I Was Engaged to Be Married. Nine Days Later, I Wed a Different Man. Here’s Why.

When this couple first met, he insisted he was going to marry her.

Reminisce love story married in 9 daysCourtesy Judy Maltenfort
Lee and Judy at their impromptu wedding party, 51 years ago.

In 1964, I was working in New York City as the rental agent for a luxury apartment house in the Gramercy Park area.

One afternoon, a young man named Lee walked into my office. During a brief interview, I learned he was recently back from Vietnam and had just been promoted to be the news writer at WABC radio. He left, toured the model apartments, and returned to my office to tell me that he didn’t like any of them but that he was going to marry me.

I was engaged to someone else at the time, but he stopped by each afternoon to ask me for a date. After several visits, I decided not to turn him down again since he really was appealing. We decided to spend Saturday exploring New Jersey and places I had heard of but never visited. I gave him the keys to my 1959 red-and-white Corvette, and off we went to the Hunterdon County courthouse, where the Lindberg baby trial was held, and a few other places. We’d burned a full tank of gas and then some by the time we returned to where I lived in Queens late at night.

I didn’t want him using public transportation at that hour, so I gave him my car keys again. After he left, I realized I didn’t know his last name or his address, but there was something about him.

He showed up at my office the next morning, Sunday, with the car keys. On Monday, I was speaking with the person who ran credit checks on prospective tenants, and she asked me how I’d spent the weekend. I told her I’d had a date with some idiot who said he was going to marry me.

On Wednesday, he took me to get our marriage license. On Friday, at the last minute, we ran to the jewelry district in Midtown Manhattan to get our rings. On Sunday afternoon, we married right after he finished his shift at WABC and I finished my work at the rental agency.

On Monday, I was speaking with the person who ran credit checks again, and when she asked me how I’d spent the weekend, I told her I married the idiot.

Originally Published in Reminisce