NH Love Stories: Pam and Craig
A part of our February issue series profiling five New Hampshire couples' real life love stories.
They say timing is everything. In no area of life is this truer than love.
One New Hampshire couple finally got their timing right after more than two decade - with Facebook acting as a modern-day Cupid.
Pam Margaritis and Craig Dube met at Merrimack High School in 1986. He was a senior, she a sophomore. He introduced himself to her the first day of school.
Pam, 15, appreciated the attention, his offbeat sense of humor and those blue eyes.
For her, it was first love. Craig, 17, wrote a fictionalized story about their relationship for his creative writing class. He titled it "A Natural Decision."
But six months later, Craig began dating someone else. Although she was devastated, Pam included this sentiment under her yearbook photo two years later: "CD, I will never forget you."
The two attended the University of New Hampshire and stayed in touch casually - flirtatiously - over the years. "I kept tabs on him. I was always nervous around him because I always wanted him back."
The connection ended when Craig married his college girlfriend. The years passed. Pam married. They both started families.
Then six years ago, Craig learned about the birth of Pam's second daughter through the college alumni magazine. He asked a mutual friend to pass along a message that it would be great to catch up. But Pam didn't want to see him. Things were going too well. "I was thinking if he comes back into my life now, it will stir things up."
Fast forward to February 2009. Craig's marriage was ending. He'd moved into an apartment - away from an 18-year relationship that had given him three children. Which was when someone suggested he try Facebook and he did.
After three days online, he received a message: "I wondered when you'd show up here." It was Pam.
Turns out, she was also going through a divorce. She'd been sitting on her couch on a Friday night, using Facebook, when Craig's picture appeared under "people you might know." Seeing his face made her heart flip.
"Yeah, I know you," she said aloud
They e-mailed through Facebook. They discovered its Instant Messaging feature. After three days they added in old-fashioned phone calls.
Their first date took place in Portsmouth two months later. She tears up as she remembers the moment Craig walked around the corner into sight. "I felt it," she says.
"For me it was the same," Craig says.
As the two walked to lunch, they found themselves holding hands. Seventeen years had passed, and the gesture was completely natural.
Craig won Pam over with a special gift that day. She'd recently posted on Facebook that she'd eaten too many Skittles even though she only liked the red and purple ones. Craig bought four packs of Skittles and put all the red and purple pieces into one package, carefully taping it up.
After a month of dating, Craig felt his heart pulling him closer to Pam even though he didn't feel mentally ready to fall in love. After several months, that changed. "I was starting to see myself married to her."
When he proposed in August, 2010, Craig hid the ring in a similarly prepared Skittles bag, which he presented to Pam as dessert during a sunset picnic atop Cadillac Mountain in Maine. The two married in May 2011, their five children serving as their wedding party.