Saturday, 14 February 2015

Love actually

I think it's about time this entry from February 2012 was reposted....

It's funny how when you start a relationship with someone, you've no idea how long it's going to last. It could be 30 days or 30 years. Or 30 minutes. Which is one reason why making out with someone new is so exciting.

When I first met Jenny at a central London bookshop and nervously fixed a date, I hadn't a clue what would happen.

We might have had a violent argument 10 minutes later and both walked off in a huff. We might have tried our best to get on with each other and decided it was a case of Mr Chalk and Ms Cheese. One of us might have had some personal passion the other totally detested.

If anyone had predicted we'd still be seriously in love over three decades later, I'd have scoffed and told them to catch themselves on*. I'd have said, how likely is that when relationships come and go like taxis. Surely sooner or later we'll get bored with each other, get itchy feet, and start looking for an upgrade.

But the months and years rolled on and in some mysterious way we found ourselves still together, still enamoured, despite all the predictable squabbles, misunderstandings, grievances and stand-offs. They were never severe enough to break the deep bond that had somehow established itself.

That we've reached the present day in such enduring harmony never ceases to amaze me. It's as if we've been on a long journey through unfamiliar territory with a thousand opportunities to get lost, get eaten by wolves, fall into a ravine or be crushed by a landslide, and by some miracle we've avoided all the dangers and reached our destination.

I can only give thanks to whatever guardian angel is looking after us and keeping this old banger** on the road.

* come down to earth. A common Northern Irish expression.

** the relationship that is. Not Jenny or me.

(I've changed the image again. Jenny and I have slipped back into anonymity. Well, you've all seen the real us now....)

32 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Nick,

This is such a lovely, tender post. You are both blessed indeed to have such a warm and loving relationship. But, it will also, if our experience is anything to go by, be the result of compromise, respect and kindness.

May today especially be a happy day for you both. And, how wonderful it is that you have a Valentine love by your side every day of the year not just today.

Nick said...

Jane and Lance: Thanks! Yes, compromise, respect and kindness are very important, and there's been plenty of that along the way.

Bijoux said...

Congratulations on your long-lasting relationship, Nick. May you both enjoy this day of love.

Liz Hinds said...

Lovely. A beautiful tribute to love that perseveres and forgives as well as enjoys the good times.

Nick said...

Bijoux and Liz: Thanks!

susie said...

Thirty years and you still like each other? That's amazing.

;)

Mike said...

In this day and age, long-term relationships are the exception, it seems, rather than the rule.

Some said ours was doomed from the beginning... asked her to marry me two weeks after we met, and she was gone out of state for her sister's wedding most of that two weeks. Five weeks after I asked, we were married. I was 20, she was 19.

Doomed from the beginning... to have a lasting relationship. We met in April, 1972.

Nick said...

Susie: We do, we have such fun together! No mid-life crises, no furtive affairs with younger women/ men, no envying other couples. What is WRONG with us, ha ha.

Mike: That's pretty good going. You two must be very compatible. So much for that old saying "Marry in haste, repent at leisure"!

Wisewebwoman said...

Lovely post Nick, so happy for you and Jenny, long may it endure :)

XO
WWW

Nick said...

www: Thanks! I expect we'll still be enamoured as we totter round the old folk's home on our zimmer frames.

Ramana Rajgopaul said...

Congratulations and my best wishes to both of you for many more happy years together.

the fly in the web said...

That was a lovely post....and may the old banger continue on the road for many years to come.

Nick said...

Ramana: Thanks!

Fly: I dare say it will, as long as the wheels don't fall off and the steering doesn't fail.

Cheerful Monk said...

Yay, long-term relationships! We've been married over 50 years now. We were both the stodgy type to marry for life, so the length isn't that surprising. But it was impossible to predict that we would spend so much time laughing together.

Nick said...

Jean: I still find it remarkable that we've stuck together for so long. What makes one relationship collapse after 6 months while another just goes on and on for decades? I can't explain it at all.

Ursula said...

How nice it would have been to see a photo of the real life Jenny and Nick. Instead, how shortsighted, you chose a couple of models in the employ of I don't know: Was it Boots Opticians or, more likely, Spec Savers?

Call me a heathen: Why do couples feel the need to be congratulated on the longevity of their relationship? Makes it sound like an endurance test. Which, surely, it isn't.

U

Nick said...

Ursula: Well, yes, perhaps it's about time I showed you the real Jenny and Nick. It'll have to be later though, I don't have access to all my photos right now.

I wasn't calling for congratulations, obviously the quality of the relationship is more important than the length, but I assume the congratulations all had the quality in mind as well!

Grannymar said...

May the 'old banger' roll along through many romantic trails for you and Jenny, in years yet to come.

Nick said...

Grannymar: Thanks! And yes, the romance is still there after all these years....

Grannymar said...

Nice photo of Jenny, You of course I know from real meetings.

Nick said...

Grannymar: Well, it might be my twin brother of course....

Keith Smith said...

Now I'm confused. You said the picture was of another couple the last time I visited your site, and now Grannymar says it's a nice photo of Jenny? I admit she looks great, but I'm not so sure about the picture of the man though, looks like a police mugshot!

Ursula said...

Who needs models when the real thing is so much better?

A truly heart warming moment, Nick, for you to come out of your cautious shell and let us see you and Jenny "in the flesh". Suddenly there is (for me) so much more meat on the bones of your life.

I am touched, Nick.

U

Nick said...

Keith: Ursula thought it was about time I showed you all the real me and Jenny, so that's why I changed the original pic. A police mugshot indeed. How very dare you!

Ursula: Glad you appreciate the real us. So when are we going to see the real Ursula? Apart from that tiny pic of you from way back?

Rose Blackthorn said...

Aww....you big softie.

Nick said...

Rose: I know. Jenny says I'm just a total slopbag.

Bijoux said...

Thanks for sharing your photos! It is very nice to see you both!

Nick said...

Bijoux: Thanks! And I remember your own photo next to the big barrel....

Jenny Woolf said...

How nice to see pictures of you both. And to hear about your lovely relationship. It is one of the biggest blessings in life to have a devoted partner that you are also devoted to.

Nick said...

Jenny: Thanks! A partner both loved and loving is indeed one of the luckiest gifts that life can bring you.

Jay, Sparking Synapse said...

Ah yes ... as another couple well into the thirty-plus year mark, I hear you. OH and I seemed almost to fall into a relationship by accident, although I now believe that who we choose is no accident at all. We see something in that other person which fulfills something in us, it's as simple as that. And if we are lucky, there are also many other points of similarity: sense of humour, interests hobbies, moral viewpoint, level of intelligence, etc etc which will help to bind you together over the years.

Nick said...

Jay: I think that sums it up neatly, that there's something in the other person that fulfills something in us. When we're with them, something important is added to our identity. And yes, all those other things that bind us together are all grist to the mill.