Today, Other Half and I are celebrating our anniversary of 5 years together. This has been no mean feat considering we lived at opposite ends of the country for the first 3 and a half years and, only saw each other every other weekend and holidays. We were early pioneers of potential-couples-meeting-on- the-internet, not on a dating site but in one of AOL’s random chatrooms – there we were, silentdave26 and choccybear who were just destined to meet! (He got his screen name from a film and mine evolved from being sweet as chocolate, cute as teddy bear – stop laughing, everyone has some sort of secret identity online these days!!) As is completely characteristic of our relationship today, he was hanging around quietly in the chatroom while I made the first approach with my incredibly well thought out starter conversation, “Hey, why so quiet?” (see how I played on his screen name?!? And yes, cheesy I know!) It was enough to get the ball rolling and we chatted for hours. As he seemed pretty normal (you can only get a feel for these things!), we exchanged emails during the week and arranged to meet online at 10pm the following Saturday night. We talked non-stop for almost 7 hours, it was 4.50am when we finally signed off early that Sunday morning. Our screen names had a little cartoon character to represent us which would start to laugh when you typed ‘lol’ or frown if you included :0( in your text. After several weeks, my parents asked me to close my bedroom door when I was online as the incessant laughter from my cartoon owl (and indeed me!) was driving them crackers!
Our constant emails became our love letters, moving onto phone calls and
meeting in person for the first time, 5 and a half months after first chatting. The inital meet was far more stressful for our friends and family – my parents thought he would bury me under the patio, his parents thought I would steal their silver and my friends insisted I send them coded texts to prove I was still alive (every text had to start chocolate hobnob!) I flew down for our first (or last) make or break week together and it was fantastic, he had put lots of small romantic touches here and there which showed he had listened to things I had said, (always attractive to a woman!) and generally made an effort to make it a special time. 6 weeks later, he came up to me just after my birthday and we exchanged our first “I love you’s…’
The distance was frustrating for so long but the snatched weekends were always worth the wait. In a relationship, I have never been so relaxed, had so much fun or, have been so loved just for being me. I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m living for the here and now and loving our life together…
So, in your experience, do you think a long distance romance is worth
sticking around for?
… a receptionist! My new temping agency set me up with the booking and I’m sure like me, (unless you have ever worked a switchboard), you think it looks easy from the outside. Step into this world however, and it changes the way I will speak to receptionists in the future! I was lowered very gently into the role by a lovely lady who showed me the basics and let me start when I felt ready. Funnily enough, the thing I hate most about starting a new job is answering the phone as I’m always sure I won’t know what the person on the other end is talking about!
I waited nervously for the first call and sure enough, it came through. The first thing to note is the line number but as I do that, the caller reels off the name, company and person they want to speak at such speed, it’s almost impossible to write quickly enough. Throw in an accent of any description and my brain processor goes crazy! Then, I need to find them on the contact list, dial through and try to re-read my scrawl back to them. If they are not in, I take a message and send them an email but of course, in the middle of all that, the phone rings again. Then suddenly everything goes quiet and just as I’m drifting off into thought, it starts all over again..!
The people sitting around me in the office are all friendly and one even shares a similar accent as she too is originally from the North East. Us Northern foreigners are like meerkats, as soon as we hear a familiar accent, we perk up out of our chairs, trying to sense where it’s coming from so we can bond in our own special way. As the company is situated on an industrial estate on the outskirts of town, my usual lunchtime visit to Starbucks wasn’t an option and somehow, the lure of Morrison’s cafe round the corner just doesn’t hold the same appeal..!
In one of my quiet moments, I check my email and have one from my old temping agency telling me I have 2 weeks work back at the business show, looks like the potential work rumours yesterday were true…
January was a long, painful month workwise – apart from the disastrous 3 day unpaid stint at the potential job of my dreams, temping has been thin on the ground and for the first time, I had to use my savings to pay my share of the bills – ouch!
Despite having joined 2 temping agencies, the work on offer so far has been unsuitable; 2 months shredding documents and packing boxes in a room on my own, portacabin hire for 6 months with a view to permanent (not exactly in my dream job category) and a 4 week placement in a call centre doing shift work. I know temping is a random source of work but is it really so tricky to pick up some 9-5 office work?!?
Fortunately, my February has started on a brighter note with 2 days temping back at the business show I was with before Christmas and, 2 days at a brand new one. It’s lovely revisiting the old place as although the original job was crashingly boring, the people are great and they all seemed genuinely pleased to see me again :0) After 2 hours back, there are already potential job murmurings for me over the next few months, but having carried all my eggs in this companies basket before and being disappointed, I appear interested but non committal. That’s the thing about temping, you never know what’s round the corner…