Family

Last but not least

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I met Nick back in the UK. This was in 2002. I was just some girl in a pub and he was just some guy in a pub. My friends knew his friends and his friends knew my friends. He seemed like a nice enough guy but then I was a single fun-loving girl with a few options as far as dates were concerned. I’ve often said that time in my life was a bit like waiting for a London bus. When you need one, there’s never one around. Suddenly when your not in need of one, 5 turn up. Boyfriends were a bit like that for me just around the time I met Nick. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t looking that I became so attractive to these men who were interested in me.

We used to live in a town call Redhill in Surrey. The local nightclub, which has since closed down, was called The Embassy. My friends and I would occasionally wonder over after having had a few drinks at the local. I would see Nick over there with his friends. I knew he was interested in me but I just wasn’t ready for what he wanted. We spent about 3 months becoming friends. He’d asked me out so many times I lost count. He’d been knocked back so many times but still he kept asking. He has said to me that he was close on giving up and moving on.

One day, I decided I was being silly and agreed to go on a date with him. He couldn’t believe his luck!

Being only 20 then, going to Chessington World of Adventures (a theme park about 25 minutes away) seemed like a fun idea.

Having spent my childhood growing up in South Africa, things were done very differently. I was dropped off everywhere and collected from everywhere. I never had to use public transport and in fact South Africa didn’t really have public transport. It was also a matter of safety. Girls trying to get home on their own at night was a big NO!

I finished my high school career and had the choice of attending university or doing some travel to the UK. I didn’t grow up having this dream of becoming a …………. (Insert the appropriate word here). There were many things I liked the sound of. I’d looked at journalism and law and could have done either. In the end I chose travel. At the age of 18, I hopped on a plane. Fearless and independent! Off I went on this adventure.

I had been living in the UK for just under a year, when mum and dad moved over permanently. I had no reason to return to South Africa. I had a good set of friends and was really having fun. That’s when I met Nick.

So back to Chessington World of Adventures – this seemed like a good idea. Fun and exhilarating. A date AND heart stopping rides – what better combination!

Nick collected me in his shiny new Astra (which by the way turned out to belong to his father!) and off we went. We had a good time. I really enjoyed his company. Having been friends for a little while all ready, I knew he was a nice guy. It was easy to like him. Then it came time to leave…

That’s when the fun really started! Making our way back to the car, Nick discovered the keys weren’t in his pocket. He was sure that’s where they had been. It seemed the keys had managed to make their way out of his pocket on one of the roller coasters and flung off into the bushes somewhere never to be seen again!

Feeling slightly sheepish, he phoned his parents to ask if they could bring him the spare keys. His mother declined which meant we really were stuck.

Being the good little South african I was, I phoned my mum. She reluctantly agreed to fetch the spare keys and bring them to us. There was only one catch – she had to meet Nick’s parents! The keys where at their house!

Do you remember what it felt like introducing parents to parents? Potential in-laws! A very scary moment under normal circumstances!

I was feeling very uncomfortable and slightly embarrassed by the whole situation. What happened if his parents weren’t nice and my bubble burst? After all what kind of parents left their child stranded in Chessington with no keys? Would my parents think that he wasn’t good enough for me because clearly they were very different from us?

Needless to say it all worked out in the end. 13 years and 2 children later. I couldn’t love him more. He’s a wonderful father and alright, I’ll admit it, he’s a great husband. After all, how many women can say their husband is a fairy?

He cooks, he cleans and he even untangles my sweaty gym knickers from my gym leggings. Now that’s got to be true love. He gets my crazy and loves me anyway.

Our relationship isn’t perfect and there are things about him that drive me crazy. Like his need to sit down for 5 minutes after dinner to let his food go down BEFORE tidying the kitchen or the fact he’d sweep up little piles of dirt but never actually put them in the bin. There would be certain spots around the house where you were guaranteed to find a dirt pile! His ability to sleep through crying children or that he would be snoring in a matter of seconds if he did get up to one of the kids. I’d still be lying there after 2 hours twiddling my thumbs and be incredibly frustrated!

I have got it good and appreciate him.

Do you have a funny first date story? Or perhaps your partner has some annoying habits that drive you crazy? Share your stories with me.

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