It’s coming up for our 25th Wedding Anniversary next month. Silver I believe, although white gold is lovely too ha. I remember going out to dinner with my Mum and Dad to celebrate the same anniversary milestone for them and thinking what an achievement it was to be happily married for that LONG. And now, here I am too. Pretty chuffed about that.
I met Andrew when I was 19 years old. He was a friend of a friend. My first introduction to him was when we called into that friend’s house on the way to a party. He was sitting on a couch peeling and eating fresh prawns. He was very handsome, very, very tanned, long hair (which has always been my “thing”) falling across his face and he was wearing a white tank top which provided a full view of a series of nasty scars on both shoulders. We were introduced and chatting about I don’t know what when I asked him about his scars. Even as I type that I’m thinking I wouldn’t dream of doing that now – how rude really. Anyhoo he deadpanned replied, “A shark attack.” And I, wide-eyed believed him. Gullible? Smitten? Probably a combination of both. (They were, in fact, scars from multiple shoulder operations but I didn’t find that out for quite some time.) The die was cast there and then as they say even though I was married at that time. (That’s a whole other story.) But by my 21st, and with my divorce finalised we were living together.
One of my favourite photos of us. Late 1980’s and no we were not on our way to a “hippy” party.
The happy ever after or even happy thereafter came along for only intermittent periods of time. When things were great, they were awesome. Weekends of seeing no one, just happy being together venturing out only to get food. We would stay up all night talking about anything and everything. It was very intense, romantic and unstable. You see, at that time Andrew could not plan further than a week ahead which was in direct contrast to me wanting to know that we were going to at least last longer than our 12-month lease. He was unsure if he wanted children, I was ready to have them there and then, and they were certainly not in his 10-year plan because he didn’t have a 10 DAY PLAN! The more I sought reassurance or any type of long-term commitment the more he resisted. Having a 21-year-old son of my own and seeing how he thinks it is oh so clear to me now. I would be totally understanding of his inability to know the answers to such questions at this time. But………………I was young, in love and very insecure.
So you can imagine this was not a match made in heaven. I could not “go with the flow” any more than Andrew could “stay still.” This resulted in very loud arguments which led to very dramatic breakups. On one occasion our arguing started as we ate breakfast. Losing my very quick temper, I hurled a bowl of soggy Weetabix at his head. He managed to duck (thankfully, although I was not hoping for that at the time) and the bowl smashed against the wall behind him. He turned to survey the mess, smiled back at me and said “Seeya” pausing on his way to the front door to pull my favourite bunch of dried flowers out of a vase and stomp on them. I was furious. I loved those flowers. On his return, I declared that I was going to move out. Of course, I didn’t want to, but he replied with an offhand OK. Honestly, I cannot recall the exact number of times I moved out, took on a new lease somewhere else, only for us to be back together again within weeks. Both of us too stubborn to back down, apologise or just have the maturity to talk things through. Young, hotheaded passion at its worst.
One time I moved it was to a unit on the second floor of a block the other end of the street we were living on. Two big burly removalists loaded up their truck and could see I was upset. I was happy to tell them what a bastard Andrew was. They listened and empathised and when myself and furniture were finally relocated to my new place they both stayed and hung up my pictures on the walls. Got my fridge all sorted for me. Just made sure I was ok. So imagine their surprise when I called them back a month later to say I was moving back in with Andrew. “You are kidding?” they said. “Are you sure?” Oh yes, I replied, he really is wonderful. Oh yes, wonderfully uncommitted he still was. This kind of dance we did continued on and off for 4 years. I became an expert at breaking leases as I continued to move out in dramatic fashion, but we were never apart for very long.
After yet another breakup and reunion we got engaged. Andrew proposed over a lovely, romantic lunch and we couldn’t wait to share this news with our friends and family. Well, some reactions were that of overwhelming surprise as many hadn’t realised we were back together again after the previous split. It all sounds somewhat comical now.
So not too long after this, we decided to look to buy our first home together. We found a maisonette in Torrensville that we fell in love with and we were lucky to be successful at Auction and become its new owners. Dad loved to tell the story of the different reactions on mine and Andrew’s face the day of the Auction. Mine was one of delight and excitement whereas Dad observed Andrew looked paler with each bid. $98,000 it cost us which sounds like nothing now, but it was back then. We moved in, and Andrew renovated it to perfection. He improved it so much, and we made a really lovely home there. We were very happy and very settled.
We were married while still living in this house. It was Saturday, February 20th, 1993 at 11am (I was way too impatient to wait for an afternoon time) at Confetti Restaurant in Stirling (no longer there.) It was a very cool summer’s day. We were married in the rose garden of the restaurant followed by a lovely lunch. We then headed to the city with a few family and friends and partied on at The Terrace on North Terrace where we were staying that night. It was a perfect end to a perfect day.
Our Wedding Day – 20/2/93 (Please note nothing on Andrew’s jacket, just the flash from me taking a photo of this photo.)
Fast forward to 25 years later. We have bought and sold four more houses, had a few more cars than that, had wonderful holidays near and far and of course our greatest collaborations, Jesse and Matthew. We have had so much fun, our share of bad times that eventually come to us all and we can still stay up all night talking just as we did when we first got together. I think that is some kind of wonderful.
Late 1990’s and yes we were on our way to a hippy party.
Who knew, that the hard to pin down surfer would turn out to be the ultimate family man. There is no one more dependable, reliable, thoughtful or committed. We have led a pretty charmed life together but then with the last three years being nothing short of challenging he has been as solid as a rock. He is who I retreat to when times get tough. He is who I still talk to late at night when my worries seem worse. Our vows in sickness and in health have been challenged, probably more so these last 6 months than ever before but still he remains kind, caring and patient. A recent visit to the hospital with the plan uncertain as to what would be done the next day; I said to him that I would ring when I knew what was going on. But no, bright and early with a bag of all the things I might need he arrived just to keep me company. Translation he sat there by himself, holding my hand as I dozed on and off. It was so nice knowing he was there.
We are very different people, opposites attract is certainly true for us but we work. We still argue, we still challenge each other, but we work it out under the same roof now thank goodness. (Leases are not so easy to break these days lol.) We laugh often and a lot. I could not have asked for a more kind, involved, devoted father for our boys and I know that he loves us all with all that he has. I am his top priority always which makes me a very lucky girl. He is quick to compliment me and has never made me feel anything but pretty in his eyes.
Lately, the demands of a new puppy, playing weekend taxi service to a 17-year-old and my health have seen many a quiet night spent in just the two of us, a bottle of wine and Netflix. We couldn’t be happier.
Here’s to another 25 years of doing this life together. It is never dull. And I am so glad that when Andrew finally did make plans, it was with me, and it was forever.
2016 – Very happy at our nephew’s wedding.