Hoopfulbride's Blog

Planning a wedding in a place called The Hope

I’m the Hoopful Bride, and this is my story… 29 July 2009

Filed under: Engagement story,Things I love — hoopfulbride @ 11:31 am

(anyone who read that title in an Australian accent and remembered the opening line to one of my favourite movies of all time, The Castle, deserves a big sloppy kiss!)

Sometime ago these questions were doing the rounds in wedding-blog-land and I loved reading the questions and the answers enormously! I realise I have jumped on the band-wagon a tad late, but the other day I was back-reading on one of my new fav blogs (wild rumpus) and it struck me that I was quite jealous that I hadn’t sent a mail asking for questions myself… I mailed the erudite and astute A at Accordions and Lace, did a little last minute begging, and she complied (despite having entered the final stretch of wedding planning – thank you very much).

Herewith The Rules for this exchange (the lawyer in me loves The Rules):

  • leave me a comment with your email address saying: “interview me”
  • I will e-mail you five questions of my choice
  • you can answer the questions on your blog (with a link back to my blog)
  • you should also post these rules, along with an offer to interview anyone else who emails you wanting to be interviewed (feel free darlings)
  • it would be nice if the questions were individualised for each blogger

How did you and your mister meet, and how did you know you wanted to marry him?

(A sneaky double question – nice)

The short answer: Rooster and I met when I gate-crashed a party at his house.

The long answer: 2003 had been an incredibly tough year for me. It was the year I was in final year at law school and besides not knowing what I wanted to do after graduation and the academic stress of final year, I had an awful lot of social upheaval. I had become embroiled in a ridiculous tiff between classmates (by virtue of standing by a gay friend who had come under attack from 2 rather popular girls in the class (yes, final year law – not pre-school. Amazing, huh?)). I also fell pregnant from a silly one-night stand and knew immediately that I needed to terminate. The entire episode nevertheless knocked me horribly: not least because I’d thought it would never happen to me… And while 3 out of my 4 housemates were AMAZING, the fourth drove me nuts with her self-involvement (although I love her dearly).

So at the end of this year of turmoil I was experiencing one of the biggest periods of joy I had ever experienced: the joy of getting through it! I described it to a friend as truly understanding relief. The Afrikaans (and dutch, I guess) word for love is “lief” and towards the end of 2003 I found myself overwhelmed by the experience of being able to re-love: myself, friends, family, life.

So one Friday night the aforementioned frustrating house-mate (H) insisted we accompany her to a house-party while a bunch of us were on the prowl one night. We (uniformly) declined: we had had enough of her wants dictating our actions. H, however, somehow managed to persuade one of our number to swing by the party so she could “pop in and say hi”. And T spent enough time waiting for her to see that there were some very cool people at this little festa… and specially some very interesting-looking and hot boys. She quickly passed on the news (hey, we were on the prowl!) and the rest of us turned up!

On my arrival, the first person i laid eyes on was this tall, side-burned, afro-haired boy with soft light brown eyes (olhos castanhos claros – as I think about them in Portugues). For me that night is a whirl of dancing to old jazz records in Rooster’s arms and laughing and talking vociferously with him and his mates (who are now my mateys). We shared some sneaky sneaky smooches and (not wanting to drive drunk) exchanged numbers when we left in the morning…

But it was the summer of re-lief and I was in love with life and partying and summer and friends. So I didn’t dwell on Rooster. Nor did he dwell on me – his family spent Christmas and New Years on the slopes of a french ski resort.

And then it was January and my birthday so I sent out a hundred (or so) smses to new and old friends to meet for sundowners at one of my favourite boulders overlooking the beautiful Atlantic. And Rooster arrived. And we chatted and flirted. And the party moved on to dinner in Camps Bay where we chatted and flirted. And when we all got into our cars to leave, he smsed me an sms we still giggle about : “Do you really want to wake up alone in bed at your parent’s house on the morning of your 24th birthday?”

I didn’t want to. And neither did I do so… nor have I woken up anywhere other than in Rooster’s arms on the morning of my birthday ever since. That first birthday night with him was not as exciting as he’d expected: we spent hours talking about our secrets (necessitated by my reluctance to hop in the sack with someone after having had to terminate a pregnancy post my previous sexual experience).

But we never imagined this was the beginning of our greatest love story: I was leaving to live in the rural Eastern Cape and work in a rural community in March and so we hung out and partied and adventured with the glorious relaxed casualness that comes with a relationship that must end: we referred to each other as “my current lover” (pronounced with Texan accent) (yes, we did work through that first sexual experience together, so perhaps I should have guessed something)…

And then I left for the Transkei (about a 14 hour drive from CT. There aren’t really any planes to that area). I had barely been there two days when Rooster called and suggested he visit. Over Easter. In ten days time. It was over that Easter holiday, as we explored the breath-taking beauty of my new surroundings, that we admitted being in love.

And so our story evolved: over monthly alternate visits up (for him) or down (for me). Over a three-month stint for me in NYC (I felt like I needed a contrast from rural Africa – a small mindfuck). Over deception and heartbreak (a whole ‘nother story). Over laying ourselves open and learning to trust and love. Over figuring out how to have conflict and how to build each other up despite being angry. Over breaking up again and yearning and yearning for each other. Over the joy of reuniting. Over supporting each other through bar exams (me) and a business break-up (him). Over moving into a home together and learning to live together (surprisingly easy). Over learning and loving and laughing…

And then it was clear: here is my partner. I wouldn’t want any other. Here is the person who fills my heart and my head and who slips into step beside me with such exciting ease. Here is my partner who i want to continue building my life with and never stop.

What scares you the most about getting married?

I’m afraid that it’s the control-freak in me that responds (I’m working on her): I’m scared of  the unknown.

I know that there are millions of challenges that will meet Rooster and me over the course of the rest of our lives. Millions. Some will be easy to meet on a daily basis and some will bring us together as we deal with them together. But some of them will rock our relationship to the core: it is inevitable. And those unnamed monsters petrify me…

All I can do is trust (which I do). I trust that we have a base that is strong enough. I trust that we respect each other deeply. I trust that we take the decision to love each other equally seriously. I trust that we hold similar principles dear and that these will guide us through the challenges. I trust that we have (and will continue to develop) the skills to deal with the unknown as individuals and as a unit.

Incidentally, Rooster is thrilled by the unknown – he is thrilled that our relationship will continue to excite and surprise us… aah, he is so good to have alongside me!

(and now i must work… I will continue the story tomorrow)

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2 Responses to “I’m the Hoopful Bride, and this is my story…”

  1. A. Says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing all of this! Interesting that our relationships started in similar ways–weird circumstances and distance and trying to pretend it was casual and eventually having to admit we were in love! It is an amazing story.

    • hoopfulbride Says:

      Thank you! I sometimes think that the casualness of our early days allowed us to not care too much about the “relationship” thereby allowing us to reveal ourselves just so. When it came to being more serious (and therefore caring about the other and what they thought) there was no space to change our behavioural patterns. That honesty is an essential part of our relationship now.

      And I’m glad for the similar resonance of love that allows us two brides in very different places and circumstances to recognise oneself in the other…


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