Did it take five times?
Or was it more like six or seven times?
While that may be in dispute, the couple agrees it took quite a few times for Darien High Schooler Danny Dolcetti to ask the then-Marilyn Meyer out before she said yes.
Marilyn, Darien High School’s Class of 1962, and Danny, Class of 1960 are just one of several DHS couples, married today, who shared their story with The Darien Times for Valentine’s Day.
And for Danny, it was truly love at first sight.
Marilyn was in Danny’s brother Phil’s class at Darien High School, but Danny first saw her at her ninth grade prom — which he was attending with another girl. Marilyn was crowned queen of that prom.
“He was there with another girl in my class, and that’s when he first saw me — he told his friend he was going to marry me,” Marilyn said.
At the time, the high school was located at what is now Town Hall, and was only sophomores, juniors and seniors, while the “new” high school was being built in its current location.
Seniors and juniors went to school in the morning, and sophomores attended in the afternoon.
Marilyn later encountered Danny again at a party.
“I went with the guy who was hired to play guitar at the party,” she said.
Not to be deterred once he laid his eyes on Marilyn again, Danny asked her out — in fact, he asked her to leave the guitar player behind.
“Then he started calling me asking me to go out — but I always had something planned,” Marilyn said.
“It took about five times,” she said.
“More like six or seven,” Danny said, laughing.
“I can’t remember what we finally did when went out on that first date — but then, it was history,” she said.
What was it about Danny that drew her in?
“He had the most fascinating eyes,” she said.
“I still think he has fascinating eyes, and that he’s very handsome,” Marilyn said.
Danny’s first impression of Marilyn was the same.
“When I first saw her at that dance, I thought, she’s a really good looking girl,” Danny said.
But Danny quickly found that Marilyn was more than that.
“She’s also very smart. We could converse. She was an all-around athlete, and she loved music,” Danny said.
At the time, the Dolcettis managed singing groups, so Marilyn’s love of music was key.
“Most of our dates were in New York City, at studios, watching rehearsals — we loved music and we loved dancing,” he said.
The couple married the summer after Marilyn graduated college — in 1966.
They left Darien for a short time shortly after. Danny went into the National Guard, and got a job with McGraw Hill in New Jersey, where they lived for two years after their first son was born in 1967.
Why did they come back?
“Danny is glued to Darien,” Marilyn said.
“It is his family’s heritage,” she said.
Danny said with his grandfather first settling in Darien in 1906, the Dolcettis are one of, if not the oldest current family in town.
And the family tradition continues, with all three of the couple’s sons living in town with their families, including four grandsons and one granddaughter.
Danny and his brother Phil own Dolcetti Properties, which owns and develops commercial properties in town.
Marilyn is a clinical social worker, with a private practice in Darien. She worked for Child Guidance which is a non-profit offering therapy to children and families. In particular, Marilyn enjoys using prayer therapy to work with adults.
The couple always goes out to dinner on Valentine’s Day, but hasn’t decided which of their favorite places to choose yet.
How do they still make it work after all these years?
“When I see Marilyn, I still think of her in high school — it’s like we are still in high school,” Danny said.