So I had a number of options for this. A teeth-itching and overly sweet homage to the many things I Love about Grumpy. Erm. Nah.
Then I thought I could do a nice cheesy “Secrets to a successful marriage” thing for you all to read. Upon reflection, I realized that our marriage is not always a raging success, and what works for us could very well be just the thing that ruins a different couple’s union. So no, I won’t do that either.
What I will do is tell you how we met, what it is like being a part of team Happy Hobbit, tell you what works for us and why, and then share with you some pictures of our first wedding. Like these ones!
This is going to take two, possibly three instalments to get through, but if nobody reads the first part (How the Hobbits Met) then perhaps I won’t bore you with further insight into the intimate workings of Hobbity Happily Every After… We shall see.
On with the story of how we met.
Way back in what our children refer to as “the olden days” or, sometimes also known as “the time before time” I had an amazing job as the sales and marketing manager for a small but mighty ISP.
About this same time, Grumpy was enjoying the momentum of releasing his first successful commercial product, and working on making some new fangled DJ stuff that would revolutionize the music industry (or so I’ve heard it said).
He and I lived and worked in the magical city of Auckland New Zealand. We shared many of the same interests, even a handful of mutual friends; yet, until one fateful phonecall in 2002, our paths had never crossed (that we know of).
Steve’s good friend and flatmate Blair was interested in starting a web hosting company. So, being the renowned persnickety geek that he is, he offered to do some research to help Blair source the best possible co-location and hosting solution he could get for his money.
Little did our grumpy protagonist know that this search would lead him not only to a fast, friendly, fully redundant, and exceedingly well priced network; it would also lead him right into the waiting arms of fate and the rest of his life.
I answered the phone, in my usual enthusiastic manner. After several dozen months of intense training (drinking Guinness with the system administrators and learning about how the Internets work) I had gleaned enough information on “getting the packets through” to hold my own when conversing with potential clients of various technical knowledge and ability.
Steve Hoek was my most formidable challenge to date. He wanted to know everything from SLA (Service Level Agreements) to uptimes, to latency, to costing, to contracts… Whew. What a royal pain in the ass he was. But he was nice, and openly impressed with my knowledge and the non-salesperson approach I took to dealing with him. I was not pushy and I didn’t make things up, and if he asked a question to which I had no answer, I’d go and call Sneep (the network administrator) and get the answer before responding.
Hmmmm. I wonder if I should mention I kinda had a boyfriend at this point. Nah, that just makes me sound like a bit of a jerk, and probably make this story extra long and confusing. (Besides, I always kinda had a boyfriend.)
On with the story.
So the day came for a network tour.
No big deal. I did these all the time.
Off to the NOC (Network Operation Centre) I went to await the arrival of a potential new co-location customer.
Steve was accompanied by his business partner AJ, and his good friend Blair.
He drove up in an RX7. I was duly unimpressed, and assumed that this (VERY attractive man) was a total douche. He had a goatee (yuck, I hate facial hair) and drove a red rocket sports car. Not at all the stock standard aloof-kindhearted-train-wreck- of-a-man I tended to go for.
I didn’t think much of our meeting.
Steve, on the other hand, was deep in the throws of lust at first sight.
So, he asked me out, I did not disclose the fact I had a boyfriend (in my defense, because I knew that relationship was doomed anyway). And to be fair, he didn’t ask me out, so much as ask me to his flatwarming. And I stood him up, dealing with soon-to-be-ex boyfriend dramas.
Around this time both Steve and I had independently reached the conclusion that relationships weren’t for us. Too much drama, too much stress.
There was much to-ing and fro-ing between us, but long story short, we couldn’t stay away from each other. I tried to fight the urge to fall into a relationship with this tiny but terrifically toned man. At this point, I had already laid down the law and told him that no matter where we were heading, there was no point pursuing a relationship with me unless he could accept the fact I DEMANDED children one day. That chat occurred on our second “official” date.
We’d been dating for a few weeks at this point, but he hadn’t “put out” as it were by then. A new and strange concept to me entirely. We spent a great deal of time together, and slept in the same bed frequently either at his place or mine where we would watch movies and chat until the wee small hours of the morning.
His father died on Boxing day 2002, and we had already planned a road trip together for New Years Eve to the mountain as I was going to teach him how to ski. I was invited to the funeral. And that, was the day that I fell absolutely, undeniable, irrefutably, completely and eternally in Love with him. It had been coming on for a while, but seeing how he was with his ex-girlfriends, and his mother that day. Well, that sealed the deal and both of our fates for eternity.
He read “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” for his father who had so loved the sea.
We spent our first road trip away together at The Hobbit motel in Ohakune. We ate a nice dinner, and the next day I abandoned him completely to figure out on his own how to ski (“make wide turns!”) and headed off on my own to carve up some runs.
A few weeks later in January, he had to go off with his silly little company Serato to a trade-show in Anaheim California to demonstrate a new DJ product he’d been working on for some time.
He came home, got dropped off on my doorstep, and just never left. He proposed in March, and we were married on January 24th 2004.
And that… is the story of how we met.
Tonight I will type out some details about how I figure it is we’ve weathered our storms and still rather like each other (most of the time) and you may or may not find it helpful.
Thank you so much for tuning in.
Looking forward to sharing more of our story with you soon.
Off to the Science and Technology Museum with our eldest son now.