I have spent the last week feeling less than ordinary and taking every opportunity I can to lie on the couch in my PJ’s watching movies. Today these kept me company.
I’m a sucker for a romance, Pride and Prejudice, Catherine and Heathcliff, Buffy and Spike. The meeting, the uncertainty, the first kiss, the hope for happy ever after. It can seem a world we can’t be part of in real life. That true romance story. I wonder if that is our own short sightedness. That we aren’t recognising the real romance stories.
I have grown up surrounded by a most amazing love story. It is not mine to tell but it has been my priviledge to witness the love of my parents. I have heard the story of how they met so many times, how it wasn’t love at first sight but at first touch as he took her hand to cross the road. Dad tells it with a gleam in his eye. Mum corrects his tale whilst reaching out to pat his hand, laughing at his ‘never let the truth get in the way of a good story’ version. I grew up interupting kisses in the kitchen and wishing I hadn’t seen this or that bottom pat. I watched as my parents who have no rythym on their own swirl in perfect harmony around a dance floor together. I watched the many little things like talking quietly over a cup of tea when they come together at the end of each day. Going for walks hand in hand. Always sharing meals at the table. Going to the movies. Dad flyfishing whilst mum reads on the shore with the dog. Dad returning with an everlasting daisy to add to the collection. When life was tough, they faced it together, and celebrated all the small wins, together.
Six years ago I left a marriage. There were no affairs, no violence, no abuse. When everything is stripped back it was for one main reason. I didn’t have what my parents have. I knew what a true love story looked like, felt like, and I didn’t have it and I felt empty and lonely because I knew better.
Six years ago I went out with a friend for a drink. His mate who I had met many times in the past came along. We talked all night and laughed at how hard it was to walk away when it was time to part. The next weekend we bumped into each other. We talked all night and fell asleep on our friends couch, exhausted by all the talking and sharing. The next week I bumped into him again and was surprised when my legs collapsed under me and I was left gripping a lamp post in order not to fall. We spoke of my failed marriage, his failed engagement, how it was all to soon. And it was to soon. We said we wouldn’t meet again. For now. The next week we bumped into each other again. We gave up, we gave in, we fell in love immediately. There were many sceptics at first, we weren’t two of them. We knew. We ran away to the coast camping for a week, we fished, cooking fresh brim over the hot coals each night, picking over the bones with our fingers. We needed to be alone and find our own space and we needed quiet, our own heads were spinning with the timing and speed of it all. Eight weeks after we met we travelled to Thailand, told each other we were in love. Nine months after we met we moved to London. Two years after we met we had returned and bought a home. Today it is home to three of us with the addition of Little and filled with love. We kiss in the kitchen. He calls me See Girl and pats my bum (he thinks it means sexy in Thai. It doesn’t. It means four). We come together at the end of each day and talk. We face life, all it’s ups and downs, together. Mourning the losses, fighting the hard times and celebrating the wins together.
True romance stories are right there infront of us. May I never be so short sighted as to stop seeing them.