So Barry remembers the very first moment he ever saw me. I, on the other hand, don't remember that day. It wasn't monumental. Let me set the scene.....I was dating Kevan and very pregnant with Gavin. We worked at Dexters Pub (Kevan and his brother owned the place) and Barry had just moved to town and Kootenay Market (the grocery store) was setting up. The guys at the Market would work a gazillion hours a day and then always come to Dexters for a beer afterwards, which is where we first met him. The day Barry remembers I had just came into Dexters to pick Kevan up after his shift. Barry says I flounced in wearing this yellow dress and crazy red boots (doesn't sound like me at all right?) and I was incredibly pregnant. They all wondered who I was until I sauntered over to Kevan and gave him a kiss. I think the story went that they all looked at each other and said "she's with him?" and that was his first sighting of me. I first remember meeting Barry at Kootenay Market, where Kevan and I shopped every single day. We had loaded up the cart with groceries and I was still very pregnant. Of course, the bread had wound up at the bottom and was totally squished. Barry rang us through, and being the completely friendly great guy he is, he picked up the squished bread and said "defect!" and gave it to us for free (I hope I'm not going to get him fired now). So we pretty much saw and chatted with Barry every day at the store. He's super friendly and outgoing and all the customers at the store feel like they personally know him, because that's how he is. Soon enough, my sister started working at Kootenay market and so we got to know him a bit more.
Fast forward a couple years and Kevan and I have split up and my sister is now old enough to go to the bar. The gang from Kootenay Market are all around the same age 19's-24 and I'm right in there too so we all go out together alot. I remember Barry having occasional girlfriends and we always were just friendly and flirty, and had a spark if you will. So before too long we start "dating". I'm going to hairdressing school and Gavin is 2ish. Back then, I was way more conservative believe it or not. I was young and hadn't figured out who I was or where I was going. I still had lots of baggage from Kevan and hadn't really dealt with anything yet. Barry was way more outgoing and really into being out and social and partying. He was amazing with Gavin though and my family loved him. Everywhere we went people would ask us "when are you getting married??" "you're so perfect together" etc etc and we were this ready made family. And then one day, we weren't. Barry had been acting kinda funny, and one day at school I check my email and he's SENT ME A BREAK UP EMAIL!!! I KNOW RIGHT!!!! You'd think I'd have it branded in my brain, but I can't remember what it said. I was DEVASTATED!!! I was madly in love with him and he broke my heart. I left school early, went home and literally cried for 3 days and 3 nights in my bed. Finally my mom came down and said "You're killing me....it's enough please!" and I got up. They were all devastated too. Gavin would ask everyday where Barry was and when we'd go visit him. One day I snapped and yelled "BARRY DIED!" as we drove past his apartment and Gavin asked to go visit. We ran into each other a few times over the next little bit and it was always super awkward and wound up with me in tears. Eventually I got over it.
So I start to figure out who I am. I finish hairdressing school and buy my first place, which also happens to be the new site of my salon. Me and my family spend every day for months renovating it, painting every surface and making it into the amazingly cute little house it was. I deal with Kevan and we wrap it up and go back to being the good friends we were before. I don't need a guy in my life, I'm doing just fine!
So one night, me and my friend Glenna go out to Dexters to dance. We run into this slimeball there who used to work with Barry. This slimeball is stirring shit up for Barry and just being a general douchebag (like usual). I had heard Barry was having major problems with this guy at work, but didn't ask to many questions. So this guy comes up to me and my friend and wants to talk....wants to bad mouth Barry....wants to expose him as the asshole he is. Now, Barry may have broken my heart but I knew that wasn't the kind of guy he was. He was far from an asshole and I always would tell people that when they'd bash him and his break up with me. The douche bag gives me his phone number so we can talk about Barry, I rip it up and tell the bouncers he's bugging us and get him kicked out. A few days later I'm at the liquor store and run into Barry. It's been almost a year since our breakup and months and months since I last saw him. He looks genuinely happy to see me. We chat for a bit, joke over my bag full of wine and he says he heard that I stood up for him. He invites me over to his place that evening where he's having some friends over. I don't think I want to go back there and agree to call him, but make no promises. That evening, I do call, and get voicemail. I leave a message. A couple days later he calls me back. Someone else was on the phone and he didn't know I called...he's bummed he missed me. He invites me over for a glass of wine to talk (which we NEVER did after the break up). I agree reluctantly and go buy a litre of wine. We drink ALL the wine that night and stay up ALL night talking about everything. He's dealt with alot of his stuff too (dad issues, bad divorce of his parents, work shit) and is super excited about my new ventures. I take him to my new place around 3am and we sit in the middle of the construction, drinking and listening to music and talking and occasionally dancing. It's a great night! After that we agree to hang out again. I still won't let Gavin in on any of it....I tell Barry straight up we can't go through that again and we're not back together. We set up another date. The day of that date he calls me at my friend Terri's house to cancel....he has to go to Fernie to work for at least 6 weeks, maybe more to fill in for their store manager. Off he goes and we spend the next few weeks on the phone with each other. Looking back, this is a great way to start again....forced to talk and not just to jump back into a relationship again. We talk about everything hours into every night.
So it's 2am....I'm totally dead asleep and my phone rings. I answer it and it's this guy who I don't know. He's super friendly, pretty drunk and going off about how he can't wait to meet me. I finally clue in that it's Barry's estranged dad, who he's recently re-connected with in Fernie. His dad is going on and on about how he heard the whole story from Barry and how he knows Barry loves me and how he feels so bad. He tells me they have a bus ticket for me and one for Gavin waiting at the bus depot that weekend and please could we come visit. I say "maybe" and decide to myself I won't go. He tells me "if you get off that bus, you get off that bus. We'll be there". I'm not going.
The Friday that the bus is going to Fernie, is leaving at 9pm. I'm still not going and we have a dinner party at my parents house. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm going and I explain no, I can't risk it again. I'm good on my own. I'm happy. 8pm rolls around and "HOLY SHIT I NEED TO GO TO FERNIE!!!" I chuck a few things in a suitcase and get a ride to the depot. I get carsick so I take a bit of gravol and me and Gavin fall asleep on the bus. We don't notice our stop in Fernie, we're totally sleeping. The bus diver gets out to unload the luggage and Barry and his dad are there waiting anxiously. We don't get off. The bus driver is getting ready to leave and notices them waiting there. They describe me and Gavin and the bus driver realizes he needs to wake us up! Barry says after that he was so terrified when we didn't get off the bus. We could have been half way to Calgary before we woke up! We spend a great weekend in Fernie and Barry and I are together again. I lay out the ground rules "if you ever leave me like that again, I'll kill you."....he promises he won't.
At a dance in Trail a bit later, Barry proclaims his undying love for me. He says he regretted the break up instantly, but I think if we hadn't, we wouldn't have lasted anyways. We both had so much shit to deal with and that year off we both did so much. 10 years and 2 more kids later and we're still together. Why does it work? I'm not sure! But I like to think I keep him fun and he keeps me grounded (as much as possible! haha). Don't get me wrong, we have disagreements over lots of things, but we both love and respect each other enough that we can usually find a middle ground, each appreciating the others different opinion. We have lots in common too! Our love of family, wine, nice cars, modern homes, and good food to name a few. Most evenings we can be found in our kitchen with a glass of wine, Barry working on financial spreadsheets and me cooking and dancing wildly to loud music, talking about our days. They do say opposites attract, and there must be something to that! Over the years we seem to get more and more opposite as we each settle into our 30's, but at the same time we get closer and closer. I'm excited to see which traits our kids get from each of us and how they are going to be as people.