For week eighteen of 52 Blogs the topic is 'sliding doors'. So, here is the story of how I met my wife, and of all the random twists and turns that had to happen for us to end up finding each other...
My wife is perfect. She might not think so about herself, but she’s the perfect person for me. There’s never a day that goes by that I don’t think how lucky I am to have met her. It’s for this reason that I often look back on the chain of circumstance that brought us together - the seemingly random sequence of events that resulted in my finding the best partner I could have wished for. I wonder if I’d have still met her had something different happened one day, if I’d turned left instead of right. I wonder if the below is the exact line of happenstance that was required for us to meet, or if it would have happened anyway? I guess we’ll never know, but here’s the story of how it did happen...
We have to go right back to 1989, to my first job after leaving school. Actually we should go further back, but I don’t know to when exactly: we would need to go to the point in my life when I started to love film because that’s what made me want to start collecting films on VHS and, in turn, that’s what inspired me to apply for a job at Our Price, a high street record and video store. All you really need to know here is that my assistant manager at this Our Price was a redhead, we ended up becoming pretty good friends and you’ll read a bit more about her later.
From Our Price I went through a number of other jobs, a brief period of unemployment, and eventually bounced back to Our Price: I’d remained friends with that red-headed assistant manager and, in that time, she’d been promoted to manager of another branch which meant she was able to give me a job when I needed it. After a while, however, I got itchy feet again and wanted to move on. One thing I did was apply to University - and got accepted. Another thing I did was I started to write. I also contacted one of the video trade magazines we used to receive at Our Price to find out if I could become a contributor. They said yes.
By the way, one of those things I’ve just listed is a red herring.
So, I left Our Price in the end and didn’t see much of my red-headed manager friend after that. My contributions to the video trade magazine ultimately transitioned into a full-time job, which involved me travelling up to North London every day. Around the same time another long-time friend of mine scored a training job up at King’s Cross so we’d travel to and from North London together a few times a week. Every so often we’d adjourn for a drink on the way home and, one time, she brought a friend of hers along. Me and this friend hit it off pretty well and ended up going out together.
… and then we stopped going out together. Meanwhile we had a new female reporter on the team at the video trade magazine. We got on really well, started hanging out quite a lot (at press gigs and launches). One day we received some review copies of the newly released DVDs of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and it turned out my new friend was quite a fan. She lent me the discs and I, pretty quickly, became a fan as well.
And the rest is history.
No, I’m totally lying there …
So, did I mention that I was still in touch with the former girlfriend who was the friend of the old friend I used to travel to King’s Cross with? I did? Good. We’d talk on MSN fairly regularly and I started talking about Buffy fairly regularly. Unfortunately it turns out this former girlfriend was *not* a fan of Buffy; however, she knew someone who was and put us in touch (mainly, I think, so she didn’t need to put up with both of us talking at her, separately, about Buffy on a regular basis).
We’re up to late 2001 here, by the way. Season Six of Buffy was underway. Me and my new Buffy-fan-friend would chat occasionally over MSN. Sometime in May 2002 the BBC broadcast a national IQ quiz, Test The Nation. We spent the evening on MSN together, even resorting to alcohol to soften the terrible realisation that her IQ was slightly higher than mine.
After that I never spoke to her again.
Oh yeah, that’s another lie right there.
Sometime after this IQ quiz debacle I was sitting in the pub with some friends and had the sudden realisation that all I wanted to do was go home and chat to Rachel on MSN, which I did, and we discovered that we were both completely crazy about each other. We arranged to meet, established that neither of us was a psychopath, and decided we wanted to get married.
And that’s how it happened.
But how easily could it not have happened? If I didn’t get into Buffy? If I didn’t get the job at the video magazine? If I didn’t meet the friend of my King’s Cross travelling companion? If I hadn’t decided I wanted to write? If I didn’t get that second job at Our Price? If I hadn’t made friends with the assistant manager at my first Our Price store? If I hadn’t developed a passion for films?
How many of you would tempt fate by tugging at even one of those strings? I know I wouldn’t...