Merlino & Gonzalez February 2018

February 2018





How I Met the Love of My Life For most people, blind dates probably bring up memories of cold sweat, awkward conversations, and meetings they wish they could forget. My thoughts on the subject are just the opposite. There’s a certain element of personal bias in my view, because I met the most amazing person I’ve ever known through a blind date. Her name is Joanne, and I’m proud to call her my wife of over 20 years.

Joanne is the person who keeps our family running like a well-oiled machine. Without her, the kids and I would be lost. She’s organized, selfless, and compassionate, and we definitely don’t take her skills for granted. She is the best wife and mother anyone could ever ask for. She makes every day a little better than it has any right to be. In addition to making me a better person, Joanne has also made me a better attorney. With a family of my own, I understand intimately the concerns many of our clients have. Whether they’re buying their first home or setting up an estate plan, I’ve been in their shoes. In fact, I made my first will at Joanne’s insistence. We were getting ready to travel on a vacation without the kids. She made it clear in no uncertain terms that she would not be getting on the plane until I created a will. Traveling is one of our favorite activities, so you can bet I had the will ready to go before we took off. It’s just one example of how Joanne keeps us all in check. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I wanted to use this space to pay tribute to my wonderful wife, and close with a message directly to her. Thank you for not running for the hills when you saw me making that sangria. The 25 years we’ve spent together have been rewarding, fulfilling, and altogether magical. Here’s to many more years of great experiences. I love you, Joanne!

I met Joanne through a friend I worked alongside during a summer internship

at a law firm. She was working as a paralegal and said she had a friend I should meet. For whatever reason, we weren’t able to connect that summer, but the friend called me a few months later. It turns out Joanne lived right around the block from me! I suggested she and her friend stop by on one of the nights I was working at Carmen’s, a local restaurant. When they arrived, I was knee-deep in sangria — not literally, I wouldn’t want you to think the place was unsanitary. From the moment I saw Joanne, it became hard to focus on my recipe. All I wanted to do was get to know her. This introduction led to an official first date. We’ve been together ever since, and the 25 years of our relationship have been the most joyous and fulfilling of my life.



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