Disneyland engagement leads to 29 years of marriage

| January 26, 2023 | 0 Comments

Sam Nymous proposed to Sadie Griner on his birthday, at Disneyland, in what was the start of their magical journey that has lasted 29 years, so far, and includes three girls, two boys and four grandkids.

Being Orthodox Jews, it is customary in their circle for single people to be set up or matched either by friends or family members. Often the mother or father will vet the family before the kids’ meeting even occurs.

Sadie Griner is a native Angeleno who grew up in Hancock Park. She flew back to New York monthly for two and a half years to find the love of her life. There were more opportunities back East, she

MAGICAL MOMENTS of all kinds happen at Disneyland.


She has a very large family in New York that was more than happy to host her for weekends and find available men for her to date. She started making these cross-country trips in her late teens, and it took about 25 blind dates before meeting Sam.

Four different sources had suggested that she meet Sam, including one of her other blind dates. “I knew he was ‘the one’ on our first date,” recalls Sadie.

Sam, a very reserved and conservative individual, was born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia. According to him, “It’s a nice place, but very ordinary and not very exciting.” At the time, he was attending college in New Jersey, studying Talmudic law and accounting. A high school friend suggested he meet this young woman from Los Angeles. Although he didn’t know much about her, he was intrigued. She was only the second set-up for him. He liked his friend and liked the idea of Los Angeles, so he accepted the match. He fondly remembers seeing Sadie walk down her cousin’s staircase in Brooklyn. It took him about three or four dates to realize she was his beshert, the Yiddish word for destiny.

The nice thing about Orthodox courtship is that everyone involved is there for the same reason — to get married. As Sam said, “Dates progress quickly. The first few dates are just fun. Then, if you like the person you start discussing goals, desires, lifestyle and where you are religiously.”

Sam and Sadie dated for about two and a half months on weekends in New York before Sam came to visit Sadie in Los Angeles. Being a very casual guy, he didn’t get down on one knee in Disneyland to propose. He wove the proposal into the day. Do you want to ride the Matterhorn? Perhaps you want to get married?

They agree they are total opposites. Sam, a director at assisted living homes in the South Bay, is happy to go to San Diego every year for vacation, while Sadie, a local real estate broker, plans adventures that take her family all over the world. Sam is the nuts and bolts guy when they go away. He’s in charge of auto rentals and air travel, while she’s in charge of tours and adventures like skydiving and scuba diving.

According to Sadie, “He’ll check the box,” whereas she “Wants to make the ordinary extraordinary.” The combination works great.

She comments that he’s fascinated with her, even down to how she makes a sandwich special. She enjoys his stability, kindness, intelligence and that he’s a great dad.

“Everyday with Sadie is an adventure,” said Sam. “It’s fun and exciting. She’s got a unique flair in everything she does and everything she is. It’s nice to be along for the ride,” he reflected. He’s even become less reserved over the years.

Talking to the two of them, it’s easy to hear the respect, admiration and love they have for each other and the life they have made together. Sam said, “Maybe, for our 30th or 50th anniversary, I’ll propose to her again more officially and dramatically on one knee in Disneyland.”

The names of Sam Nymous and Sadie Griner are pseudonyms. Theirs is a true story, but the couple is modest, and we are keeping them anonymous to add a dash of mystery to this romance. We also thank fellow Angeleno, Gabrielle Zevin, for creating Sam and Sadie in her book. — Ed.

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Category: People

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