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Greg Brill and Desia Halpin-Brill.Handout

Who: Greg Brill, managing director, Brill Communications; Desia Halpin-Brill, president, Brill Communications

Relationship status: Together since 1991

Location: Toronto

The model and the jock

Greg: The first time we met was in high school through a friend. We didn’t exactly hit it off. She was a model at the time. I remember she wasn’t very friendly.

Desia: He was a jock. I wasn’t into jocks.

Greg: She had this cropped haircut and wore her collar popped – it was the eighties.

Desia: We actually became friends a few years later when we started working for the same company. Things were totally platonic and then this one night I needed a date to a wedding and Greg showed up looking cute in his suit. He brought flowers.

Greg: My mom is a gardener and also wickedly cheap. She fashioned this vase out of a Javex bottle and glued a ribbon around it. It was pretty hokey.

Desia: But the effort was sweet. From that night on we’ve been together.

Roses are red, vodka is clear

Desia: We dated for several years – both travelling and at some points living in other places. I moved to New York for a school and Greg came out on Thanksgiving weekend to visit. I had no idea he was planning to propose.

Greg: I had arranged to have the ring sent. It was a cubic zirconia – we were on a student budget back then. We spent the day walking around Manhattan and I said let’s go get flowers.

Desia: He insisted we get flowers. I should have suspect something. When we got back to my apartment he sent me down to the bodega on an errand. I got back and the whole place was covered in rose petals and candles. My first thought was – what happened to the flowers?! And then I looked over and he was on his knee.

Greg: We proceeded to get absolutely plastered on vodka and called everyone we knew to share the news.

Family arrangements

Desia: When I was in my early 40s we started doing fertility treatments. Getting pregnant just hadn’t happened for us. I was surprised by how difficult and stressful the process was. I was about to start up a second round and Greg said, maybe we don’t have to do this.

Greg: We were definitely sad when we couldn’t have a baby, but for us it was never one of those things that was be all end all. We know couples who just disintegrated under the pressure of infertility. We didn’t want that.

Desia: Now we’re the really cool aunt and uncle. We spend loads of time with our nieces and nephews and we have a blast.

Greg: And then sometimes we do a happy dance when we get to drop them back with their parents.

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