U.S. 1 Love Story

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This article was prepared for the October 2, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

Never have we been so happy to see the smiling face

of Bob Dole. Given the subject of this issue — therapies for erectile

dysfunction — it was difficult to find a representative cover

image. Then we remembered the Pfizer ads that featured Dole in late

1998 and early 1999. These ads were meant to educate men and their

partners about the medical problem, for which Pfizer’s Viagra is one

treatment. Dole talked about the courage that it takes to confront

this problem, saying, "I found that difficult things take courage

but it is worthwhile."

Since then Texas Ranger Raphael Palmero and NASCAR driver Mark Martin

have been featured in Viagra ads (Martin drives the car that Viagra

sponsors in the 36-race Winston Cup). But Bob Dole will fondly be

remembered (as he was in the New York Times of Tuesday, October 1)

as one of the first public figures to come forward and talk out loud

about a problem previously confined to whispers.

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U.S. 1 Love Story

On a different topic, if you are a regular singles ad

reader, you may remember this ad’s witty eccentricity:

SWM. New to Area Seeks Fellow Adventurer: This

38, 6’0", 175#, golden blonde hair blue eye male with plenty of dead

white male ancestors dating to the third wave of Pilgrim migration

in 1640s seeks partner in negotiating central New Jersey back roads

to explore theater and concert venues on weekends. As a Gemini I have

many faces — a few include — no television set/spectator sports

watching for at least 15 years — classical pianist currently retraining

technique — heels go all the way to the floor in yoga-downward

dog position (finally!) — have refinished most of the antique

furniture in my apt – active practitioner of astrology – trader for

hedge fund as my day/night job. Where would you like to go Saturday

night?

The ad ran in September, 2001. Three women answered this blonde

blue-eyed male, and by May he was engaged. The happy couple has scheduled

their wedding for Saturday, October 19.

Those of us who are romantics at U.S. 1 are pretty delighted about

this, as are the bride and groom, and they agreed to share their stories.

"Part of a good match is luck, part is what you put into it,"

says the bride. "Both of us have had our hearts broken in the

past."

The bride, Claire Eggers, works in the managed care contracts department

at Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals on College Road West, and she says

that if the man she is to marry had been described to her, "I

would have thought he was not my type."

Her groom was an Eagle Scout, Order of the Arrow. "And I have

never been in a tent in my life," says Eggers. He is also a zealous

student of medieval astrology, "and I wouldn’t think that was

my thing," says Eggers. "Also he is not necessarily of my

political persuasion. Yet I hear my three-year-old son tell him things

he never tells me. He is a very serious and reliable person."

The groom, Sam Hewitt, is a classical pianist turned commodities trader.

The son of an Episcopal priest and a music teacher, he spent his teenage

years in Houston and majored in music at the University of Montana.

He works for a Princeton-based firm and analyzes the broad, long-term

trends of the global market.

This will be Hewitt’s first marriage. He has dated women he found

through personal ads on Yahoo and through Internet dating services.

"And several years ago I did the Russian fiancee thing through

the Internet, but my fiancee went back and decided to stay there.

So I decided to stay with American women."

Of course, with his interest in astrology, he carefully timed the

placement of the singles ad according to his chart, and he says that

Eggers’ response was definitely the right one. "Historically I

have gone out with older women, and that is in my chart," he says.

A regular reader of U.S. 1’s arts and entertainment section, Hewitt

used the newspaper to find the destination for his first date with

Eggers, a production at the Murray-Dodge theater on the Princeton

University campus.

Eggers, who has been married, tells this story: "I

had not dated for a couple of years, and I kept putting it off. I

spent nine months like Hamlet saying I really should act. Last year,

early in September, I noticed the singles section in U.S. 1 and saw

Sam’s ad. He sounded interesting, and I thought at least I wouldn’t

be bored. On Monday, September 10, I was stuck somewhere in a car

in the rainstorm, so I answered the ad and mailed it that day. Had

I waited another day I might not have answered it. I have a strong

feeling of fate on this one."

"I heard from Sam on Thursday, and it seemed like a year had gone

by. We met. Being very methodical, Sam was dating all the people who

answered the ad, and I was the third one to write. I knew the ad would

run for at least a week beyond our first date. I heard a `Thank

you,’ that’s all, so I thought, `I can do this too,’" says Eggers.

She ran her own ad:

Slender, Pretty SWF: with small human puppy in

tow. Professional, independent, throw great parties. 44 years old

(no way!); fit and active. Talented: can change diaper, sip coffee

and talk on the phone all at the same time. Privileged, many years

abroad; fluent in French. Passions include good coffee, hot baths,

the woods, the kitchen, disarmament, scathing analysis of the Republican

regime. Is there a man out there who can excite my mind? — the

rest is easy.

This ad drew 20 replies. "I was amazed at the quality of

the responses," says Eggers. "Probably five were serial killers

but at least half were talented, funny, intelligent, available people,

well adjusted. One was a university professor and one wrote me such

a funny response that we are still friends. But I had my eye on Sam

the whole time. I told him he was really my first choice."

For dating purposes Eggers had limited her use of the Internet to

due diligence. "I had looked quite a bit at the various sites,

but I didn’t want to take that step. I did a search on Sam on the

Internet and checked out some of the composers that he really likes.

I found some papers he and written, and the grammar was impeccable

— I was so impressed."

"By Christmas I knew I was going to be his date for the Christmas

party and was pretty pleased about that," she says. "By Valentine’s

Day we were quite serious." By Memorial Day they were engaged.

Eggers’ father was an international banker, and she spent part of

her childhood in Paris and Geneva (she named her son "Paris").

She spent her teenage years in Princeton, going to Princeton High

School and then to Wesleyan University, graduating in 1979. Because

her then boyfriend’s U.S. visa was expiring she moved with him to

Canada, "and to stay I had to get married." After 12 years

there she came home and worked first for the Carrier Clinic, then

in New York for an insurance firm, coincidentally right across the

street from where her future husband was living at the time.

At the time he placed the ad, Hewitt had an apartment in Plainsboro

but is now ensconced, with his Baldwin upright piano, in Eggers’ spacious

Ewing home, where he has earned the title "Daddy Dinosaur"

from Eggers’ son, named Paris, aka Baby Dinosaur.

The wedding will be in Yardley, and Hewitt’s father will help officiate.

"We are going to be fairly traditional — we are trying to

make it a great party but are not going to take people hostage for

five hours," says Eggers. She has never had a church wedding,

and surprised herself by choosing a traditional gown, complete with

train. Her only attendant will be her son. "I told Sam you are

marrying both of us," says Eggers. "And we would like to have

a bigger family any which way we can."

U.S. 1 singles ads (see page 39) must be working: we get a steady

flow of responses and this is the second wedding couple that told

us they found each other in U.S. 1.

May there be many more. Follow your instinct, Eggers advises. "If

you are to draw the person you won’t draw the person you need. There

is always that element of magic and surprise and total serendipity."

— Barbara Fox


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