It’s a little known truth that I met Hubby through Lycos Chat. (That’s a chat-room on the internet, just in case there is anyone here from pre-2003. We didn’t have such things as Facebook, Twitter or Tinder back then!) For two years we chatted. I only knew him by his screen-name “Vodkaprince”, and I was known as “Shy_Tiger”. (Hence my Twitter name.) We also had really dodgy photos on our profile pages. So dodgy that I believe they have been “lost”, which means that I can’t share them with you. Damn.
But I looked something like this:
Anyway… After a couple of years, Vodkaprince started bugging me to meet up IRL. Meet up?! Really?! But you could be a mad-axe murderer! I kept putting him off, faking illnesses a few days before we were due to meet, that sort of thing. But eventually I gave in. I was 20 and working as a veterinary nursing student in Lincoln at the time, so we agreed that he would meet me at the surgery. When he turned up, I was not at my best. I had the world’s dodgiest perm, no makeup, and we had just operated on a cat that had resulted in me being sprayed in blood, whilst wearing my ever-so-sexy uniform of trousers and a baggy polo T-shirt. We were running late, so I asked if he wouldn’t mind coming back later. (My flatmate had already warned me not to leave him alone in the flat in case he stole her hi-fi system. Again, it’s 2003. We didn’t have smartphones and iPods.)
A few hours later he returned.
You know that saying: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”? Well it goes for women as well. Rich turned up with three bags of shopping, a huge bunch of flowers and the biggest Easter egg you have ever seen. (It was April 2003.) And then he said those words that every woman wants to hear: “I’m going to cook dinner.” I could have swooned right there and then.
The vet and the receptionist started discussing whether it was love or lust. The vet (male) said it was definitely love, while the receptionist (female) said it was lust, we hadn’t known each other long enough. I can promise you, the moment I realised he had filled my fridge and freezer (I was a poor, lowly student vet nurse), it was most definitely love.
He did pizza that night – simple enough. And we watched Top Gear. It wasn’t overly romantic, but I was on call, so we couldn’t drink. The next day (Sunday), I had to go down to the surgery and check on all the animals. I broke my flatmate’s rule and let him stay unattended (to be fair, the flat was above the surgery). I came up at lunch time to find he had cooked lamb chops with curly kale, roast potatoes, and some other veg. I don’t know why I remember the curly kale and roast potatoes, but I do. Probably carrots. Whatever, it was delicious, and yup. I was DEFINITELY in love.
He was romantic, he could cook, he cleaned up afterwards, AND, as the next day was Bank Holiday Monday and I wasn’t on duty, he even came over to meet my family – on the third day of our relationship. Three days, and he met my mum, step-dad, two younger sisters, and my grandparents.
He was a keeper.