‘Don’t Take This the Wrong Way’

beshert-carr-recentSharon & Eric Carr

First Date: July 20, 1992, dinner and a movie

Wedding Date: June 9, 1996

Ceremony: Beth El Congregation

Reception: Martin’s Westminster

Residence: Owings Mills

Favorite Activity: Relaxing at home

Sharon Askin and Eric Carr quickly learned the word “indifference” while senior prom dates at Randallstown High School in 1987.

They met in study hall, realizing both were part of the school’s production of “Romeo and Juliet.” Eric developed “feelings” for Sharon, but they went as friends. After an awkward evening, Sharon’s mom picked her up from the after-party.

During their junior year at the University of Maryland, College Park, they re-established their friendship and hung out with mutual friends. Eric confessed that he wanted to date, but Sharon refused.

About a year later, they attended a wedding as friends, and old feelings re-emerged. But an argument ensued. Sharon remembers it feeling like a breakup.

With “I Can’t Make You Love Me” playing in his head, Eric penned a letter telling Sharon to be honest with herself.

beshert-carr-wedding“She knew how I felt, and I was questioning how she felt,” said Eric, 47, an internist with GBMC Physicians. “If she didn’t have feelings for me, I wouldn’t bother her again.”

After a weekend away that included staving off another guy’s pursuits, Sharon thought about Eric’s letter. What if he was right?

It was around the time Eric’s brother’s girlfriend was shot while working at a hot dog stand. Torn up, Eric had called Sharon. When she returned his call, they agreed to catch a bite and a movie.

Eric was admittedly “on eggshells” while Sharon tried to get him to make a move.

“If I do something, do you promise you won’t take it the wrong way?” she asked.

“Yeah, sure, whatever,” he responded.

She dropped it, and he kissed her forehead to leave. Then, she kissed him.

“I wasn’t his girlfriend, it wasn’t a grand love affair, it was not a big deal,” said Sharon, 46, a real estate sales agent with Rollins & Associates. “I just wanted to see where it would go.”

The next morning, on Sharon’s windshield was a single rose and a piece of paper with the words “Don’t Take This the Wrong Way.”

It wasn’t long before they were serious.

After seeing “Fiddler on the Roof” in Columbia, Eric took Sharon to the lake to meet his brother. They took a walk, and he apologized for the argument they had a few days earlier. He stood behind her, and when she turned around, he was holding a diamond ring.

They married exactly a year later on June 9, 1996. Rabbi Mark Loeb officiated the ceremony at Beth El Congregation, and 150 friends and family members celebrated with them at Martin’s Westminster.

Twenty years later, they are the proud parents of Avery, 18, Marissa, 16, and Dean and Evan, 13.

“I still feel like when we first started dating,” Sharon said. “I still want to hang out with him.”

Linda L. Esterson is an Owings  Mills-based freelance writer. For “Beshert,” call 410-902-2305 or  email Linda.Esterson@verizon.net.

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