PHOTOS PENDING, CHECK BACK!!
Seven years ago today I went out on my first date with this girl named Jacqueline (Jackie for short). I vividly remember her picking me up from my apartment on 12th Ave in Vancouver and going down to Tinsletown to watch a movie. She was worried that the movie would go on for too long and that I would be late for work. At the time I was a part-time bouncer at the Blarney Stone in downtown Vancouver while I was finishing up my engineering degree. I told her not to worry about it and to enjoy the show so we did. She dropped me off at work after the show and of course I got in a bit of trouble, but nothing too serious. We saw each other another 10 times in the next 14 days bringing the total to 11 with the first date. That is quite a bit and we both felt the chemistry between us and were obviously enjoying each other’s company.
The 3rd day we were dating was a Sunday and she had a soccer game early in the morning. I was at my bouncer job the Saturday night and she had come by with a couple of her friends to have dinner before my shift started. She knew that I wouldn’t be done until 2am and then going out for drinks with the other boys until 4am. She bet me lunch the next day that I wouldn’t be able to make it to her game the following morning. Well of course Dennis, who was one half of the duo that introduced Jackie and I (he’s married to her cousin and went to school with me), decided that it was his solemn duty to make sure I was at that game. He shows up at the crack of dawn and gives me a ride all the way out to Coquitlam to make sure we make the game. Conveniently, his wife, Lan, was also playing on the team so that was all good. He was even thoughtful enough to bring some comfy lawn chairs for us to sit in.
Long story short we went out for lunch after the game; Lan & Dennis were supposed to join us but they made an excuse and made themselves scarce… how convenient!! After lunch I suggested we go for a walk in Stanley Park and so we did. It was pretty cute because she wanted to ask me out as her date for a wedding coming up but she was too nervous that I would think we hadn’t been dating long enough for that kind of a date… of course I told her I would honour her with my presence and would be her date. So after the day we had just had, she thought it would be a good idea to invite me over to her parents’ place for dinner. She warned me that her 3 brothers would be there with their wives/girlfriend as well as 2 dogs. I shrugged it all off and figured I would just be myself and let everything go from there. Turns out her brothers and I hit it off pretty quick and were trading jokes & mockery back and forth within 20 minutes. All-in-all it was a great day, but keep in mind only 3 dates in!!
Fast-forward a few years of being a couple, I left Vancouver after I graduated to move to Kapuskasing, ON. Jackie was still working on her nursing degree so we had to do long-distance for the 2 years that I was in Kap. We did have opportunities to see each other quite a bit more than you would expect but it was still very hard to do the long-distance thing. Zeus is definitely worth mentioning here as he was my first pet and also likely one of the reasons I did not get depressed while living in such a small town away from her. But, as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder so on March 15, 2006 I proposed to her when she was visiting over her March break. She said yes (duh! whaddaya think I’m writing this for??) and the next 15 months were a whirl of wedding preparations, stressed phone calls, and all that good stuff. Let me give you, the reader, a bit of advice: If you’re going to get married, please save yourself the trouble and at least be living in the same city as your bride-to-be!!! Finally, on July 20, 2007, it all came together and we tied the knot.
Just before the wedding I had been transferred to our company’s location just outside Saskatoon, SK, so post-wedding we made the move out there with Jackie’s stuff. We had a moving company move 5 palettes of her stuff, loaded ourselves and Zeus into her Toyota Corolla, and started the 1700km drive to our first home in Saskatoon. Fast-forward another couple years and we sold our townhouse and were living in a lovely heritage house built in 1914 when I got a job offer with an engineering consulting company. After much thinking, crunching numbers, and discussion amongst ourselves, we decided it would be a good idea for our future goals to make the move.
Here we are now a year later, in Toronto, ON, living in our apartment adjacent to High Park. I can’t believe that 7 years have gone by since I first met this lovely person. I find myself fortunate to know her, to be a part of her life, and to watch her grow both in wisdom and confidence. Just like every relationship there have been ups and downs but I feel that as long as we communicate well, the bad times will always pass. In our time together we have gone on many trips and seen some amazing things. We have laughed together, cried together, held each other for warmth in -40degC weather, and splashed around at the beach in the summer sun.
So for those out there who are talking about the 7 year itch, I say YES! There is totally an itch that needs scratching and that’s the itch to look forward, live my life well, and to make sure that each and every day I appreciate my soulmate, my lover, my best friend. I can’t wait to see what the next 7 years are going to bring!