In November of '95 I got a flyer in the mail for an a cappella concert by a group called DOO·WA·ZOO. I had never heard of them but I love a cappella music and it was only like $8 (plus a 2 drink minimum) so I figured I'd go.  They were having 4 shows in December on Fridays the 1st, the 8th, the 15th and Sat the 16th.  I made plans to go to the show on the 1st with my friend Gail from my choir and I called up and made reservations.  About halfway into the week I got 2 messages from a woman named Deb Hollie saying the show was cancelled because one of the performers was sick.  Would I like to go next week for half price?  Please call.  So I did.  She was really sweet and apologetic on the phone and so I made reservations for the next week.

Well, Gail was busy so I went with my friend Simona.  We were put in the front row and the group came out and started singing.  They were really great.  Anyway, after a few songs they started to schmooze with the audience and suddenly they asked "Excuse me, but are the Finkelsteins here?"  I almost lost it.  It was so funny.  Especially because suddenly Simona was one of "The Finkelsteins."  I told them it was me, and they spent the rest of the show periodically thanking the Finkelsteins for coming.  It was hysterical.  Afterwards they were greeting the audience and I found out that Deb Hollie (the woman who called me) is one of the singers, and I was the only one who had made reservations that they didn't know.  They were trying to call me about the show being cancelled and they couldn't figure out who I was, how I got on their mailing list, or anything.  Eventually they got my number from information.

Anyhow I went back the next Friday (the 15th) for the next show because I had such a good time.  This time it was with my cousin Michelle.  The group didn't know I was there at first but were still using the Finkelstein angle in their show.  "We want to thank the Finkelsteins for coming last week."  It was hysterical, especially when they saw and recognized me.  Afterwards I was again able to say hi to them.  Did I mention there was this one girl in the group, Karen, who I kept wanting to talk to, but was always busy with other people.  Oh well.

Finally I went back the next night for their last show.  This time I got there a little early and saw the group before the show.  They couldn't believe that I was back again.  They asked if I came alone and I said my mom was meeting me.  So that night I was promoted.  No longer "The Finkelsteins" they gave "a special thank you to the president of our fan club, Loren, and his Mom."  Mom loved it.
They mentioned that they were doing a concert in Grand Central Station during lunch hour the next Wednesday so I went (of course) and this time I finally got to talk to Karen for a few minutes.  Actually, she came over and kissed me hello.  It caught me by surprise but didn't bother me in the least.  So, I got up the nerve and asker her out.  This is something I have never done.  I meet someone.  I get to know them  We talk and then maybe I ask them out.  She was the first person I ever asked out on the spot like that.  When I asked if she would like go out with me sometime her response was quite an enthusiastic yes.  Always a good sign, so I got her number and by Friday we were on our first date.

That was December 22, 1995.

Flash forward 3 years. On December 22, 1998, our 3 year anniversary, I took Karen to a nice French restaurant called La Mangeoire, in Manhattan, on 54th & 2nd. We were seated in a back corner that was fairly private and as the evening progressed the other patrons finished eating and left, but no new people were seated in this section. Throughout the evening they were playing music. Christmas carols by the Carpenters and that sort of thing. We were enjoying it. Then, while we were waiting for dessert, they turned off the music, which Karen found very annoying because we were enjoying it. They quickly put in another tape. It was the DeBeer's Diamond music (which you are listening to now, if your web browser can handle it.), from the commercials. We had been making fun of those commercials for months, so she knew right away. The waiters brought our desserts and on the dessert tray was a little black box with, you guessed it, a ring inside. I went around the table, got on my knee, and proceeded to tell Karen how much I loved her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her....
"And?" she said.
"And I think you are great."
"AND!!!!" she asked again. (Apparently, I had neglected the most important part. The big question.)
"Will you marry me?"
She said, "YES!!!"
We then spent the next half hour on my cell phone, ignoring dessert. :-)

We were married on September 2, 1999 at The Mansion at Tappan Hill, in Tarrytown New York. The ceremony was outdoors at sunset and it was beautiful. Check out some of the pictures.