20

On the 13th July 1991 Chef and I caught a train from Sydney to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains to attend the 21st birthday party of someone from his uni dorm.

Why I went with him is one of those quirky mysteries. He had brazenly invited himself to a dinner party I was holding a couple of weeks prior at which I had a group of uni friends coming over to give my (first) ex-boyfriend the once over and to either confirm I had made the right decision to dump him the day (or so) after he had popped my cherry (I could never quite get over how ugly he was – how gruesomely bad is that. Yes, I am shallow and heartless. He had a shocking underbite which Chef can replicate with alarming perfection). Chef will tell you it was all a ruse to set up a compare and contrast for my friends between Exhibit A – the ex and Exhibit B – Chef but that is simply untrue. Afterall, he had invited himself over when I was infact asking him if he’d do my shift for me (at Pizza Hut) because I had this dinner planned.

Where were we?

Oh yes. So there was Chef asking me to cover a shift for him as he had this 21st to go to and I was all, oh no, I can’t do that as I’m going to that 21st as well. Outrageous!

So, there we were, 18 and 19 years old respectively on a train to Katoomba. He was wearing this really ugly leather college-style jacket which he of course adored. He barely said a word the whole.entire.way. It was rather stressful. We arrived in Katoomba and it was FUCKING freezing. We found the venue and Chef looked through the window, turned to me and said, ‘I don’t know anyone else in there’. I was, by this time, possibly in the early stages of hypothermia and commented that if he didn’t know anyone then what were the chances I knew anyone? We stood outside the venue (a Church hall perhaps?) for far too long trying to decide what to do.

We bailed and went to the Katoomba Hotel. Quite the classy establishment*. It had an Italian restaurant out the back and we got to inhaling a significant amount of alcohol to restore feeling to our extremities and well, to just take the edge off and to hopefully start him talking.

There was one other table there – three women from New Zealand. After a while and several carafes of house red later we were all sitting together along with the Chef. It was quite a night from what hazy shadows of it my memory allows.

The choir of angels and blinding orbs of romantic light hit at some late stage when one of the women asked how long we’d been together and we answered, IN UNISON, ‘oh we’re not together. YET’.

I KNOW. Do you need a minute to regroup?

After that there was a very hasty discussion between us while the others talked amongst themselves which involved an exchange along the lines of ‘I roolly loik you,’ ‘I roolly loik you too’ and then – and this is what I have remembered for FOREVER, Chef said ‘I really want to be with you for a really long time’. How ODD and comforting all at the same time huh?

Then there was some significant sucking off of each other’s face and giggles and cheers and more alcohol.

Of course it was a little later the Chef asked us where we were staying for the night and we were all, ‘oh no, we’re getting the train back to Sydney’ and he was all ‘oh no the last train left about an hour ago’. And we were all, ‘oh shit’ and then, ‘well have you got any rooms?’ and he was all, ‘oh NO, there’s __ festival on at the moment and we’re booked out as is pretty much everything else in town.’

You can see where this is heading can’t you. Can’t you?

We SLEPT ON THE FLOOR of the New Zealanders. And if by sleep I mean basically had sex with our clothes on then yes, we slept on their floor.

I have this to say about that part of the experience: FUCK IT WAS COLD and the flooring was those weird carpet floor tiles that are really scratchy and OH MY GOD MY HEAD.

I know I know. I am one of the classiest women you have ever met.

I have no idea what really happened after that. We must have slept for some period of time, woken outrageously early as we sensed death from freezing was imminent and escaped to Katoomba railway station where we SHIVERED until a train arrived about an hour later.

Ahhh, good times.

Did I have any idea back then we would be here, together, 20 years later? Absolutely not.

Can I believe we are? Absolutely.

I remember back then being completely intrigued by him – he seemed so sad and yet was such a practical joker and was just adored by so many workmates. He was so freaking quiet – I mean how can someone say so little? It still baffles me. Of course, when he does say something it absolutely nails the topic or scene that is at play.

We have been through so much – we have, in essence grown up together.

There was quite a while in there when Oscar and Felix were little that I didn’t think we’d make it.

There have been many many many hardships and trials and hurdles.

But equally there has been so much laughter, so much good food, a lot of booze and well, look, we’ve virtually created our own race.

Onward!

 

 

*not really

 

 

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  • That is an absolutely rocking post. I laughed out loud. You’re ace, lady. xx

  • I loved this post. LOVED it. I just adore reading couple’s stories about how they met and your story was both riveting. Which I think is part because it’s such a great story and part cos you wrote it so well.

    Congrats. xxx

    • I should tell the pre-story, it’s even better.

  • I’m proud of you and with you.

  • Stephanie Deck

    Possibly one of my favourite posts of yours. Laughed so hard. Love xx

  • LOVED this post. LOVED it. If you were here, I would have punched you in the arm. What a story! I FELT that cold. Those first pashes. Those giggles. AND the bit where you said “I want to be with you for a long time.” I remember on like my second or third date with Rob and we were standing drunkedly (is that EVEN a word) and he was all like “I reeeeaaallly like you” and I was all like “It’s OK. I like you too. It’s OK, I know we are going to get married and have kids. It’s OK, you don’t have to say anything.” Yep. That’s a way to scare a good man off! Rob is quiet too. I think they have to be, to keep up with us.

    GREAT story. GREAT couple. Here’s the 20 more years young lovers x

    • Early on there was an incident when we were driving along in his Datsun and I asked Chef, ‘what are you thinking about’ and he was all, nothing, just driving along. So then he asked me. I was all- I’m just thinking about the Bosnian Serbian crisis and how there is a way out of it and how could people possibly do that to each other and the damage between these two gruops of people seems irreparable… and so on and so forth.
      Crickets.

  • Trish

    Beats M&B hands or rather pants down any time.

  • awwwww kim what a great lurve story! laughing out loud reading it!!!!!!!! so much better than mills & boon. I just love hearing how other people met.I met retro daddy on a contiki trip but I was a lady…………I waited…………one night! So if I ever had to tell my kids I would say I didn’t let him sleep with me the first night!!! ahhh the memories.

    happy 20 years!
    Corrie:)

  • I do of course love this story but I might love the Bosnian Serbian crisis story even more!

  • LOL Love the classy carpet tiles…yes, they were horrifically itchy and scratchy!

  • Mrs Woog

    THat is such a cook story! Katoomba IS freezing. Glad you kept your clothes on for rumpy pumpy x

  • Kirsti

    Love this. I shed a tear. Actually, I shed a few. Well done xx

  • probably one of the best hook up stories ever.

    And WAY classier than mine. Oh yes.

  • Gold! So delightful Kim. And 20yrs – bloody hell that’s a long time. xx

  • Karen

    Your writing is awesome.

  • Paola

    So the bed shark was born a floor shark.
    What an amazingly bizarre story you just shared with us. It’s SO you.
    Adorable.

    (I married the same kind of man. One word per day tops, but THE right one every time.)

  • How can ANYTHING have been 20 years ago?

  • Pet

    Here I am, 11.29pm thoroughly loving your story, quite something to read of ‘family shenanagins’ felt the freezingness of the hard cold floor, the whole bit. Love you heaps xxxxx

  • Rollicking roll down memory lane – in more ways than one.
    SawHole recently posted..Preconceptions

  • I love reading about how couples got together. Probably because it’s a tiny sliver of an insight into a completely hidden world. And I’m a big ass stickybeak.
    Zoey @ Good Googs recently posted..Sometimes Parents Say Ugly Things

  • Loved reading this Kim. Uni mates and 21sts and freezing one’s arse off anywhere from the Blue Mountains to Bathurst is my early 90s.
    Rachel @ The Kids Are All Right recently posted..‘You’re grounded’ and other futile punishments