(This is the third installment in my very own, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ episode, except it’s father, not mother,and actually only husband, not father yet, unless I’m telling this story to Fifty, in which case I guess this is, ‘How I Met Your Father’. You can find part one here, followed by part two here)
There I was, coat and purse slung over my arm, frazzled, irritated, and trying to make my way out of the crowded nightclub. And there he was, tall, blonde, tanned, broad shouldered, definitely not Irish, and walking straight for me.
We stopped about foot away and stared at each other for a few seconds. Then, in heavily accented English, he spoke. “I am Gregory” he said, except it sounded like, “I am Gwegowy.” I smiled and nodded and asked him where he was from. “I am Fwench.” OK. I asked him if he wanted to go to the bar and get a drink, but due to the loud music and Gregory only knowing how to say about two things in English (I am Gregory. I am French), there was a great deal of miming and pointing involved. Eventually he copped on.
sidebar: I’m inserting this sidebar now after writing the rest of the post because I think that it is important to note a couple of things… First, from the moment I met Gregory, I knew he was ‘it’. It’s not like there were shooting stars and stuff, it was a feeling, like a feeling of calm, and just knowing. It was as if I had been waiting to exhale for a very long time and finally could. And second, I always thought that that moment when we walked towards each other was the first time Gregory had seen me (it was the first time I had seen him) but I found out after moving to France, that he had spotted me a few times earlier that night. So I’m pretty sure (although he refuses to admit it) that he saw me leaving, and finally took his chance. Stalker.
It didn’t take us long to figure out that trying to have a conversation was basically impossible, so I left my coat and purse with my coworkers (lots of smiling and winking from their end), and we moved to the dance floor. This is when I found out that Gregory is a horrible dancer. I tried to find away to talk instead (anything to make the dancing stop). It turned out that some of his French friends were on the dance floor also, and could speak English, so Gregory recruited Alex as our translator.
I found out that Gregory had only arrived three days before and had come to Ireland to learn English. I was pretty sure that I could help him with that so I put my number in his phone and asked Alex to tell him that I was going to head home, but if he ever wanted to go for a bite to eat or a drink or something he should text me (a phone call would have been damn near impossible at this point… in fact, we were dating about six weeks before we had our first actual phone conversation). Alex told Gregory what I said, he looked at me, said OK and followed me out of the club. I didn’t mean go out for a bite to eat right at that moment, but it didn’t really matter (the first of many, many lost in translation moments).
So that’s how we found ourselves on our first date, eating burgers and fries at a little place around the corner at 1AM, about an hour after we met. And then two days shy of ten months later, I was on a plane bound for France and my new life in Le Petit Village.
met her French husband in a nightclub in Dublin.