V = Victory in Love

I know this one is a bit of a stretch for a V-post, but stories about my past would be incomplete without including a *Gilles* story.

We met in 1982 – Easter weekend to be exact.  It’s one of those complicated stories of meeting accidentally through friends of friends.  I thought he had a nice bum.  He thought I was cute.

Gilles

October 1982

What made this boy-meets-girl story a bit different was the fact that we didn’t speak the same language.  Gilles’ english was only borderline better than my french.  He had come to Toronto from Quebec City for a 6 week english immersion course after completing university.

I still think it’s a miracle we continued seeing each other after the first date. Conversation was a painful mixture of french and english.  I’m not confident that either of us really had a clue what the other was trying to say. Maybe that’s what made it work.

Because of this language barrier, the room for misunderstanding was HUGE.  No … actually it was BIGGER than HUGE.  That meant nothing could be taken for granted – everything needed clarification.  We had to work very hard to understand what the other person REALLY meant … rather than what they said – or what we thought they said. Interesting concept, isn’t it?

Gilles 2

Quebec City – Christmas 1982

So, we met in April and by July I knew this was the guy I wanted to spend my life with.  By Christmas, we told our families we were getting married.  By the following October – 18 months after we met – we were married.

Wedding

October 1983

Has it been smooth sailing the past 33 years?  Noooo … not exactly.  We continue to be a work in progress.  The usual man-woman misunderstandings are a common occurrence although the french-english disconnects are almost non-existent now.

Gilles’ english is excellent – my french is still abysmal.

V

I hope you have been enjoying the cookies and pastries during this Challenge.  Thank you so much for visiting and I hope you will enjoy a Vanilla Wafer Sandwich before you leave. Yes – these cookies are glutin-free.

vanilla wafer

Photo from glutenfreeonashoestring.com

April A to Z Challenge 2015

 

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge - 2015, Family, Memories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

97 Responses to V = Victory in Love

  1. Wonderful love story and gorgeous photos. 🙂

    Like

  2. Rebekah M says:

    Lovely story!!! I know all about language barriers. Now … my husband is an English-speaker, but he taught in French for more than thirty years. Here’s one little part: https://colderweatherdotme.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/its-that-anniversary-again/

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Great story! I would imagine it’s not easy to leave everything / everyone behind to start a new life somewhere in a different language!

      Like

      • Rebekah M says:

        Even though I’d been repeatedly told, that QC was French-speaking, it didn’t sink in until I’d lived there for a while. Coming from a country that’s ‘obsessed’ with English-learning made it harder. I thought I would at least be able to turn to teenagers for help, should the need be, but that wasn’t the case. I started to try and learn French, but it’s so much easier when you’re young — I was 50, and that wasn’t the same at all. I know a lot of food nouns, but can’t put a sentence together.

        Like

  3. A beautiful, REAL love story. The photos are incredible. You both look romantic and in love and happy. Your DRESS, oooh la la. I think writing about our past is important – it informs our present, and helps us prepare for the future.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you … such kind and generous words!

      The A-Z theme on stories from my past was challenging because I have some difficulty writing about the past. To me it is history and I don’t want to dwell there.
      … but I’m glad I’m glad I did it because many comments gave me some new perspective. That’s what I love about blogging 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Whirlwind romance and lifelong devotion – how romantic! That is a lovely wedding photo – you both look so happy. It was very nice to meet Gilles at last and I can see where your youngest son gets his beautiful curly hair from.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Actually there’s lots of curly hair on both sides of the family and both sons have it. It just seems to have skipped me … and yes, I’m rather bitter about it 🙂

      Like

  5. treerabold says:

    Such a great story. It does seem amazing that you all stuck with it…since communication was so difficult. Obviously you were meant to be! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this and all the other stories of your life. I’ve truly enjoyed them!

    Like

  6. A lovely story! I bet those early days of working to communicate helped later on.

    Visiting from A to Z.
    Yvonne

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thank Yvonne. I’ve discovered that just because we may speak the same language, it doesn’t mean we are communicating. It takes a lot more effort than we think 🙂
      Thank you so much for visiting!

      Like

  7. Interesting that I have reached the part in Lorna Lee’s book where her Grandmother Meri meets her husband Joe – she speaks French, he speaks English. The same scenario!
    I cannot imagine what that must have been like for you and Gilles. Obviously, the language of love was a common denominator!

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  8. Corina says:

    I’m glad you included this post in your A to Z collection. It definitely fits!

    Like

  9. Sammy D. says:

    You are utterly beautiful. You look French to me in your bridal photo 😍

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  10. So glad I stumbled across your blog while perusing the A to Z blog list. I look forward to reading more of your beautiful story. My husband and I also met in 1982, and married in 1985. It is quite something to be part of a loving, enduring marriage. Keep on blogging!

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you for visiting and your lovely comment.
      Sometimes I look at us and marvel at the time we’ve spent together and the things we’ve done 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I totally get that. it’s pretty special to have the experiences we have together. Just yesterday, when I picked him up at the airport, he pulled out a phrase from a book we first read together in 1991, and no explanation was necessary. We got it. I’m sure you have that experience as well.

        Like

  11. Lynn says:

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story about you & Gilles! How challenging that must have been for both of you, in those early times. I am certain the language barrier helped to lay a good foundation of communication!

    Love the pictures, you are absolutely glowing on your wedding day Joanne. Just beautiful!

    Like

  12. I’m loving your reminiscences Joanne. What a lovely story. And well done for thinking outside the box for “V!”

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  13. 4wallsnaroof says:

    What a lovely story. It just proves that communication, no matter what the language, is the most important thing in a good marriage! (BTW my husband of 21 years and I met through a personal ad in the newspaper!)

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      The story of how you met sounds like a potential post 🙂
      … it just goes to show, you never know what connections you are going to make unexpectedly that will change your life.
      Congratulations – a 20 year marriage is something to be very proud of 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I was kind of hoping might still get that Iced VoVo…. But these look okay, I guess. Only fair for the gluten-intolerant among us.
    Sweet story and interesting point about having to work hard to understand each other right from the start. I’m sure it stood you in good stead.

    Like

  15. bkpyett says:

    Joanne, what a delightful post and you both look so beautiful/handsome and happy!
    Charming that your love endured the language barrier and made for a richer relationship.
    Thanks for the non fattening biscuits!!

    Like

  16. I have really been enjoying your blog and have nominated you for the “Versatile Blogger Award” thanks for all the great posts.http://campthatsite.com/2015/04/25/v-versatile-blogger-award/

    Like

  17. Heyjude says:

    😦 I was looking forward to a Viennese whirl…
    Love your love story, you have worked so hard at this challenge that I think you deserve a couple of weeks off in May! You are dead right about having to work at a marriage though – those male/female misunderstandings can be HUGE. Definitely a case of “Men are from Mars and Women from Venus”. I’m on my third and still learning!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Jude – at this point, I’m really looking forward to ‘going quiet’ for a long while. I’m so amazed and flattered that people like you have hung in there with me through this long month!!

      Being together with one person for so long truly has its ups and downs. There seems to be an infinite amount of compromise required when the going gets tough. Somtimes I think I’m doing all the compromising then I get a reality check of life through Gilles’ eyes. It’s humbling.
      Men and women really aren’t wired the same at all!!!

      Like you, I’m constantly learning. That’s life 🙂

      Like

  18. Great story and love pictures

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  19. Awww! I loved hearing about your love story! You’re such a handsome couple! 🙂

    Like

  20. sinewavelife says:

    Beautiful story and photos! There’s so much to be said for a long marriage! Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  21. That is a lovely lovely story, Joanne. I do get what you mean about trying to understand the meaning behind what’s said instead of just the words. Love the photos too.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you. It would have been so easy to just give up trying. We stumbled over basics, but in a perverse kind of way, it worked.
      You question whether insult was intended or accidental because of language. We laughed a LOT at some of our really bad misunderstandings.

      Like

  22. Mrs. P says:

    I thought falling in live with someone 3000 miles away was challenging but speaking different languages is way harder! Good for you…and thank goodness Giles’ English skills improved! 😀 😀

    Like

  23. Such a sweet story. I love your wedding dress too, you guys look so happy.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you! We didn’t have much money and it was a simple dress was made for me by a friend’s mother.
      We both had a great joy for life … and that hasn’t changed 🙂

      Like

  24. hilarymb says:

    Hi Joanne .. what a lovely story and how wonderful it all worked out and 33 years later here you still are .. fantastic .. I’d be like you … desperate for my other half to improve his English .. so my French wouldn’t need to be stretched too much. Fantastic photos and I loved the read .. lots of joy and happiness too in the years ahead .. and yes what a V for Victory .. cheers Hilary

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      As usual, you have such kind words 🙂
      I’m embarrassed with myself that my french didn’t improve over the years …especially when we had both sons in french school. Lost opportunity 😦

      Like

  25. NancyTex says:

    Aww! So sweet to hear the story of how you met, fell in love and married!

    No language barriers for Ed and I; just my “life plan” – set at age 16, which had me moving to Europe to complete university (parents had already bought a condo for me to live in). When I met him, I thought, wow…he is CUTE! I could have a lot of fun until I go away for university. Then he had to go and fall in love and ruin all my plans. 🙂

    Like

  26. You made and still make an adorable couple. I LOVE stories about how couples have met. Yours takes top prize at the moment. Heartwarming story, Joanne.

    Like

  27. Helen C says:

    Beautiful photos and a beautiful story, Joanne. “Meant to be” came to my mind after reading your story. But I do think you should work harder on your French… 😉 (Just kidding.)

    Like

  28. cleemckenzie says:

    Now that’s one sweet story about how two people came together. I loved reading it, and sighed when you got to the 33 years together part. Congratulations for working on your marriage. And thanks for the cookies.

    AtoZ Team Leader of the Muffin Commando Squad
    http://writegame.blogspot.com

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you ❤
      I know so many people on their 2nd and even 3rd marriage … long term relationships seem more of an oddity now.
      Glad you enjoyed the cookies. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Like

  29. Love that wedding day photo! You look insanely happy. Am thinking you are one smart girl…..a husband that can’t understand when you say you’re going shopping? Now this is a GREAT IDEA!

    Also, I now see where Misha got his hair!

    I’m so not looking forward to Sunday and the absence of your post……what ever are we going to do when this challenge is over? Terrible to contemplate!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      There is curly hair on both sides of Misha’s family … it just seemed to skip his mom 😉

      Unfortunately ‘going shopping’ is something Gilles caught onto quite quickly. Now he even looks askew at ‘going out’ :/

      As we approach the final 4 days, I feel a certain relief that it’s almost over. 26 posts in 30 days is hard and I’m so impressed with all the people who have hung in there with me through all those posts!!

      Like

  30. bulldog says:

    18 months to marry and 33 years later still a work in progress…. what a wonderful story to relate…. Linda and I met, 3 weeks later we got engaged and 6 weeks later got married… 41 years later we are still a work in progress although I’ve learnt to say “Yes Dear”far earlier in an argument…

    Like

  31. Oh how interesting! I don’t know of many other relationships that have survived a language barrier, but just one! I had a friend who met a girl from Taiwan, took her in, taught her English and married her. Yeah, she ended up running away with her boss….but you didn’t need to hear that, ha, ha!! (Joanne, I’m sure your relationship can take this kind of humor by now. Story is true, BTW!! I should write a poem about that!)

    Like

  32. pike says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! ❤

    Like

  33. Alex Hurst says:

    What a lovely story! Love it! 🙂 Our landlord’s grandfather married a British woman… she spoke no Japanese, and he spoke no English, but they still found love and got married. They actually had a book written about them (“Itsumo Futari De” ie, “Always, the Two of Us”) though my Japanese wasn’t good enough to read it.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      At least Gilles and I were both Canadians. I imagine the cultural gaps between a British and Japanese person would be even greater!
      … then of course there are the in-laws. That’s a story in itself 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  34. lovetotrav says:

    I loved this post. It is so sweet that despite language barriers you made it work and for 33 years! Congratulations 🙂

    Like

  35. Joe says:

    Wonderful post and what a great looking couple 🙂

    Like

  36. Beautiful wedding day picture! I’ve been enjoying your A-Z posts. So much work and thought went into each one.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you for the lovely compliment. I did put a lot of thought and effort into these posts and I’m glad it shows.
      … I will be relieved when this challenge is over though 🙂

      Like

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