Written by Kimberley D. Taylor
I met my wife at a poetry venue in Austin, Texas. A friend kept telling me about a poet named Jai who had an amazing voice. I’d written a poem and needed a vocalist (think Floetry). I happened to stop at the venue the night she was performing, I heard her singing and was blown away.
I said something like, “Your voice is incredible, but the song was not a good choice.” She thought I was a jerk, yet she says she fell in love with me the moment she laid eyes on me.
I was initially attracted to her, but believed I could not overcome the age difference; at the time she was in her early 20s, and I was in my mid-30s. I’m now 49, and she is 36.
She eventually moved to Dallas, and we lost touch for several years. I posted a pic of me and my best friend’s fiancée, and she commented on it. I reached out almost immediately after seeing her comment. She’d blocked me, so I hadn’t seen her name on Facebook for years! I sent her a message and we talked later that day. We made plans to catch up at the wedding a few weeks later; we’ve been inseparable every since.
Our First Date
I asked her to be my date at the wedding. Our first official date was a wedding.
I was Attracted to Her …
Her eyes and smile. Jai is a renaissance woman, kind of old school. So instead of driving to Austin, she took the train down from Dallas. We made contact, and I remembered how intense and beautiful her eyes were. She also speaks softly and smiles when she talks. I often find myself getting lost in that smile and those eyes.
The moment she walked off that train in Dallas, I remembered everything that made our friendship special. I experienced regret, joy, hope, admiration, love, and optimism the moment our eyes locked.
Why We Got Married
We’ve been together nearly five years. We got married on February 26, 2017. No one can tell you when it is right. We participated in the Refinery 29 and America’s Diamond Association’s “Real is Rare” campaign. Everyone on the production staff kept asking us why weren’t we married.
It was through our participation, and subsequent discussions did we decide, “HECK YES, LET’S DO THIS.” We planned and executed EVERYTHING in 60 days.
There comes a time when you have to say to the world: “This is everything that is important to me. This is an extension of me. She is my priority and what’s most important. She is my life.”
She is not just someone to come home to; she is home. Marriage solidifies that she is where my heart is, and she is home.
Our Wedding Day
We got married at Justine’s Secret House in Austin, Texas. We had a small intimate ceremony surrounded by 50 family members and friends. We exchanged vows on the steps of a 1926 refurbished shotgun home akin to our roots and spirits.
We had Parisian inspired creole/soul food and a soundtrack to make the elders proud: 1970’s soul music.
The most memorable part of the day for me was seeing her for the first time in her dress. We made a promise that we would share a private reveal.
As I entered the venue and walked toward the car, I heard her call my name. I saw her and teared up, even now as I type I am becoming emotional. She was absolutely gorgeous and my gosh she took my breath away!
What I Love About My Wife
Laughter, honesty, and frankness. We are real, sometimes too real with each other. Our sense of style. We also have great times together and truly support each other. We work at establishing mutual respect for each other and recognize it has to extend outside of the marriage.
Everything is not based upon “the marriage.” So, sometimes the “friendship in the marriage” requires a different level of respect. We always want to nurture the friendship in the marriage.
We don’t say, ‘because we’re married you have to do this or that.’ That’s what we love about each other, and we recognize the uniqueness of what we believe marriage looks like to and for us.
Our Secret Weapon
You know the adage, “Be careful what you pray for”? Well, I wasn’t careful. I truly wasn’t prepared for adulting or an adult relationship. I wasn’t the best partner, I was immature, selfish and took things for granted. My age didn’t mean anything, seriously.
I’d never been responsible for anything other than myself, so there was a HUGE learning curve. Jai was extraordinarily patient, loving and kind. Her presence made me want to do and be better.
We surrounded ourselves with a great group of friends and went to counseling. We grew individually and as a couple.