TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tricia took a bite of her vegan potato tacos, eyes still on the guy sitting in the corner.
She didn’t even want tacos, but now she couldn’t fault her coworker Paul who needed a night out after a particularly bad day.
Even though Tricia wanted Mediterranean food, she got something much better that night — her first introduction to Tim.
Tricia saw Tim at the back-corner table of the restaurant and described it as love at first sight, or how she imagined it anyway. She was struck.
She noticed his dreadlocks rolling over his shoulders and tattoos speckling his hands.
Tim arrived not long before her, fulfilling a work errand. He was in the area gathering supplies for the day’s job at the pig sanctuary in Marana.
Tricia’s eyes kept darting to Tim. She noted the perfectly-placed piercings and in one glimpse she noted the word “Coil” lettered across the front of his black hoodie.
If he listened to the UK underground band there was enough common ground for her to do what she’d told herself she wouldn’t do and began walking towards him. With each step she wished she had worn something more stylish than her gray jeans and plaid flannel.
“This beautiful woman walked up to me and asked, ‘Is that a Coil shirt you’re wearing?’” Tim said describing his pleasant surprise when the pink-haired woman approached him.
The minute the conversation started, there was an instant connection. They talked about music and exchanged phone numbers.
Tim sent Tricia a text soon after their first interaction — one that Tricia wouldn’t receive. It turns out the message failed to send. Meanwhile, Tricia waited for Tim to reach out.
After several days of silence, they both swallowed the fact that the other wasn’t interested. But they both were, just an unreliable phone standing between them.
“I was a little bit bummed out,” said Tim, “I just kept thinking about her and knew I gotta try at least one more time.”
He crafted another text and she answered shortly after. The two planned their first date.
The flurry of their romance began: concerts, weekly coffee, mini-golf, roaming Fourth Avenue and spending most of their time at the pig sanctuary, picnicking in the secluded desert spot.
Even six weeks into the relationship, they both sensed something special.
When Tricia’s old dog Dex was stricken with seizures, Tim was there for her the day he was euthanized. Without being asked, he took time off work to offer her emotional support.
“I just remember thinking, ‘This man is either crazy or the most loving partner I could find.’ Luckily for me, it turned out to be the latter,” Tricia said.
Tim found an authenticity in their relationship he had been searching for.
“She allows me to make mistakes without it being tragic,” said Tim. “I haven’t had to change anything.”
The two couldn’t imagine themselves with anyone else.
“We both get that we’re weird; we both get that we’re a little eccentric, not everybody’s cup of tea,” said Tricia. “But it was one of those things where we would rather be on our own and be true to ourselves.”
The two attribute their meeting to pure fate. Tricia and Tim had plenty of opportunities to meet before the Taco Shop, but never ran into each other.
They attended many of the same concerts in Phoenix and were at the same spot for Halloween at least two years in a row. After running in the same circle for years, tacos finally brought the couple together.
“When you find the right person you’ll understand why it took so long to meet them,” said Tricia. “We as people weren’t ready to meet each other.”
While watching TV one night, Tim recalls Tricia reaching over with her foot and absent-mindedly nudging his foot. A simple yet clarifying moment for him.
“I thought, ‘Ya this is what I want, this is what I want for life,’” said Tim.
For months he carried the engagement ring in his pocket to concerts, dinner and clubs — just waiting for the right moment, never seeming to find it.
On July 7, 2018, Tim woke up knowing that was the day and planned a day full of their most normal things: good coffee, errands, lunch, and a night out, but it was in their backyard bone garden that he finally knew it was time to propose.
“It’s really easy to want forever when you’re on vacation. I wanted the day-to-day life, the regular stuff that we do, that’s what made me happy and that’s what I wanted,” said Tim.
The two were tempted to elope but wanted family to be a part of the celebration and decided to wait. A few months before their three-year anniversary, they married. Their most-cherished family and friends attended the wedding at a funeral home on a warm Thursday evening.
They both saw something beautiful in the irony of hosting a wedding at a funeral home — starting their marriage in a place where it might ultimately end. It made Tricia more excited for her future with Tim.
The couple asked Paul Bird, the very friend that insisted on tacos the first night they met to officiate the wedding.
“Of course I said yes because both of them are heroes to me,” Paul said. “I love weddings and it worked out perfectly.”
Sept. 19, 2019, a day they wouldn’t forget, Nature and Organisation guided them down the aisle as it played over the speaker — the perfect Goth tune for this monumental walk.
Paul stood between them, sharing the story about how the couple met as they stood facing each other.
“They were both brimming with excitement and could hardly stand still, like giddy little kids,” said Paul.
Tears streamed down Tricia’s face as Tim read his vows aloud for their life ahead, then Tricia read her vows. They two exchanged rings and said “I do,” then walked out to join in on photos, food and signing the marriage certificate.
“They are both very unique people and they compliment each other,” said Paul. “Tricia gets a big smile every time she talks about Tim.”
The wedding, although meaningful, wasn’t the pinnacle for the couple.
“For me it's always been about the marriage that comes after it [the wedding],” Tricia said.
They still get good coffee and regularly golf at Golf N’ Stuff. They aim to live up to their vows of maintaining the balance between supporting each other and allowing space to grow as individuals.
“There’s something really beautiful about having that sense of security and that sense of companionship,” said Tricia. “It [marriage] solidified what we already knew was there but there was something about taking that extra step that made it even more so.”
Maybe they have fate to thank, maybe Paul, maybe vegan tacos.
Regardless, with their adopted dog Coil and their black and white cat, they’ve settled into life together with their own perfect cup of tea.