A fellow blogger I was speaking to via Twitter is running a series of guest blogs on how people met their partners. It’s been said that how M and I met bears repeating, so I have written this for her and also posted it here. Enjoy. Every word (except where clearly indicated) is true…
In May 2001 I was running late for a dear friend’s leaving drinks in Central London. I’d also been to a step class, something I was only driven to when I perceived standards to be in the direst straits, so the me that arrived at the Covent Garden venue was not a ‘me’ likely to attract anything other than, potentially, flies. So when the lovely hostess whisked me over to meet ‘the boys’ I may not have been overly enthusiastic, concerned that it wasn’t a case of not my best side, but more not my best at all.
‘The boys’, it transpired, were very nice people indeed, and I ended up speaking to one of them pretty much all night. I didn’t realise it was all night, but the first time I looked at my watch post my initial flustered entrance into the ‘do’ was when the bar staff startled me by calling ‘time’. After all, I’d only been there about 30 minutes. Hadn’t I?
Naturally (naturally for those days, anyway; nowadays I have neither the time, inclination nor tolerance) many drinks had been consumed over that ‘thirty-minute’ period which was actually about three hours. The man I’d been chatting to gave me his card, said ‘Email me, please e-mail me’, and that was it, I was in a cab (something else that’s not an option nowadays!) and heading home, reflecting on the speed of the evening and the interesting nature of the man I’d met.
For me, to be honest (and he knows this), that was that, for then anyway. I was off on a girly holiday to Iceland; I had a cracking job that I was absolutely immersed in; and (in my head, anyway) I was way waaaaaay too young to settle down. And the odd thing was that even after that one evening I had a sneaking and quite unwelcome suspicion that meeting him again might just mean that I would end up settling down (yeah, it did, alright, I know), and I wasn’t ready for that. So I filed his card and decided to drop him a note in a couple of weeks to see if we would meet again and if silence changed anything – how keen, actually, had he been?
Turns out, he was pretty keen, but acting on that didn’t quite play out how either of us might have expected.
He went home that night also reflecting on the excellence of the evening. He, however, decided that action was a more desirable route than delay (I blame his more advanced age ha ha!), grabbed the business card belonging to ‘the girl he met’ – that’s me – and dropped ‘her’ – that’s me – a text.
The observant amongst you will notice the first flaw in this already.
Imagine his delight when she – or should I say, I, responded immediately. Great to meet you too, I said. And, in response to a subsequent suggestion, I agreed, yes, let’s meet up next week.
So – a date! With me! Off he trotted to Selfridges, invested in some ‘new impressing clothes’ and waited with baited breath till the next week came round and he headed to the appointed bar at the appointed hour to meet me and further our acquaintance.
Sitting in the bar with me, his date, he pondered the fact that he must have been much drunker than he had thought when we first met, or at the very least, more blinded by my brilliance (that latter statement is of my own invention) than he had realised. For I looked and sounded nothing like he recalled; there were other friends of mine around the table all on a nice pally night out – not really his idea of a date in the conventional sense; and most puzzlingly, I spoke fondly and regularly of ‘my husband’. This ‘sort of thing’ being neither what he is into nor, of course, what I appeared to be into either – it turned out my motivation for meeting up was to ask advice about the music industry, his chosen specialised subject – he finished his drink, after a nice chat said a cheery goodbye, and, with resignation, headed off home armed with what he believed would remain a pretty entertaining ‘disastrous date’ story. At least, he reasoned, something good had come out of the mistaken identity date.
Of course, it had been clear to him within about the first fifteen minutes that alcohol was blameless here to an extent in terms of recognising ‘me’ – or not: he had gone on a date (considered a date by only one party) with the wrong girl. He had suddenly recalled that I – the real me – had not given him my card (an activity I cringe at professionally, I confess, let alone personally) – and here alcohol IS to blame for the blip in his initial memory – the only card passing had been from him to me, and the contact ball was most firmly in the real me’s court.
What happened next? Well, the real me went to Iceland, had my holiday, talked about whether or not to contact him, dealt with a couple of massive work projects, talked about whether or not to contact him; then looked at the business card waiting on my chest of drawers and thought, you know what, I liked him, I’ll drop him a line. This was about six weeks later.
The rest is history. Our instincts had been right: it was the real thing. Engaged within five months and married a year after our engagement, we’ve been married now for nearly twelve years. And it remains a cracking tale whenever any new acquaintances ask us how we met, so I’m pretty pleased to have it.