Downey High teacher found love where she didn't expect it

DOWNEY - When Andra Macomber first met her husband, Peter, there were few signs that the two would end up together. In fact, both were dating other people at the time."He actually said, 'I could never date you, you're too high maintenance,'" Macomber said with a laugh. "We've known each other since 1987...We both worked at Middle Earth Records here in Downey, he was one of the managers and I was a video girl. I was a Downey Viking, he was a Warren Bear." Although the two remained close acquaintances for years after high school, the prospect of a relationship never seemed to come up. "I got set up with his best friend, and at one point we were both engaged at the same time to different people," she said. "But we kept crossing paths. Once we were both single, we got to talking and one day he asked me, 'Have I ever made you dinner?'" The rest is history for the longtime Downey couple who's seen their relationship and their definition of love change through the years with the introduction of new, exciting challenges such as time management and children to mortgage payments and social media. "When you're young you have energy. You can push through problems - you don't deal with them," said Andra, 38, who teaches English at Downey High School. "But at our stage, communication is important. This is definitely a partnership, a business arrangement, and in order to make it run smoothly, it takes a lot of work. I like to think of us as team Macomber, partnering together in this thing called family." For Peter and Andra Macomber, parents of a 7-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy, love represents more than emotion, but rather support, trust and acceptance. "Love is patience, compromise and humor all rolled into one…it's sort of a daily display," said Andra. "Yeah, it's not a feeling, it's a behavior…you've got to maintain it," added Peter, 41, who works for a marketing company in Claremont. "It's to know and see one another for who they are. It's really seeing a person for the great things and their faults." "It's funny how the little idiosyncrasies that drew you to a person can become a thorn," Andra said. "You can't take it out, but you can put some makeup on it." Like many other couples, Valentine's Day represents a special anniversary for the Macombers who will celebrate 9 years of marriage this year. "It means a lot, he proposed on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2002 and six months later we were married," said Andra. "But my husband says I love any holiday where there's a gift and candy involved." Although the couple is still finalizing their plans for Valentine's Day, both agree that the holiday has meaning, a day to reflect on their love for one another. "I think we had a romantic connection when Peter was 18 and I was 15," said Andra turning towards her husband. "He saw me and thought I was beautiful and asked the girl he was dating at the time, 'Doesn't she look like Audrey Hepburn?' "It took a while, but finally, after all the nonsense, it was so easy for us to come together," she said with a smile. "The connection was there and we ended up together."

********** Published: February 10, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 43