Maine Seniors Magazine Carries an Important Question for Two Young People
Oh, what a privilege it was to answer the phone and hear the voice of a young man requesting to place an ad in Maine Seniors Magazine—with a public marriage proposal!
Yes, Sam Weiss did just that, as we here were working on preparing the February 2021 issue of Maine Seniors, a magazine in the same family of publications as Maine Women. When speaking with Sam, I did wonder about his age. He sounded youthful.
Sam told me both he and his girlfriend Erin are 30 years old. I couldn’t help but ask, “Why have you decided to put your marriage proposal in Maine Seniors Magazine?”
He shared with me that his girlfriend loves the magazine and reads it cover to cover every month. During the pandemic, they would get copies of each issue at Hannaford’s, which was one of the only places they went regularly during the COVID time. Being a newcomer to Maine, Erin gravitated to the magazine, interested to read its profiles and interviews. For her, it was a way to get better acquainted with the state and its many remarkable people and places.
Erin and Sam met through a dating app. Sam had been making trips to Boston to visit his grandmother. Those visits put him within the 5-mile radius that Erin had specified when she signed up for online dating. They each knew within 24 hours that they had found “The One.” They spoke for hours on the phone and then met for dinner. Their connection was, “undeniable, and really special,” Sam said.
Sam, who is studying to be a rabbi in New York City, relocated to Maine almost a year ago. His parents and he had vacationed in Maine for many years, and they maintain a home here. So, as the pandemic dragged on, it seemed like a good idea for Sam to stay at his Maine home when education facilities closed. And after visits to Sam in Portland, Erin moved to Maine, too.
As they got to know each other, they realized that they had both lived in the same cities on the East and West coasts, at the same times. They speculated that they might well have passed each other on streets and sidewalks, more than once. Fate works in mysterious ways. They were able to find each other just at a time when, as Sam says, “people in general were feeling that they had little control over their lives.”
Erin is originally from San Diego and now lives in Portland, Maine. She has taken easily to the area, feeling connected to nature in beautiful Maine. She says she always takes particular delight in the sun rising over the ocean in the early morn here—something she never experienced in California. Maine scenery has had a huge impact on her. “I think having so much space and quiet and beauty surrounding us made it possible to make big choices,” she said.
When Erin finally saw the proposal ad Sam placed in the magazine, she screamed with such love, joy, and surprise. Seeing the proposal in the magazine was unexpected, to say the least. She gasped! “Which was hazardous,” Sam said, “because we were eating dinner, and she had just taken a bite of couscous. Then she started trying to pull the page out of the magazine, thinking that it was something I had printed out myself and slipped in there. That’s when I told her ‘No, it’s in all of them!’ I got on a knee and asked if she would marry me. She caught her breath and said yes!”
“Yes,” they wrote me, with the attached letter.
Erin and Sam are planning a fall wedding in Maine. They feel blessed and happy to begin their lives and become a family together in our state.
In Sam’s words, “This year has been so full of surprises, some really difficult and sad, and some really beautiful and wonderful.” This proposal was certainly one of the wonderful ones.
And the beautiful diamond engagement ring she wears is the one that had belonged to Sam’s late grandmother, who in way, brought them together.
Erin and I are engaged! She was totally shocked, and we are over the moon. I didn’t catch it on video—couldn’t figure out when she was going to read the thing! But her reaction was priceless and something I will remember forever. She said she has never felt more special.
We did it! Thank you so very much for your help with this. Today is Shabbat (the Jewish sabbath)—we are going to bask in this wonderful moment all day. Wishing you a Shabbat shalom!
With immense gratitude,