Tom & Audrey Dunn
Much as I'd like to characterise getting married to the lovely Audrey as a game of Truth, Dare, Promise, Love, Kiss or Marriage that spiralled out of control, the truth is considerably less entertaining. I didn't arrange for a neon sign to light up at a St Pat's game asking her to marry me, but I did somehow manage to get her attention and keep it, which for a man of my limited abilities was a life-defining achievement.
It was, essentially, love at first sight. This was followed by a gradual realisation that if I didn't spend my life with this woman I would be diagnosed with having rocks in my head and locked awayy.
I knew Audrey before we dated. The technical term was fancied. So when an opportunity presented itself, I invited her to accompany me to a Something Happens show. This was a technique I knew could backfire. Seeing a man perform on a truck in Bandon wouldn't melt many hearts, but as the gig in question was on a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier -- the JFK on its visit to Dublin in 1996 -- I thought it stood a good chance.
I had been reliably informed that "Chicks dig aircraft carriers", and it proved good advice. She still talks to me excitedly about its ship-to-ship strike capabilities.
The JFK was a hard act to follow, but we progressed to having an increasingly pleasant time together: holidays, little trips, gigs and nights in Renards. Someone once said to me that as long as a relationship is more good than bad then keep going. By two years in it slowly dawned on me that it was never, ever bad.
At this point the idea that we might ever part seemed ridiculous, but the idea that our continued happiness might hinge on a bending of the knee in a restaurant seemed equally weird. And then at some point in all of this I bought Audrey a lovely, expensive watch. The fact that we only had to swap it once for a completely different one spoke volumes for our developing mutual understanding.
She was wearing it a day before a friend announced that a watch is a well-known pre-engagement present that a man gives a woman when he is dragging his heels. Audrey's eyes fixed on some point in the middle distance and I blushed until my eyebrows melted.
Some months later at a restaurant in Marbella, on a sunny May evening with, it seemed, the entire world in multi-coloured bloom, I mumbled something that both of us struggle to this day to recall. And then Audrey mumbled something equally vague and we ordered Champagne.
We made up for the stumbling engagement by having two weddings. The first was in New York City, in The Plaza Hotel. It was not long after 9/11 and New York in January was shirt-sleeve weather, a sign I took as a very positive omen. We then had a second wedding in Dublin in May. This one isn't getting away.
Thereafter we experienced something akin to time travel. One minute we were discussing starting a family, the next we were being pinned in our own room by two crazy things that only look like us in a certain light. That light is, all too often, the breaking light of dawn.
We see dawn together a lot these days. We'd pay for sleep. Tom Dunne's show airs weekdays, 9am - 12 noon on Newstalk 106-108FM