“Til death do us part”
…Patrick and I were at the Pointe South Mountain Resort following our wedding reception, sitting on the bed counting the dollar dance money. $2,0000 to be exact. Next, we ordered a pizza! I was still in my mom’s wedding dress from the late ’50s, and Patrick in Ethiopian royal garb (a gift from a friend of ours who was a prince in Ethiopia!). We had 300+ guests that included nanas, cousins, musicians, artists, business executives, kids, court judges, and even stylin’ pachucos with vintage cars! It was literally a wild and wacky artful event, and everyone got along beautifully!
Today is our 18th wedding anniversary, and oh what a fun ride it has been!
We met in January 1985. I was a clerk in the correspondence department of the Phoenix Municipal Traffic Court, and one day this slick, handsome vato loco-looking dude walks up to my desk and asks me if I know where he can find a dolly (to move boxes!). It was Patrick! It was his first day working at the court’s front counter. I had been dating a super nice English-American Dating boy for almost four years and thought my life was set, but meeting Patrick for the first time sent a tingle on the inside and outside of my spine.
We were such opposites! He was into Earth, Wind and Fire; Prince, and Stevie Wonder. He loved to party. I remember rolling my eyes at his taste in music and lifestyle. I was into The Vandals, Peter Gabriel, and the Talking Heads. I loved to read books, and watch my friends’ bands play at local clubs. Patrick rolled his eyes at me! Next thing we knew, we were carpooling and arguing/laughing/confessing about everything from music, to our upbringing, and places we wanted to travel. He was all about discovering Aztlan, I was all about finding cool jewelry at thrift stores.
By early May, still working at the traffic court, we had each broke up with our former partners, and finally went on our first date. He took me to a Mexican restaurant and I ordered a hamburger and fries. He couldn’t believe I didn’t like Mexican food – or that I hadn’t tasted it. He ordered me a green chili chimi (I haven’t stopped eating it since, unfortunately for my waistline). Meeting him changed my life in so many ways.
It was a magical time (I savored every second of it) but we only dated for three months. We decided to go back to being friends. It was the best decision I ever made in my life. As friends we were able to become comfortable with each other, share juicy gossip, give unwanted advice, and help each other out 24/7. We became very tight. We got to know each other’s lives, our friends, and our families. He started playing reggae music (both of our favorite kinds of music!) and I became his band manager. That went on for four years. My stomach did the flip floppy thing every time he called or we met up to do something, or had a band gig. He got me into making art. I took him to Bad Brains and Fishbone concerts, and he took me our salsa dancing (I had never been!). I pretended I was over him, but really I was crazy in love the whole time. I never admitted it until our wedding night. He said he knew all along – and that it went vice versa!
You know that cliche saying: “if you love something let it go, if it is really yours it will come back to you?” – yup! It is true! We officially got back together in winter of 89. It was the single best moment of my whole life. We both knew it was for real. I truly believe that having that long, respectful friendship is what made our bond so strong to this day!
Trivia: When we were working at the courts, one day my boss asked me to write up a flyer using all kinds of markers. I had no idea, but she had asked Patrick to draw an illustration for the same flyer. It was the department newsletter. When it was distributed, my jaw dropped from excitement. On the front page, she had incorporated his drawing with my lettering. At the bottom, it read “flyer design by Patrick Murillo and Kathy Cano”. That was LONG before we ever knew we would be doing what are doing now!
* All content/photos copyright, © Kathy Cano-Murillo, 2008.