One crowded hour

G and I met and then married, in the space of about 14 weeks.

I’d known G for about 3 weeks and thought he was a “really nice guy” but “not my type” when we were both invited to a dinner party at a friends house. We were seated across from each other at the table and as the night went on, I became more and more enamored by him. I remember 3 distinct things about G that night.

  1. He asked if I was going to finish my lamb shanks and then proceeded to swap plates. Thirteen years later and he’s still doing this.
  2. When I asked where he thought he’d end up living, he said “I don’t mind, I think I’d like to travel for awhile. I know it sounds corny, but wouldn’t it be great to just be an ordinary person living an extraordinary life”
  3. I left the dinner party somehow knowing I would end up married to G. I just wasn’t sure how it was going to happen as he didn’t have my telephone number. 

Within a week I’d managed to organize running in to him again, once we were together that was it, we were inseparable. Three weeks later we were engaged. He got down on his knees in a nightclub and said “I’ve just realized I’m going to dance with you for the rest of my life”.

He had to go away on business and wrote me a 12 page letter from the airport terminal. He quoted Mordaunt.

“Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife, Throughout the sensual world proclaim, One crowded hour of glorious life, Is worth an age without a name.”

And then he wrote “I would take one glorious hour with you, rather than live without you”.

Quotes, dinners, presents, flowers – he was like something out of a movie. I was completely swept up in the whirlwind of G. One morning as I was showering for work he knocked on the door and said “you better hurry up, we have to be at the airport in 45 minutes, we’re going to Byron Bay”. I was mid shampoo.

“I can’t – I have to go to work”

There was a grin.

“I’ve spoken to them, it’s organized, c’mon hurry up!”

We stayed in a beautiful balinese style bed and breakfast across from the water, it was divine. It was all divine, the wedding, the tropical sex fest honeymoon, our first Christmas, deciding to move to Jakarta, finding out we were pregnant.

It was all shiny and new and then slowly the gloss started to fade. Reality didn’t just bite, it snapped ferociously. In a game of how much can you handle, we doubled up and bet high. The first baby, the second move, the second baby, the third move, the third baby, the fourth move and we’d just made it to our 5th wedding anniversary.

We were tired, I was pregnant for 196 years. G was working his arse off and at one stage traveling for about 70% of the year. We didn’t seem to be saving any money, we talked about budgets and fought over excel spreadsheets. We spent our weekends shopping in discount supermarkets. We drove the Little Travelers to the airport to watch the planes take off for entertainment, while we drank coffee from a thermos from home. It was not sexy.

I was driving with three little travelers in the snow, they were screaming in the car and G was in Paris. I stared at the ringing phone in the passengers seat and thought – I can’t pick it up because I hate your guts so much at the moment, if I talk to you, I might just tell you.

Two weeks later moments after I reversed our uninsured car in to a truck, I rang G at the office. I didn’t want to tell him. How do you explain a $3000 mishap when you’re living week to week?

When he began laughing, for a split second I thought this may have been the end. Maybe he’d actually started to go nuts. He couldn’t stop laughing, and then finally when he could speak he said “You have to laugh right? I mean it’s funny – no one’s hurt, it’s okay.”

He told me a story about his mother. How she’d driven through the garage door on the day that they were selling their home. I began to smile as he told me about the auctioneer having to explain it to all prospective buyers. And in that moment we were both laughing.

This morning I woke up to an empty bed. G had been up since 4 working on a presentation, he’d walked the dog and talked to a neighbour in Australia. “Happy Anniversary” he said as he passed me a familiar little pale green bag. And for about five minutes it was us – and then the Little Travelers arrived. Someone felt sick, someone wanted breakfast, someone couldn’t find their homework, someone wanted to wear their Christmas dress to school. “I have to go, I have to be in early this morning” and he was gone.

As I drove home from school I admired my new earrings in the rear view mirror and thought about a childless dinner tonight. I thought about the past 13 years, the times we’ve had to stand by each others side, listen to the same old stories and ignore the embellishments. The times where G has held my hand, the babies, the job interviews, the school concerts, the death of a friend.

An email came though, 4748 was the subject title. “Incase you were wondering, this is how many days we’ve been married”.

And this is why I’m still married to G.

Happy Anniversary – it’s been far from ordinary.

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  1. Your married to your best friend – through the good the bad the terrible and the triumphs…

    someone who is bothered to work out how many days you have been married is a keeper for sure.

    happy anniversary.

  2. Well, thanks for making me cry. Love you both so much x

  3. Happy anniversary. Here’s to many more. 🙂

  4. You made me tear up. *sniff*

  5. Beautiful.
    It is the simple, thoughtful things that make it all worthwhile.
    Happy anniversay!

  6. I LOVE this post so much that I just read it on my phone, got out my laptop to comment. Happy Anniversary. I get this, so much of it, and I love that you shared it all with us x

  7. Such a great post! Still smiling about it….. It was so lovely to get a snap shot of your last 13 years, I remember clearly pre-G and all the wild things you were getting up to, the Monday morning updates at work! I remember meeting G at the Kublai Khan on Glen Osmond road and you must of been engaged by then. Your wedding holds the record for the hottest one we’ve ever attended – I can still see the guys in suits in the church, it must of been 48deg +. After 13 years clearly you are as crazy for each other as you were back then – congratulations, keep living the dream!

  8. Kath Lockett says

    That is just beautiful.  Yours and Gs story is what love is made of, not whatever is portrayed by the Kardashians on telly or mucho-married actors on the silver screen.  

    …and I ‘knew’ that Love Chunks was the one on our first date. However, we took a little longer than you two to get engaged/married – six months!  (and now, still plodding along together over 18 years later!)

  9. Yay, happy anniversary. 
    You know my deal, we don’t even celebrate anniversaries as he’s missed 11 of them, we just focus on the future where there are no wars for him to fight & he’s home, with us, sharing thsi raising of 4 children.  People always say we’re still so in love because we’re on constant honeymoon phase with all the time apart, but trust me, we’ve been tested like you, moves, children, far from family, deaths in the family & friends, living on nothing, if that is not love holding us together, nothing is!!  Congratulations, i could have married my husband within weeks of meeting him too, only i was a teenager, scary, 18 years ago.  Enjoy those pretty earrings, lucky duck, love Posie

  10. Oh my God Kirsty, tears are streaming down my cheeks. All my love to both of you. Can’t wait to meet you one day. Vxxx

  11. Beautiful Kirsty, I loved it.  As I type this my husband lies in a hotel bed in another city. This is something we’ve been used to, over the many years we’ve been together. As a couple you do have your moments, but I believe when you’ve been through so much and it’s been so long, there are different stages, even different ‘marriages’ within the marriage in a way. It’s wonderful when as a team you ride out the ordinary or bad times and find great ones again. I recently wrote our story as a guest post and I can tell you just the act of reminiscing brought back great joy in an instant. Happy Anniversary!

  12. Gorgeous post  –  Happy Anniversary 🙂

  13. Oh wow, just gorgeous Kirsty. This really touched me. I’m so happy for you and your beautiful family and the love you all share.

  14. I must agree with Sarah-Jane. What a gorgeous post.
    Happy anniversary

  15. God I must be a soppy cow! All your posts these days just make me well up!
    Happy Anniversary to you both 🙂

    (And please God may I one day be able to write like Kirsty)

  16. I love reading posts like this lovely one of yours, about people happily married who know how to make it through the tough times and come out stronger. You’ve written a great ode to your marriage. And I enjoyed your story because I have a similar one, and I know how it feels to be married to the right guy.

    Happy anniversary!

  17. Nebulouschicken says

    So beautiful to read that post. Happy anniversary to you both x

  18. I also agree with Sarah Jane! so well written and expressed. Happy Anniversary!

  19. I loved reading this post.  Know so much about the drudgery and deliriousness of marriage (having been married to the wrong guy and now the right guy).  Even with the right guy its difficult sometimes.  In this instant society, we don’t want to stay the distance.  Well done for staying the distance, and chink to you and your G (if you can be chinking in Qatar).

  20. Oh, here I am, welling up, too, That was beautiful — thank you for sharing. Happy anniversary — and wishing you many many many more to come…

  21. That’s such an amazing story! What a great relationship too. By the way, I have beagle too. 🙂

  22. Hopefully, I’ll find that the next time . 🙂

  23. Your beautiful story made me cry – and its only 9am here in Australia! Claudia

  24. Great post – Happy Anniversary to both of you.  Have a ggreat time together whenever and wherever that may be.

  25. Wow.
    Just wow.
    We ‘knew’ that quickly too, but I accidentally foiled his first planned proposal by guessing what he was up to, so he decided to wait another 6 months. It’s worked out okay, more than 25 years later we’re still ruining each other’s surprises.

  26. Happy Anniversary! 🙂 

  27. catrionaling says

    Made me smile – don’t know whether it’s G for Gorgeous – but sounds as if it should be!  Happy Anniversary. Cx

  28. catrionaling says

    Made me smile – don’t know whether it’s G for Gorgeous, but perhaps it should be!  Happy Anniversary. Cx

  29. New reader here, just looking for fellow Qatar bloggers. But I may be hooked. That is an incredibly beautiful post. I love the Mordaunt quote. And you sum up your lives together, both the struggle and the joy, so beautifully. I might have to share this with my husband.

  30. Kirsty this is a stunning post. Your honest writing just gave me goosebumps! I think you two sound like extraordinary people living an extraordinary life. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary.

  31. That was so sweet, I hope you don’t mind if I share it.

  32. I love you for telling the world that you have felt like you hated him at times. Realer than real. Happy anniversary to you both. xxx

  33. That is just gorgeous. And truly wonderful.
    Happy anniversary.

    LCM x

  34. Oh! I’m teary. What a beautiful, beautiful post. Happy anniversary x

  35. Unforgettable experience 🙂 congrats! 

  36. Beautiful post!

  37. Gorgeous words Kirst!! Can’t believe it’s been 13 years, that just blows me away. Happy Anniversary and big hugs to G. Jenx

  38. Oh lord, here from today’s post, and this is just gorgeous. My Al and I do Happy Wednesdays – we met on a wednesday and for a while this meant we dined out on a Wednesday too. Now every few weeks we remember what day of the week it is and say our familiar phrase, two kids, numerous flights but only one move in the last 6 years – and I think he might be able to calculate the weeks.

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