This is a Vince and Gayle story; the blog post title will eventually make sense.
Both Vince and I had each had one failed marriage before we got together. Thus we had the age and experience to avoid the “getting to know you” dance that is usually part of those first dates. Instead we laid our warts out on the table right up front with the idea that if the other stuck around knowing the warts, then that person was worth our time. We each still joke at how amazed we are that we stuck. Overall, it made for an interesting time. Seriously weird shit between us. LOL 😆
In addition, while my marital breakdown left me with hope for a future marriage (does that make my view antiquated? quite possible, but it existed). Vince was just the opposite: marriage sucked and was not in his future at all. While I completely accept him for all his quirks (though, he does use them to his advantage at times to drive me crazier than I already am – but that’s a separate post entirely 😜), I was curious what led him to that decision.
Admittedly, I hoped to change his mind. So, at every opportunity I could mention marriage I would ask why he was so set against getting married again. Some of it came down to outdated rules and expectations of what marriage meant. Talk about antiquated (pot? kettle?). My arguments revolved around marriage being a covenant between two people. We set the rules and expectations and not others. Vince’s biggest counter argument soon turned to ‘we were already committed, why did we need marriage?’ Eventually, I settled down (that is, I was comfortable with how things were) and accepted his position. Out of the blue, one day Vince says to me that I haven’t mentioned marriage in a long time. I agreed and commented how right he was about our commitment. Surprisingly, Vince says to me, if we get married, what date would it be? (Let’s be clear, he’s fairly lousy with dates). I ruled out Christmas day, boxing day, New Year’s Eve day, New Year’s day, Valentine’s day because…cliche much? It could only be a date that never moves so that Vince would remember it. That left Canada Day and Halloween. Vince says, “I tell you what, the next time Halloween falls on a Saturday, we’ll get married.” I looked at a calendar right away, it didn’t fall on Saturday that year (1997), but it DID fall on Saturday the next (1998). So I turned to him, a little giddy and asked him, “Does this mean we’re getting married next year?” He looked stunned (completely didn’t expect Halloween to be on a Saturday so soon) but kept his word. And that was it, we had a date; one that we kept ‘secret’ till a couple weeks before when we invited family and a few close friends to attend or not. We annoyed family and those few friends by only planning a ceremony. I’m proud to say I had a potluck wedding, everyone gone by 6 p.m. and all we paid for were the licence, the wedding chapel, and our rings. The real twist to this story? The next time Halloween fell on a Saturday occurred in 2009.
The months leading up to the wedding involved agreeing on what kind of ceremony, whether to invite anyone or just announce it AND what our covenant would be. One point we both agreed on was that marriage could end in divorce. That’s when we agreed to add a 99-year clause to our covenant – as in, we’d have to be married for 99 years before we could divorce. Each anniversary we comment on how many more years to go. This Halloween it’s 23 years, with 76 to go.
I have to say how proud I am of Vince and me. Over the years, we’ve made sure we communicate with each other clearly and often (though sometimes that lack of clarity adds to either hilarity or frustration or both), literally touch each other daily, tell each other “I love you” minimally once daily, there are no games (if I think I’m going to outwait Vince on something, I really have to think again because he’s not even aware I’m doing it, so what’s the point?), and though we disagree on things and can be frustrated with the other person, we don’t fight (truth: we have had two fights that I can recall very early on in our relationship, both ended quickly with no lingering effect).
These past 20 months have been challenging, and more difficulty is coming. We’ll deal this together. What a blessing Vince is in my life; wouldn’t change a thing (well, we know the one thing I would change). Love ya Vince.❤💋