§237 How I met my wife part 2October 8, 2008
Slowly but surely this girl in Sweden became a very good friend. We were both talkative and it was easy to keep in touch. In summer 2000 when I was visiting Sweden we happened to go to the same big gathering of people. That’s when I discovered that she was beautiful. I wasn’t dumbstruck with awe as I saw her, not like that. I just discovered that I was physically attracted to her. Not that I thought anything would happen. She was just a friend. But now later I can see that God systematically broke down the reasons not to be together – one by one. The reason “won’t work, I’m not attracted to her” was smashed in pieces right then. She was wearing something with bare shoulders. I don’t remember what she was wearing, but I remember the bare shoulders. So sexy. When I came to where we were supposed to meet I spotted her looking around for me, and I came up behind her and held her shoulders saying “hello”.
This may sound cute and romantic, but it wasn’t. I was pretty clear that we were just friends, and I just used the same horny behavior that I did on more or less every girl in my school back home in Israel, so there wasn’t anything special about that. It was just that the physical attraction reason was broken. What really drew us closer that day was our constant talk, and how we discovered how weird we both are. That cell phone illumination of parked cars license plates was really… our first abnormal behaviour together!
Anyway, back home to Israel, back to the new home in Eilat where my family had moved, getting ready for the trip to a summer school in France that I had won. Me and 29 other israeli youths. Most girls. The physical attraction reason was broken, but God had more barriers to break down. This time it was “it has to be an israeli” and “she’s not my type”. All those israeli girls – at least half of them my type. And I “fell in love” with a canadian not my type. I write “fell in love” because it wasn’t really that. The feelings and the potential was there and it was mutual, but we barely knew each other, and we both went back to the countries we came from. Nothing happened, no regrets. Strange though… was it my imagination or was she a little similar to that Swedish friend I have…?
Our online relation grew stronger and stronger. We were best friends. She was with me all the hard time when my dad lost his tourism job due to the intifada, and the family’s decision to go back to Sweden, and my decision to stay. I spoke to her about everything… except when I had a girlfriend. I didn’t tell her about the girlfriend. Why? I guess I was afraid she’d tell me the truth. That it’s stupid getting involved with someone you barely know, and that unless you see a wedding in the future, relationships hurt more than they give. I told her only on the same day I decided to break up with the girlfriend (we hadn’t gone out for two weeks even) and she told me exactly what I knew she would.
My family went back to Sweden, and I stayed with my dad for another 6 months until mid 2001, so I could finish high school.
I grew to like her more and more. Not only as a friend. She sent me mp3 of her singing and some random photos she had taken of herself. I’d listen to it, watching the photos as I chatted to her. She was great. Really great. And she loved Israel. But would she switch country for me? She always talked about her future plans as in Sweden. And every time she did so I felt an ice cold knife in my heart. But why? Did I want something more? Really? Was I only dreaming and getting carried away? Would she ever consider moving to Israel for me or would she demand me to go to Sweden? And how would I respond?
In May we spoke about our feelings for the first time. The parts I remember go like this:
She: “My friend “I” just asked me something”
She: “If something was happening between us”
My heart skipped a beat. This was it. The dreaded conversation I knew would come up.
Me: “What did you answer”
It felt like hours before her answer came
She: “I said not to worry. Nothing will happen”
That ice cold knife again. Twisting around this time. I tried to grab the only straw.
Me: “Did you mean it”
How one little word can hurt so much.
I don’t remember how the rest of the conversation went. But I did mention to her that I had feelings for her. And she responded that she also had feeling for me. Knife gone. I felt as if my chest was filled with warm bubbly water. I stressed the fact that I will always stay in Israel, and she said “of course, I know that!” Ok, so she knows. I know a relationship with her means planning a wedding. And she knows a wedding means moving to Israel. And she is still telling me she has feelings.
The warm water stayed with me when I went to bed. As a matter of fact I don’t think it ever left. It’s still there.
July 2001. I’ve finished high school, and I took a plane with my dad to Sweden. For him it was emigration. For me it was a month’s visit before going back and joining the army.
I was with my parents in southern Sweden in the beginning and went to visit her in the north a week later. I spent a week with her and her parents at their home. I visited their summer cabin and met her nephews and niece. Meeting the family. Does this happen with “just friends”? After a bunch of misunderstandings (I hugged her, held her hand, kissed her on the cheek – normal friendly behaviour in Eilat. Coming on to her for her) we ended up kissing (I took the initiative – I saw it in her eyes) on Friday July 13th.
We decided to keep things “up in the air” in the meanwhile, and not see other people until we reached a decision. The finally on August 31st we decided on ICQ that we are together for life. She came to visit with her parents December 28th, and we decided there was no reason postponing getting engaged. I was coming to Sweden in March 2002 for my 20th birthday, and we took the opportunity to see each other and get engaged. We still thought the wedding wouldn’t be until 2006, but some plans changed, and we decided to get married during my planned christmas visit to Sweden in December 2002. She came to visit in September to meet my friends, congregation, see our home, plan the wedding. And then in December 2002 I flew to Sweden to get married.
Christmas in the south with the parents. Caught a stomach disease and threw up. With much difficulty we avoided touching each other for a few days, and it went away before the wedding. Phew! No puking during the ceremony.
We got married December 28th 2002, and went home to Israel on her 21st birthday, January 4th 2003.