Dusty and Laylee
Married 21 Years
Dusty and Laylee met in high school at the Maxwell International Baha’i School where they attended Grades Eleven and Twelve together. Dusty had taken a year off school to travel to Manawatu with his Aunt and Uncle who worked for CUSO (Canadian University Services Overseas), his uncle was the doctor at the local hospital. Many of the island population are of the Baha’i faith and when Dusty returned to Canada he decided he wanted to attend the Maxwell School. He was in Grade 11 and Laylee was in Grade 12 so they only spent one year together at the school speaking maybe five words to each other. However, they had a moment that they both remember. They passed each other as they crossed the campus through a breezeway, their eyes locked and there was a connection–a feeling that put their hearts in motion.
Following graduation they were both living in Victoria and had a similar group of friends, centred around their faith. It was clear they liked each other and spent more and more of their time together. One of the ordinances of their faith is to investigate each other’s character before marriage. A further rule is not to be intimate until marriage and they were committed to abiding by their faith. Laylee was 19 at the time, attending university and wasn’t interested in getting married. Her parents sat her down and asked, “Are you interested in dating Dusty for the purpose of getting married? You can’t just have a boyfriend for the sake of having a boyfriend.” Dusty had told her he was ready to get married and Laylee had to break the news to him that she was not ready. Dusty was heart broken but understood and at the same time understood. They remained friends for another 2-3 years.
Laylee graduated and went on to law school. Dusty was taking early childhood education and running children’s courses related to the Baha’i Faith. He decided to do a year of service before completing his degree. Dusty returned to Manawatu to do a year of service where he helped set up classes for the children of the village. He was there for 7 months and fully immersed in this task, and completely incognito from his friends in Victoria. Dusty returned in January to Vancouver where his parents lived. When he came to visit his friends on Vancouver Island in the Spring, he brought with him his new girl friend to introduce to his friends and family. Laylee suddenly realized that he wasn’t necessarily going to wait for her to be ready–she had always thought he would. Shortly after this visit, Laylee called Dusty and asked him for lunch. At the end of their lunch, the bill was delivered and she knew she had to tell him how she felt. Laylee went into the washroom, looked in the mirror and gave herself a pep talk and said you have to tell him how you feel. Laylee went back to the table and poured her heart out to Dusty telling him she loved him and she wanted to be with him. Dusty isn’t good at hiding his emotions and she could tell that the reaction was positive which encouraged her to keep going. He just kept saying, Are you sure? repeatedly. She was frustrated by this and said, I’m so sure, that if you asked me to marry me right now I would say yes. Over the years, they have had many discussions as to whether this was Laylee’s proposal to Dusty. He says it was and Laylee claims that this was “an invitation to treat”–a legal term meaning an indication that someone is prepared to receive offers with the view of forming a binding contract. I agree with Laylee. What do you think–proposal or “an invitation to treat”?
Two weeks later, Dusty was helping Laylee move into a basement suite and they had a discussion about marriage and decided they would like to get married. There was no down on one knee or formal proposal.
Their faith has two requirements for marriage, the first being the consent of both parents. Once Dusty’s mom got over the shock–she was concerned it was so quick, consent was given. The second requirement is that you have 95 days to get married after your engagement.
They were married in August–two and a half months later with over 300 people attending. Laylee’s parents were the main organizers and there wasn’t just the wedding to organize–there were dinners for 100 people every night prior to the wedding for all the family from out of town. Laylee jokes that is was her Big Fat Persian Wedding. Dusty showed up 45 minutes late for the ceremony because he lost track of time while writing his speech. Dusty would like to apologize to anyone who attended their wedding and had to sit outside in the hottest day of the year. Overall it was a wonderful wedding and even included a dance routine to a Ricky Martin song.
Both Dusty and Laylee agree that humour is important in their relationship. You have to be able to make each other laugh and not take yourself too seriously. For Laylee, she feels the happiest when they are doing something together in the community that is meaningful and based on spiritual qualities. For example, they have devotional gatherings in their home with people from all walks of life where they discuss specific topics and people share music and poetry. There is always the reality of day to day tasks and tough times but it is better for them when they can focus on something larger than themselves. Laylee feels respectful communication is a key to their relationship. Not everyone has the same communication style and she has learned to step back when she is angry and to realize the affect of their words on one another. Laylee’s style is to deal with things right away, while Dusty needs time to process issues. Laylee has learned not to press Dusty but to wait a bit and give him time.
Dusty added that in their faith, when you come together in marriage it is likened to two bodies of water coming together–separate but together. He believes that your relationship with the Creator, as an individual, must be strong in order for you adapt to the changes as you grow as a couple.
Broadcast Love wishes Dusty and Laylee many more years of happiness and love together.