My husband and I met here in Malta in a pub called Zmerc (which is pronounced Zmerch). It was the summer of 2000 and he was in Malta for a family reunion. You see, his mum is Maltese and I was good friends with his cousin (or rather, second cousin, but everyone is a cousin here in Malta). I received a phone call at work that morning and was invited to attend. Having nothing planned, I decided that I would. I suppose you could say that the rest is history – but not quite.
Meeting new people in person is always tough for me. So I spent the evening sipping Chardonnay, answering questions and smiling a lot. The next day was business as usual and the previous evening was soon just a hazy memory. Life went on and I never thought back about that night. A year later, I got uninvolved with the person I had been dating and a few weeks after that I wrote my first e-mail to a handsome guy from St Louis. We wrote back and forth every day, and now that I know my husband so much better, I realise how hard that must have been for him. Unlike me, he is not a scribbler. That December he returned to Malta for another cousin’s wedding and we became inseparable.
But we had to separate, of course, making plans to meet in the US the following year. Since that visit, I’ve travelled to America many times, but that first trip stands out as the most memorable. We met in Chicago and I can still remember feeling dazed and jet-lagged, walking in the shadow of some of the tallest buildings I had ever seen and trying to take it all in. It felt surreal. Chicago has a vibe all of its own and it resonates well with me, even though I am not a city person. But it has carved a niche in my heart and I love it most of all the US cities I have seen so far. After Chicago, we flew to St Louis to meet family and then we headed west, to Salt Lake City. From there we drove to Moab, visiting Arches National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park and then on to Las Vegas and the West Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Perhaps it was inevitable, but I was still shocked when he proposed to me on the 8th of July, as the sun set behind Delicate Arch in Moab. We were married ten years ago today, in a small church, in my home town. It’s foundation stone was laid in 1492 – quite appropriate, don’t you think?
This post is long enough, so I won’t go into our actual wedding day. Maybe I will write about that some other time. For today, I will leave you with ‘our song’.