Photo courtesy of Solinet Wong. Counselor Solinet Wong and social studies teacher Eric Hendrickson take a trip to Cambria, California with their dog Shadow in 2021.

Staff struck by cupid

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Knock knock. A familiar coworker’s face peered through the counseling office door. “Would you like to buy a watch to support the basketball team?” he asked. The counselor exchanged glances with the student sitting across from her. As he continued to pitch for the fundraiser, she hurriedly scribbled onto a piece of paper. “Here’s my phone number. Why don’t you call me later?” she replied with a hint of annoyance. 

Social studies teacher and peer counseling adviser Eric Hendrickson and counselor Solinet Wong met each other at an introduction meeting for the new staff in 1993. In 1997, Hendrickson and Wong got married and are nearing their 25-year anniversary. 

“When we began working together, we were both in relationships,” Hendrickson said. “During the second year at the school, she and I were single, and honestly, I was very attracted to her. I was very nervous asking her on a date for the first time.” 

Upon meeting for the first time, Hendrickson was quick to notice and admire Wong’s kind personality. On the other hand, it took Wong time to take an interest in Hendrickson and had concerns about dating within the staff. But Hendrickson’s numerous date plans made unforgettable memories as their love and admiration for each other deepened.

“I really admire her, just who she is, and how she is,” Hendrickson said. “I think when you love somebody, and you also admire them, things can go really well, that’s something a lot of people don’t talk about.”

During their years of dating, Wong realized the trait she never got bored of: Hendrickson’s humor. Growing up in a conservative and strict family household, Wong did not indulge in many jokes with her family.

“My father never joked with me much like this, so for someone to show his love and care through humor was a little different to me,” Wong said. “But I appreciate it, and it was something I needed in my life. There are times when I am so tired and broken up from what I have to carry. He’s the one that builds me back up.”

Love languages play a significant role in bringing the two closer. While Wong shows her love through acts of kindness, Hendrickson shows his affection through physical touch. The two keep each other’s love language in mind during tough times, offering the best support they can. 

“One of the things that I learned within our marriage is our love language,” Wong said. “Oftentimes, I feel like I am communicating that I love him based on my love language, which isn’t his. Personally, I’ve learned to give space. If you love them, you give them space and trust. You trust that they are okay and they are there.”

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