All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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Ian and Mary Nunn never went on a formal date before they tied the knot. But they've had almost 21 years of marriage to get to know each other.
"Even though we barely knew each other, I remember thinking that it was the first time in my life that I was absolutely certain I was doing the right thing," recalls Mary, 42.
"We didn't let other considerations come before what we really wanted to do. I guess it was the most selfish thing I ever did, because we didn't care who else was inconvenienced.
"Of course, we had a lot of adjusting to do in those first 10 years."
Adds Ian, 45: "It didn't help that we had absolutely no interests in common, although that's certainly changed."
The Carlingwood couple met in Toronto in April 1968. Mary was working as a receptionist at the Church of Scientology. Ian had just left the Company of Young Canadians, and was stuffing envelopes and handing out flyers for Scientology.
"I remember the first time he came in to inquire about Scientology. What you have to picture is that I had short blonde hair, wore a lot of makeup and business clothes, because I'd always worked in a corporate environment," recalls Mary, whose chestnut hair falls to the middle of her back.
"Then this guy with long hair and beads showed up. I later found out a friend had told him about the receptionist with the twinkling eyes. Anyway, for me it was just instantaneous."
Ian and Mary sometimes used to go for coffee after work, and once picnicked at the Toronto Islands, but never had a formal date. One Friday night, after they'd both been to the same party, Ian surprised Mary by saying, "Let's get married."
The waiting period for a civil ceremony was too long, so they decided to be married by an Anglican priest who was a friend of Ian's. They were married on their lunch hour May 17, the Friday after Ian proposed.
That night, Ian went back to his room at a university co-op. Mary returned to her mother's house, and moved her few possessions to Ian's room the next day. She kept the wedding a secret from her mother, a devout Catholic, until a cousin leaked the news a few weeks later.
Ian and Mary were married again two days later in a Scientology ceremony.
Ian landed a job within days of finishing a six-week computer programming course, and has worked in data processing ever since. The Nunns moved to Ottawa in 1972.
Ian now is a senior systems analyst and project manager for Health and Welfare, and Mary is an accomplished watercolor artist who also teaches and gives art workshops. They have two children, Danielle, 18, and Richard, 16.
"The really neat thing that has happened for us is that over the years, life or God or whatever you want to call it has shaped us into having common interests, so our marriage bond is stronger than it was when we were first married," says Mary.
Adds Ian: "Just living together and learning to make adjustments has helped."
(If you know of an interesting or unusual romance, Barbara Crook would like to hear about it. You can write to her c/o True Romances, the Citizen, 1101 Baxter Road, Box 5020, Ottawa, Ont., K2C 3M4, or call [removed].)
Black & White Photo; Drew Gragg, Citizen; Ian and Mary Nunn had a lot of adjusting to do in first 10 years