WARNING: THIS BLOG MAY INDUCE BARF
If you believe in love, you also believe in destiny, that hidden power that controls every future event. The secret force that can place us in the exact place, at the exact time in the exact situation that we were meant to be in. But do you ever wonder, how life may have turned out if just one moment in time was different, if one action, one word, one motion never took place how the rest of our existence could have been totally altered? I believe in that greater power that can place us sometimes in the wrong place and sometimes right in the instant that will determine the rest of our lives.
I also believe in love.
I met him in when I was twenty four years old. He was just eighteen, so there was a significant age gap that may have caused various problems in the future, but love always has a way of working things out. As any twenty four year old would be, I was out with a group of 5th year students, dressed in a pink suede mini skirt and a black top. My current boyfriend, also eighteen, (it was a nice round age that probably came with a form of vehicle that to any twenty four year old would be deemed shit cool) had just had the, ‘it’s not you, it’s me’, very serious conversation with me, and while I was pretending to be heartbroken by this undramatic turn of events, my 5th year friend, made it her mission to plough me through the recovery stages of unrequited love at break neck speed. Even at her tender age she wisely acknowledged that the only path to full rehabilitation was to get straight back on the horse and so she set about introducing me to several of her boyfriends’ friends.
The third was a charm.
It had taken approximately thirty-seven minutes to heal my severed heart and to swiftly hand over the key. He was confident, he was handsome, he had great big cauliflower ears and he was only momentarily taken aback when I revealed that I was in fact only sixteen and had swiped my sister’s passport from the flowery box on the third shelf of her pine shelving unit to secure my entry into the pub.
He chatted for most of the night, I listened, terrified I was going to say the wrong thing, yet secretly feeling cooler that Shaggy blasting out ‘Boombastic’. I smoothly informed him that I hated rugby, everyone who played rugby, anything to do with rugby, asked him was he born with those ears, nearly choked on my Bacardi Breezer tropical fruit flavour, when he told me he had earned said ears from playing rugby and issued a detailed description of his trophies filling with blood from ear trauma in the scrum. Eugh. I struggled to keep down my Bacardi Breezer and quickly deflected by revealing that I had just been heartlessly dumped and that my ex was at that very moment snogging the face off someone else a few feet away and that I most definitely not looking for a relationship.
‘No, no, I’m done with men, I’m just going to stay single and enjoy myself.’
(I’M SO LYING, I’M FULL OF SHIT, I’M NO SHAGGY.)
‘That’s a pity’, he said as he leaned in to kiss me and that was it…
A few weeks of wondering, dreaming and hoping followed where I gleaned any information I could from anywhere. We scoured the Blackrock Annual, even flicking past the swimteam, a usual giggle inducer, straight to the rugby photos and there he was, smug as f***, probably out training and smoking fags at the same time, driving about in his Mum’s car, probably not even thinking about the highly mature sixteen year old who wasn’t looking for anything more. No phone call came, no note shoved under the front door, no news until…one of the girls in my year revealed that he was friends with a mutual friend and she had issued an invite to him to her 17th (yes that was a thing) birthday party.
HOLY SHIT THIS WAS HUGE!
He walked into the party, I looked up and did exactly what only I would do…I bolted to the bathroom and hid until one of the girls came in, gave me a sharp talking to and shoved me out the door for a date with destiny. We escaped the party and sat in the back of his mums Fiat Chroma (some car, deceivingly roomy don’t make ‘em like they used to!) and talked and talked and kissed and talked. It was the stuff of teenage movies. Innocent and sweet.
I wrote my number on the inside cover of a mix tape and in doing so signed over my heart forever.
He was different. He didn’t drink much, he conversed openly with my parents (tick), he had almost full usage of the Fiat Chroma (tick), he was well brought up (tick), had parents who still held hands, was hot (tick tick tick) and over the coming months, in one of the hottest summers I recall (temperature wise– keep it clean people), we fell in love.
I know, I know. It’s vomit inducing, but it happened.
We spent literally every moment we could together, until he told me that he had won a rugby scholarship and would be heading to New Zealand for the following academic year, while I stayed behind to do my Leaving Cert. My parents were bloody thrilled! So I again did what only I would do and I waited for him. We got to know each other through long letters posted every week and one phone call on a Sunday, he returned at Christmas for two blissful weeks, I studied, finished my exams, got into college, he returned, got a job in the Bank (solid) and our story began.
It’s pretty unremarkable really.
It’s our story.
The early years didn’t pass without their ups and downs, a few break ups, we saw other people during those times, but we always found a way back to each other, we always knew this is how it would end. I remember sitting on a curb, down the road from my parents’ house that first summer and talking about our future, wanting time to go quickly, to speed through the early days and now I’d give anything to be those two kids again for a moment, innocently planning a life that has taken many twists and turns and unexpected bumps.
We couldn’t wait to be married. We couldn’t wait to be where we are now but it’s so easy to forget our perfect moments and memories that brought us towards the vows we made to each other eight years later. And it’s funny how we can sometimes conveniently dismiss or ignore those vows during the demanding years of career and parenthood and how it’s perhaps no harm every so often to utter them to yourself or each other just as a gentle reminder during those times, that everyone of us that has ever been married, have experienced.
For better for worse.
For richer for poorer.
In sickness and in health.
All the days of our lives.
We’ve done, better for worse, for poorer, in health and we are in the throes of all the days of our live, rich hasn’t hit us yet, or sickness but we’ll get through, we always do. Now, I may be a hopeless romantic and please don’t imagine for a moment that I am even alluding to the fact that I have a perfect marriage because like the perfect jeans, it just doesn’t exist. I’m not a perfect wife nor is he a perfect husband, we don’t have perfect kids or perfect lives and I’ll be the first to throw my manicured paw in the air to admit that marriage is tougher than doing boot camp in your wedding dress.
It’s daily tough and sometimes it’s for life and sometimes it isn’t and that’s ok too.
Sometimes you fight like Conor McGregor to save it and sometimes you need to jog on.
There’s very few things in life that I’m serious about. I joke a lot, poke fun a lot but I have and will always be serious about our marriage because without getting too deep, he makes me a better version of me and I make him a better version of him. I grew up with him, grew into a wife, a mother and grew into myself, with him steadfastly by my side.
And yes I can be more challenging than playing Countdown blindfolded…
I remember once in our first year of marriage, following a fight about something I can’t even remember, ordering him to go to the attic and retrieve my suitcase. I was leaving. It was dramatic, it was volatile, it was me. So he did. He pulled down the handy retractable ladder and fetched my suitcase.
(Shit, didn’t think he’d actually do it.)
Determined, I dragged it into the bedroom, slammed the door and sat on the bed for a moment to allow him time to come in and stop me.
(Balls, this is taking a long time and I’m quite hungry.)
Not giving in and realising that he was calling my bluff, I started to pack.
(Crap, this is going to make a mess and I’m going to have to put it all back in a minute.)
I proceeded to pack my suitcase just with the folded jumpers that would be easy to put back in place when he came in to apologise.
(For Christ sake, I’m going to have to go through with this charade).
‘I’m packed now. I’m leaving. Do you have anything to say?’
‘No’, came the calm response.
(FFS, where the bloody hell will I go…)
Slamming the door, I shoved my suitcase of knitwear into the boot and drove around the block a few times, knowing I couldn’t tell anyone what a complete knob I was being and so, tail between my legs I was forced to return home. Dragging the suitcase of sweaters back into the house, he was at the door and we burst out laughing.
This is my husband.
Annoyingly calm, unflappable in a crisis, a rock of stability to me and my loopy ways. He has always supported me in every endeavour. He has always supported my fashion habit, will go without to ensure I have what I need but most of all he believes in me. He was an instant father from the moment our kids were born and never left me holding the baby.
He’s see the positives in everything, even if I told him I had been shitted on by a flock of flying ostriches, fallen down a well filled with rats, broken all my limbs and one of my nail art nails, he would say, ‘well at least your hair looks nice’.
Now he’s no angel and suffers from a severe case of social Tourette’s, which means he puts his foot in it on a daily basis. I’ve had to rocket launch myself across a room many times to put my hand over his mouth to stop him saying the wrong thing and there’s been many car journey’s on the way to a party where I coach him with what’s going on with everyone lives so he doesn’t immediately open with…
‘Lovely to see you Mary, how was rehab?’
He has more flaws than a silk blouse gone through the tumble dryer with a bag of razor blades.
But then…so do I.
We’ve battled through the ‘jocks on the floor’, financial struggles, ‘I’m not your bleedin’ mother’ arguments, sleepness nights with kids, family issues, career changes, the most challenging time when he announced he was now a vegetarian and destroyed our chances of ever been invited to dinner anywhere again, when he took up doing 100 mile races like Forrest Gump running in his good slacks and more.
And there’ll be more to come, of course there will but there is literally no other person I would want to do it all with.
I’m not too good for him, nor him too good for me. We are just good together. We are good at being a disaster together. He stands right beside me, not behind me. He recognises that I myself am strong, even when I don’t feel it but let’s me lean on him when I’m tired.
I’m no expert on marriage.
Some work, some don’t. We work most of the time. Some days better than others. But I do believe in love with all my heart. Real pure love. The kind that exists everywhere, behind so many doors, in so many hearts. It may be your husband, or wife or your best friend or your sister but real love is everywhere.
We just have to open our eyes and our hearts to it.
And we may not always get it right the first time, maybe we only find it once, maybe we find it second or third time around. Life can be full of hurt and anger and pain but it’s also full of love and kindness. It’s our choice what we let in.
I met him when I was sixteen. I signed away my heart on the inside of a tape.
For Better For Worse, For Richer for poorer, In Sickness and in Health, All the days of our lives….every challenge I overcome with you…
Now FFS give me the RICHER!!!!!
(To BO’C. Thanks for mending my unbroken heart.
To him, if sometimes I forget, I’ll always remember in time.