I have a major announcement to make.
I got married.
No, this isn’t a joke. Those of you who know me IRL (in real life for all you non-internet slang people) have known the entire story since day one, because I’m an oversharer but those of you who don’t. Let me tell you a tale of modern romance.
One day, back in late December early January, I was killing time and swiping along the ole Tinder app. I think I was probably on the tram or something heading to work, I don’t really recall the details because Tinder was my favorite tram activity, but I remember coming across this ridiculously handsome man. He was posing with a greyhound on the beach (I like dogs, I thought… I mean not really greyhounds but whatevs) and his profile was awful. I kid you not, it said “married with 2 kids, looking for some fun on the side……….. Just kidding.”
GROSS right? But anyway whatever, I don’t even know what my profile said but it was probably something about Drake or pizza.
I swiped right, he swiped right, the stars aligned and the exciting flash came on the screen *IT’S A MATCH*
I don’t remember our exact first conversation, but I remember being extremely impressed by his proper use of spelling and punctuation. In a world where so many people don’t use their, there or they’re properly, this became quite an annoyance to me, the 2nd Place winner of the 4th Grade Spelling Bee Competition at St Mary’s Catholic School.
Unlike most twerps on Tinder, he asked me questions, was clever, funny and cut out the BS. Rather than a lingering chat that would eventually fade into the Tinderal abyss, he was a man who knew what he wanted, and what he wanted was a date at The Richmond Club Hotel at 7pm sharp in 2 days. (Just an FYI to my American friends, a Hotel in Australia is basically a bar/restaurant. No our first date wasn’t in a hotel room. c’mon.)
I wasn’t used to this type of forwardness and though my margin of matches to going on actual dates with a complete internet stranger was very high, I figured I’d give it a shot. I mean you can’t meet anyone if you don’t put yourself out there and plus this dude was hawt and I’m all about punching above my weight.
For some reason the day before the date I decided to cut 6 inches off of my hair and dye it from blonde to dark brown. This sent me into a world of anxiety. Cool. Now I’m one of those people that doesn’t even look like my profile photos. I frantically toyed with the idea of bailing and came up with good excuses within my mind to not go, then around 6:20pm I took somewhere around 50 selfies and picked the best one and sent him a precautionary text “Hey this is what I look like! See you at 7” just to ease the shock and he wrote back promptly that he’d be in a suit sitting outside. This was the actual selfie I sent him (cringe)
I called an Uber and felt an oncoming emotional meltdown approach as I rolled up to the Pub. Yeah sure it’s just a date but this is an absolute stranger. I know times are changing and the way we meet people now often involve the internet but that doesn’t necessarily opt out the possibility that he could be a serial killer or absolute terrible person.
I packed my kitty shank keychain in my purse and had the driver circle around twice so I could scope him out. That’s when I saw this very attractive tall man in a suit *swoon* who matched the man in the photos and I hopped out of the car, actually tripped on my shoelace and nervously introduced myself.
Him in a suit, me in an old faded black shirt and a shroud of nervous energy. We ordered beers and got to talking. He seemed a bit nervous too though (he will deny it) and just when things couldn’t get anymore awkward, as he explained something to me with animation he knocked his entire pint of Carlton on the table, pouring it on to my pants and my phone (which would eventually result in it breaking, me losing his number and having to refind him on tinder)
The date went on for a few rounds of beer, he was a bit shy but we had good chats. I went home around 10 or 11 and shortly thereafter I received a text “Did you make it home okay?” I mean I only lived like 2 blocks away, and Melbourne was significantly more safe in comparison to say, Downtown Los Angeles, but his concern was something to be admired, a breath of fresh air if you will. So one date lead to another, to another and another. Things unfolded from there. In fact we didn’t even kiss until our 4th date I believe. At this point I kind of presumed he just wanted to be friends, but he tells me now he was just too scared to make the first move. Anyways, the more I saw him, the more I liked him. The more he saw me, the more he felt scared for his life (just kidding.)
Anyway I could probably bore you with all the details in between, but things carried along swimmingly. We couldn’t be more opposite, him, a nice boy from a farm town who enjoys hitting the gym at 5am, receiving honours in his masters degree program at the age of 24, a sports fanatic with protein powder in his kitchen cabinet. Me, a 29 year old backpacker with a high passion for taking naps, rap music and mediocre work ethic, but over the next 9 months things would evolve.
We would soon take an incredible camping trip together where Kookaburras and Koalas surrounded our campsite under the stars, we would go visit his hometown of Wagga Wagga (a place so nice they named it twice ;)) and I’d meet his fam, we’d fly to Southeast Asia together and laze around on an island. He’d be the one person to convince me to ride on a motorcycle (which will never happen again btw) Everything just felt easy and natural. Then, like a cold slam of arctic air, *BAM* You’re in love.
Soon came the devastating realization that whilst completely out of our control, we’d need to break up. My alloted year in Australia was up and that meant coming back to America, the fun was over. As I packed up my belongings and prepared for the harsh realization that it was time to go home, he decided to come with me for a couple weeks because we didn’t really want this separation to be real yet.
Now I’m not a conventional person, never have been. Many people have asked and no, there was no proposal and I’m really more than okay with this. How uncomfortable are proposals anyways? One minute you’re just enjoying your rigatoni and then suddenly your boyfriend is on his knees and all eyes are on you. I hate surprises. I’d much prefer to make a rational choice and discuss the plans to spend the rest of your life with someone because it’s sort of a huge deal. So here’s how it went down. As I recall we were laying in bed talking about how shitty everything was and racking our brains with weird plans to stay together and suddenly he was like “We should just get married.” This wasn’t the first time this idea crossed my mind, I just didn’t want to be the one to say it. I didn’t want him to think I was the creepiest person ever.
“Ummm Okay… let’s get married!” and it was really exciting. Life is so funny. So often you’re preoccupied with planning ‘how’ things will work out that you cease to just let it happen. The thought of being with this Tinder Boi until I was 98 years old didn’t once feel like a bad idea. As they say, when you know, you know. I immediately knew my friends and most especially my family would be shocked, do you need to see a psychologist? are you drunk? can you make a prenup? ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THIS? all the possible questions arose but somehow it just felt right. Originally we weren’t going to tell anyone and then eventually have a normal proper wedding in a few years but I can’t keep a secret so word spread, some friends arrived and it all happened.
There were so many moments leading up where I felt scared and times where I felt I needed to explain why I was doing this to people but there’s something so liberating when you decide to stop seeking validation. I mean when it all boils down to it, you’re the ones stuck with each other, it’s your lives being affected. I know it’s not acceptable by society’s standards to marry someone you’ve been dating for 9 months, or to not be engaged for a year or to not have a Pinterest-worthy, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, catered, RSVP, beautiful venue wedding in the vineyard, but we aren’t those type of people and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. We booked a $99 “Summer Special” wedding package at some dodgy chapel in Vegas. Les wore an Italian Suit (much class) and I bought a retro 50’s style (incredibly heavy) wedding dress but soon swapped it out for a simple white sundress I bought from Ross (minimal standards of luxury.) I wore leather sandals because heels are the worst and my friend Jackie from high school made us these incredible Australian/American themed Cupcakes.
We prioritized the involvement of debilitating amounts of liquor for our 8 guests and we had the reception in Mario Andretti’s Penthouse Suite at the Palms Place where we ordered Domino’s Pizza and had a nice nightcap at Hooters where my husband and I would feed each other a free slice of cheesecake that the nice waitress provided.
Proper? No. Somehow perfect? Yes. Our whole decision to keep it secret beyond a few friends and family kinda fell out the window after we stood up at that alter, took our vows, put rings on each other and eventually, consumed a few too many Patron shots. We were too excited to keep it to ourselves. We were married!
After the Vegas madness we had a very scenic and interesting honeymoon where we did a Campervan Relocation from http://imoova.com. Because what’s the best way to test a relationship than 3 days straight of being stuck in a vehicle together. With the relocation we were able to utilize a 2016 Winnebago for a mere $1 a night just by simply returning the RV from Vegas to it’s origin city of San Francisco. The only catch was that we had a strict timeline to do it in, but we made the most of it traveling on the incredibly scenic HWY 1. We stopped in some beautiful areas and had the most shockingly real Tarot Card reading in Morrow Bay.
We returned the RV and had a full day to explore the most romantically beautiful city in America and then took a $3 bus from SF to Sacramento (I love a good bargain) where we visited my brother for 2 days.
Then, as all good things come to an end, my husband flew back to Australia and just like a really depressing movie I waved him goodbye with tears in my eyes as he faded away to the distance.
So that’s it? I married an Australian, I can just fly back and be a citizen now right? Nope. Not that easy at all. In fact the hard times are ahead my friend. If I go back to Australia I need a visa and the entire process is a very expensive and timely battle involving $10,000 a good immigration attorney, several months of waiting, paperwork and headaches. The same goes for him coming here. Basically we just made our lives way more complicated and yet also exciting. Being long distance as newlyweds is really awful and the time difference only gives us a small window of time to communicate, but this is only temporary and we have some major plans in the works. Stay Tuned because it’s going to get exciting… we’ve got something up our sleeves
Mrs. Horan (that’s right, I may be married but Im not changing my surname because F*# the Patriarchy. The Horan legacy must live on)