'Happiness is being married to your best friend'
Her mom worried that Dottie might never get married. Dottie didn't.
She had friends, and she was happy. She didn't need better.
Then she met Art and discovered what better was.
“On a blind date,” says Dottie Heintzinger, 85, of Allison Park. “His sister and my friend set us up.”
“Was it the Holiday Inn in Green Tree?” Art Heintzinger, 86, asks.
“I think it was,” she says. “We had a couple drinks, we danced, and we just talked and talked.”
She looks off into the distance and smiles.
“That evening went by so fast,” she says.
“So fast,” Art says.
That evening was a cold winter night in 1975.
Art was divorced with two daughters. Dottie had never married (which caused her mother to worry). They were both in their 40s.
Art, seeing no reason to waste time, called her the next day and asked her out again.
“I was shocked,” she says. “I couldn't believe I met someone like him.”
They continued to date and found that the conversations never stopped being easy.
So easy, in fact, that Dottie suggested they get married.
“He wasn't upset,” she says with a shrug. “So I just kept planning it.”
They married Dec. 23, 1976, in West View.
They honeymooned in Florida and New Orleans.
They moved to Florida when Art was transferred for work and lived there for 30 years.
Then they moved back to Western Pennsylvania to retire in 2014.
Today, they live at Cumberland Woods, a retirement facility on the UPMC Passavant campus.
They recently celebrated their 40th anniversary.
On Tuesday, they will celebrate their 42nd Valentine's Day together.
Sometimes they wonder: What if we had met sooner?
But not for long.
Because as it is, they're happy with being proof of the old saying:
Good things come to those who wait.
“She's my friend,” Art says proudly.
“And he's mine,” Dottie says. “I have a magnet on our refrigerator that says, ‘Happiness is being married to your best friend.' I think that's true.”