The New and Improved Romeo & Juliet

When I met my husband it was like love at first sight. It was not a ‘When Harry Met Sally’ saga that went on for years. It was more like a ‘Romeo & Juliet’ immediate infatuation…but without the family feuds, emotional angst and eventual double suicide.

Perhaps I should start with the night before I met him. I had come from a string of relationships that ended up going nowhere and although I felt a bit frustrated, I was nowhere near breaking point. I was young, having fun and perky enough that everything was still pointing up, which really is the epitome of youthful femininity. I was doing OK. A girlfriend and I met up for a drink and we decided to swear off guys for a while. We decided we would move to Boston and live an adventurous and fulfilling single gal existence, whilst meeting new people, travelling and generally living the ‘girls just wanna have fun’ lifestyle. After a few cocktails, this seemed like a wise and foolproof recipe for happiness and general life success.

Fast forward to the next day. I was going up to a church in Sydney who were having a evening focusing on mission. At that point I was employed by a non-profit mission organisation and it was a work night for me. Crazily, I still remember what I wore – a pale pink cotton button up shirt that was kind of cute and an ankle length denim skirt that any Amish woman would be proud of. I was not on the prowl.

When I walked into the room, almost immediately I saw him. Our eyes met across a crowded room and for a split second the world stood still. “Wow, wow, wow” was all I could think. Dark hair, dark eyes, olive complexion…the opposite to me, which I have a partiality for.

The bubble burst rapidly as my gaze was soon drawn to the kids hanging off each limb, playing on him like a jungle gym. My eyes were darting back and forth from his handsome face, to these children he was babysitting (here’s hoping), to his ring finger which was bare as a bone. Was this a single dad, widower, divorcee or doting uncle?? I needed to find out – stat. Even though I was young, I felt I knew myself well enough to realise that I wasn’t the best person to parent children not produced from my own loins. But as the night went on, the children got lost in the crowd and he was kicking back, relaxing and chatting with other adults surrounding him and I was left to the conclusion that they weren’t his kids, he was just an appropriately child loving awesome, fun dude. Another tick in the ‘pro’ column.

We were seated at tables and as luck would have it, I happened to be seated next to his ex-girlfriend’s mother. An ex-girlfriend who had recently and violently ripped out his heart, minced it up and fed it to her dogs. He has since told me that he was racking his brains as to who I was – was I some relative of his ex-girlfriend that he’d never met? Why had I been concealed from him at family events? He was on high alert too.

Carrie-met-George-0I got up and gave a talk to this crowd. He was watching and liked what he saw. Apparently the Amish look was working for him. Sitting next to him were his two close friends. He looked at his friends. His friends looked at him. There was an understanding between them. Unbeknownst to me, the mission was on for these friends to introduce us. Afterwards I was chatting to one of them, who was nodding along but not actually listening to a word I was saying. She was simply biding time and plotting an excuse to call George over…and apparently coming up blank. Our one sided conversation droned on as I attempted to promote my organisation. As home time loomed and this was the time before smart phones and Navman, I asked this girl if she knew the directions to another Sydney suburb I was headed to. This evidently woke her from her hypnosis and she burst out “No, but HE DOES!!!!” and grabbed George, as he was loitering nearby. “HE is the GURU of directions!” She then faded into the background, leaving us alone. And that was it. Sparks flew and the rest is history. We were married less than 18 months later.

The ironic part about this whole story is that George has a terrible sense of direction. He gets lost in car-parking stations semi-regularly and has a collection of street directories as large as an Agatha Christie library. It took me a little while to notice how bad his affliction actually was and then part of me felt that I had been sold a lie.

But it’s OK. For better or worse, Google Maps keeps our marriage strong.

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