I understand you have a BIG event planned for New Year’s Eve; can you share it with us?
D: Barbara and I have been together for 15 years now and decided the time was right to make a permanent commitment in front of friends and family.
B: I’m so excited! Ecuador is going to be a beautiful backdrop for the perfect wedding from our terrace.
A 15-year courtship, how did you two meet?
D: We met in a chat room on the Internet. My wife had died, and after three years I was ready to meet someone and thought I would give the Internet a try.
B: I was in the chat room then along with a lady who had a degree in “Dream Therapy.” Really? Doug started asking her about her “degree” and she got very defensive and started verbally attaching him.
D: Yeah, and Barbara came to my defense and that started things.
When did you start dating?
D: We chatted over the Internet for 3-4 months before we saw each other. We really got to know each other during that time. I told her I was driving a truck, didn’t mention it was really a Mercedes SUV, and asked her if that mattered. She said no, which to me was the right answer.
B: When we first met, Doug handed me a box that looked like one of those boxes a wrist corsage comes in. I thought to myself, “If he brought me a wrist corsage, it’s over before it begins.” I delayed opening it, afraid of what was inside. Finally, Doug asked why I didn’t open the box. I told him why, and he said, “Just open it.” Inside was the cutest little stuffed bear, just the perfect gift. I still have it.
You have been together for 15 years, do you mind if I ask why you never married?
D: We were committed to each other, but the timing just never seemed to be the right to get married. We were both busy with our careers. I had a daughter who was just graduating from high school when we got together. You know, life just kept getting in the way.
B: I think we were both so busy with life and because we knew we were committed, it didn’t really matter. For years we had a houseful of young men. We took in foreign students who were interns for large companies. Our “sons” were from Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, Kuwait and India.
What brought you to Cuenca?
D: We were disillusioned with California and the US in general and wanted to make a move. We sold our house in 2013 and …
B: …booked a 17-day cruise to Chile to check it out. We didn’t like Chile and had heard a lot of good things about Ecuador, and Cuenca in particular, so off we went, arriving December 26, 2013.
D: We arrived with just one suitcase each. I even left one in Chile, knowing it was full of items I would never need again.
B: Yes, we are a very non-traditional couple in many ways. One being that we just up and moved to Cuenca sight unseen.
What do your Date Nights in Cuenca look like?
D: We love food, we love to eat, and we love good friends, so most of our Date Nights center around those three.
B: And we love to cook and experiment with all the wonderful food you can find here. It seems if we aren’t eating food, we are talking about it.
D: What’s not to enjoy about that.
B: In reality, Date Night is every night as we constantly rediscover each other.