Some people who know me and have read some of my recent blog posts have asked me to write the story about how I met my wife. It’s a story I’ve told a ton of times, and of course, one I’ll never forget. And I’ve been working on this post for weeks. So here goes…
I’m married to Aimie. I know people consider the soul-mate saying a cliche, but hear me out before you judge too quickly when I say Aimie is truly my soul-mate. Also, for the purposes of this blog post, I’ve decided that soul-mate is hyphenated – you may stop reading now if this concerns you.
I’ve known about Aimie’s existence for about 14 years. The first time I met her was on Whyte Ave. She is the identical twin sister to my friend’s wife. Now when I say twin and identical, once again some people will choose to take that with a grain of salt. If anyone reading this has met both Aimie and her sister, Amanda, at the same time, you know I’m not kidding when I say they are creepily identical – so much so, that it took me about 6 months of dating Aimie to tell them apart. Now the stories I could tell about that….. I kid, I kid.
Anyway, my friend introduced me to his girlfriend and her sister on Whyte Ave one summer evening at the Fringe – I was attached at the time, and so I really didn’t take much notice of Aimie other than registering complete shock at how identical those girls were.
Fast forward slightly less than 2 years – that friend was getting married. I was his best man, and thus, invited to a couple of get-togethers at his fiancee’s parents’ place – she was living with her parents and when the whole bridal party got together there a couple of times to get to know each other and also to help with wedding prep, I was reintroduced to Aimie. This time around I was single, and took a little more notice of how hot she was, but immediately fell back on the obvious – how identical those girls were!
Let me backtrack a bit. In the previous 5 years, I had been with the same girl – an ill-fated relationship from the start, to be sure, but nevertheless one that had become comfortable. I really believed it would end in true love and that we would eventually get married. We’d known each other our whole lives – our parents were friends, we went to university together, etc. Yet through all our ups and downs, relationship-wise, I never had the conviction that I wanted to marry her. And when she’d ask when I would ask her to marry me, I never had an answer. As a matter of fact, I was starting to question whether I was a commitment-phobe, and perhaps would never get married. Thankfully, that pairing ended – and I know we both ended up happier on our separate journeys.
OK, so back to the bridal party get-togethers. We would be invited out to their house in St. Albert for supper and then whatever activity was planned for the evening. Again, I wouldn’t say I noticed Aimie in the way that would send me sailing head over heels, but rather I noticed the little intricacies about her. I noticed that she would take control of things. I noticed that she could manage situations very well and not get stressed out. I noticed that she was very calm and over and over again, I couldn’t help but notice her incredible eyes. It was her eyes, I believe, that enchanted me first. Her eyes are so incredibly, arrestingly beautiful, that I could honestly say they have a life-force of their own.
A couple of months later, the wedding took place – it was June 1998. I was best man, and Aimie was maid of honor. I was a bit of a wreck when it came to my lifestyle back then – I owned a few bars and ran one of them, and definitely lived within the requisite parameters of “early 20’s bar owner”, in my opinion. I would get up at noon, have brunch, do some errands, and then arrive at my bar. I’d eat greasy bar food, probably have between 15-20 drinks every day, smoked a couple of packs of unfiltered Camels every day and stayed up until 4 AM every night, shutting the place down. Day in and day out, this was my life. And so it was a big relief to me when she contacted me to say she was organizing the bridal party gift, and I could just owe her the money – she’d take care of the rest. She advised that I owed her $175. Great, no responsibility for Wildsau – sounded good to me. So the wedding went off without a hitch – I had a nice time getting to know her throughout the day and that was that.
My life took a few twists and turns in the next few months, and I decided to straighten my life out. I got out of the business, found a real job, cleaned up my habits. I’m not sure why this happened, but I know that if I hadn’t done these things, I would have never got together with my soul-mate, and so whatever caused me to make these changes, whether it was a sense of self-preservation and simple survival, or just a sense of pride and knowing I could live a better, cleaner life – it doesn’t matter, it was worth it. As part of my lifestyle change, I visited my mom and my new dad more often. My mom asked me one time to consider attending the church convention – the church I had attended with my parents growing up has an annual convention and she said, “Wouldn’t it be nice to see some of your friends from when you grew up?” I hesitated, but promised I’d show up, more to make my mom happy than for me.
The day came, on the September long weekend 1998, and I went to the church convention – part of the annual tradition is the German feast served in the huge church basement – the food is amazing! As I went downstairs and started seeing dozens of familiar faces, mentally denoting each of the ones I wanted to go back to say hi to and catch up with, I saw Amanda, the twin, standing there. I went up to her, and realizing that I was a horrible best man, since I hadn’t spoken to them since their wedding day, I said, “Hey, so how’s married life going?” As it turns out, it was Aimie and not Amanda, and she pointed that out to me. Awkward! I wanted to just walk away and never see her again, or better yet, crawl into a little hole in the ground, but life isn’t that easy. So I carried on with the conversation. Aimie told me that she found it difficult to be alone – she had been with Amanda her whole life, doing everything together since they were in the womb basically, and I started to see the incredibly strong bond between twins. I enjoyed our short conversation, and suddenly remembered that I owed her $175 from months ago. Awkward!! I said something to the effect that I had a number of old friends here that I wanted to say hello to, but asked if she would be interested in taking a walk after lunch down Whyte Ave and maybe grabbing a coffee and I could also pay her then. Aimie said sure, that would be nice. To make a long story short, I got very involved in my conversations with friends and completely forgot about Aimie and our walk – I found out after that she had been waiting outside for me for quite a while.
I called Aimie to apologize a day later, and promised to be in touch shortly to get her the money. She seemed extraordinarily unimpressed on the phone.
Another lifestyle change came in the form of me trying to live healthier, and so I tried biking to work. I lived in the southwest and worked north of downtown. I started biking to work. As it was the fall, it was chillier in the mornings than I anticipated. What I didn’t realize was that it was chilly enough to give me pneumonia, and after biking to work for a few weeks and developing a horrible cough, and treating it like a real man would – “I’m not going to see a doctor. The cough will go away” – I ended up in the hospital for a couple of days, being treated for just that – severe pneumonia. It wasn’t a good thing. Oh by the way, guess what I had completely forgotten about during this time? That’s right – Aimie, my promises to her, the money I owed her, etc. Loser!
I got out of the hospital, and by now, it was October 1998. I finally remembered Aimie and my broken promises. I was mortified, and as hard as it was to call her, I did – I could tell on the phone that I was the last person she wanted to talk to, but I said, I’m going to a bank machine, getting the money, driving out to St. Albert tonight, and giving you your money. Her response was pretty telling: “Fine.” And she hung up. She told me much later that she never believed I’d come to her house that night anyway.
Well, I did make it that night. I got the money, and my intention truly was to ring the doorbell, hand over the cash, apologize profusely and wish her a good life. I got to the door, and my plan was going well – she opened the door, and I gave her the cash – as I was about to say good-bye and likely never see her again, her dad yelled from the back room, “Hey! Is that Tom? Aimie, show him our new Mac.” I saw in Aimie’s face that inviting me into their house to look at their computer was frankly somewhere below chipping out her own wisdom teeth with a fork on her to-do list. And I had enough embarassment to last me a lifetime from our interactions (or better yet, lack thereof). I heard later on that her dad had really liked my best-man speech at the wedding, and had also taken a liking to me in the few times he had met me. And he somehow knew I liked Macs. (Clearly, he is a great man!) So, she being the kind soul she is, and contrary to what every fibre in her body was telling her to do, invited me in, and rolling her eyes at me, not the situation, asked if I wanted to see their new Mac computer. As surreal as this situation might sound to an onlooker, for any Mac freak like me, I was actually quite keen on checking out the computer – sadly, I didn’t care so much about her. So I said, OK, let’s check it out. I don’t think she expected it, but led me downstairs awkwardly and showed me their new Mac tower. As it turns out, we DID have a thing or two in common and we ended up talking for many hours that night.
When I finally left, it was after midnight, and I felt as though I had just been reborn. My heart fluttered as I skipped down their stairs like a complete retard, and she smiled a smile that changed my life forever. I saw her clear-blue eyes twinkle and I thought I had seen heaven for a second.
I decided not to call her that week, but instead I emailed her – I didn’t want to screw this up again. I finally gained the courage to ask her to go see a movie that I had planned on seeing with my friends that Friday night. It was “Ronin”, a middling de Niro flick – but it had the new Audi S8 in it. That’s what I was going to see it for. Aimie agreed to come to the movie, which impressed me, because it was just her and a bunch of guys that she didn’t know. During the movie, at exactly the right time, she turned to me and said, “Isn’t that the new Audi S8?” and I knew I was in love. (Honestly, one of the hottest things I’ve ever heard my wife say!)
I took her out for a coffee date the next evening, and as I drove her home to St. Albert that Saturday night, I looked over at her and said, without hesitation or fear, something I had been unable to say to anyone else before then in any of my relationships: “I know I’m going to marry you.” And this amazing woman took my breath away when she said, “I know that too. You don’t even have to ask me, because you know I’ll say yes.”
We got engaged 6 months later, and got married on July 8, 2000. Our wedding song was “The Sweetest Thing” from U2 and to this day, I’m still not sure what it described more aptly – my wife or the fact that I had found her and she was mine.
My wife is definitely my soul-mate – she accepts my many, many faults, and she puts up with my flaws on a daily basis. She lets me be myself, while making me want to be a better man, without ever pushing me. My wife depends on me for things, which makes me feel like a man – and yet, I depend on her for so many things, which I know makes her feel confident and happy. I see how my wife deals with our children so calmly and with such pure, sweet love for them, and I realize, I couldn’t go through this life, this crazy journey, without this woman completing everything I start. When my wife laughs, my heart skips a beat to this day. When my wife cries on my shoulder, I truly feel her pain slicing into me. My wife shares my passion for our kids, for our families, for food, for living life fully and sharing it with great people. My wife has the most incredible smile that has ever been created by this universe and to look into her eyes fills my soul with something I can’t describe with mortal words. Perhaps the best way to put it is that when I’m with my wife, or even think about her, my soul, my entire being, smiles and is content. I can’t imagine asking for anything more from life. If everything I have today were taken from me, and I was left with just my wife and children, I know I would be perfectly fine. For it is this bond between us that can never be replicated, broken or dulled – the only change I’ve seen in that bond is that it has become stronger and more passionate over the last 10 years – something I wouldn’t have believed possible during our puppy-love phase.
Aimie, you have driven me crazy with love since I first took the time to get to know you, and I realized you’re just as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. And I can’t wait for you to continue driving me crazy until one of us takes their last breath. I love you, sweet thing.
Now that you’ve heard me out, you tell me – is it fair for me to call her my soul-mate?