Day One of my Love Story - Valentine's Day (2008)
February 14, 2008 - 11 years ago today
On Thursday, February 14, 2008 I was invited to a surprise 50th birthday party, to be held at an obscure location deep in the heart of the downtown East side of Vancouver. My parents were visiting and looking after my sons who were 10 and 12 years old at the time. I had been told by the hosts that "Bruce", a single dad with two kids, was going to be at the party and that the two of us should meet. He had been told the same thing. (I had tried to look him up online but he was nowhere to be seen.) But that didn't matter because I was determined and knew that nothing would come of it because, to be honest, I was completely happy in my life, raising my boys and just doing my own thing. I was at peace with my independent, uncomplicated, peaceful, full, chaotic, divorced, single parent, working mum life. I loved it. I mean that. Plus, I had a very strict rule. I only dated men that had never been married and had no children. (I know, that seems completely hypocritical, but that was my rule).
Then I went to the party.
The party was in a converted morgue. (I did mention obscure.) The coat check was located upstairs, the embalming room perhaps?, and for some reason I seemed to be spending a long time up there, killing time before I went downstairs. I guess I was subconsciously nervous, knowing he knew I was coming to the party. Staying goodbye to my new friend the coat check guy, I eventually walked downstairs into the crowded party room surrounded by 200 of the birthday boy's closest friends.
I had been told Bruce was tall, so did a quick, inconspicuous scan of the room (what if he was watching me?!) but didn't see him (there were two rooms I found out later). I idly went about chatting to lots of people, trying not to think about the fact that there was a man in the room who probably knew what I looked like, thanks Facebook, and could be summing me up (so unfair). It was a really fabulous party, full of lots of great people I knew, thank God (single people hate going to parties solo to then find out they don't know anyone in the room - the worst). I was having a lovely time chatting with a friend when all of a sudden, this very handsome, 6'7", dark haired man came and politely (+1 point) interrupted our conversation to introduce himself.
"Excuse me for interrupting. Hi, I'm Bruce. Are you Annabel?" (thanks Facebook)
" Hi, yes I am. And this is my friend Christy."
"I was told we were supposed to meet."
"So was I! Isn't this such a great party"
"Yes, really great. " blah blah, very easy, comfortable chatting continued...
My friend Christy was witnessing our initial interaction, which seemed so easy. Unusually easy considering we'd never, ever met.
She pipes us and says to both of us. "Wait. You two have never met?"
We said "No" at the same time (kind of cute)
She said, "No, I don't believe you."
We looked at each other, now uniting together to convince her we had never laid eyes on each other (well, he had on Facebook) let alone met.
She didn't believe us. It was very funny. We were both nervous so found it quite funny that she didn't believe us. I guess it's because we both just instantly clicked, not knowing it at the time. It was the first sprinkle of the magical love dust that we were to be graced with from that moment moving forward.
We ended up spending the entire evening at the party together. I was determined to find ONE thing that bugged me about him so I could move on (as I had mentioned, this was a great party and three were lots of people there I wanted to talk to).
Talking, laughing, joking, eating, drinking.... nothing. Not one thing was out of place. He had impeccable manners, was a listener, conversationalist, was funny, asked questions... what IS IT with this guy. He even asked me if I wanted lemon in my water! Detail oriented too! (+2,3,4 points)
Then he asked me to dance.
Well this is going to be it. The kiss of death. I have dated tall men before and trust me, most don't like to dance. They feel too big and awkward on the dance floor, like daddy long legs. But I like to dance. In fact I LOVE to dance, so if you can't dance, it's basically over..
The perfect song came on, he took my hand, walked me onto that dance floor and proceeded to twirl me around like frigging John Travolta. (+ bonus 10 points)
At that moment I realized,
I think my very strict rule was about to be bent.
To be continued.
Wishing all you single or coupled people out there a very Happy Valentine's Day.