Edie Downing and Mark Aquino met when she was hired at the manufacturing plant where he was working. Within a year, they began dating and soon after that they began working part time together at the same Edgewood restaurant.
The couple, who were married earlier this month, believe their long hours on the job together should prove good training for the ups and downs of marriage.
"No matter what happens, as long as we're together, we can't be beaten," says Mark.
It was April 1997 when Edie was hired as a customer-service representative at JCB Inc., a maker of heavy construction equipment in White Marsh. She spent her first days on the job "following Mark around the warehouse." He was working -- and still works -- in the receiving department, and many of his duties were pertinent to Edie's new job.
The two co-workers struck up a friendship. Edie -- who was involved with someone else -- never guessed that Mark wanted to be more than friends. But he confides, "I was totally in love with her from the start. As soon as I saw her come into work that [first] day, I said to myself, 'There's a woman I could settle down with and marry.' "
He kept his feelings to himself, however. Though the two friends often went to lunch together and Mark's smart-aleck sense of humor brought much levity to Edie's workday, she never realized he was attracted to her. "Our boss kept trying to clue me in, but I just ignored him," Edie recalls.
Eventually, Edie's other relationship ended. But where some men might have seen an opportunity for romance, Mark saw a chance to help someone he cared about. Edie needed a place to stay, so she and Mark moved in together in November 1997 -- strictly as platonic roommates, they both emphasize. Soon, however, Edie realized her feelings for Mark went beyond friendship and the couple's romance finally began.
In January 1998, Edie, wanting to earn a little extra money, applied for a part-time job as a delivery driver with Fortunato Brothers, a pizzeria near the couple's Edgewood home. Mark, worried about Edie's driving around late at night, decided he'd take the position instead. Edie often kept him company on the delivery runs, and she was soon offered a part-time position as a waitress.
In August 1998, Edie left JCB to become a customer-service representative at L. Fishman and Son in Baltimore, a flooring-supplies company. But on Wednesday and Friday nights, she and Mark continued to work together at the pizza parlor.
Working two jobs made it easier to save for their wedding, Edie and Mark say. The couple, who will only admit to being in their 30s, were married Oct. 10 at the Tagart Memorial Chapel at McDonogh School in Pikesville.
They chose the chapel in memory of the late Leah Watts Dawson, a longtime headmistress of the lower school and a close friend of the Downing family. It was Dawson who taught Edie to read. And she and her husband, the late Everett Dawson, fostered a love of antiques, the fine arts and horses in Edie. "They were very meaningful in my life," Edie says.
Mark's son Jordan Foster was the couple's ring bearer. Edie's sister Donna Glorioso was her matron of honor. The 100 guests included Edie's parents, Jay and Joan Downing of Frankford, Del., and formerly of Randallstown, as well as Mark's mother, Lydia Aquino of Joppatowne.
Their honeymoon cruise to Bermuda behind them, Edie and Mark have returned to their full-time and part-time jobs. The money they earn will be put toward their next dream: a home of their own.
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Pub Date: 10/24/99