Friday Filler – Love Origin Stories

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

As much as I am disliking the elongated, max-tapping-for-little-reward-event that we are currently playing, I am enjoying the dialogue.

It is always fun to hear a story, behind the story, kind of story (that was a threepete for anyone counting). And in the first act, we got to hear how Dr. Hibbert met the love of his life, Bernice.  There were some twists and turns, and in the ensuing years, they have had some interesting takes on “making it work,” but in the end, true love seems to prevail!

Today is Valentines Day, and while there is little evidence of it in our games, the greeting card and floral businesses are likely rife with last minute shopping for desperate husbands, significant others, and prospective mating types, to do something to win the day, if not a lifetime of happiness together.

While the movies and books (remember books?) are full of “love at first sight” kinds of tales, the reality is often far more complicated than the “first,” part. Sometimes, reeeeeeaallly complicated.

Some of you who have been following my posts since I began posting, know that Valentines Day has a double meaning for Deb and me. For while “love at first sight” happened, we went through a LOT to get to “the Valentines Day that changed everything.”

Let’s start with how we met.  It’s not typical, and yet is as typical as many first romance stories in the “swipe right” era of dating.

I was 26, and had just come out of a horrible marriage, that left me scarred, and not really interested in starting another relationship.  I had two small children (4 and 2) and was starting a new career in advertising and marketing.  Yes. There are loads of other details I could unpack here…but, suffice it to say…I needed an outlet for my emotions, that involved hitting people, with reckless abandoned, and not getting arrested for it.

I joined the Rugby Club, at Willamette University (in Salem, Oregon).  How I found out about it is another story in itself. But as a former college football player, Rugby was the perfect outlet.  No blocking. Loads of tradition and partying. You get to hit a lot of people…without getting arrested.

Me…looking to crush anyone who tried to stop me…

The Rugby Club was asked to “entertain” at a college-wide singing competition called “Glee.” I wrote a song about a football player trying to learn rugby…I fronted “the band,” and this beautiful blonde was in the front row, clapping wildly.  After the event, she introduced herself to me, but left with her sorority sisters for another event.

A week later, I was at the Ram Pub in Salem (still there), and while I was talking to the girl I had brought with me, Deb came up, threw her leg over mine, and said, “Remember me?”  I didn’t need “beer goggles” to remember her. And from that moment on…almost literally…we began the courtship that led to where we are today, almost 40 years in the making (as of  March 4th, the day we met).

What that story leaves out is the Valentines Day that happened almost a year later, when I actually proposed to her (for the third time) and made my “Grand Gesture” that guaranteed success.

I had asked her casually before…with a “promise ring.”  She told me, “Yes…but this isn’t the real proposal.” I asked her again with a necklace, in a Japanese garden. She said, “Yes…but this isn’t the real proposal.”

Deb and me at the Japanese Garden where she said “yes”, kinda…

The last time…the one that sealed the deal…happened on Valentines Day, 1981. I made a 6 foot valentine, that I delivered to the restaurant where we were scheduled to eat dinner that night…along with a model of the Goodyear Blimp that had an electric sign that said, “Will You Marry Me?”

At the appropriate time, the waitress brought out the huge valentine, and another waitress held the blimp from the wire overhead…while I got down on my knee, and presented her with a pewter bear that I had commissioned by a local artist…on his knee…holding the engagement ring that I also had commissioned.

Everyone in the restaurant started chanting “Say Yes! Say Yes!”

She did. And we were married 11 months later.

What I leave out most of the time… is that between the engagement, and our actual wedding, her parents did almost everything in their power to break us up, including having me investigated by a private investigator, and telling us they wouldn’t pay for the wedding.  Looking back now…I really can’t blame them…much. I was a divorced guy, with two kids, and their daughter was a superstar in college, who they imagined would marry some frat-boy with a trust fund. Ooooops. Didn’t happen.  
Eating Ice Cream at “Bings” in Puerto Vallarta on our honeymoon

The joke was on them.  While they divorced 4 years later…Deb and I have been together for almost 40 years. Love is funny that way.

There is no way either of us could have known what was in store for us. How the girl who said “she probably didn’t want more kids…the two we have are enough,” ended up being the mother to three more.  How we now have 7 grandkids…and have done 4 weddings for our own daughters (one to go).  And how love, truly does conquer all…if you are persistent, and don’t give up when things get tough.

There you have it. My Love Origin Story.

But, we are a community of TSTO Tappers…bonded through years of sharing, exchanging, and even vandalizing one another’s towns. Let’s hear from you!




You know we LOVE to hear from you!

19 responses to “Friday Filler – Love Origin Stories

  1. i built my computer and we have been in love ever since… that’s 30yrs ago…

  2. I met my now husband the day after Valentine’s Day 2002. He was previously married with 2 kids also. He is also 9 years older then me. We knew as soon as we met we “were meant to be”. My parents and sister hated the idea and him (because he was already married and had 2 daughters). We got engaged and married very fast (we got married in August 2002). My only regret is I wish his ex-wife allowed us into his children’s lives. He did everything he was supposed to do, but he got the bad seed of an ex wife. She hated me, & her kids ended up hating my 3 kids. His girls hated that I was actually able to produce a girl after 2 boys, or I assumed. No more contact from either girls after we told them we were having a girl. When my oldest turned 13 & joined FB, he requested to be “friends” with his older siblings. They blocked him. They were in their late teen early 20’s & broke my sons heart. I have told my other son (who’s now 13 & more on instagram then FB), PLEASE don’t request them. They will break your heart.

    • The “Post Divorce Step Mom” role is indeed complicated. I’m sorry yours took such a difficult turn. We weathered my ex’s four more husbands, and a string of boyfriends. But, through all of it, Deb was adamant about regular visitation, and it took us more than ten years of ongoing court battles to get it finalized. So…even the best love stories require perseverance.

  3. That’s so sweet Patric! I will marry my girlfriend in 4 months 😍

  4. BTW, beautiful love story! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Tim & I are a story; married for 15 years now!

  6. Deb has the same hair my brunette wife has….
    Or ‘had’, back in ~1982, ~1983
    And when Lisa hemmed and hawed at my proposal and told me to ask again, later….
    I replied, “How do you know that I will ask a second time?”
    (Or so I’ve been told)
    You didn’t SELL it hard enough.
    And 38 years later, I can’t imagine anyone whom I would rather be annoyed by.

  7. My high school in Canada only offered rugby. Football program was cancelled years before I got there. I was a Loosehead and still play for local team. Hard to judge from photo, guessing you were a flanker or number 8?

    • You would be correct sir… Initially, I was a prop, because I have thighs like tree trunks (28”). But the club soon realized that my football linebacker skills from college, and my aggressiveness and quickness was being wasted… And I moved to flanker both Tight and open.

  8. MangoFusion01 (FKA NicoRox13)

    I love rugby. I played it in high school.

    • If they had it in high school, I may have played it instead of football. You don’t wear weapons…

      • Ya I have had my share of bruises, cuts and numerous 48 hour ice and heat injuries. There are exceptions (dirty players) in every sport. I feel more safe playing Rugby then American Football. More respect for each other when you aren’t wearing armour..

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