These two mamas on connecting through activism, the most surprise epic proposal of-all-time and same-sex marriage
by Colleen Crivello
SHARE THE LOVE (& THE STYLE)
An ongoing series about real life love stories (i.e. in real life #IRL) wherein we feature the everyday, the romance, the beauty, the messiness and the reality of keeping it all going as two+.
These two mamas on connecting through activism, the most surprise epic proposal of-all-time and same-sex marriage.
Love, as we said before is the fuel of life and these couples got it goin’ on! So, we asked a few duos about how/when they fell in love plus what keeps them going on the daily – in spite of and also because of kids, logistics, scheduling, work, etc. Join us in feeling the LUVVVVVEEEEE.
Join us with Jenny Greenstein, a personal stylist, founder of @yoursoulstyle and co-founder of @thefutureisfemalemovement and Dina Weisberger, Ad Tech at Google, after 9 years together (this month) and married for 4, this is their story…
On how you met:
She said:I was casually dating this girl who I wasn’t really vibing with and so I decided to go to this girl party downtown rather than be upset about it – I was on a mission to meet someone else. After about 30 minutes, I spotted Dina – she walked in with a knit hat, a cool sensibility, tons of swag, and just right amount of masculinity/tomboy’ishness that I’ve always been drawn to. I kept my eye on her for a bit and when she made her way to sit, I got up, walked right over and introduced myself. I’m typically not that bold, but I had to meet her. I simply said, “Hi, I’m Jenny” and we immediately clicked. That was basically it. We spent the rest of the night inseparable and extended our evening passed the party doors. Our first official “proper” date commenced the following Thursday.
She said:Our meeting was pretty unromantic. We both went out to a girl party at a bar in the East Village. Jenny will tell you that she locked eyes on me the minute I walked in, but I can’t say I was as focused. I sat down on a couch with the friend I came with and two minutes later Jenny was sitting to my left. She introduced herself and, as they say, the rest is history.
On how you knew:
She said:I always knew it was her. I was in a relationship for nearly 10 years prior to meeting Dina and untangling myself from that situation was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But once I did, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted and what I didn’t. From the very beginning with Dina, I knew she was the one I was going to journey through this life with. Grounded, rooted, sturdy, focused, empowered, confident, settled and self-assured – she has and always will be the one to support my swaying emotional branches. Our relationship is symbiotic, Dina represents the head and me the heart.
She said:Prior to meeting Jenny, I was in a long term relationship where I literally moved continents to be with this person, so I was determined to take it slow with whomever I met. I also realized that the type of women I was attracted to, may not have been giving me what I needed. Meaning, I was more focused on emotionally helping others, with less focus on myself. I really took my time to get to know Jenny and can honestly say the more I got to know her, the deeper my love grew. The more I was exposed to her essence, the more I knew she was the one for me. She complimented me in so many ways, yet overlapped with our beliefs and interests in all the rights places.
Babies before marriage or marriage before babies?
She said:When I first met Dina, she was clear about not wanting either. I should’ve ran the other way (sort-of) knowing I likely wanted both, but instead I stayed the course and remained open to possibility of us creating a life plan together. After time, I realized that becoming a mom was a non-negotiable and something I wanted to experience. Marriage wasn’t as important – especially since same-sex marriage at the time wasn’t state or federally recognized – but even that over time became important too. The idea of making our relationship official and beginning our own family was everything. Fortunately for us, it became that for Dina too! We were married in 2012 at the Parker Palm Springs and our beautiful baby girl Vida arrived in 2015.
She said:So as Jenny said, I did not want marriage or kids prior to meeting her. And I don’t want people to think “she just caved” because that wasn’t the case at all! I always loved kids, but not wanting them was more of my ‘motto’ without a strong reason to support it. When Jenny and I hit a crossroads over whether to stay together or break up because of me not wanting a child, I felt I owed her a better explanation as to why I didn’t want kids. So after a few months of work in therapy I was able to better understand what my apprehensions were about. In short, I realized a big part of my reasoning was due to never meeting someone I could see myself parenting with. For all the reasons mentioned earlier, I knew Jenny would be the most loving, mindful and nurturing parent anyone could ask for. The decision to get married followed our decision to have a child. At the time, I felt our marriage was important for the child we were going to bring into this world, but in hindsight I’d say it was important for me as well.
She said: Oh man, the proposal was mind-blowing! We went to dinner at Tertulia in the West Village, and had tickets to ‘Standing on Ceremony – The Gay Marriage Plays’ at Minetta Lane Theater after dinner. I thought nothing of the title (duh!) or about sitting front-row center, and just assumed my incredible wife got us epic tickets to a great show. During curtain call, Mark Consuelos – who was one of the cast members – approached the microphone and said “It’s a tradition that every night we giveaway a bachelor/bachelorette party to one lucky audience member.” THEN he proceeded to announce Dina as the winner and someone ran over to her with a mic! At that moment, she got up in front of the entire audience and proposed! I almost fainted. For real. It was insane. After I finally caught my breath, Dina whispered for me to look up in the mezzanine. When I did, I spotted our entire family and all our best friends, watching and waiting the whole time for this moment. Dina had been planning this for weeks, coordinating with the theater plus our family/friends, sending out itineraries, and plans to make sure this all went down perfectly. It was one of the best moments of my life. She nailed it!
She said:Part of how I wanted to really demonstrate my love for Jenny was to push myself out of my comfort zone and do something she’d never imagine me doing in a million years. I’m a pretty private person, so doing anything in a public arena would never have crossed her mind (or mine). I was at therapy (see a theme yet?), in the waiting room, and in Time Out New York saw an ad for “Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays.” I immediately thought to myself, well that would really blow her mind if I proposed at a play. I did some research online, and found an email address for the PR company of the play. They wrote back within a few days and we planned the proposal together.
Key to keeping it sexy
She said:I think it’s hard to always keep it sexy in the literal sense, especially with Vida. I’d like to be the person who reports that it’s hot and heavy all the time, but I believe that’s bullshit for most. Intimacy is so much more than sex. We keep it “hot” by really looking into each others eyes, by being present, attentive, acknowledging, empathetic and vulnerable. We always create the space to come together on a highly emotional level amidst all of the distractions in our life.
She said:As I like to tell Jenny, we have to keep things ‘tight,’ and that can be interpreted however you see fit. Making time to laugh and see each other is just as important as anything else. So I’d say there are many components to keeping things sexy, and we both try to ensure we make time to be with one another.
A kiss you can’t forget:
She said:Easily the first time we met. It was intense, beautiful, sensual and right! It was the beginning of everything.
She said:Agree with Jenny on this one. The night we met we both felt the sparks flying.
Love is… ?
She said:Love is being each others mirror and helping one another evolve. Love is unconditional support. Love is being able to see each others authentic selves and not through jaded perception. Love is pure. Love is being exposed and open and trusting someone with your most vulnerable self. Love is teaching one another how to be better. Love is being open enough to allow someone to teach you how to be better. Love is being connected on such a raw, primal level. Love is messy. Love means embracing challenges together and working through them. It’s being enmeshed enough, but separate and individual too. Love is watching your best friend and partner become the most epic mother you ever thought possible.
She said:Love is having someone by your side that is your ‘ride or die.’ That sees you for everything you are and loves you for all of it. Love is finding someone you can grow & evolve with, laugh with, be the most vulnerable with, and be intimate with. Love is being able to form a bond that can’t be broken no matter what comes your way.
Craziest most romantic thing you’ve done for each other?
She said:I surprised Dina with a trip to Rincon for her 40th birthday. The first half was just us and mid-trip, I planned for her best friend (and girlfriend) to fly down and surprise her. I rented a house for the next 5 days for all of us.
She said:Proposing to Jenny in front of a live audience. I’m not sure i’ll ever be able to top that…