If you’re looking for a post about ASD or depression (or people being hit by buses) I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed for once. This week was the anniversary of when the Wolf and I first started going out. We went on our first date 12 years ago. So I thought I’d write a nice little post about how we first got together. It’s almost Christmas, after all!
|Me (pregnant with Bear), Tyger and the Wolf.|
We were in the same geography class when we were around 13/14, which is sweet right?
I know what you’re wondering. Did we make puppy dog eyes at each other across the room? Send each other love notes? Or, in typical teen film style, hate each other with a passion until a set of unlikely circumstances threw us together and made us realise our passion was actually love?
No, none of those. In fact, I had no idea we were in the same class until after we started going out a few years later and he told me.
However, I did mention him in my diary mere months before our first date. We were both at a meeting for some group or other and I wrote a list of all the people who attended in my diary (this was before I wanted to be a writer, okay?) and after all the names of everyone I knew there was one person left: ‘some other guy I don’t know the name of.’
That would be the Wolf.
Fast forward to the beginning of December. Both the Wolf and I were in 6th year (in Scotland so I was 16 and he was 17) and spent most of our free periods in the common room. The common room was a luxury afforded only to the sixth year pupils – though, we under constant threat of being permanently locked out due to a small number of twats who kept vandalising the place – and was a room with lots of sofas, tables and a small, grubby kitchenette (to be fair, it probably wasn’t grubby before we started using it).
One of the main pastimes in the common room was playing card games. Not for me. I read books and chatted…in the corner away from the cool kids. Until one day when the Wolf and his friends were organising a game of ‘spoons’.
Now, for anyone who doesn’t know what spoons is: it’s a bit like musical chairs in card game form…if you replace the chairs with spoons.
Basically, there are some spoons in the middle of the table but one fewer than there are players. You have to get four of a kind with the cards and when you do, you grab a spoon. At that point everyone else also grabs a spoon and the player with no spoon is out. A spoon is removed so there’s still one fewer than players and the whole thing is repeated until there are two players competing for one spoon. At that point, if you’re a teenager playing the game in a common room, the spoon is hidden by one of the players already ‘out’ in one of the lockers outside the common room door and then a selection of sofas and cushions are placed against the door/in the way like an obstacle course and sometimes people stand guard with additional cushions that are used as rams and the game resumes.
The spoons from the kitchenette also all disappeared pretty quickly so knives, forks and cork screws were used in their place.
|Which selection would you like to thrust your hand into?|
So, the Wolf saw the need for more players as an opportunity to sweep me off my feet because everyone knows scary games involving hand injuries are the the best means of instigating a relationship.
Actually, it was sort of romantic. The first round we played the Wolf grabbed two spoons and passed me one so I’d stay in the game. He was probably stuck with me for life from that moment, really.
We played more cards through the day and even walked down into town to get a chocolate bar together (risque stuff).
That was Monday. We tried to flirt through the next week but unfortunately the common room was off limits one day (see twat-vandals above) and the week finished with a driving safety day (culminating in a horrific video I blame for my continuing lack of enthusiasm over learning to drive).
We did manage to play cards again but this time he did not help me. He pretended to help me and then royally fracked me over. It meant I didn’t go into our relationship blind: when it comes to cards or board games the Wolf is not to be trusted. I’d trust him with my life and even my books but I would never trust him to move the number of squares he’s rolled or put the correct card down.
Going home on the Friday I cursed myself for not asking for the Wolf’s number and resigned myself to a weekend spent agonising and analysing until Monday finally came round again.
But, as I got off the bus and started to walk home, I received a text from the Wolf saying he’d asked a mutual friend for my number and hoped that was okay.
It was okay.
He told me he’d been trying to oganise a trip to the cinema with a bunch of people but nobody seemed to be free or interested and was I up for it? As naive as I was, even I saw through this subterfuge and realised it would be a date. I replied with an affirmative and he asked what I wanted to see. I suggested The Matrix Reloaded but I don’t think a Sci-Fi action film was really the tone the Wolf was trying to set so we settled on Love Actually on the Sunday.
It was my first date. Other than a few kisses at parties my relationship history up to that point had included a boyfriend when I was four (who made me a heart-shaped Valentine’s card…which opened on the right instead of the left – even at that age this irked me) and another ‘boyfriend’ a few months before going out with the Wolf who was terrified of girls and unceremoniously dumped me via text message four weeks after we started going out (two of those weeks were a school holiday during which we didn’t see each other at all…).
So, come Sunday we got the bus together into the nearest city. We had quite a lot in common in terms of taste in music, books we liked, TV and films we enjoyed (although, when I told my mum this she skeptically queried whether he really liked any of these things).
During the film the Wolf tentatively took my hand. We had our first kiss. We watch Love Actually every year on the ‘anniversary’ of that first date. Hi, I’m Lady Nym and I enjoy Richard Curtis films.
After the film we went for food. I opted for the incredibly sophisticated and romantic food court in the shopping centre (I’m a fussy veggie and I knew I could have a baked potato with cheese there). I was glad of our less than grand surroundings when I misjudged the placement of my knife and catapulted both it and a load of cheese onto the floor. I may have known about the Wolf’s card game manipulation and deceit from early days but he knew about my fussiness and clumsiness. We both entered the relationship with our eyes wide open to each other’s faults.
We walked along holding hands and bumped into a girl in our year at school. The look of shock and confusion on her face was to be mimicked by many when we went back to school. The Wolf and I were not in the same circle of friends. He was a pretty quiet guy who – up until a recent haircut – had hidden behind his long hair and hats. I was the ‘cello playing, English vegetarian who never quite fitted in. It surprised everyone when we turned up to school one week holding hands and kissing.
Bizarrely, we became almost a celebrity couple within our year group. I think the experience set me up well for having autistic children because we had ‘get a room’ shouted at us so often it was good practise for the repetitive nature of kids with ASD.
The Wolf bought me a lovely silver and amethyst ring for that Christmas, which I still wear every day.
|Turns out I really struggle to take photos with my left hand.|
And to the guy in our year who obviously fancied himself as a bit of a poet and said it would never last because the ‘flame was burning too brightly’…we’re still going 12 years later.