Originally posted on What The Fvck dot com here.
I was sick on our first date. Just a runny nose but that didn’t stop her. There was still an end-of-evening kiss. We actually haven’t been back to that Simcoe pizzeria. I’ve wanted to relive that first date – minus the sniffles. I had an old Ford with a VHS player back then, too. I also dreamed of watching a romantic movie and making out. Now I have an old Dodge with a DVD player. Just sayin’.
Having the experiences of separations and the knowledge of how they have affected us and our kids, we took things slowly; introducing the kids and moving in together that is. Otherwise, we were twitter-pated. There was something magical there from the start. We loved 80’s music, being involved in our community, and people, and of course, we were both all-in with our girls. We also knew how to make one another feel special and loved and at that point in my life, that is what I sought most in a relationship.
Our girls were equally nuts so their first meeting couldn’t have gone better. Their relationship with each other hasn’t always been easy over the years, but what sibling relationship is? Through the hard times, I know there is nowhere any of them – any of us – would rather be.
We started traditions like going to the same cottage every summer – soon to be 8 years in a row – as well as other things like going to Niagara Falls over the Christmas holidays or picking a tree from our favorite nursery. We also like playing cards a lot. It gets pretty serious when Hearts is the game that’s called.
I never wanted to marry again and likely said that too much, but then as we were planning both of our first trips off of this continent, I had an idea; I needed to marry this amazing woman. The past was finally behind me. It was time to stop looking back and realize that there were a million things different within this love than all that came before. My cousin, Florida Mike, was also going to kick my ass if I didn’t put a ring on that beautiful finger.
I asked her father and brother for permission, and I took her daughter to the store to buy Tara some jewelry. “What should we get your mom,” I asked. “Well, you haven’t bought her a ring,” she smartly responded. It was then that I asked her permission to marry her mother.
Tara’s family always made it that much easier to love Tara. They were close and welcomed me with open arms. My family also adored her too. There wasn’t a thing to be hesitant about so in Cuba over March break in 2015, I asked her to marry me.
We wed in the theatre where we introduced our girls for the first time. There were many Annie songs to mark the occasion. Our wedding – and planning it – was the most beautiful thing I have ever been a part of next to the birth of my girls. It was so full of love and fun and much to Tara’s joy, dancing. People still talk about that day today. It’s the last time we have seen some family and friends. Of course, COVID happened 9 months later.
Although the pandemic was tough on all of us, it was especially hard on our girls, but I will always cherish that extra time we had with them from listening to them talk to their classmates as they home-schooled next to us, to creating a what is now 12-hour Spotify playlist as we drove the countryside almost every day to find some sanity among the chaos and worry. I feel that if we can make it through working together every day with our kids learning from home for over two years, there is a line in a Frank Sinatra song just for our relationship and bond as 5.
This past year, we attempted another close-quarter adventure, with a 15-day RV trip through the west coast mountains. It was just one more reason out of many, why my wife is so amazing because who says ‘Let’s do it’ when your husband recommends renting an RV in search of the last Blockbuster instead of our dream to take the kids to Cuba or even Florida where we could be pampered the whole time – and not spend most of our vacation dodging rain and snow.
I know 8 years together and 4 years married might not seem like much, but as you cross into your 40’s with kids and nothing but failed relationships in the rear-view mirror, it’s easy to think that Somebody that you sang about while listening to Depeche Mode, would never help you see things in a different light, and that Michael Bublé had it all wrong – that the only thing fair is the war in love.
Turns out I did meet her. It wasn’t a grocery store and there were no orchestras, dancing through the aisles, or confetti falling down, but who knew that Twitter was where forever would find us? It also highlights that any space is what you make of it.
Our marriage is far from perfect. What’s our secret? We work to work it out, and she’s not easily converted to my way of thinking and in fact, she often disagrees but at the end of it all, she understands me – and I her. Yes, those are a mix of Bublé and Gore lyrics.
What an adventure thus far. Where to next, babe? I’m ready to climb aboard.
Always remember there was nothing worth sharingThe Avett Brothers
Like the love that let us share our name.
You can view a copy of our wedding blog for more about our journey to now at http://www.larrypattisonjr.com/thentheywerefive/
I know this song doesn’t seem like the happiest of love songs, but it always makes Tara cry when I play harp to it, and she used the quote from this song below in her anniversary post to me – so there is that, too.
Cover photo taken by Dream Footage Photography. Orangeified by Larry Pattison.