Karen at My Desert Cottage is hosting a romantic Valentine's Day event over at her blog today.
If you'd like to take part, just post the story of how you and your sweetie came to be, and link it to her blog. Then dive into the sea of romantic tales.
Once upon a time, I grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a small eastern Canadian city perched on the Atlantic coast.
When I reached my early 20's, I headed for The Big City. I settled in Toronto, Ontario, where I worked as a live-in nanny for an incredibly cool family.
I also took an evening-and-weekends job as a way of meeting people and indulging in one of my great passions - film. In fact, on the day I was filling out applications at a few cinemas in the west end of the city, where I lived, I decided to take a short break and went to a psychic whose sign was on the sidewalk as I was passing by.
She told me: "your soul mate is very near. He's wearing a uniform."
As I was still very, very new to the city, I couldn't imagine anyone in my life that fit that description, especially as I was not seeing anyone at that time. However, the rest of her reading was very accurate, so I simply stored it away in the old noggin.
I kept walking along Bloor Street until I reached a cinema I hadn't come across before - the Runnymede Theatre, run by Famous Players.
I went in, filled out the application, got a call a few days later and started working there at the candy counter and in the box office.
One of the ushers was really cute. He was a student at The New School of Drama, and we hit it off immediately. We became very close friends for several years.
At the time, I wasn't looking to be involved with anyone, and neither was he. I had a history of having male friends, and he had a history of having female friends, so we just assumed we were going down that road and left it at that.
We spent most of our time together, and I often stayed over at his parents' place in the guest room on the weekends, as we would watch crazy cult films on TV till the wee hours of the morning.
Then one night, as I turned to head up the stairs, he stepped in front of me and kissed me.
Strangely enough, when I started telling my family and friends, "You'll never guess who I'm going out with!" everyone said, "Brad?" without hesitation.
Apparently the entire world knew we were in love with one another before we did.
Fast forward a few years, and this next shot was taken in our bridal suite at the hotel.
By that time, I was already working towards my Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in Film Studies at Ryerson.
Brad's acting chops came in handy throughout those four years, especially during my fourth year final project.
That's him in the doorway, and me operating the camera. It's also my dad at left operating the sound boom, and my main actor at right acting as sound recording technician (a job he had at Citytv.)
It doesn't matter that Brad and I have been a couple since 1989. Every time I see him, I get the same thrill, and the same smile lights up my face. The smile that is only for him.
Because my husband has bipolar disorder - and in particular experiences rapid cycling - we can never count on what he'll be going through on any given day. We have a sit-tight-and-hold-on-for-the-ride attitude when it comes to his condition. No elephants in the room for us - we feed ours peanuts.
What Brad's chronic illness has given us is the live-every-day-as-if-it's-your-last immediacy. When you never know if your husband is about to go on a months-long downward spiral, or when you hug your husband and feel him shaking like a leaf because he's got agoraphobia and has to go to work, you cherish each moment as if a bomb is about to take you and everything else with it.
It's impossible to take anything for granted, which for us has meant a marriage filled with "I love you"s.
Brad and I moved back to my hometown of Halifax in order to help out with my gram. We all lived together with my mom until Gram passed away in December, 2007.
Now it's Brad, myself, my mom and our dog Xena. The wild bunch!
On this Valentine's Day, I'd like to wish all of you the same joy I have found with my soul mate, the one who was truly very near that day when the psychic told me so. Even if the uniform in question was a blue polyester Famous Players usher's uniform.