I have to confess I’ve not been keeping up with my Listserv reading so if you’re reading this let me first say thank you for indulging me a few moments.
I live in a desert in the north west of Australia, what I like to call Mad Max country. As a result my oldest son goes to boarding school far away and we see him once a month. This has been hard on me (not on him, he loves it) as I always wanted to be there for all his experiences.
So I wanted to share a little something with him, and I guess all of you, about love and about his mother.
I had known Gayle for a few years in passing as a friend, actually a girlfriend, of a friend. After I’d been away for a while, I went for drinks with friends at the house she was living at. She was single at the time and so was I and during the slightly intoxicated chatting we accidentally finished each other’s sentence. We glanced at each other, she smiled slyly, I grinned like a Muppet, and a spark leapt between us.
I know, I know; it sounds painfully cliché. We might as well be bumping into each other on a snowy night in New York and getting Christmas presents mixed up. But I swear that’s how it happened. The spark was soon followed by thunder bolts, fireworks, the whole deal.
Admittedly we both tried to play it cool at first, or at least convince ourselves we were playing it cool. But nine months later I cracked, I was away for work again at a resort at a nearby island called Rottnest (supposedly Dutch for Rats Nest as the poor Danish explorers thought the tiny kangaroo type marsupials called Quokkas were giant rats), when I called her and asked her to marry me. We threw together an amazing wedding in three weeks and have spent the last decade and a half on our honeymoon.
Now my son, and you, might ask why I was so damn sure about this girl. But I didn’t really do any maths over it, It just seemed like destiny. But looking back now I see so many things about my wife I desired, her strength, her independence, her passion, her kindness, her intelligence and her considerable beauty; faced with all that when it came to loving her I didn’t have a choice.
Love should always be easy, marriage is hard and takes work, relationships are hard, but the love should be easy. If you’re in a relationship and the love is tough work but the relationship is easy, then it’s not going to work, bad news, your dating someone you should be friends with.
Get rid of lists and all preconceived notions. If you’re looking for someone in a select range of interests, or of a particular appearance, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Because when love strikes it ignores all of that.
When it does happen, when you know, it’s indescribably wonderful, you feel like the luckiest person in the world. And no matter how much of a sceptical, cynical smart arse I claim to be, and I do, I absolutely believe in that one small piece of magic that can happen between two people. That spark that seems so ethereal, seemingly magical, that you hear many people express doubts it exists all together. But I have never doubted its existence.
Because it happened to me.