Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bowling for a Husband

On this day, in 1994, I met my husband. Bowling. At a singles club.

I'd seen an ad for The Single Gourmet in the paper. A singles club? Ugh! Knowing that thinking about it would stop me, I shut that part of my brain off and called.  I paid $60 for the first three months' trial membership and $19.95 for the bowling evening. I didn't have a car, so the club owner picked me up.

Rick looked like a tweedy history professor. Long hair, jeans, tweed jacket, cotton shirt, beard, glasses. He was on my bowling team. He and one of the other guys spent much of the evening showing off. I wasn't impressed. After bowling they were all heading off to a singles bar. Really? I shut my brain off. "Just go," I told myself. I knew I had to get a ride quick. He was the first person I saw.

His Bonneville had all kinds of bells and lights and whistles. Still not impressed. The bar was a few miles away, to the west. He turned east out of the parking lot towards the outskirts of the city.... I kept an eye on the doors and mentally figured out the best way out of the car should a problem arise. We got talking about cycling and things turned out, well, fine.

When I asked him to marry me, four and a half weeks later, he said, "Sure. Why not?"

I started moving boxes in at the end of March.

Between then and July of 1995 life went a little like this:

I was teaching full-time in the city and at the end of June, I was heading into a full year's leave. I had already booked my summer holidays in British Columbia and had rented a friend's house on Cortes Island for two months starting in September. Plus, there was Music Camp in August. Neither of us suggested that I give this up.

The Farmer (Farmer Rick)... well, he had to plant in the spring and harvest in the fall. Neither of us suggest he give that up either.

Between the end of June and the beginning of November, I was on the Gravel Road for about three weeks. My boxes remained strewn about the house; however, as the house was in such a state of elegant unfinishedness there wasn't anywhere to put much.

We took our honeymoon in February in Jamaica. (no, you haven't missed anything: we did the honeymoon first when flights were cheap)

Through the winter, Farmer Rick became Builder Rick and he toiled away on the house. We had no kitchen to speak of. All the pots, pans and dishes languished on my old steel storage shelves in the vestibule.  We ate every conceivably remotely healthy microwaveable dinner. I remember the excitement the day my 500 sq ft studio/office was officially ready! The renos? A whole other story.
Spring came, I planted a garden and Farmer Rick planted the farm and kept on with the house.
The wedding was set for July 22. The water in the kitchen taps came on on July 19.

We went all out for the wedding, which wasn't a 'real' wedding. We're not 'really' married. We wanted to have great food and great photography. We ditched all the pricey doodads and party favours, the showers and a host of other traditional stuff, because we thought they were a colossal waste.

Farmer Rick wore shorts and a brand new short sleeved white shirt from Mark's. I re-dyed my favourite white sandals, had my hair up and a summer dress, sewn by a friend. Guests brought their own lawn chair and sat in a circle on the front lawn. We were in the middle of a major heat wave, but we'd planned things so the sun would be behind some tall trees.

We had pastas and salads catered, guests boiled their own corn on the cob in a black pot over a fire, and a couple of friends offered to barbeque the chicken.  I knew the Chocolate Mousse wedding cake with butter cream icing and raspberries  (thanks Canadian Living) would be excellent because Doreen and I had baked a trial cake a few weeks earlier. Dad went out that morning to collect the fresh raspberries.

Friends tell us it was the most unique wedding they'd been to.

Eighteen years later, this is still pretty much how we roll. Things are pretty casual and easy going. A little atypical in many ways.

The renos on the house continue. We haven't been bowling.


  1. What a unique wedding! When I first read that you asked the Farmer to marry you, I was surprised because I think you're the first one I've ever known to do that. But at the same time, I wasn't surprised, because you're such a grab-life-by-the-horns type of person—something I've always admired. Congratulations on 18 years!

    1. And, Lisa, we also did the Greek Dance... but all that's for another post! I'm not so sure it was grabbing life by the horns as the idea coming into my head and there being no filter! :-)
      Really? You don't know any woman who has asked the man? sigh!
      Thanks for checking in!