Happy Valentine's Day!

by Sue Ellen Nario

**This post is an extremely late post that I intended to write before Valentine's day. I managed to write a little over half of it until writer's block hit. Oops.**

Okay. So I just want to warn you now that a cheesy post is coming through -- hey, it's Valentine's Day after all!

When I was in New York a few weeks ago, I decided to see If/Then on a last minute whim. Denisse saw it when she was there over the holidays and said it was good. I found cheap, nosebleed-section seats and off I went.

So the story is about Idina's character, Elizabeth, and how her life could have played out had she taken either invitation of her two friends that day at Madison Square Park. She plays out both lives ala Sliding Doors. It's the ultimate "what might have been?" story.

The reviews that I read were mixed.

As for me? I loved it. It's funny, tear-jerky and in the end, I realise, I loved it because I could so relate to how Patrick and I met and eventually got together. I guess now is a good segue for that story.

I think about the time when the opportunity to go to Joburg was presented to me and I wasn't super sure about it. In the end, I went because I didn't really have a valid reason not to go. It might be an adventure, I thought. 

Little did I know, that adventure was about to start practically as soon as I arrived.

A mere two days after getting there, I was carjacked. Yep, It couldn't have been a more dramatic beginning of a relationship. 

It was extremely terrifying and I swear, I thought to myself, "this is it. This is how I'm gonna go." It's probably the moment in my life I've been most afraid but thankfully, in the end, I was ok and they were only able to take my iPhone from me because I was silly enough to leave it out on the dash for people to see (biggest n00b move). Anyway, it took a while for someone to help me and I was just in shock.

Looking back now, it's kind of unbelievable and slightly comedic that, since my iPhone was taken, I only had a loan phone from work with me, but without any credits available to make a call or SMS and the only number I had stored on that phone was Patrick's. He entered it in earlier that day. The people who helped me let me use their phone to call Patrick but it turns out that his phone was busted! WHAT. Thank goodness our workmate, Orville, our logistics person, gave me a small print-out of important numbers to have. It had his (Orville's), our managers etc. So I call him, he totally sorts me out and was my lifesaver that night.

After filing the police report, they decided to have me stay at the hotel which was coincidentally right in front of Patrick's apartment. It had been a crazy, long, stressful night and I just needed to talk to someone and grab a drink. I go online and see my friend, Dave (who lives with Patrick) in chat. I ping him letting him know what happened and that if he could come over and have a drink with me. No answer. Turns out Dave was already asleep. Then I see Patrick online and so I message him the same thing. He only responds with, "I'll be there in five minutes." Five minutes later, we found ourselves sitting in the hotel lobby bar talking for, literally, hours. We closed the bar. 

To top it all off, it was also my birthday weekend. And all I could think about was how I was "alone" in a new country feeling sorry for myself without anyone to celebrate with (at least this is the ridiculous sad story in my mind). So he saves the day by organising a birthday braai with matching party hats and bubbles with all of our workmates in attendance. It turned out to be the best day! 

Patrick and I were pretty much inseparable since then. Primarily because, not only do we work together, but he became my ride to and from work and then we'd have dinner out most times during the week or we'd hang out at their place or ours (mine and my flatmate, Uchenna) watching telly. 

I remember talking to my friend, Craig, when I started having a crush on Patrick. It feels so juvenile saying that I started having a crush on him but I did! Butterflies and everything.

A few weeks later, we were officially dating and haven't looked back since.

It's been an incredible couple of years and everyday I am just so thankful and happy that I decided to take a chance on an unknown adventure and it has been one of the best decisions I made in my life.

I did not only get to go see and live in an amazingly beautiful country, made life-long friends, challenged me and helped me grow professionally but as an added bonus, I met the most wonderful, silliest, nicest guy who is truly the yin to my yang.

For example, he's a classic extrovert, I'm an introvert. I like reading books, he likes listening to them. I don't like pizza crusts, he eats them for me. He is really into sci-fi and I still don't really have the story to Star Wars down. 

However, we both just enjoy having a good laugh, a great karaoke sesh (even if I am tone deaf, he cheers me on to just keep rocking it), we both love to dance and should be any couple's perfect guests because we like to keep the dance floor going, and generally, we just don't take things too seriously. There is nothing that I love more than vegging in front of the telly, cuddling up to this guy. There is just a certain kind of peace that I find in those simple moments. 

But in all seriousness, even with our mis-matched personalities and interests, what I love is that when it comes down to what really matters, we share the same beliefs and values and how we see our lives together. Even if we disagree on what kind of white crockery to buy in Ikea, we tend to see eye to eye on the big, important life issues. 

And so, our adventure continues!

Happy very, very late Valentine's to my PT. <3