|Top of Snowdon (2011)|
I always cringe when people ask how Chris and I met. What I want to say is that our eyes met across a smoky, packed out dance floor and our aura’s connected in an event planned out for us in our destiny. The fact is it was on Match.com! Yep, the unromantic fact of the matter is that I was fast approaching 30 and felt like my life plan for motherhood, marriage, hugely successful fashion career, penthouse apartment and wardrobe packed with Prada was edging further away from my grasp NB; I of course recognise now, at the ripe old age of 38, that in fact 30 is still bloody young and in fact there was shed loads of time left for me to wait for destiny to wave its magic wand but hay, I’ve always been a planner (some would say control freak)….oh, and that 2 kids and a wardrobe stacked out with Prada would have never worked. I like to think that, even without the use of technology, it would have been a matter of time before me and Chris met ‘naturally’. It became apparent, following that first ‘wink’, that we had loads in common – same school, mutual friends, brought up in neighbouring villages, creative bods with a shared love of music and animation aimed at the under 12’s. By the time we met for a drink the conversation was effortless and we got on like a house on fire. I didn’t think anything of him having a soft drink whilst I had a bottle of beer on date 1 (apart from thinking ‘Christ he’s brave/mental for doing this sober’…I was a large glass of white wine down by the time I arrived – Dutch Courage and all that). I think it was on that first date when he told me he had Crohn’s Disease which in turn meant he couldn’t eat or drink certain food…including any alcohol whatsoever …even when used in cooking.
|Honeymoon (Berlin) 2014|
Now, I’m a drinker. Not an excessive drinker, but a drinker nevertheless. Back in 2010 when I met Chris (at the age of 29) booze featured quite prominently in my social calendar activities. We’ve gone on to have 2 kids and naturally my Mojito and Jaeger Meister consumption is not what it once was, but back in the day my diary was peppered with ‘Out for drinks with the girls’. ‘Drinks with mates after work’. ‘Ibiza holiday’. ‘Festival’. ‘Friends round for drinks’, etc, etc. To be dating a guy who was T-Total was quite a new experience. What would we do on our dates? Where would we go? Should I drink Coke too? But I’m hilarious/attractive/whitty/confident when pissed (obvs this is my pissed self thinking these things….I know now, thanks to smart phones, the reality is quite the opposite). How would he react when, sober as a judge, he watched me stumble out of a taxi and face plant my kebab in the garden at 2:30am? Would he hold my hair back when puking said kebab back up inbetween moans and groans of ‘I’m never drinking again’? Would he even be there to witness such carnage or would he be tucked up in bed by 9:30pm? The reality was that he dealt with it phenomenally well! We had (and still do have) an unwritten rule that theres absolutely no need for him to recall that moment(back in 2014) when I had to get him to stop the car on the way home from a wedding to puke in a cul-de-sac (sorry if that was your cul-de-sac). Or tell me the details of my drunken rantings at the Door Man outside McDonalds (circa 2012). The embarrassing drunken happenings, which I’m guessing would have been happily forgotten if both parties were as drunk as skunks, are never mentioned.
|NYE 2010 – clinging on for dear life, attempting to stay upright|
It has many perks being married to a sober dude;
· I’m never the designated driver
· All complimentary drinks are passed in my direction
· At least one of us isn’t hungover to deal with the kids
· The cost of a meal out is drastically reduced
· Our weekly food shop includes only 1 bottle of wine (aahhhhem)
|Date to Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2010 (thats not Chris)|
We’ve had to be creative with our date nights. Although not as often as they once were, we’ve compiled a list of date night ideas which don’t include the grog;
1; Cinema Trips. Hugely popular date night choice due to 2 small children and not enough sleep! This activity always includes 2 large brews, a packet of ‘Minstrels’ and a packet of ‘Revels’ (Chris can’t have coffee so Revels are quite literally the Russian roulette of the confectionary world in his eyes…which adds to the excitement of course!)
2; Drive to the coast for seafront walks/arcade machines/bumper cars/fish and chips. Luckily the Yorkshire Coast is only an hours drive away for us (so this is maybe not an option for you)
3; Restaurants. No need for pre-dinner drinks/after dinner cocktails so we tend to book a table early evening (sometimes you can get good deals on certain restaurants if booked outside their busiest times)….this also means one of us is physically able to handle the 4am wake up call from the 2 year old
4; Music gigs. Now bare with me as I wasn’t convinced about a sober gig pre-Chris either but, amazingly enough, gigs when sober are actually pretty good. Dare I say it….better!? No huge ques for the loo with lager filled bladder about to burst. Somehow the experience of the lights, sounds, vibrations from the speakers and general atmosphere is more impactful without a booze fuelled haze dumbing your senses. No hour long wait for the bar (and carefully balancing 3 pints to avoid going back for a while). Ohh, and you remember everything the next day!
5; Nights away. I love a good hotel/spa/B&B deal on Groupon! I still get excited walking into a hotel room for the first time and seeing which complimentary toiletries/biscuits/slippers I’ll be taking home!? Alternatively theres the cheaper option of camping (he’ll sit around the fire pit with a brew and I’ll have a glass of red whilst watching the stars/dodging the rain).
Chris doesn’t often complain about being sober, especially as we’ve grown up and our priorities have changed, but he does miss drinking sometimes. On a hot summers day he’ll sometimes wish he could have a cold beer out the fridge when he gets home from work. At our wedding he wished he could have had a drink to calm his nerves. He has to check ingredients for alcohol such as fruit cake, brandy sauce or red wine Jus.
Thank god I had the foresight back in 2010 (when I met Chris) to recognise that boozy nights out and social drinking was in fact only a small part of life. That the remaining 95% is filled with making memories with our children and sober activities like mowing the lawn, watching Spring Watch and doing your weekly ‘big’ shop in Aldi.