Finding Love Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago yesterday, I was in a work friend’s tiny apartment (let’s call her M.), drinking boxed wine and trying to figure out where to go for Halloween parties that weekend. I didn’t even really want to be out for Halloween, it being my least favourite holiday, but decided that I should so that I could make friends, seeing that I was new in Calgary and couldn’t say no to social things forever. It was a Saturday night, I was dressed as a rag doll, and I had $40 to my name.

My slapped together ragdoll costume.

 

M.’s friends were visiting from out of town and wanted to go to a dance club across the city. As they tried to arrange a cab, M and I were quickly doing calculations in our head on how much that taxi trip would cost. Figuring out that we would barely make it there and back, plus have to coordinate the 4 of us or we wouldn’t be able to afford the trip home, made it impossible. Fortunately, M knew the little pub walking distance from her apartment would have live music and cheap wine- plus, she had a crush on one of the regulars there- so our minds were set. We planned on a couple drinks there, then back to hers for girl chat and an early-ish night….unless the regular was there. Then she would give me her keys and I could sober up and drive home the next morning.

The band was good, the wine was bad, but cheap, and the guy M wanted to flirt with was there, so we stayed a lot later than we planned. Which was fortunate, because the love of my life walked in.

M. and I sat on bar stools in the back with a clear view of the door so that we could look at people’s costumes as they came in. We booed anyone that didn’t dress up and clapped for our favourites. My favourite female costume was a perfect Joan Jett. My favourite male costume was the one that my future husband was wearing, Hunter S. Thompson.

Now, M. didn’t know who Hunter S. Thompson was and that disappointed me. She thought he was dressed as Gilligan! I knew who he was right away and quietly clapped, then M. and I rated the next costume that came in.

 

Hunter S. Thompson costume.

 

After midnight we were still there and I found myself at the bar to order another glass of wine for M. and I.  M. had convinced me to stay so that she could keep flirting and we could keep talking, and wine made the loud bar packed with people bearable for me- and I felt less awkward. Put up your hand if you are also an introvert that felt less awkward and panicky in loud social situations if you drank!! Me too!!!! I am getting better at just embracing feeling awkward now that I am in my 30’s and rely on crutches less and less. I digress. To continue….

The journalist, Hunter S. Thompson

As I went to order more wine, I  had accidentally cut in front of two guys waiting for their tequila shots and turned back to apologize. To my surprise, I was apologizing to Hunter S. Thompson. I told him that my friend thought he was dressed as Gilligan and he confirmed that she was wrong about his costume, and I was right…..which led to a night of talking. Many chance things happened so that we could meet that night. I wasn’t supposed to have come to that pub, but neither was Josh. He was on a pub crawl and supposed to be on his way to another bar, but decided last minute to leave the crawl and spend the last couple of hours at the quieter pub with his friend. For the first couple years of our relationship, Josh would swear it was fate and I would swear it was just chance….now we both call it fate.

After talking for awhile, I remember thinking, clear as a bell, “Oh damn. I am in love with this man.” You see, earlier that week I had decided that I would stay single for a year, even writing out a contract of sorts for myself. I wanted time to figure out the city, and myself, without distractions. But as soon as Josh and I started talking I knew that I would not be without him in my life after that night. It did not feel like lust, or a crush, or admiration. It felt like a lightning bolt of life-changing proportions straight to my heart kind of love. A deep, deep life-altering connection  was happening, and even with the wine in my system, I felt it with clarity. At the end of the night, when he kissed me, that feeling only grew stronger.

We ended up spending almost every day together after that. He quickly became my best friend and confidante. Soon it felt as if we had known each other for a lifetime and our chemistry was off the charts……..and every other corny romantic movie cliche you can think of. I guess now you know why we named our son Hunter!

It is hard to believe that was ten years ago today. We have gone through a lot together- both good and bad- and our bond is stronger than ever. I know that the honeymoon phase is supposed to fade, but I feel that it hasn’t at all. I still feel “twitterpated” when he walks in the room. Our honeymoon phase is different than the all-encompassing love womb that it was, certainly. It has matured and blossomed into something deeper and more meaningful.

There are things that I couldn’t have predicted when I met Josh ten years ago:

  • We are on the same page politically
  • We don’t suffer fools lightly
  • We are both fairly Type A personalities and both introverts
  • We agree wholeheartedly on parenting strategies
  • And we wanted the same type and size of house (which we live in now, hurray!)
  • We are both cat people and don’t have the desire to own a dog, ever

But when it matters, he is the yin to my yang, the voice of reason when I am being impatient or irrational, and my encourager when I am feeling defeated. I would do anything for him and him for me. (Move mountains, etc, etc., haha). Another thing that I couldn’t have predicted, that has served us very well, is how we deal with stress. We deal with stress very differently and it compliments each other nicely. It is different every time, depending on what is stressing us, but often when I feel like throwing in the towel, Josh is quietly and calmly figuring out solutions. He is great at researching or mapping solutions out when it is needed. And in other situations, when Josh is obviously flustered or overwhelmed by a problem, I can keep calm and think up ways to figure it out, which I bounce off of Josh as ideas….this then gets him engaged and in the researching solutions phase and we figure it out together.

Other things that I didn’t think about when I fell in love- since “fell” is such an accurate description- it’s almost as if I tripped into a giant hole filled with his love (and all the emotions I feel for him), and didn’t want to climb out- is parenting. Josh is a wonderful parent. I can be too soft at times and think only with my heart…. while Josh is more rational and can think with his heart and his head when it comes to the kids and their needs. He is so great with our kids and every time I watch them spending time together my heart grows three sizes. I’m worried that one day my heart will grow three sizes too much and burst right out of my chest; I love my family so much.

 

Our family in Cuba, 2016

Josh has opened my mind to indie hip-hop music, more outdoor adventures, new food, and a more critical way of thinking. He taught me why he loves Cuba so much and now I love it, too. He watches foreign movies with me and we both love to read. Josh is surprisingly good at helping me choose decorating options for the house and is a great cook. He has the best laugh and when he smiles, his eyes crinkle up in the most perfect way. I love those smile lines around his eyes so much that, if I could shrink myself to the size of a flea, I would curl up and sleep in them. I love how we text to check in with the other person during the day and say “Goodnight gorgeous” and “Goodnight handsome” to each other every single night.

My parent’s marriage was a tumultuous one. They either fought over money or were the perfect pair…there was no inbetween. I never dreamt I could find a solid love like I have in this marriage. I want to thank Josh for the most wonderful ten years of my life, and cheers to more.

Thanks for reading this extra sappy post!

Have you been in love like this? Or are you still?

What was your parent’s marriage like? 

If you are with someone, what new interests did they ignite in you? Was it a love of a new food, culture or music? Maybe travel or a new author? 

Please share your thoughts and comments below!

 

 

If you want to keep reading, I have more:

My Seventh Year Anniversary!

A Wondrous Weekend: Atwood and Penner

My Son’s Friend Died and Nothing is the Same.

 

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