We would fairly regularly drive down to Bath to spend a weekend at the farm. I don't know how often it was truly. Once every six weeks or so? Maybe slightly more? Regardless, it wasn't uncommon for us to go.
I'm not a huge fan of Christmas music in general. I mean, it's okay for short bits when in season, but I could really leave it if it came down to it.
So one Sunday afternoon, after a weekend at the farm, we're driving back up to our apartment. Hillary, as she sometimes liked to do, was singing most of the way. Christmas tunes. It was July.
I sat there, mostly quietly listening to her make her way through her favourites. She would then start again at the beginning. For a couple of hours. I'm not going to pretend this was a peaceful drive for me.
But she was happy and it was passing the time.
We were getting close to our apartment. I like to think it was at the intersection of Carling and Island Park, though that wouldn't quite make sense unless we had taken a scenic route. Which was possible, I enjoy alternate routes if the total driving time isn't too much different.
So I'm at something like two hours of driving with Hillary singing Christmas songs most of the way.
I remember looking over at her at this intersection, she was smiling and singing. I distinctly recall thinking to myself, "Okay. If this is the worst I have to deal with in this relationship? Yeah. I can do this."
This was when I knew I was ready to marry her.
It was like a light switch. From that point onwards, I know I worked more on building our relationship together rather than just sort of seeing how we fit. I don't know if that makes sense.
I would propose about 18 months later on Christmas morning, 2006. 18 months after that, we would be married in June of 2008.
I wouldn't tell Hillary this story for several years.
When I did, she found it hilarious. She had, of course, zero recollection of that day. Why would she? It defined me though and was a pivotal moment in my life.