Live is funny. Love is funnier.
This is the story of how it took us 12 years to awaken to the greatest love of our lives.
Since Ryan built this beautiful website, I (Wendy) got to write the juicy contents!
Ryan and I have been in the same friend-family for twelve years. Not just group of acquaintances, but what we consider a chosen family that goes back to my first months in Austin. His sister, Michelle is one of my best friends and was my roommate for over a decade. In a lot of ways, Ryan and I have grown up together. We’ve orbited one another for years and we’ve always had a special connection.
Apparently we met on my 27th birthday shortly after Ryan had moved to Austin, but due to birthday shenanigans, wine and me being a super-messy human back then, I don’t remember it. Ryan does perfectly. He had ‘feelings’ when he spotted me that he didn’t recognize so he quickly shuffled them away. If you know Ryan, he’s not mister feelings. He’s passionate, he’s animated, he’s present, but pretty much the only things that make him tear up are sad stories about animals and kids and the opening sequence movie “Up.” So ‘feelings’ were not really his familiars.
A few weeks later he called Michelle and asked her if she knew anyone who would want to go to a Bad Religion concert. She suggested I might know someone who liked the band. Even though I’m a rootsy/folky musician, I have a deep passion for punk rock and Bad Religion happens to be my favorite punk rock band EVER. And, well, it’s Ryan’s too. We are both huge admirers of the lead singer and primary songwriter, Greg Graffin. I mean, he’s a 40 year punk rock veteran, got his masters from UCLA in Geology and PHD in Evolutionary Biology from Cornell- a professor, parent, creative and complete human badass.
So we had that in common. Which to us is sorta huge. And odd. And we could talk about the band for hours and hours. We actually still do. So, we were punk rock show concert-buddies for years and years.
I confess, there were times over the years when I thought, “hey, that Ryan is a really cool dude. I’d like to be closer to him.” Those sweet notions were shortly followed by the thoughts, “No way! He’s too good for you. And plus, if you date him and screw up, Michelle will never forgive you!”
So we stayed buddies. Which is actually the coolest part.
Fast-forward through 12 years of weddings, birthdays, girlfriends, boyfriends, concerts, greenbelt hikes, friend-family barbecues and more. Last fall we started a conversation in which we conspired about making some music videos together for some of the songs I was recording for my new album. Shortly after, I showed him “Tips,” a vintage camper that I bought and told him my vision for building a deck and roof for it. He loves to build stuff, so he signed up to help me make it.
We spent months swinging hammers, charging drills, designing structures and listening to punk rock. Having fun with other friends and telling stories. We built Tips and had fun. Our friendship had become solid and we loved doing mundane crap together.
So in the late spring, with 12 years of friendship under our belts, we decided to go for it. Those ‘feelings’ emerged again for Ryan and this time I wasn’t afraid to break anything.
The funny thing is that, even though we’ve been friends for years and years, I feel like I’ve been reborn into this sweet love. It’s the most beautiful and certain thing I’ve ever known. It’s nourishing and amazes us both every day.
We’ve found a love and friendship that is deep and wide and full of laughter, singing and opportunities to learn and grow. We are older, wiser and still as fun as we were in our 20’s when we met.
And we’re the best of buddies.