Some people would say a story about a girl who goes to Ireland on vacation, walks into a restaurant, and meets a man who she falls deeply in love with is too good to be true. I used to think it was possible. And maybe for some people it is, but for me it was not. It makes for a good story but the problem is because it was such a good story many people including me wanted it to be true very badly. Everybody wants a fairytale happy ending.
But at one point along the way it shifted from a Disneyland type fairytale to a Brothers Grimm. And ultimately the story had to end tragically. Hurt feelings, broken promises, and yet something spectacularly wonderful came from it. Although I was weaker for a while and mixed up and disillusioned…I ended up stronger..(thank you Kelly Clarkson). I truly did. Stronger mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
It might take me longer than the average woman to say no, but I’ve had some good practice now. No to my husband. No to Martin. No to H.S. guy. No to Mercenary Guy. No to a handful of others who have asked me out. This will sound crass but they were all rejects. Sifted out for lack of something critical that I needed.
On the surface some of these men would seem like safe bets, good bets even. Stable, a short list of failed attempts at forever. Some more handsome than others, some more fit, some smarter, some more successful, some more spiritual.
But with Harry I said yes. Yes, please.
Harry has a rough and tough exterior. His work life is taxing and unstable. He says things and talks about things that stretch my sensibilities and comfort. He thinks in Machiavellian ways regarding business especially, but also politics and some personal issues. He is a pragmatist to my idealism. He’s huge and I’m tiny. Even to look at us, we make an odd pair.
On the surface anybody in their right-mind would not put us together. We didn’t even see it. Perhaps God did. Perhaps because we are human we only look to descriptors we can see and only react to what we know. But God looks past all of that directly into our hearts.
There was something there. Something neither one of us could put our finger on drawing us together all those months we chatted and became friends. There was something there in that first meeting that sparked a connection that continued to draw us closer.
There was something that was perhaps more magical than a chance meeting in the Temple Bar District in Dublin. Something more magical than dozens of flights across the Atlantic. More magical because it could have been missed. It was not a grand gesture, or an instant hit, and it sparked no attention from friends and family.
It was quiet, under the surface, and yet extremely compelling; we got a dose of serendipity.
The crazy thing is as wonderful and amazing as that story of long-distance romance was it was forever a story much like Grimm’s Cinderella story where the step-sisters wanted the prince so bad, they cut off their own heels to make sure their feet would fit into that glass slipper. But they didn’t fool anyone. They didn’t belong to the prince anymore than Martin ever belonged to me. He was trying to fit where he had no business. In the end those sisters get their eyeballs plucked out by the birds. Just saying. Those Grimm brothers didn’t mess around.
What makes my story with Harry more magical is neither one of us believed there was anything that could ever happen between us but it did despite ourselves. Neither one of us was trying to “make it happen.” It just did.
And any reservation either one of us had about our surface characteristics began to melt away as we got to know each other better. Concerns I had, he has knocked down with each deep heart to heart talk we have and with each argument that ends in me respecting him MORE not less.
There is no way we could have known that we would hit it off this well. It’s been 5 months. Wow. Definitely no way we could have known that we were this compatible in the way we think about relationships, and work, and home, and family.
My Harry is the comfort of an old friend, the camaraderie of a brother, the protection of a father, and the love of a man all wrapped into one. Everything with him fits. The glass slipper is his. As if it has always been and like it will always be.
If we go through struggles with evil step-sisters or wicked witches or enchanted forests and evil spells…we have what my other stories did not have. We have trust. He is the only one I want with me to traverse that much danger and uncertainty. No matter what life brings, I choose him.
And that is what is so magical. A serendipitous discovery where normal becomes extraordinary. That is us.