Friday was Big-P and my 5th Wedding Anniversary, which means we have now been together for 10 years.
A lovely ten years that feels like it has gone by in a heart beat as well as feeling as though we have been together forever – as these things go.
About this time of year 10 years ago I had a big crush on a nice Canadian boy called Phil who had been introduced to me by an old friend and housemate who thought we might hit it off. We met and smiled at one another and my crush began. After a few weeks, and an initial flash of excitement on all sides, our mutual friend was trying to test out how keen I really was on this new boy. He said to me, “You know, he wears socks with his sandals.” and waited for my reaction. But I was not to be deterred plus I realised the sandals he was talking about were Birkenstocks which were very cool c. 1996, and also I was busy thinking “How Canadian! Socks with Birkenstocks! That’s how you have to wear sandals in cold climates!”, as anything remotely Canadian connected to Big-P seemed quite exotic. So I told him this wasn’t a problem, not at all. I was unshaken.
Then he went on to tell me that he was an enormous computer nerd, spending hours and hours in front of the computer at the expense of other bits of life. Nor did I see this to be a problem. In fact a very early get together was when Big-P set up my new computer for me and it was incredibly buzzy (if you know what I mean) to have Big-P being all manly and nerdy and computery just for me. I like nerds. Nerds are nice. If the internet was anything like it is now back then I am sure we would have been doing huge amounts of flirting over instant messenger.
So our mutual friend plowed on. He told me that Big-P wore enormously huge thick glasses when he was working at his computer. I later discovered that this wasn’t particularly true (at all), but something that our mutual friend fabricated to test my crush level. Never-the-less even when I thought it might be so, I was truly gah-gah. I couldn’t help but think how wonderful it was that this gorgeous boy with the sensational eye-lashes was obviously totally unconcerned with fashion and image and wore socks with sandals and an enormous pair of thick glasses. He was getting more and more perfect. And then our mutual friend said “and he has a tattoo” – No problem! – so he added “of a huge tiger – right across his back!” — “woooah!” I thought. How exotically Canadian he is, and how nerdy he is – and how weird (and a a bit tacky) too! An enormous tiger tattoo! Of course the tiger tattoo was also just a bit made up. Big-P does have a tattoo but unfortunately nothing so extreme as an enormous tiger.
Our mutual friend did a very good job of throwing us together. On one very memorable occasion, which has become part of our early relationship mythology, both our mutual friend and Big-P “happened” to turn up to a date I was on with another of our mutual friends — and Big-P happened to do a lot of accidental knee bumping with me under the table and then our friend drove us all home, dropping my date off first. It was sabotage! It worked!
Thank you, old mutual friend, who we have lost touch with more or less over these years, but what an important part of us he is – and I am very grateful. And finally Big-P and I were established as housemates and best mates. It was all very easy. That’s the nicest thing – it’s all been very easy doing this life thing with Big-P. Even the tough bits are much better for him being here. Love ya Phil. Here’s to another bunch of years.