Cinderella may be the story of a young woman neglected by family, saved by a fairy godmother, and ultimately running off with her prince, but even she had to get to the starting line.
(And who’s to say that it’s the story she would have told.)
Nine years ago, my tax status changed from filing single to filing jointly married. Our belongings meshed together in a heap of corrugated boxes and bubble wrap. Names were changed and not because we had to protect the innocent.
Many consider their wedding day as the “start” of a new life. For us, there’s no denying that the wedding was a big event, but it was located somewhere in chapter 3.
In 2001, the hubby and I were a solid 3000 miles away, and the only things keeping us apart were tricky time zones, sketchy modems, and family wanting to use the phone (I mean, is that really important?). Many bleary eyed college mornings were spent trying to jolt life back into an all-nighter body, not because of a party but long internet chat sessions.
We were young (hence being able to stay up all night), naïve (not worrying at all about the whole immigration twilight zone we would soon discover) and completely devoted (our phone bills attested to that – yikes!).
Loving my hubby didn’t take any effort at all. We shared the same interest after all (you pretty much know what kind of person they are if they show up in a Dr Who chat room), and he was just too cute (words are definitely more expressive than most people think).
Our pre-married life consisted of endless IM spiels, chat room sessions and emails. Being the neurotic type, I kept every scrap of conversation. I wanted to preserve all of the fun and late night drivel even if I wouldn’t be able to remember the obscure references later. There are times when you want to preserve a moment so you take a picture. Having no person to take a picture of, I took “snapshots” of our pictorial conversations.
For our ninth anniversary, we’ll be kicking back with a slice of homemade Black Forest cake (hubby’s been wanting one for ages and I’ve had this secretly in the works for just as long), and flipping through a little book I put together using Blurb.
I wanted to give him a physical copy of the more ephemeral part of our beginning. I couldn’t possibly bind all of the conversations I’ve saved (converting them alone would take me much longer than the four hour window I had when the hubby wasn’t home), so I picked out a selection of emails and IM conversations that meant a lot to me and showed the progression of our relationship. I sprinkled in pictures that demonstrated our quirky, lovable and fun partnership. The Blurb program was easy enough to use, but I wasn’t sure what the physical copy would look like – would all of our low-res pics come out horribly distorted? Would the conversations even read right in print form? I had bundled everything into a semblance of a book, but it was all still digital.
A week later, I held in my hands a slim white book filled with us. It isn’t a masterpiece, but the smile he gave me and the hour we sat on the couch going over each page meant that it achieved what I had hoped.
Our story may have taken us by surprise when we finally grasped the plot, but from the very beginning it was a story that promised a whole lot of smiles. And delivered.
It’s the story of a girl who fell in love and never looked back.