You might have noticed that I’ve not been as bloggy as usual over the past three weeks. You know what that means, right? I met a girl.
It was a Friday night, and Cameron and I went downtown to meet up with Lisa and her friend Camille. We had a couple of beers, and Camille’s friend Claire phoned and came along to meet us. We exchanged pleasantries, she told me her mother was also a Brit – from Coventry – and went on to tell me she was a little bit proud that Coventry City won the Premier League a few seasons back. Being a dick, I corrected her on this, and once we were in a bar that had Wi-Fi, whipped out my iPod, and pulled up the Wikipedia page that would prove that she was wronger than wrong.
A few more rum and Cokes, and we all moved on to Rumors, the town’s gay club. At this point, I’d like to point out that Bellingham has, as far as I can tell, two nightclubs: the gay one, and the shit-kickers one. The latter is where I’d get a black eye and/or an STD. Rumors is a nice place, though. Seems that many other non-gays like not getting black eyes or STDs, too. More rum and Cokes. After more chattering, Claire and I went to approximate what people call dancing. “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. Sweet.
Fast forward through plenty of snogging, through three weeks of day trips – walking to Fairhaven; going to a batting cage; up to Vancouver, BC; to a cute town called Edison (where Edward R. Murrow went to high school); up for a walk on Mt. Baker; getting drunk and talking in Russian accents; on a little ferry to nearby Lummi Island; watching movies; playing cribbage; agreeing that Wendy’s burgers were best, and that Family Guy is shit; re-christening Gatorade as “Tarantula Piss”; plenty of belming; and a whole mountain of laughter.
Claire is a Bellingham resident, raised an hour or so south of here. She has two superb jobs: working with Down Syndrome adults, which sounds, from everything she’s told me, like the most fun in the world; and as an Amateur Softball Association umpire. Two jobs which seem like she’s perfectly placed to put up with me.
We fell in love, and, to almost quote Beyoncé: I like it, so I put a ring on it. I’m a lucky guy. Say hello to Mrs. Claire Robinson.
I proposed in the shower a week or so ago, we tossed the idea around for a couple of days, and even though we both knew it was a nuts idea, it never felt like a nuts idea. Sat in the Up & Up bar we decided that, yes! we really should do it, and that we really should do it as soon as possible. In Las Vegas.
We told our families and friends. We booked the flights and the chapel. And we got rings. Simple white gold bands. It may not be the right thing to do, but we were both a bit anxious about losing them, so we’ve been wearing them on the “wrong” hand since we got them. It’s our version of being engaged. I’ve never worn a ring before and – it’s probably dumb for someone who studied jewellery at university to say – I’ve never really liked wearing jewellery. It felt weird at first, like I had a metal sticking plaster on my finger, but when I catch a glimpse of my hand – grabbing a coffee cup, brushing my teeth, or sorting out my mop of hair in the mirror – and there’s a beautiful ring on my finger. Mostly because it means that I’m now Claire’s husband.
So now begins the process of the practicalities of this change in my life. We’ve decided that, even though Claire has dual-citizenship and a British passport, we’d like to live here in Bellingham, Washington. I’ve not lived in my home country since 2000, and I’ve been a bit of a nomad for the past 15 months; her life is very much in the Pacific Northwest. And I really like it here; it makes sense for me to move.
Lawyers, lots of paperwork, and visits to see immigration dudes are on the horizon. But that’s for another day. More about the trip to Vegas in the next post. Right now, though, we’re gonna look at each other, smile, use the words “husband” and “wife” a lot, and high five whenever “Don’t Stop Believing” comes on the radio in the car.
Update June 2009 I’m sad to say, we’ve split up. Picture removed for both of our sakes.