Saturday, October 16, 2010
Twelve Years Ago
On this day twelve years ago, I met the love of my life.
It was October 16th, 1998 and I was heading out to the pub with some friends. I was eighteen, just coming to the end of Year 12, but most of my school friends were still seventeen so I started going out with my sister and brother and their friends. We were going out for one of the girls' birthdays, first having dinner and then staying to dance.
Steve, meanwhile, had written off his motorbike during that week. He needed some cheering up, so a friend invited him to the pub that weekend to celebrate his sister's birthday.
We sat at the table that night, October 16th, eating dinner and I knew everyone in the group. Except that one guy. Who's he? I wondered. I thought he looked nice and I decided to find out who he was. (And if he was single.)
It wasn't until later in the night that we started talking. He was buying me drinks (and, although I actually felt a bit off and didn't really want to drink, I took the drinks he bought and, when he wasn't looking, gave them to friends - I thought if I said no to him buying me drinks, he'd think I wasn't interested) and we started dancing together.
I still remember my sister pulling me aside and telling me that she and her then-boyfriend (now husband) had to leave. She looked over at Steve, then back at me and said one word: "Don't". I nodded, waved goodbye to her and went back to dancing with Steve.
Soon we had our first kiss.
I know - a very classy story, meeting and kissing at the pub. In my defence, this was not something I made a habit of; Steve was my first boyfriend.
We shared a taxi home, holding hands the whole way. We exchanged phone numbers before we, yes, were each dropped off at our separate homes.
The next day, he rang. We made arrangements for a mid-week dinner (at this point he'd tell you that I said no to his first two suggestions - I had other plans - and that he decided to try once more).
This was followed by another warning, this time from my mum. When I told her I was going to go out with this guy I'd just met, she asked how old he was. Twenty-three, five years older than me. She looked worried and suggested I might like to be careful, because by that age men are beginning to be 'serious'. She also suggested I shouldn't go out with him that week, as I had my final exams to study for.
I chose not to listen to those suggestions.
I was so nervous before that first date. Steve took me to an Indian restaurant - unfortunate because it was the first time I'd tried Indian food and didn't like it, but I was too nervous to eat much anyway. We talked all evening, mostly about travelling as he had recently returned from a trip to Europe - something that was a dream of mine.
From then on, we were inseparable. We saw each other at every possible opportunity.
And my family soon came to see why I ignored their protectiveness. Our first Christmas together, Steve was playing with my younger brother, then eight years old. My dad came over to me and pointed to them: "Hold onto him" he said. That, coming from my dad, who used to suggest my sister and I might like to call him if a gathering we were at a party that had boys present.
Steve was quickly part of my family, and I part of his.
I could list all the ways that Steve makes my life better, and the ways he makes me a better person. But there isn't enough space in a blog post to do that.
Twelve years ago, we decided to be together. And we will stay that way forever.
Posted at 5:42 PM