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Lovesome town 

Romance is everywhere in Halifax: on the bus, in the bars; it’s even under the kitchen sink. Compiled by Sue Carter Flinn

Piping hot

I don’t know how juicy it is, but my now fiancee and I met six years ago. I was having plumbing problems; there was water everywhere. I looked like a drowned rat. I called a plumber and George came to the door and fixed the pipes. We chatted the whole time. He had cut his hand so I cleaned it up for him, put a band-aid on it and kissed it better. He looked at me and said, “So, I’m going to call in sick for the rest of the day and take you out for lunch and a movie.” I told him that I had to clean up the house and I didn’t know if I could get away. He said we would clean up tomorrow when we start to move my stuff into his house.

I moved in slowly over the month, sold my house and we are getting married this August. He said he fell in love with my eyes and my laugh. He’s the reason I get out of bed in the morning, not just because he snores, but because this is the person I am meant to be with forever. I love how I can be independent but still we can depend on each other. There was never a doubt in me that this wasn’t the right move. Everyone told us we were crazy— my parents didn’t talk to me for exactly nine months—but when they saw there was no little George or Sarah Junior, they came over from Ontario and gave us our blessing. George flew to Toronto to have lunch with my dad, and asked him for my hand in marriage.

When I opened the door six years ago looking like a drowned rat, and I looked into his eyes, I knew that everything was going to be okay forever.

Sarah

Auto erotic

Matt and I met when we both were in a burlesque show. He needed someone to drive him and his keyboard home, and I had a car.

Roxy

Mac-tacular

I moved to Antigonish a couple years ago. I met my boyfriend in the first few months I was there. My dad’s a cop and had been there for a few months before I moved. My dad kept asking me about the guy I was dating. Antigonish is a town where pretty much everyone’s last name is Mac-something (MacDonald, MacInnis, etc.) My boyfriend's last name was MacGillvray, but my dad thought it was MacDonald. He asked some other cop whether or not this kid was an asshole, and the other cop said he'd never had any problems with anyone by that name.

I brought my boyfriend to the house for dinner and to meet my folks. Apparently my dad and my boyfriend had already met under unfortunate circumstances involving a $250 fine and a verbal fight between my dad and his dad in the police station parking lot. I think the phrase “watch your back on the golf course” was actually used.

The story of how we met was a lot less interesting. We were both drunk and he said he liked my purple hair. We dated for seven months—he was only at my house once.

Amy

Drawn to the girl

Lisa and I met when I was 22 and she was new to town, starting architecture school and looking for a place to live. I was looking for a roommate—and for love (not necessarily from the same person, but not necessarily not), or at least for gay community. On her way over to look at the place, she stopped for a long time to sketch the house from across the street. I spied on her. Quickly, I built her up into the perfect, arty roommate—who could be more, I thought. Eventually she came in, had a look around, and left—never to be heard from again. Though angry, my hopes dashed, I never forgot her impact on me. Thirteen years later, we re-met through my girlfriend, to whom I'd told the story—and I wondered, how did I find this serious little woman romantic? After Maureen and I split up, Lisa started asking me out. We've been together about three years.

Lis

The notebook

In my third year of university, I missed the first week of classes to finish up a job at home. This cute girl in History of American Journalism class offered to lend me her notes from that first week. Two weeks later, she was lending me her car. That girl went on to get a PhD in communications, while I dropped out before finishing my undergrad. However, she has managed to overlook this and numerous other personal failings on my part, and we've been married for 17 years.

Brent

Stonewalled

My husband and I met on my birthday at dollar (bottle) beer night at a bar called Mary McGuire’s. It was the end of a very long Tuesday night and we had a hefty tab considering how cheap the beers were! A girlfriend gave him my business card because his name was Stonewall Jackson and we thought that was hilarious. He called several times (I screened) before I spotted him on the street and saw that he was normal, if not good, looking. I finally returned his calls after he threatened to write a letter and bring it to the office.

The bar shut down but our love didn't.

Lesley

Fateful attraction

It all started with that typical pick-up line, ‘Have I met you somewhere?’ The funny thing was, we had met somewhere before. We were standing in the middle of a Toronto nightclub. I was visiting with my girlfriends, he was out for a night with the boys. When our eyes first met, we both did a very obvious double-take. I sat there wracking my brain trying to figure out where I had met him. I later learned he was doing the same.

I didn’t want to be the one to use the cheesy pickup line, but I had seen him somewhere and I had to know where! Luckily, I didn’t have to...he made the first move. He towered over me so he leaned in very close to introduce himself. At the same moment, we realized where we had met. It was in Alberta several years ago when I lived there and he was in town for a family wedding. At the time, I was much younger and the four-year age difference seemed enormous. Not to mention he was in a very serious long-term relationship.

This time around we were older, both available and clearly attracted to each other. We started dating a few months later and the rest is history...I still can’t believe we met after all these years—what are the chances we’d meet again in a different city AND be at the same place at the same time? It must be that thing they call fate. I never believed in it until the night I was reunited with my one and only true love.

Amy

Hands in my pockets

I was a 22 year-old political cartoonist working in Vancouver. I met a very beautiful Irish woman in a ski bar. Being shy, and hobbled into inaction and self-censure in the presence of her stunning looks, I conducted myself when we dated like a guy about to enter a seminary. I wanted to touch her. At least her hand. So I plotted. I came up with this. I would rustle up a picnic and we'd drive out to Wreck Beach. To get to Wreck Beach meant hopping down a rather steep loose dirt slope. I would be the gallant guy. I'd hop down first onto a level just below the slope's lip, turn around and offer my hand to hers to help her down.

Of course it didn't turn out that way. She leaped down first and scooted down to the beach well ahead of me. But it didn't turn out to be a total disaster. On the way back, me struggling with the picnic detritus, she, having surged ahead, turned back and offered me HER hand to help pull me up. At the summit, she didn't release my hand. And our romance began.

Graham

Pita love

I met him through my high-school-friend-turned-roommate. He just moved to Toronto from Ottawa, and showed up at our Canada Day party. All the girls were swooning over the new hottie in the army shorts and combat boots but I played it cool, perhaps too cool, because it took six mutually crushy years before I finally hooked up with my now-husband (apparently we’re very slow on the signals).

One stinky hot August night, we bumped into each other at a free Ron Sexsmith concert at an annual Greek festival. (Anyone who’s lived in Toronto understands exactly how disgusting summer in Hogtown can be, especially when you’re sharing the streets with thousands of people.) We were both recently laid off from creatively uninspiring jobs and spent the evening sharing our mutual sense of relief. At the time, I was contemplating an affair with one of my OCAD art instructors, mostly out of boredom. As we chatted and watched Ronnie, my future hubby pointed out a guy behind us who was acting like an obnoxious, arrogant idiot. Turned out it was the art instructor trying to impress a group of ladies.

Later that night, after a lot of cheap souvlaki, draught beer in plastic cups, more Ron Sexsmith, and a visit to an old-man karaoke bar, some festival-goers yelled at us to get a room. So we did.

We spent our first wonderful (mutually unemployed) humid summer together in movie theatres, cafes and art galleries, laughing at all the losers with nine-to-five jobs. Even though we’re now both employed, he’s still my best buddy.

Sue

Room mates

I met my current boyfriend under odd circumstances. He’s my sister’s boyfriend’s best friend. We were just friends and so I thought nothing of the fact that I decided to move in with him and two other people. Well I was there for two weeks—yep, that was it, just two weeks—and we hooked up. I thought it would be a fling to tell the truth, but he is now my boyfriend and I no longer sleep in my own room and I have a HUGE walk-in closet (my room). He is great and proves that you just never know, as he is different from anyone I have ever been with.

Jen

Love bus

I moved to Halifax last year in September and one day in October I was getting the 80 on Bayers Road from the Halifax Shopping Centre. When I walked over to the bus stop I saw the most adorable guy that I fell in love with right away. He was really tall and cute with nice shoes and a skateboard. I stared at him the whole bus drive home until I had to get off. I told all my friends how I fell in love with some guy that I didn't even talk to on the bus and they laughed at me.

About a month later I was lurking around myspace.com and I saw his profile. I sent him a really lame message asking him if he ever takes the 80 and if he has a pair of checkered shoes. I think he was kind of weirded out that I saw him and then found him on the Internet, but it really was an accident. Anyway, after talking for a month we decided to meet up in real life. We got along really well and dated for a year.

Most people would laugh after I explained how we met, and I guess it is pretty nerdy, but so am I. We used to make jokes about how we owed our relationship to Metro Transit and Tom creating myspace.com.

Nicole

Unforgettable

I met my girlfriend Jess five years ago on the very first night of King’s frosh week. It was at an outdoor concert in the quad. Most of us are 18, nobody knows each other, everyone is running around meeting new people, drinking. (although I wasn’t...) Anyhoo, I met probably 100 people that night, and the only meeting that still sticks out clearly in my mind is when I met my current girlfriend. (That may sound sappy, but (a) it’s true, and (b) this story gets less sappy very shortly.) So, she and I introduce ourselves, and talk for a couple of minutes, and the whole time, I’m thinking, "Man, this girl is really gorgeous! And funny!” So basically, she makes this major impression on me. But we don't start dating—we just became good friends. I start dating a different girl; it turns into a long-ish relationship, and Jess and I don't end up actually dating until about three years later.

So, at some point, probably trying to make some kind of pseudo-romantic connection after we’ve started going out, I say to Jess, “Hey; remember that first night at King’s when we met for the first time? I was so completely struck by you.”

And she says, "Uh... no. I don't."

“What?”

“Yeaaah...I really don't remember meeting you. Not at all. I remember the concert...but...not... you, so much.”

Mike

Online dance

August 2004: We meet on an Internet dating site. Rafael, a Colombian citizen, had been living in southern California for 14 years, and I in Winnipeg. He was 31, and I was 24. I was enrolled in a Master’s program in Dance in England, so I wasn't interested in meeting someone from the States.

September 2004: After exchanging friendly emails, and talking on the phone a few times, Rafael asks if he could come to Canada to visit me before I left for the UK. I say "why not?" We begin talking and emailing several times a day, and I look forward to our conversations. It was so refreshing to be totally honest with someone I had never met—it was like we skipped the awkwardness of dating because there was never any insinuation of sex.

I began to feel close to this voice on the line...the words on my computer screen...and I had always been a scoffer of "cyber-dating.” Rafael and I told each other everything—we talked about everything from our fears and dreams to our past relationships and our future goals. Our longest phone conversation lasted four hours.

October 2004: Ten days before Rafael was supposed to come to Winnipeg, the program I was enrolled in was cancelled, and I was crushed. But I decided I would still move to England anyway and travel.

Rafael came to Winnipeg on October 14, and stayed four days. In those four days we fell in love. Here was the person who held my truths and secrets...my embarrassments and dreams...and I was meeting him for the first time. Although my family and friends were rightfully skeptical at first, they became believers when they saw Rafael and I together. Any idiot could tell we were meant to be together. My family embraced Rafael in the four days he graced us with his presence.

When Rafael left on October 18, my plane to England left three days later. I couldn't eat or sleep. Nothing felt right. We didn't know when we would see each other again, and I literally felt heartbroken. So I let my heart be my flashlight. The day before I was to leave, I cancelled my flight to England and booked a one-way ticket to Santa Ana, California. My bags were already packed, and I called Rafael that morning to let him know about the change in plans. He was ecstatic. I was ecstatic. My metaphorical balls were huge!

November 2004: Rafael proposed to me on November 7 in San Juan, Capistrano. The whole day was a blur of tears and laughter and fabulous red wine. Our friends accepted our news with joy and happiness, and the wedding plans began. We were going to get married on June 18, 2005 at my parents' lake house in Manitoba.

June 2005: Our wedding was a three-day weekend with guests from all over North America, as well as Rafael's family from Colombia, Venezuela and Switzerland. Rafael and I exchanged our vows in front of friends and family only eight months from meeting each other.

Today Rafael and I have collaborated on several dance/video projects and we continue to thrive in our creative partnership as well as our marital union. We plan to renew our vows every year, in informal ceremonies that reflect our eccentric natures. This June 18 we will marry in Renaissance style at Peggy's Cove.

Who says true love is a thing of the past?

Rachel

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