How We Met
I think most people know that Ian and I met on Twitter. I had split up with my second husband and was in quite a bad place. I was beginning to wonder if I’d end up like Liz Taylor - to lose one husband can be deemed unfortunate but to lose two was just careless.
Ian and I had chatted for several months on Twitter, in the days when people still did chat and didn’t just rage into the ether about Brexit and Trump, or link drop their blogs. One particular day when I was fretting out loud about where I was going to live for the rest of my life he told me about his five stages of grief. Not Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance, but Denial, Despair, Drinking, Donkey Shagging and Death. He offered to help me with the drinking stage and invited me to cocktails if I was going to be in London any time soon. As I wasn’t going to be in London anytime soon and wasn’t about to jump on the train to meet some mad axe murderer, I politely declined.
However the fickle finger of fate seemed to have other plans. The next day one of the other PAs I worked with asked if I would be interested in having one of our PA forum meetings with the London girls and combining it with a Christmas lunch there. Erm, yes I would!
I messaged Ian and mentioned that I would be coming to London the following week after all and asked was he still up for the cocktails he’d offered? We arranged to meet after work near Liverpool Street station. The girls at work were split as to whether is was completely bonkers or really exciting.
I had about 3 people on text-standby should he be the aforementioned axe murderer. Or worse, dull.
When I arrived at the hotel cocktail bar it turned out to be closed for a private function so our reserved table had been moved into the champagne bar instead. There are worse problems to have.
Next door I was seated at a table for 2 and waited nervously. Suddenly Alan Rickman was standing in front of me.
Jesus Christ it’s Alan Rickman. Oh, no, wait. Oh.
Things went really well from the start, there were no awkward silences and we had so much to talk about.
Then he choked on an almond.
I mean properly choked. Oh god he’s going to die on me and I don’t know how to do the Heimlich manoeuvre. The two women next to us looked aghast and I silently wondered if either of them were medically trained. Finally a waiter came over with some water, and Ian went off to collect himself.
After the staff brought more champagne and had established that he wasn’t going to die on their premises one of the ladies next to me leant over and asked if we were on our first date. She gleefully declared that we were getting on like a house on fire and that, by the way, she loved my dress.
By the time a more composed Ian returned from the loo I knew all about how they’d met at university and that they were on their annual meet up to exchange Christmas presents for their dogs. Then with a cheery “have a lovely evening” and a hearty wink they left us to it. It was now 8:30 and I’d already missed two of the trains I had intended to get.
We ordered some food and I said goodbye to the 9pm and 9:30pm trains because we just couldn’t stop talking. It wasn’t til I got home that I’d realised I’d eaten caviar for the first time on the salmon blinis. I mentally added “eat caviar” to my Fuckit List so I could cross it off.
Eventually at 10:15 we decided I had better leave otherwise I was going to run out of trains to miss. The rest, as they say, is history…
We were chatting about this night just a few months ago.
“Oh, I didn’t tell you at the time” Ian said “but I was actually sat at the wrong table for about 10 minutes.”
I always think there are so many fateful things about our story, and I marvel at how, out of all those millions of people on twitter, we found each other at the right time. Then it turned out that even when we were in the same room we could have easily missed each other.
I love hearing how people met, what’s your story?