Even though Gay Cioffi was reluctant to look up her old fling, Mark Obenhaus on Facebook, because she thought it was cliche, she gave in and connected, 35 years after their three week romance of 1978.
It was a short romance, three weeks, but enough to leave a lasting impression on both of them, but they had long ago tucked those memories in the back of their minds, never thinking that they would meet again.
The 27-year-old artists’ assistant Cioffi met Obenhaus, who was 32 at the time while jogging on Gibson’s Beach in Sagaponack, New York in 1978 and started a friendship.
Speaking to the New York Times they said theirs was not a “torrid romance”. They did a lot of talking, laughing, and spying on famous neighbors Carl Bernstein and Nora Ephron.
The couple parted ways at the end of the summer and lost touch, getting married to different people and having kids with them. They were both happy to have that memory all to themselves.
News of Ephron’s recent death made them both think of their special time together. Cioffi’s niece convinced her aunt, now separated, to go track Obenhaus down.
“You need to go on Facebook, you need to look him up.” she said.
Cioffi resisted because she thought it is such a cliche to look up old boyfriends and she didn’t want to disturb her perfect memory of their time together.
But she did. She found him and sent him a friend request and then panicked, but only for the four minutes that took Obenhaus to respond.
“So nice to see your name appear. I thought of you and that summer we met when Nora Ephron passed. I have a home not far from where we met and was at Gibson Beach this weekend. I hope we can catch up some day. Life is too short, as they say.”
Obenhaus asked her if they could meet on a planned trip she was making to Washington and she didn’t respond for two days, again, afraid to change the memory she had of him.
However, the temptation was too strong and she agreed, “Of course I’m going to have dinner with him. How can I resist?” Cioffi says.
After a month of Facebook chats and phone conversations they got engaged after a particularly difficult separation.
“Sort of awkwardly, I said to her, ‘So are we going to get married?’ And she looked at me and said, ‘Definitely,’” Obenhaus said. “I sort of fumbled, ‘Well, people don’t.’”
Thanks to Facebook Gay Cioffi, 62, and Mark Obenhaus, 67, got married on August 3 in The Hamptons, not far from where they first met that summer of 1978.
[Images via Mark Obenhaus/Facebook]