Friday, June 25, 2010

Boy meets Girl

Imagine a grungy guy walks up to you in a foreign bar. His hair is overgrown and fro-like. His beard is so out there that the once fu manchu is just an accented puff around his mouth.

Now if you were me and this man walked up to you in a bar in Barcelona, you would marry him.  That is my story. It's a grubby, I-wasn't-planning-on-going-out-but-my-friends-dragged-me-here boy meets I-went-shopping-in-Spain-and-look-a-bit-like-Eurotrash-American girl.  In what quirky romantic comedy wouldn't that work out perfectly!

There weren't any tables that night at La Ovella Negra.  Both Shelby and I and Daniel and his friends were on the search for a place to set our tooshes.  My friend and I resigned ourselves to a bench next to the Foosball table.  Daniel had spotted us and started to make his way over.

We stood up and I got a good look at my suitor.  It was a feeling I'll never forget.  We locked eyes and I was shaken down to my core. Sorry for the cliche but the truth is the truth.  It was one of those moments when you get an almost too intimate look into a strangers eyes, the kind that makes you feel like you saw a glimpse of their soul.

I immediately turned to Shelby and desperately whispered in her ear. "He's going to change my life!" Pan to Shelby's major confusion and worrisome thoughts that her friend is crazy.

We played foosball for a while until a table opened up. We all sat down and at that point I felt that Daniel was losing steam and I was interested in him.  The evening was coming to an end and my aloofness was going to bite me in the ass.  I needed a plan of action and I needed one fast.

I stood up and annouced I wanted to play darts and was anyone with me?  Before anyone else could answer, not that they would have, I set my eyes on Daniel. He must have caught on because he went to get the darts from the cashier.

We were finally alone and chatting. He was playing horribly and I told him so.

Aren't I charming?

He insisted that I was distracting him because I was standing so close.  There was no room there and I got a little confused like maybe I was crowding him.  Duh, he wanted to be crowded. I moved closer and breathed on his neck.  That distracted him.  Then it was my turn. Payback is a bitch.

I was about to throw the dart and Daniel crept up and kissed a wonderful spot on my neck that I didn't even know existed.  In an accidental yet very entertaining move, I missed the dartboard completely and hit the middle of someone's table.  They were not nearly as amused as Daniel.

If he was going to be daring, I was too. He was still very close and I turned quickly. Our noses were practically touching.  He kissed me. I kissed him. Oh the slippery slope we slid down after that crazy, fabulous kiss!

By the way, he kissed me first! He feels that when I turned I was the one who made the move. I think I just set it up for him to make the move. Your thoughts? Who's right?

Anyway, we spent an amazing 10 'Before Sunrise' days walking around Barcelona.  We talked or didn't, met up with his friends, and ran errands all over the city. It was his last 10 days in Barcelona. He was returning to Rio de Janeiro and he had decided to spend them with me.

The signs were amazing.  On countless occasions we found ourselves running into weddings.  At one point we literally walked into one as they were leaving the church. On another we found ourselves walking on a sidewalk covered in roses, only to discover we were outside yet another church after yet another wedding.  It was as if the world was trying to tell us something.

The day he left, he left early in the morning. We said goodbye and he headed off.  I was only flying to Ireland that night so I decided to drag my sorry ass to a favorite plaza and have some breakfast.  Armed with my discman (oh the days of discmen) and journal, I was prepared to wallow in my coffee and misery.  Low and behold, to my surprise, the church across from the plaza opened up and out poured yet another wedding party. Seriously? Seriously! Give a girl a break!

Well, life had another plan.  We couldn't forget each other.  2 months after our summer love affair, Daniel wrote and told me to wait for him.

He was in San Diego 5 days before my 23rd birthday.  I had to keep touching him to believe it. We were married 2 months later.  We're going on 7 years now.

We finally made our official move to Brazil a little over 4 years ago.  I was 2 months pregnant with our first born and Daniel was offered a good job in Rio de Janeiro.  Baby meant it was time to settle down.

Our families were amazingly supportive of our short courtship, although I know there was some definite shit talk happening behind the scenes.  That's ok though, I am a common member of the family gossip party and smack talking on both sides. I fully expect it to be directed towards us sometimes. I would be offended if it wasn't.  It's a special way of caring.

The important part is that we are happy. We have learned from all highs and lows and our children have only stabilized and made our marriage happier. As a co-worker once told me when I found out I was pregnant with my first, a child will destroy a bad marriage and will make a good one better. Thankfully we're the latter!


  1. aawwwwwww u guys are so romantic and cute! You can totally tell the flame is still there after all those years!

  2. That's sparks & fire... as my mom used to say "your marriage will never be dull"... happens when two feisty people connect. They have both met their match... and they are one. Jim and I have breathed several sighs of relief and thanks for the best possible outcome.

  3. I think you made the move first!

    very good one, now I'm going to ask Mel to write one about how we met,,, :)

  4. I'd love to read that! Who made the first move there? I'll give you that I busted out a move to open the way for him to actually make the move

  5. what do they put in the jarras de sangria en la oveja negra?? i know FOUR international couples that met at that same bar and are also now married happily. i spent my whole first three years in barcelona in that bar...what happened to me? ha ha. sweet story, very inspiring =)

  6. Love your story!!! When we meet in Rio I'll share our story with you, too ;-)

  7. So sweet, I'm even choked up a little! You have given me a big smile today. Charming and touching story! bjs

  8. This is right up there with the best "at first sight" stories! So cute, it also brightened my day too.
    Congratulations on finding each other! x