Updated: Mar 8, 2022
I have got myself into trouble in the past for committing to things out of enthusiasm. Fall hard. Fall fast. When will I ever learn?!
Still single at a landmark age and carrying my ‘left on the shelf’ tag (how I hate this horribly offensive and outdated phrase!!), I relished my independence, setting my own rules and living my life the way I wanted to; every now and then, looking around and thinking:
‘Where have all the good men gone? Are there any decent, reasonably well-functioning men left on the planet?!”
Each day, it seemed like a good man was getting even harder to find. It was easier to start believing that good, decent men just didn’t exist anymore until one fine day, I went and fell in love with an Englishman.
HAPPINESS IS A SUNDAY ROAST
He smiled and gestured with his hands when he spotted me. Tall, good-looking (wink), funny, loquacious, and extremely expressive (he’s an actor?!!).
From two different worlds, he was culturally curious without making assumptions (TICK!!) and so began, a lively ‘turn-taking conversation’ across similarities/commonalities/differences:
Dabbling in ketchup + Sunday roast is an absolute no-no, apparently as horseradish, mustard (English), and cranberry sauce (turkey only!) are the only acceptable condiments for Sunday roasts, clearly .... aaarrrrgghhh??!!!!
The perfect way to eat a burger/pizza is with your hands ‘cos in my book, it’s considered weird to eat either with cutlery!
On the importance of condiments, we both hailed the chilli as the holy grail of all condiments as he unveiled his impressive collection of chilli sauces from around the world (thumbs up!),
A meal isn't complete without a dollop of hot sauce, a pile of pickled chillies on the side, or a serious dusting of chilli flakes (yesss!!!!) and,
Notorious B.I.G. WAS the King of NY
His curiosity was unbounded, his enthusiasm - infectious - that I found myself forgetting about everything else around me. I think I had finally met a nice guy?!
* BEWARE - MUSHINESS ALERT *
Meeting Oliver propelled me into a fairy-tale world. It all happened so fast, and it was AMAZING!!
I was completely love-dazed with my perfect prince charming having swept me off my feet - a funny, tender and (very) animated English gentleman, who shared neither my religion, my culture nor my heritage.
And who would have ever thought that I’d fall for a true-born Englishman.
I always assumed that ALL Englishmen were happiest when they were sitting in a pub, drinking beer and/or watching the footie!
Boy, was I wrong – ‘cos it seems that some Englishmen prefer copious cups of tea and hot (hot!) curry - so spicy that it’ll make you cry!! (I kid you not?!)
He did however display the typical British charm, good humour, and extreme politeness - in marked contrast to my flamboyant, fierce, and unapologetic self - I was hoping that he wasn’t expecting me to hold my tongue (??!), and not forgetting, his pronunciation of the word darling was swoon-worthy (nudge, nudge,
FOR THE LOVE OF FOOTBALL
Our relationship deal-clincher (wait-for-it!!) … was … the Gunners!! Yes, I’m referring to the Arsenal Football club!
Both football lovers, I cannot emphasise enough the importance/seriousness of choosing the (right!) Premier League football team to support.
Yes, I’m one of those crazy fans who wholeheartedly agreed with Man United legend, Eric Cantona when he declared "that changing the football team you support was the worst thing you can do in life."
“You can change your wife, your politics, your religion... but never, never, can you change your favourite football team," Cantona said famously.
As a Manchester United supporter, I couldn’t be happier that Oliver was a Gooner, as I couldn’t possibly (I really mean never/ever!!) date a Liverpool fan (lol)
CASTLE OF LOVE
Fast forward and Oliver (literally) fell on one knee and, of course I said yes!!
Going against all traditions and everyone’s expectations, we opted for a very private, unconventional ceremony. We booked our venue (online!) fit for a princess (hint, hint), jumped on a train the afternoon before the big day with our wedding cake in tow and toured the castle house/grounds the first time upon arrival, hoping it was everything we’d dreamt.
For anyone who doesn’t already know, I’m slightly obsessed with castles and THIS castle was utterly perfect!
Together with our dedicated wedding planner (that we didn’t know we had!), we planned a non-religious wedding ceremony over a lunch of bangers and mash, doing things the way we wanted(!) and refusing to fall prey to ‘we have to do this because that’s how it’s traditionally done.’
It was an intimate affair set in the dramatically beautiful Yorkshire Dales with only four people in attendance – the bride, the groom, the wedding planner & the wedding photographer – aah, AND a scattering of bleating sheep + prancing deer.
The best/favourite thing about our wedding day was that it was an honest reflection/celebration of who we are as a couple!
LOVE SEES NO COLOR, NO RACE, NO RELIGION …*¹
The thing is, when you look at someone you love, you don’t just see what they look like. With Oliver, I can so clearly remember the light in his eyes and the beauty of his soul; his excitably effervescent and downright bubbly disposition; his exhilaratingly liberal views and dynamic vision of life - this is why I fell in love!
Love isn’t black or white. Love sees no colour. Love sees no race. Love sees no religion ...
... Love sees no gender! Love sees no ___________ because ‘Love is Love!!’
P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day ❤️
¹ Love Sees No Color - World Peace Collection by Nassiri