Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Debbie Ristimaki and Leslie MacFarlane

no credit, image courtesy of the couple

Match profiles an interesting couple each week. Interested in being featured? Share your story at

Buddies growing up in Montreal's West Island, these two lost touch after high school. Fast forward 30 years to a friendly reunion that lead to a love connection – all thanks to Facebook.

Who: Debbie Ristimaki, 54, career counsellor. Leslie MacFarlane, 54, small business owner.

Story continues below advertisement

Location: Winnipeg

Relationship status: Married since 2014.

Friends at first sight

Debbie: Technically we met in kindergarten and were together through elementary school and high school. I was very into studies. Leslie was athletic, into all the sports.

Leslie: It was a brains and brawn kind of thing. Ha! But we were friends – best friends – all the way through. The relationship was entirely platonic at that point.

Debbie: We loved to go to movies. I think we must have seen Grease in the theatres 10 times.

Leslie: At least 10 times! I guess that really dates us. When it was time to go to university, Debbie went to UNB (University of New Brunswick), I went to Dalhousie. There was no e-mail or anything like that and we just fell out of touch.

Story continues below advertisement

A whole new world (and a new car)

Debbie: In the fall of 2012, I finally decided to get onto Facebook. Leslie was the first person I looked up and she accepted my friend request right away.

Leslie: I had always wondered what ever happened to her. By that point I was living in Winnipeg and when I saw that she was going to be here for work, I reached out. And she tried to blow me off!

Debbie: I think it was a confidence thing. All these years had gone by and I just wasn't sure. Eventually I agreed. I can still picture Leslie pulling up outside my hotel in a blue Mini. I hopped in and it was like all the time just melted away.

Leslie: She was all over me. Ha! No, I'm just kidding.

Debbie: Up until then I hadn't really had much of a personal life. I had devoted myself to my career. And then it all happened really quickly and it was like a whole new world opened up. It was also really funny because right before I had been looking for a new car. I really wanted a Mini, but it didn't work out. And then I got one!

Story continues below advertisement

Same same, but different

Debbie: I guess you could say I came out when I called my family to tell them I was with Leslie. Soon after I was moving to Winnipeg. They were surprised, but supportive and happy for me.

Leslie: We definitely complement each other. Debbie grounds me. She makes me think about things rather than just saying, we're doing this.

Debbie: And yet in some ways we're very similar. When we got married, we decided we would write our vows and not show each other until the ceremony. I love to write, so mine were about a page and a half

Leslie: And mine were short and sweet. And yet, they both said the exact same thing. Debbie can be very wordy.

Debbie: All right. It was funny though. The marriage commissioner said she had never seen that before.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies