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Lee Wilczek and Stacie Wissler’s Go-To San Diego Date Spots

The Hillcrest couple opens up about how they met, biking to date night, and navigating marriage laws
Lee Wilczek and Stacie Wissler's Go-To San Diego Date Spots

Lee Wilczek and Stacie Wissler’s Go-To San Diego Date Spots

Ages: 51 (Lee, right); 59 (Stacie, left)

Occupations: Director of Audience Experience at San Diego Opera; Founder of Element Consulting and UPS store franchisee

Neighborhood: Hillcrest

Dating Since: 1994; married 2008

Their Go-To Date

Lee and Stacie bike to dinners at BO-beau in Hillcrest

How did you meet?

S: Lee worked in a card store, Best Wishes. I’d go in, and she was always really funny. I had no idea she was gay, but I needed new connections because I’d just moved down to Hillcrest from North County. We went out on a date but we didn’t know it was a date. I said, “Let’s go to a movie! I hear Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is funny.”

L: I’d had a crush on her all this time. My friend and I used to call her Martina, because we thought she looked like Martina Navratilova. So we’d be like, “Oh my god, Martina’s coming!” I would show my interest by running in the back room and hiding! But when she came in, we would always chat. When she said, “Let’s go to the movies,” I thought, “Is this a date?”

S: After the movie, all of a sudden she said, “My ex-girlfriend is across the street.” I realized, “She’s so funny, she’s fun to be around, and she’s gay! And single!” We ended up walking and talking until 3 a.m.

Where are your go-to date spots?

S: I love BO-beau in Hillcrest. The food is good; they’re super friendly.

L: We love to ride our bikes to any date. We’ll go to Plumeria or El Cuervo.

L: We either walk or ride bikes on all of our dates.

S: Sunday morning we go and get a coffee—

L: —then we go to Coronado and walk to the end of Dog Beach. It’s a chance to not watch the news, to talk and vent and catch up.

S: What’s great is we have this wonderful backyard with a fireplace. We’ll play Scrabble and sit by the fire.

L: Usually I beat her. Write that down!

S: No, you really don’t. Lately you have been failing! I’m kicking butt lately!

When did you know she was the one?

S: I had gotten on my knee and asked her to be my partner for life in 1996. We did a domestic partnership, more of a protection thing. When we had the right to marry, I looked at her and said, “We’ve been together 14 years. I want to assume you want to marry me, but I don’t want to be presumptuous.”

L: You never think it’s going to happen. All of a sudden it happens and you’re like, “Wait, what?”

S: I don’t think straight people go through that. We’ve had a different experience. We’re on, we’re off, we’re not allowed to get married, we are…

L: …Is it state? Federal?

S: At that point, I knew this was it—when we were able to get married, it was a commitment, now we were a family.

L: I never dreamed of a white wedding dress. I always thought it was kind of silly. And it hadn’t been an option! And yet we went to the courthouse, and saying those words you’ve heard all your life is surreal. Knowing somebody had my back and somebody believed in me when I didn’t—that was it.

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