Although we were married in September 2009, Julie and I generally celebrate the 4th of November as our anniversary. It’s because this is the date we first met, fourteen years ago today, on a blind date.
In 2000, my life was in something of an upheaval. My friend and crew-mate decided that he would sort me out. He told me about a woman who worked with his wife, and said that he was sure we would hit it off. I was far from keen on this sort of dating. As he had also told me that she was nine years younger than me, I was convinced that she would not be interested. He insisted that I take her telephone number, and give serious thought to contacting her. I gave it a while, and eventually phoned, mostly apologetic to be bothering her. I need not have worried. We chatted easily, and for a considerable time. Understandably, she said that she would prefer to meet me in the company of our mutual friends. We lived almost thirty miles apart, so it made sense for them to visit as a group. The arrangements were made, and in the meantime, we chatted on the telephone, on a regular basis.
By the 4th November, we had already found out quite a lot about each other, but still had little idea what we looked like. They decided to come to my flat in Camden. My friends also brought their three children along, so I decided to just offer pizzas and snacks, to make life easier in the small flat. When they arrived, I was very happy to see that Julie looked very nice indeed. She looked younger than I had expected, and she was immediately very friendly, and easy to talk to in person. It was quite a hectic evening, with the kids playing, and making a lot of noise. At one stage, I decided to go across to the shops for something, and asked my friend to accompany me. On the way, I told him that I was convinced Julie wasn’t very interested. She was chatty, but hardly looked at me, spending time with their small baby, and occasionally glancing across. He said that he had asked his wife, and she had told him that Julie did like me, and thought that I was a nice bloke. It was like a scene played out in a school playground, and I felt very silly. Mind you, I was 48 at the time.
Later on, we got some time alone in the kitchen, and relaxed into easy familiarity. It was soon apparent that we were going to get on very well, and arrangements were made for a second date soon after. Fourteen years later, we are very happy, in our new life together in Norfolk. Married for five years, and having endured life’s ups and downs; new jobs, family bereavements, and all the usual dilemmas that modern life has to offer. From that awkward blind date all those years ago, we have cemented a relationship that will endure until one of us dies, and I cannot imagine ever being without her. We are going for a meal tonight, to a recommended local country pub. Following that, we can look forward to the next fourteen years.