I didn’t grow up reading fairytales, but I knew enough to recognize my own prince when I met him. Paul and I were both 18-years-old and studying in England in (of all places) a castle owned and operated by a consortium of Canadian universities. We weren’t looking for lasting love (we were only 18-years-old, after all), but we also couldn’t deny the pull between us—even when it meant, once our year abroad was over and we each headed back to our respective cities and schools, that we had three years of long distance “dating” ahead of us if we were to have any kind of future together at all.
Long distance was hard, and, in the days before Skype and FaceTime and unlimited texting, bloody expensive. But we did it. We stayed connected, because what other choice did we have? Once those three years were over, I packed up my belongings and moved to Vancouver, where we began our life together in earnest.
More than fourteen years after we met—and six years after we tied the knot—we returned to our English castle, this time with our 2-year-old daughter in tow. Now our daughter knows why Mommy and Daddy’s love story begins “Once upon a time,” and will grow up learning about how the magic of fairytales can and does exist in the real world. You’ve just got to recognize the magic when you see it—and once you see it, you’ve got to work for it.
I’m a sucker for a good love story—and my favourite stories don’t come from fiction. They’re the happy endings that walk amongst us, the living, breathing fairytales that require hard work and compromise and are worth every bit of effort. In the February 6 issue of WE Vancouver, I shared a few of my favourites:
Love: The long wait, February 6, 2013 (profile of Peter Eastwood & Philip James Seth)
Love: Dance partners, February 6, 2013 (profile of Jay Hirabayashi & Barbara Bourget, Kokoro Dance)
Love: What’s in a name?, February 6, 2013 (profile of Robbie Kane & Medina Hahn, Café Medina)
And we all lived happily ever after? I hope so. The real magic is in the journey.