Thursday, 8 September 2011
Ten years ago today I agreed to meet a man I didn't know...
I was on the way home from work, on the bus, when my mobile phone rang and I knew it was the guy that my friend had been telling me about. She hadn't met him but she knew his sister and they both thought that we should be set up - a blind date.
I was a newly qualified barrister, living the twenty-somthing life in London and working too hard. My career was everything to me and I got up early to start work and worked late. I worked at the weekends and on public holidays. This guy was also working hard. He was a banker and spent long hours in front of screens, taking a break only to go to the gym. We had one thing in common, we both needed a distraction.
I don't remember much from that first phone call but, of course, we made plans to meet and then I do remember that he stalled hanging up and asked me about my day. How lovely of him to show an interest.
On Saturday 8 September 2001, we met for the first time. He had been sent photos of me and I was told he was dark haired and would probably be wearing dark clothing (these were his words!). It was a lovely first date: lunch at Giraffe in Hampstead and a walk on the heath. I was on the way home, on the bus, when he called to ask to see me again.
It was my first (and will likely be my only!) blind date and ten years, four homes, one wedding, two kids, two countries, many laughs (and a few tears) later, here we are. The career that was my most pressing priority is on hold and now I have very different routines filling my days. It feels like we have been through so much together and yet I hope there is much more to come.
If anyone had shown me then a snapshot of our life now, I would have struggled to believe it. So today, as I think back over our time together, I wonder where the next 10 years will take us. Wherever we go, I hope we go together. That dark stranger has become my best friend and that day back in 2001 was the beginning of something very special.