My man

So Heather over at Dooce did a meme today. I would say it was the first meme she’s done in at least two years, probably even three, maybe even more! She told her congregation to go forth and do the same and so it came to pass, a meme about my man, Chef:

What are your middle names?
My middle name is Elizabeth, Chef’s is James. Can you get more white bread?

How long have you been together?
Together for 18 years this year (CRIKEY!) and married for 11, 12 in October.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
About three months. I had started working at the local Pizza Hut, in the hideous grey wrap-around one-size-fits-all-except-me skirt and everyone kept talking about this guy – about how cool he was, about what a practical joker he was, about how he had something like nine written warnings when you were only meant to get three before being sacked – who was away at uni. When he returned at Easter to pick up some shifts I arrived at work to a definite ‘buzz’ in the air – this guy was back! So I headed up to C-section, where we all ate staff meals etc, and there he was. Absolutely nothing like I had expected. But he had this enigmatic mix of twinkly eyes mixed with a general saddness about him. He tortured me at work with various practical jokes – including sending one pan seperator lid through the headbanger fridge (which cut between the front prep area and the back wash-up area) to me at a time, telling me it was the last one, for the duration of an entire shift. There was something like He went back to uni after two weeks and the following term break was when we got together.

Who asked whom out?
Well… that’s tricky. Can I answer red wine did? Two weeks earlier I had asked him to do a shift for me as I was having a dinner party w/ some friends from uni. The purpose of the dinner was to invite the guy I had lost the big V to over and to get the input of these friends as to whether he was the tragedy I now thought he was or if it was something I should pursue. Chef said he couldn’t do it because he was coming and that his invitation must have been lost in the mail. For some reason I thought this hilarious and did invite him over. At the end of the dinner (when from the minute I saw the V-taker I knew I could never ever touch him again, let alone see him) all my friends said, ‘don’t think much of the V-man but ___ (chef) is a good egg and he really likes you.’ This was confirmed by mum, my brother and my mother’s then boyfriend. I hadn’t really thought of Chef in that light at all, so it was an interesting idea.

Anyway, about two weeks later, Chef asked me to do a shift for him as he had a 21st to go to in the Blue Mountains. I told him I couldn’t do it because I was going to the same 21st and my invite must have got lost in the mail.

So an already long story short, we went together. We got to the 21st, Chef looked in and said that no one else from uni had showed up and that he didn’t know anyone in there. The up shot was, he didn’t want to go in and if he didn’t go then I sure as hell wasn’t going in. So we went to the nearest pub and had dinner at the little Italian restaurant out the back. The night went on. We consumed a.l.o.t. of red wine. We joined tables with the ladies next to us – some tourists from New Zealand. The chef and waiter joined us. One of the women asked us how long we’d been together and we looked at each other and not.a.word.of.a.lie both said, in perfect unison, ‘oh, we’re not together. Yet.’

And then we pashed.

How old are each of you?
I’m 36, he’s 37.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
My brother is here every other weekend when he has our neice so we probably see more of him. Chef has an older brother and younger sister. We all get on very well. It makes me very happy indeed.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
The thing that is the hardest for us as a couple now is finding time for ‘just us’ and ensuring each other is ‘ok’. We’re pretty good at it though. The hardest situation for us overall has been the growing up together as well as growing as parents at the same time. There have been some very difficult and dark times.

Did you go to the same school?
Nope. Considering I went to an all girls school that is probably a good thing. We went to the same uni but Chef was only there for a year. The year before I transfered there. It was three hours out of Sydney. It had the most highly regarded communications degree and while I had decided I didn’t want to go away to uni when I was at school, once I had a boyfriend and the promise of regular sex at that university I was filling out those transfer forms before you knew it. Naturally Chef then got kicked out for not even turning up to two of his end-of-year exams. And so continued our long distance relationship for the next four years.

Are you from the same home town?

Who is smarter?
Chef. Without a doubt. But I am more driven and stubborn.

Who is the most sensitive?
Chef. Without a doubt. He just doesn’t show it. My heart, meanwhile, is on my sleeve.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
It is pretty rare but it is pretty much always brunch or lunch. There is an awesome cafe in Avalon I’ve mentioned before called The Cook’s Larder which we love, while we also adore this sushi place in Chatswood, the name of which eludes me.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Tasmania. Twice. We almost moved there near the beginning of our relationship, such is our shared love of its wild and windswept coast.

Who has the craziest exes?
Well, considering Chef’s life before we started going out is pretty much a mystery only he knows about and I only went out with one other guy (see above) there are no crazy exes to speak of.

Who has the worst temper?

Who does the cooking?
Me. The guy cooks for a living. As if he’s coming home to whip up dinner. Although when he does – YUM.

Who is the neat-freak?
Well, let’s just say that when Chef notices how trashed the house it it really is time to call for a skip bin.

Who is more stubborn?
He is a quiet patient stubborn while I am a stomp around slam the door type stubborn. He wins.

Who hogs the bed?
Yeah, he might be 6ft4 and built like a brick shit house but I get the bed. Well actually, we have a king size bed so we both do OK.

Who wakes up earlier?
Haha. Hahahahahahaha. Chef once told me in the heat of an arguement about how he never got up early to the children and how I was dying to just sleep in ONCE he very calmly told me he had carved out a whole career around sleeping in. He now works at a place where he does breakfast four mornings a week. Karma baby. Karma.

Where was your first date?
See above.

Who is more jealous?
I don’t think you could call either of us the jealous type.

How long did it take to get serious?
We were always serious. The night we got together, even though we were both off our collective nut, he said to me, ‘I really really like you and I want something with you that will last a long time.’

Who eats more?

Who does the laundry?

Who’s better with the computer?
Hmmm, the techy software side, Chef. The Word shortcuts side, me.

Who drives when you are together?
Chef, but that’s just because he never gets to drive the bus otherwise.