It was exactly five years ago today that I met my girlfriend (now my fiancée, and soon, my contractually-bound better half). I’ll try not to embarrass her with a Richard-Curtis-movie public display of sentimentality; you can take that as read. Suffice it to say it’s been five years of D laughing at my terrible jokes, making better jokes for me to laugh at, five years without a single argument, five years of cuddles, five years of encouragement and comfort and being totally simpatico in Choice of Viewing. Five years of happiness. The best five years of my life – which I expect to become the first half of the best ten years of my life, the first quarter of the best twenty years. And so on.
Five years ago today wasn’t the first time I met D. I’m reliably informed that I had been introduced to her by my mate Dave in March 2003, on a visit to Edinburgh, but I have no memory of meeting her, which I think tells you all you need to know about my powers of recall. I think I’d mentally tagged her as somebody-else’s-girlfriend and paused the record button on the mental video.
The second time I met D was at the wedding reception of my redoubtable chum Simon Guerrier and his even nicer wife, D. It was at the Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich, and would’ve been at about 7 in the evening. I’d arrived at the last minute before being late (a bad habit of mine, then) and I spent the meal at a table with, IIRC, the lovely Peter, his not-invisible wife and his kids.
Later in the evening, we must’ve been introduced. I remember squeezing onto a chair next to my friend John to speak to D. She assumed John and I were a gay couple (a misunderstanding I later worked into a sitcom script). And then later in the evening, at another table, possibly with a highly sozzled Nimbos in the vicinity, we got chatting, about Douglas Adams and other shared passions. It was one of those effortless conversations that just took flight; like a pinball accelerating from being bounced back and forth before whizzing up the ramp to ‘ding-ding’ all the lights (and where you’re left going, ‘but all I did was press button to move the flipper... how did I end up scoring so incredibly well without even trying or knowing what I was doing?’)
Then we danced, very badly, to Love To Hate You (thanks my DJ friend P knowing that I have a physically inability not to get up and dance to Erasure songs, it’s like a compulsion). I didn’t get the slow dance, an eternal source of frustration. But then later that evening, when we were both hanging around not wanting to leave giving each other meaningfully glances, it became obvious, even to me, that I really should make some sort of first move. So I did, and what happened next is the last five years.
The best decision I ever made and I didn’t even realise I was making it.
I realise this entry’s over three hundred words. But if I’m not prepared to break my rule to write about this then, frankly, there would be something wrong with me.