meet cute

Jo and Paulo Profumo

Vegas, Baby!

Y’all. I’m shameless, and he was just SO CUTE. On Monday, August 29, 1994, I walked into the first day of a sophomore level English writing class at the University of New Orleans and sat next to the cutest guy in the room. He was the only person in the room at the time, but whatever, details.

I was 19, a Vietnamese-American naturalized citizen still recovering from a 12-year Catholic education and whose body didn’t yet appreciate what ravages gravity would wrought. He was 28, a handsome reserve officer back in school to get his teaching certificate, with a full head of strawberry blond hair, broad shoulders, and a charming, shy smile. I couldn’t afford the textbook, so he generously offered to share his, and of course, that meant we had to meet up outside of class to make copies (duh).

Our first real date was a movie in October – he took me to see Exit to Eden, which in retrospect seems an odd first date choice, but again, whatevs. By Thanksgiving, we were officially a couple, and by February of the next year, we were shacking up and never did have the guts to tell his grandparents about that (may they all rest in peace).

He went off to the University of Mons in Belgium that first summer on a French scholarship, and knowing that I needed to lock that ish down, I proposed right before he left. He broke the news to his mom on the way to the airport… that was a very quiet ride home, but whatcha gonna do, right?

Anyhoo… we got married on July 27, 1996, with all of 16 people present (no one really thought this was gonna last) and here we are, 24 years later, and still working hard every dang day to keep it together (he remains pretty darn cute).

Besides, the poor thing still doesn’t really know what happened. Don’t y’all dare tell him.

— Paolo & Jo Profumo

For more Valentine’s stories, go to the #MeetCute Challenge at www.myheraldreview.com

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