just eight-months-old — to pursue other endeavors. Suffice it to say, I’m glad my high school crush on my hairdresser, Bruce Wheeler, (now executive director of the Wheeling Symphony and producer of the Heritage Music BluesFest) turned into the life and the love (and free haircuts) we have today. — Phyllis Sigal WHEN ALEX MET RYAN (On the frontlines of love): I was on my way to work at Staffileno’s on the River, then a family-owned restaurant in Wellsburg, when I got stuck in traffic. Traffic. In Wellsburg. I was just as confused as you are. I was perplexed as to why cars were all stopped for a cavalcade of fire trucks and police cruisers, sirens blazing, parading down Route 2 that Sunday morning. I ended up being a few minutes late to work, and when I explained why to my boss, he responded, “That’s because Ryan Weld came home today. He was in Afghanistan.” Ryan Weld stands next to a “Welcome Home” sign. The name didn’t mean anything to me. Somehow, despite both being from Wellsburg, our paths had never crossed. That is, until later that afternoon. A large party of about 20 came into Staffileno’s for lunch that day, and while I filled up salt shakers at tables across the restaurant, a man stood up from that group and walked toward me. I looked up, expecting him to introduce himself, but instead, he muttered an awkward hello and kept walking. It wasn’t until later that I learned that he was the man who had come home from a deployment in Afghanistan just that morning. And much later, I learned that right before he walked up to me, he joked with his friend, “I just survived the Taliban — I think I can ask a girl out.” Turns out, that wasn’t the case. It took a second introduction from Ryan’s cousin and my then-coworker, Jenna, before we properly met. That was in 2011; the rest is history. I guess the old saying is true: Good things come to those who wait (in traffic). — Alex Weld WHEN CHRIS MET BOB (He got her rubber-stamp): It was August of 1994, and I worked part-time teaching at a rubber stamp store in Pittsburgh. The owner of the shop, two others I planned a weekend trip to a rubber stamp convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. I have to admit, I looked at this weekend as a fun girls’ getaway. The last thing I expected was to meet a guy — let alone my future husband — at this particular event. While having lunch near the convention, a guy walked up to our table. Subscribe to Weelunk “You can’t hit on any of these women — except one. She’s the only single one,” my friend Margie said, introducing us. (She was joking and later told me that she would have never thought to introduce us). Bob was an artist and art therapist who lived in Martins Ferry, Ohio. He was at the convention selling stamps that he created of his own images. Apparently, he frequented the stamp shop in Bloomfield when I was not there. I thought Bob was cute and funny. Apparently, he thought the same about me. He later told me he had recently been rejected by someone he had asked out and would have never even thought to pursue me. When the convention opened on Saturday morning, I went up to Bob’s table and asked him if he’d like a Coke or something as he couldn’t leave his table. He smiled and said he would. When I returned, he handed me a paper that said, “10 reasons to not go out with me.” I didn’t read it until I left, but it made me laugh. I definitely am attracted to a sense of humor! So, I responded to every “reason” he listed with humor and a bit of sarcasm and handed it back to him later that day. That definitely “broke the ice,” and we talked more that weekend, and he said he would give me a call the following week. I officially had a crush! Our first date was to an outdoor antique and flea market, the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum and a Mexican restaurant called Hungry Jose’s in Washington, Pennsylvania. It was the best day ever! We continued to go out on most weekends and talked on the phone through the week. On a dark October morning, I left my house to walk to work. When I saw Bob sitting on the steps of my neighbor’s house, it startled me. The first thing I said was, “What’s wrong?” “Nothing,” he said, and handed me a box. In it was a handcrafted silver pin — two hands around a heart — created by an artist we had met at an arts festival. When I opened it, he asked me to marry him! I was really caught off-guard, but I was beaming. (We laugh about it now, but my first reaction was to say, “I need to think about it!” I did tell him I would marry him the next day, and we planned to marry the following October 1995. While our relationship was only two months old when we became engaged, I just knew when I met him that he was the one. I still feel that he is. — Chris Villamagna SEND US YOUR LOVE STORY! What’s your story? How did you and the love of your life meet? Share your love story with Weelunk! Submit your story below. Entries are due Jan. 16. Weelunk will choose three finalists, and each gets to tell their stories through a video produced by the Weelunk crew. The ultimate winner is chosen by Weelunk readers! The winning couple will receive a “Romance Weekend” prize package redeemable Feb. 14-15 or Feb. 21-22, courtesy of Oglebay Resort, that includes: • Overnight accommodations at Wilson Lodge • Welcome champagne toast at check-in • Mountaineer Breakfast Buffet • Exclusive three-course “Leap of Faith” dinner prepared by Oglebay’s Executive Chef Tom Raymond. Choose your favorite and least favorite ingredients from the Leap of Faith questionnaire, and Chef Tom will prepare a delicious three-course dinner specifically designed for your unique taste. • Couples massage class at Oglebay’s nationally recognized West Spa. Learn valuable massage techniques from a skilled massage therapist that can be used at home to ease daily tension. • Couples massage at Oglebay’s nationally ranked West Spa • Private animal encounter at the Oglebay Good Zoo Here’s the breakdown of how the contest works: • Story submissions are due Jan. 17. • The three finalists will be chosen on Jan. 20. • Videos of the three finalists will be filmed the week of Jan. 20. • Videos will be published on Weelunk and voting will begin on Jan. 27 • Voting ends Feb. 6, and the winning couple will be announced on Feb. 7. • Please keep story length to about 400 words. • Couples must be available and in the Wheeling area during the week of Jan. 20 for Weelunk’s video team to capture your story! 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