We met online in March of 2001—a completely random and chance meeting, all because he had posted an Oscar Wilde quote that I liked on an online profile. We met in person for the first time in August of that year, when I traveled to Britain on a long-planned holiday to see other friends there. What was meant to be meeting up for a drink turned into ten days together traveling all over Britain, including the most disastrous camping trip of all time, sleeping outdoors at a bus stop, seeing Margaret Cho at the Edinburgh Festival, laying in the grass at St. James park, listening to a pipe and drum band under the Scots Monument, feeding the birds crumbs of our cheese sandwiches at Dog Falls in Glen Affric, and lots of time looking at each other wondering what the hell was going on, exactly.
When I flew to Scotland to live there for awhile, to get to know his friends and family before we returned to America to get married in June of 2002, we had spent a total of five weeks in each other’s company. Countless hours on the phone and computer, but only five weeks—and vacation weeks at that, with no jobs or bills or daily stressors—together, face to face, getting to know each other’s quirks and idiosyncrasies. Five weeks on our best behavior.
Now here we are, three years later. The number of disagreements we’ve had I can count on one hand, though I couldn’t tell you what any of them were about. We still can’t get to bed on time, because it’s always more fun to lay awake in the dark, talking endlessly about anything and everything, having the same conversations over and over, and never tiring of them. We drive each other insane, and we make each other laugh.
For the past year and a half, we’ve worked together, too, in side-by-side offices at the same company. Tomorrow, Mr. Shakes starts a new job, and I’m going to miss him desperately. Nothing makes a workday easier to get through than knowing a good snog is a few feet away.
Sometimes we talk about how utterly insane it was to take the risk we did. It could have been an absolute disaster, which never really occurred to us at the time. But, like I said, sometimes crazy ideas are good ones, too.
My favorite photo of Mr. Shakes, the posterboy for Scottish genetics.
Taken the week we met, and he’s already giving me the “I’m-pretending-to-be-annoyed-and-trying-not-to-grin” look I’ve come to know so well.