Tomorrow marks 14 years since J and I’s first date. 14 years sounds so long, but it seems to have passed in the blink of an eye – though J often makes the hackneyed old joke, of getting less for murder. I’m sure he appreciates me really. Probably. We first met after one of my friends had told J to send me one of his demo CDs, as he wanted to play at one of our monthly music events (I used to run a music/arts organisation in York). I listened to the CD, called friends in to listen for their verdict, and decided to give him a go at one of our upcoming gigs. This sounds like we were choosy, we really weren’t, and we were open to all acts, and so I don’t know why I was suddenly attempting some level of professionalism. Although, this was also in the months before we put on a two day music festival, and so I think I was probably just getting carried away by (my own idea of) my own importance.
Anyway he came to the gig, played his set, wowed the crowd (so much so we asked him to play the festival there and then) and then went home. I got a text a few days later asking if I’d go along with some friends to support him at a local music competition, he’d only recently moved back to York, so didn’t know many people, and it was a crowd vote type thing. I went with a few friends and had a very enjoyable evening chatting away to J (he didn’t get through to the next round, despite getting our vote, but the guy who beat him went on to win the whole thing), got merrily tipsy and headed home – where I was egged on to text J something really subtle and coy like “I quite fancy you”. I was drunk, what can I say?! And I still think it’s better than one of my other friend’s chat up texts at the time, which consisted of “Hi.” The full stop was very important, apparently. Anyway, it worked, and we started dating.
When we got together, one of my work colleagues called him a ‘fledgling rockstar’ (something which J loved) and I was an administrator by day, and events organiser by night.
Our first year together was a tough one, the festival didn’t get the crowds needed (probably due to the fact we weren’t really sure what we were doing, as well as a less than useful local council, interfering every, single, step of the way) and so I was really rather stressed, I became really rather skint and the arts forum folded within a year.
Within two years of being together, we moved up to the North East, and it took me quite a long time to be happy to return to York, because of the arts forum history I always felt burdened with, when we returned there. Living in the North East was great for us as a couple, we only had each other there, as we’d moved to an area where we knew no one (sound familiar?), and so had to rely on each other being there for everything.
We were together five years before J finally got down on one knee, and popped the question (after first asking my dad in our local pub, he’s very old fashioned like that, and they both like a drink). The proposal was somewhat ruined, by me having a bit of a strop beforehand, about being walked over slippery rocks and falling on my bum, but it was perfect and we went home and drank champagne whilst calling everyone we knew, to share the good news.
Our wedding all passed in a bit of a blur, as all good parties do. I barely saw J at the evening do, and spent much of the night out front smoking and drinking dark rum and coke, I was such a classy bride. But it was a great party.
We’d decided to wait a couple of years to try for kids, because we wanted to really enjoy not having to save for anything (we’d spent almost two years saving for the wedding), and just being together. Once we did decide to have kids, things didn’t really go as planned (see A Family, Forever), and a few years passed before we were blessed (though some days I need reminding they are a blessing) with the boy coming into our lives, shortly followed by his little sister. Being parents has been tough, but we made a deal when we got into it, that we’d always stand by each other’s decisions and not undermine each other, and as a rule we do, unless one of us (me) has been particularly unreasonable.
We argue infrequently, bicker sometimes, and laugh a lot, mainly at totally inappropriate things. I won’t pretend we don’t get on each other’s nerves at times because, of course, we do, but as John Bishop once said, once you’ve lived with someone this long, even the sound of them breathing can be really bloody irritating at times (particularly when watching a really tense scene in a film).