Thursday, 17 January 2013

Meeting Your Own Personal Hero

I will have been married for ten years this summer. A fair achievement in this day and age and I think means I must have found my own personal hero, even if he doesn’t do the dishes, emptying the bins are below him, and the best he can do with the washing machine is stare at it with a blank face and hope it possesses sufficient artificial intelligence to switch itself onto the correct setting.

Despite a doctorate from Oxford University this machine still has the ability to stump my hero.

Dark and stormy, definitely not.
So how did I meet him? During a dark winters night while I was fleeing from my captor?


How about when I was penniless and desperately seeking a husband to save my family home from being sold at auction? 
Well I was a student so penniless kind of goes with the territory, but otherwise no. 

No. My husband definitely has two left feet.
Then it must have been love at first sight across a crowded room, come on, throw us a bone here. 
Nope. Definitely not.

When you’re writing romance those first few meetings between hero and heroine are life-changing. Fast paced, they pull you into the story by the ankle if necessary and more than happy to have you sliding along on your bum for those first mad chapters before you, or they, can catch breath.

But real life?

I met my husband at university. I could have met him anywhere, classes, lectures, pubs or parties. But Oxford is a bit of a weird university and is split into little colleges and my husband and I went to different ones, and read different subjects and he was in the year above me as well. So in the normal run of things we wouldn’t have ever met, and we didn’t have any shared friends, so none of that friend of a friend business. 

No I met my husband at a club. The Oxford University Tiddleywinks Club to be exact.

Look at all those little winks...
There, I’ve admitted it. We met in a crowded room of similar geeks. And was it love at first sight, eyes meeting over a particularly fiendish squop or boondock? (winking terms for you there). 

Truth be told I can’t remember the first time I met my husband. I wasn’t drunk, he just obviously made such a small impact on me I honestly can’t remember meeting him until the fourth or fifth time, and it was nearly three years before we started dating. 

And that was only because one Valentine’s day I wanted to send someone a card and figured one of the tiddley-winking guys wouldn’t take receiving a card seriously so I’d be safe. I picked him at random (or so I thought) and then found myself miffed that he never mentioned it, so asked him out a couple of weeks later and we were married a year after that. Oh the romance. 

Although we weren’t the only couple to meet there as I know of another two marriages thanks to those little plastic winks, a regular hotbed for geeky couples.

So how did you meet your own personal heroes, or for those of you out there who haven’t been so fortunate, what’s the most romantic meeting you can think of?

Jess Baker


  1. What a lovely story Jess. I admire your honesty. Poor Mr Barker (hope he doesn't read this blog lol).

    I've been single so long my expectations are unrealistically high. I think a perfect meeting would be if the guy wasn't wearing a tracksuit, had a job and could afford to offer to take me to dinner (I have higher expectations later on, but in Scotland that's the best first impression I can ask for really).


  2. Terrific story, Jess. I have to ask...what in the world is a tiddlywink?! lol

    I met my husband at college as well. Purdue University. He and I met via the personal adds in the newspaper. This was long before the internet and dating websites. Way back when cell phones were football sized. lol We hit it off right away, but we did things a bit backwards. I got pregnant about six months in. Our oldest was a year old when we got married. In fact, he was there with us. lol We've been married for sixteen years now, though we've been together for somewhere around 18.

  3. Tiddlywinks? For real? That's fantastic! A great story for the grandkids :-)

    Aimee - on my first date with my lovely Scottish husband, he forgot his wallet and I paid. I swear it was deliberate... ;-)

    Joanne - I'm empathising! I was breastfeeding at my wedding! I met my husband showing him a database at work, but he was quite Heathcliff-esque thereafter. I'll never forget him saying, "You've met your match."


  4. Dear me Joanne, you MUST know what tiddleywinks are! It's a children's game really. You have little plastic winks and you had a squidger (a big wink) and you have to flick your winks into a plastic pot. There are a few serious clubs and there are lot of associated rules. They are various associations and even international tournaments. At one point I had a world ranking of about 80 I think. :) I even represented my university at a varsity match with Cambridge. All very very sad and I definitely shouldn't admit it. Do you think it would make a suitable Mills and Boons plot?

  5. That's a cute story! I wish there were more romances with stories like that. I like quirky beginnings.