Love at third sight

A dear friend succinctly stated that a year of ‘finding myself’ after a devastating relationship breakup was quite sufficient.

Her daughter had a work colleague who may be interested in a date. He too had also been heartbroken. The catch is, I would have to call him.

What?! No!

Are you for real?

Fine. Okay, I’ll call.

As soon as he answered the phone, I thought ‘Oh God, Maree, what the hell are you doing?” Needless to say, I did all the talking to fill in the ample awkward silences.

The two things I recall from that very first conversation was that it went for an hour and a half and that I gave him recipes for cheesy pasta. The call ended with him expressing that “he would call me in a few days”.

Pft. Yeah, right. We all know how that one goes.

The same dear friend whose daughter played matchmaker rang and asked how it went. I proceeded to list in detail, all the things I didn’t like about him. His thick use of Australian slang, the incorrect use of words, the frequent and cringe-worthy silences, and a lack of hearty conversation. Nope, this just ain’t going to happen, I assured my friend.

The following day, he called me back, much to my surprise.

Would I go out on a date?

Before my brain could even process a kind, respectable, gentle decline, my mouth shot out with “Yeah! Sure! I’d love to!”

What on earth was that? Did I just say yes!?

The first date was an absolute disaster of Herculean proportions. He hated the food, we ended up on the wrong tram ending up God knows where, he wore a Hyper-paint t-shirt two decades too late to match his acid wash pants and we were laughing at each other’s jokes! Absolutely nothing went according to plan that day, except for this unfamiliar feeling of comfort, ease, humour and relaxation.

Every subsequent date after that my mouth continued to override my brain with “yes!!” when every fibre of my being shouted “Noooooo!”

We started to meet on a daily basis, doing ordinary things as ordinary people. Enjoying each other’s company and each other’s quirks without the pretence and fanfare. We held hands, walked along the river and waited outside each other’s workplace, depending on who finished first. Sometimes, he would take the train all the way to my home to escort me safely before jumping back on the train to return home to the opposite end of the city.

Three weeks into our courtship and on our way home from a visit, we stopped at a waterfall nature park as I was feeling car sick. I turn around after steadying my stomach to find him on bended knee.

Using one of his chunky blokey rings, he proposed.

For the first time, my brain was silent.

Needless to say, my mouth was not.

“What are you doing? Get up off the ground, you’ll ruin your new jeans!” I replied, oh so eloquently and politely.

Yet, he remained, waiting for an answer.

“YES!!!” I shouted.

We immediately told the strangers around us, and posed for a photo with a group of Japanese tourists.

Off we rushed to tell our nearest and dearest, including my confused friend who couldn’t understand why I would marry a person with such a list of dislikes. Had I gone mad?

Perhaps I had.

I was never one for conventions. Some folks ask ‘why?” I tend to ask “why not?”

Two weeks later, he re-proposed in the middle of Federation Square, with the chosen engagement ring.

We have been married for nearly 13 years, together for almost 14 years, with two rather cool kids, two rescue horses, three cats, two puppies and a guinea pig with a permanent mohawk.

Running with scissors, we cut out our life and made our family.

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