Friday, 14 February 2014

meeting Mr Right

This pic is actually an HD wallpaper.  You can get it here
As the last fireworks fizzled out and we welcomed in the year 2000 I struggled to hold back the tears.

My best friend had just announced her plans to start a family, and I was thrilled for her (and I'm thrilled to be a godmother to her fabulous daughter), but I knew that my own relationship was going the same way as those fireworks.

We should have given up already. We'd known for a few months that it wasn't working, but we weren't quite ready to move on. A few weeks later, he let me know that he was ready. There was no 'us' anymore.

Single, on a rubbish salary, and saving up to go back to university, at the age of 26 I went back to my Mum's.  Mum was good to put me up, and charged me a low rent so I could save up for Uni, but it didn't work.  We were both used to having our own space.  I needed to find somewhere else to live, but where?

All my friends were already in flat-shares or with partners.  I could have afforded to get a rubbish bed-sit.  But I couldn't have afforded much else.  I certainly wouldn't be going back to Uni any time soon.

So I sat myself down and had a think about what I really wanted out of life.  I decided that the things I really wanted at that point in my life were twofold:
  1. I wanted to go back to University to get better qualified and get a better job.
  2. I wanted a man who was good looking, funny, good to his friends, intelligent, not afraid of commitment, wanting to have kids, and capable of having a good career.
Not much then!

I decided to stay at Mums for as long as I could to save up money.  It seemed to me that the best way to find an intelligent man was to hang out at University.  Meanwhile I was working at University, so I started checking out the staff.

I started stalking the staff pages of the University intranet.  Working by department.  Happily there was a brief bio for the staff members, and a photo.  I started eating lunch in the refectory.  This was especially good in the holidays when the pesky students didn't get in the way.  I met a lot of lecturers and researchers doing this.  One of the lecturers I met in the refectory arranged a date... but he phoned me just before it happened, to let me know that he'd actually got back with his wife.  Perhaps he had forgotten to mention her?

I noticed that two of the men I was interested in were going to the pub together with a bunch of other men on a Friday night (I hadn't followed them - they went to the pub next to my bus stop).  So one Friday night I went in.  I feined meeting a girlfriend, and asked to sit with them so I wouldn't look like I was alone.  I ended up seeing one of the men... until he didn't turn up one Friday and his mate told me he was actually engaged.

Despite my stalking behaviour, things were not going to plan.  Things at home weren't going so great either.

Hall of Residence - the refectory is pictured.
The food may not have been good, but I
neither made it nor washed up.
A friend of mine brought to my attention that the University was looking for wardens for its Halls of Residence, and that I was eligible to apply.  He warned me though that most wardens were blokes doing their PhDs.


I got the job, and was the last warden employed at the biggest Hall of Residence.  I was in a rubbish flat, but that didn't matter.  I was out of home, with free rent and food (in a refectory - no cooking - result!), and a whole lot of time to spend with 18 other wardens.  Only four of them were women.

I made friends, but I didn't get a boyfriend.  The guy with the fiance had put me off stalking however, so I concentrated on hanging out with my new friends.  I went to the pub with them after work on Fridays (to a different pub).  I drank A LOT.  I formed strong friendships, which are still intact, and I met a lovely man.  He was good looking, he was good to his friends, he was funny, he was doing a PhD, he was Scottish (he said gurrrl for girl, he wore a kilt to special occasions), and he wasn't afraid of commitment.  How did I know?  He was in a relationship.  Still, I thought he'd have friends of similar worth, so I hung out with him.  I laughed a lot.

One day he wasn't feeling so funny.  It was a Wednesday, and we had to sit at High Table in the refectory because that was tradition.  I sat next to him.  I asked if he was OK, and in his incredibly gorgeous Scottish accent, he told me that he wasn't really OK, because his gurrrlfriend had dumped him.  Back then, people didn't say OMG.  So I didn't.  I said that was rubbish, and I didn't know what to say.  And then I got out of there.  Because there was no way I wanted to be a rebound... but I wanted to be there when he stopped bouncing.

Reader, I married him.
And there I was.  And he was surprised that I was interested, which was about the last time he was ever surprised at anything, because if I have a thought I say it.  His accent has softened, and he no longer says gurrrl, but it is still lovely, and he still wears kilts to special occasions (he has to - his Uncle has a kilt hire company).  He still makes me laugh, he's still good to his friends and he is terribly terribly clever.  He's not so much a Mr Right as a Dr McKee, and I'm very glad I met him.

Have you found your Mr Right/Ms Right yet?  If not, are you looking?  And if so, how did you meet?

Other posts you might like:
The book challenge
Words at 16/2/14 - 55,707 (up 3,054 since challenge began)
Where I'm at in First Draft - beginning of Chapter 10 (one chapter on).
What I did last - scenes with my hero.