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In 1984, Patience Smith knew Sam Bloom as the wildly popular senior who always found new ways to be in the spotlight. In many ways, the resident class clown was so different than Patience herself, who was quite the wallflower.
Like many girls in her school, Patience had a crush on Sam but considered him "out of her league." They never dated and barely acknowledged each other in the halls, but one fateful encounter still sticks with both of them.
During a formal dance, Patience's date ditched her. Things got a lot better for her, though, when Sam unexpectedly asked her to dance and pulled her into a random picture. To this day, they still have that picture.
After 26 years, Sam had married/divorced and was living in Israel, teaching college and high school French. Patience had gone into publishing in New York and had serial-dated for two decades. She was 41 years old and over the New York dating scene, which she jokingly refers to as "buffet dating."
Both were at a crossroads in their lives, so it was perfect timing for a new beginning. In August 2009, in the "Suggested Friends" section on Facebook, Sam noticed "the little redhead" as one of his options and friended Patience immediately. For Patience, it was a no-brainer to be in contact with such a popular person from high school and she further attracted him by "liking" his morose status updates.
One day, Sam picked up the phone and called Patience. Their first phone conversation lasted over two hours and their bond over the phone, on Skype and on Facebook then led to a visit four months after they reconnected.
Love at last
One Facebook friendship and three months of Skype later convinced them that this was "something." He asked if he could visit and possibly "marry and father her children." Patience said all of her girlfriends thought she was crazy but she knew there was a connection there. In fact, they had a deal.
On Dec. 17, 2009, Sam uprooted himself to go west and saw Patience for the first time in 26 years. He ended up staying in New York, and on their first visit to his father's house in Miami, Sam dug out the original picture of them, which he'd kept all these years. They were married on Jan. 16, 2011 and live in New York. They recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary.
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