Other Husband & Wife Articles

It All Began with a Tuque
Part Two of the continuing love story of our two newlyweds

by Mary Rose Bacani and Richard Valenti

Narrator: One night before Christmas, a few years back, Mary Rose told her deep, dark secret to one of Santa’s elves.

Mary Rose: That’s right. It was a late night at the Salt + Light TV office. Santa’s elf was calmly editing a television segment. I was about to blow up in my nearby cubicle over some matter that was stressing me out. Suddenly I barged in on him. Unexpectedly and very quickly, I shared with him my deep dark secret. The secret was out.

You have to understand three things. One, what I told him wasn’t really all that deep or all that secret (I added this for dramatic effect). Two, I was talking to no elf but to my future husband, Richard. With his absolutely ugly green tuque set loosely on his head, he looked like an elf. And three, at this point, Richard and I weren’t friends at all and were more like acquaintances.

Mary Rose Bacani & Richard Valenti

Mary Rose Bacani & Richard Valenti

But on this night, six months after first meeting him, I instinctively knew one important thing.

In front of me was a man I could trust with my life.

Richard: I didn’t know what this girl was thinking. She was sharing her heart with me, and I didn’t even really know her. But I was smitten! I called my best friend Vini right after and told him I like this girl and want to get to know her. It must have been the tuque. I’m definitely going to wear that tuque more often.

Narrator: By the way, what’s a tuque?

Mary Rose: For those who don’t know, it’s a wool cap that fits snugly on the head and is very popular in Canada.

Narrator: Back to the story. Why do you value trust so much?

Mary Rose: I felt Richard’s goodness and strong Catholic faith from the beginning. I knew he was a man I could trust. A solid friendship is built on trust. Today, he’s my best friend. Even though he thinks my cat Joshua and my little niece Emma get more of my attention.

Richard: I believe you are who your friends are. That’s why I surround myself with good people. Take my best friends Vini and Fernando, for example. Fernando’s a carefree rock star and Vini’s a crazy funny postman – they’re good people who care about others. Once you find people you can trust, they’re friends for life.

Mary Rose: I’m more introverted than Richard and keep to myself. I don’t go out much but I do keep in touch with people I can grow with. I would say, though, that my family members are my close friends. I’m the oldest of seven kids and my dad raised us to value family above all. My siblings and I hang out as often as we can.

Audience: What’s your friendship like?

Richard: I chose my wife to be my friend because she holds me to the highest standards. She constantly asks me to be the best version of myself. We try to have special moments each day.  It could be ten minutes of sharing or a walk around the neighborhood. As her friend, I put her above work and my other projects.

Mary Rose: And I have to work to put Richard above.... food. I love food. Chicken and rice, especially. When I’m hungry, I get cranky and don’t care about his feelings. I make him wait till I’m done eating before I pay him any attention.

Richard: We both love going on “artist dates.” That’s when we do creative and sometimes wacky things together that keep us young and alive. It could be a train ride to a mysterious-sounding place for Mary Rose, or a stop at my favorite comics bookstore.

Narrator: How has your relationship with each other’s families affected your friendship?

Mary Rose: Richard has one sibling and I have six. So he’s still getting used to having so many Filipinos around him. Richard goes on an iPod or laptop break every 20 minutes when he’s with my family...

Richard: I’m sorry... it just gets too loud!

Mary Rose: And when I’m with his family, I have a good time. But I think they’re fighting when they’re not.

Richard: I’m sorry, but Italians talk like that!

Mary Rose: Having each other’s families a part of our life has really enriched our relationship and our friendship. We value where the other person’s coming from.

Audience: We just celebrated Mother’s Day. What do you look forward to as a future mother and father?

Mary Rose: Richard and I see ourselves with children. Whether our own or adopted. Maybe two, maybe three, who knows. I can’t wait to be a mother when the time comes!

Richard: I know God’s giving us this time to make our friendship stronger and our love deeper. We need to give our children an environment where there is trust, friendship, and love. I look forward to being a father, and that starts with being my wife’s best friend and a caring husband.

Mary Rose: That's very nice. Now, can you fix the leaky faucet in the kitchen?

Richard and Mary Rose have been married for seven months, but have been friends for over six years. Next column, they talk about their main attraction for each other – which has to do with art! Stay tuned