21 Years Ago Today…
I was getting all dolled up to marry the man who is now my Hubby Dearest. Where the time has gone I really couldn’t tell you and has it all been plain sailing; MOST DEFINITELY NOT! A scarey amount of time has passed since that day 21 years ago!…If I was born on that that day twenty one years ago, I would be just coming of age now…Shudder!
Getting married and having children was never part of my life plan when I was younger. Some people may find that sad, but I never saw why being married was so important and to be honest I still don’t. It’s not that I don’t believe that people can be happy together and spend a lifetime together, I do. It’s just that I don’t believe that a piece of paper and a few words in front of witnesses or in a church is very binding. After all how many people get married and for whatever reason it all goes tits up. So much for that piece of paper, eh?
Being with a person takes commitment, not a piece of paper.
As a youngster I could never imagine myself as being married, it was something I said I would never do. It just wasn’t me or what I believed in. And as for having children? They scared the living daylights out of me! I love my two to bits and would do anything for them…But other peoples children still scare the life out of me!
How Did I Meet My Now Husband?…
Back then I wanted to train to be a vet and compete in Athletics for England Schools…Well, that was the idea I had in my head. I had been excepted into college to study the necessary exams that would hopefully get me a place at veterinary school, but I never went to college. There were too many people for my liking and it all seemed so overwhelming, that I just couldn’t face it. And as for competing for England Schools, you had to be at school or college to be legible and I wasn’t.
You know how people make plans to travel and to do this and do that? Well, me and some friends came up with this plan to go and work a summer, abroad. We talked about it and talked about it. In the mean time I got an extra job cleaning offices in the evenings to save enough money to go traveling. But when the time came to book flights and make actual plans no one else had saved the money, they talked the talk, but couldn’t walk the walk!
That didn’t stop me. When I set my mind on something I’m a bit like a dog with a bone; I just can’t let it go. So me and one friend booked a flight to Greece and ended up on the Greek Island of Spetses; through friends of the family I had met a young couple who had been spending their summers working on Spetses for a few years, so it seemed like a good place to head.
My main job was beach cleaning and I loved it. I started at 6am (I have always been an early bird!) and finished at about 11am and got a paid day off. It really was the best. Many would disagree!
One day I was going about my business, when a lad came up to me and asked if I minded taking some photographs of the sunrise for him, as I seemed to be the only person up at that time of the morning. He worked in one of the small tavernas on the front, so I had seen him in passing.
Spetses is a very small island, it’s about 17km around and because of this there weren’t many ‘workers’ (foreign people who spend the summer working and having a good time). The ones that were there all got along great and I got to know my husband first as a friend. At the end of the summer we all went our separate ways and I traveled back to the UK through Europe.
Once back in England, I easily found work in a hotel as it was coming up to Christmas. After Christmas I started thinking about heading back to Spetses as I knew there was a job waiting for me if I wanted it. And I did! So in March I packed my backpack and headed back to Spetses again and slowly over the coming weeks some of the old faces from the previous year came drifting back too. My husband-to-be included.
Over the course of the summer we became close, but thought nothing would ever come of it as he was planning to head back to South Africa when the summer was over…Did I mention he was from South Africa?
Nearing the end of the summer he asked if I would like to head back to South Africa with him and his mate and as I had saved enough money I thought why not?
To Cut A Very long Story Short…
We ended up living there for a couple of years, got a dog (Zippy) and got married before heading back to Greece (Zakynthos, where we still live). We bought a bar, which we had for nine years and started a family. When we arrived here all those years ago we had just two backpacks and Zippy. Now we have two children, five dogs and a house full of junk.
Why We Got Married…
Now this is where it all gets a little less romantic! With Neal being South African and me being British it wasn’t so easy for us to stay together. Traveling as a South African back then was no fun (visas, visas and more visas!) and even now we still get questioned at airports ( Are you married? How long have you been married? Do you intend to stay here or go back to Greece?). I couldn’t live in the UK with my husband after 21 years of marriage, even if I wanted to. What’s that all about?
I was also unable to become a resident of South Africa as I had no links there, so in the end we decided that we really wanted to stay together and for that to be able to happen we had to get married. So we did. Under the condition that we didn’t have children, I really didn’t like children.
How The Children Came About…
Keep it clean!…
After a couple of years of marriage and knowing that Hubby Dearest wanted the little blighters, I felt that being a Mum was something that I could do and that I quite wanted to do. I now believe that me wanting children had more to do with nature and body clocks, than with me making a conscious decision as I was always adamant that I was having NO CHILDREN!
I think I stepped up to the mark and was/still am a good Mum. My own children don’t scare me…Well, maybe sometimes! And recently I found that my sisters children don’t scare me either, so I have come to the conclusion that children are fine, just as long as they are family!
How We Plan To Spend This Evening…
We are going out for a Chinese meal. I love Chinese food and as English and Greek food is normal for us, Chinese food is a definite treat. I am looking forward to it, I must admit! Three courses: spring rolls, noodles of some sort followed by the compulsory dessert; banana fritters and ice cream!
We have honestly not ‘celebrated’ our anniversary for some years. In fact the past couple of years we have just let it go by. I don’t want my anniversary to be special and unbelievably great, I would like everyday that I am married to be special and unbelievably great.
What I Would Like For The Future…
- I would like my Hubby Dearest to be my best mate, everyday.
- I would like us to laugh together again.
- I would like us to listen to one another and to support one another, because we want to and not because we are married.
- I would like things to change.
What are your thoughts and experiences of being married?
I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below.
Copyright © 2014 Debbie Roberts
© 2014, Debbie. All rights reserved.