Kyra Reed made the decision to move back to central California in 2010 after her business collapsed in LA. Having grown up in the region, she wanted to take some time to assess her situation and work out her next steps. In August that year, she attended her 20-year high school reunion at a country club in Salinas. “I’d gone to a girls’ school called Notre Dame which was joined to a boys’ school called Palma,” she says. “We used to do lots of activities together, like socials and sports events. The reunions brought us together again.”
When Kyra walked in and spotted an acquaintance, she assumed the man with her was her husband. “I joked that she was lucky to have such a good-looking partner, but it turned out they were just friends from school.” Although they would have attended many of the same events growing up, she hadn’t met Bill before. “I was a goth and he was a football player. I hated all the sport and cheerleader stuff, so he probably hadn’t made it on to my radar,” she says.
The pair spent the rest of the evening chatting. “I was intrigued by her personality and strength of character. She was different from people I’d dated before,” says Bill. She sensed he was flirting, and there was chemistry between them, but after a recent heartbreak she wasn’t interested in getting involved. “I remember asking him what he did, and he said he worked all the time. He was an older bachelor with a great job so I assumed there must be something wrong with him.” After she got home, she flicked through her yearbook and found their pictures were next to each other. “I have no idea how I missed him,” she says.
They didn’t meet again until September 2012, when a mutual friend held a barbecue. By that point, Kyra was back in LA, but had returned to central California to visit her mum. During the barbecue, they smoked and chatted outside. “He asked why I wasn’t married, and I told him I didn’t want children,” she says. Bill liked her honesty. “I was really excited to spend time with her as we hadn’t seen each in a long time,” he says.
Kyra returned to LA and Bill sent her a message asking if they could be friends. They spent the next few weeks texting and chatting on the phone before she invited him to a gig in San Francisco. “He told me he was going fishing with his dad and I thought: ‘Oh, God, he’s so boring.’”
In October that year, Kyra went home to visit her mum and best friend in Santa Cruz. She asked if Bill would like to join them. “I got a hotel nearby,” says Bill. “Our first date was basically an introduction to her mum and best friend.” The next weekend, he visited her in Venice Beach, where he met more of her girlfriends. “I think I wanted to see how he’d get on with my friends and family,” she says. “We’ve been together ever since that weekend.” Six months later, they moved in together and, in May 2017, they married in a small ceremony in a friend’s garden, before celebrating with a big party in September.
As a couple they love to travel together and enjoy spending time with their families. They both work in the cannabis industry: “In California, it can be legally grown and sold,” says Kyra. “Bill works in a nursery where it’s grown and I run a networking group for women working in the industry. We solve problems well together and our work is a big part of our world.”
“We’re a good match,” says Bill. “Kyra’s really spontaneous and I love that she’s always taking care of me.” Because they married in their mid-40s, she says they can live their life without being influenced by ideals of what marriage should look like. “I made the right decision to wait, and I’d do it again,” she says. “He keeps me grounded and is the best friend I’ve ever had. Before we met, I was like a broken teacup glued back together. He’s filled in all the holes.”
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