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Ricky Boudreau, 48, makeup artist. Manny Machado, 49, designer.

Courtesy of the couple

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Who: Ricky Boudreau, 48, makeup artist. Manny Machado, 49, designer.

Relationship status: Together since 2002.

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Location: Toronto.

Across a crowded room

Manny: The first night we met was at a club called It. It was industry night. I was a flight attendant at the time and I had a weekend off. I wanted to go out dancing and none of my friends wanted to go, so I ended up going alone. I never do that, but this time I did.

Ricky: I was a professional figure skater working in England. I was back in Canada because my grandmother had passed away. I hadn’t even wanted to go out that night, but I did. I remember spotting Manny – literally, our eyes met across a crowded dance floor. We ended up dancing for hours.

Ricky: One thing lead to another. I invited him back to the place I was staying. We spent the whole next day making out. Manny had stubble and my lips got so swollen I was like Goldie Hawn in First Wives Club.

Low-tech love story

Ricky: When I got back to England, I had a really good calling plan and we talked on the phone all the time. This was before FaceTime and all of that, so it gave us a really good chunk of time to get to know each other.

Manny: It was romantic and I think by the time he was coming home we both knew this was more than a fling. I went to pick up Ricky at the airport.

Ricky: It was like a scene out of a movie. He was holding this huge bouquet of flowers. I ran over and we started kissing. This was 16 years ago – people weren’t used to seeing that.

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Love cats

Manny: He was away a lot early on. It was like Polkaroo, where people were like, sure, you have a figure skater boyfriend who works on a cruse ship.

Ricky: I knew things were getting serious when Manny turned to me and said, “Can we get a cat?”

Manny: I told him if you’re going to be gone, I want babies. We found these two cats – one black, one white – through the Annex Cat Rescue website. It was like when I first saw Ricky at the club. Love at first sight.

Ricky: Manny called the owner and left a message. I was home alone when she called back, so we organized a surprise. I told her to ignore Manny’s calls.

Manny: I was totally devastated. Like, crying on the couch.

Ricky: I was starting to work as a makeup artist, so I asked him to come with me to a new client’s house. We arrived and walked into a room and there they were. It took him a second to understand what was happening.

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Manny: At first I turned to him and said, “How come she has our cats?” We named them Cashew and Pistachio. They made us a family.

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