This was another post featured in The Country Life. For those of you who have read my online book, this post will be a bit familiar. For new readers, who might like to check out my book, you can find it on the tab above. It's the story of how I met and married The Farmer.
Three weeks into my teaching position a colleague invited me out for drinks. Apparently the local rugby team were in town for training. Apparently that was exciting. I didn’t want to go. I had been out all day and was hot and tired. But it was just going to be one drink. One drink.
They say that first impressions count, and as I slunk into the Sports Bar dressed in tight, sweaty jeans, and a green and white baseball shirt, I clearly wasn’t worried about that. I managed to brush my hair, however the sweat still permeated my brow and face. I had only planned on staying out west for six months. I was saving money, teaching, and country boys held little to no interest for me at all. Thankfully, the bar was packed with a sea of red and white sweaty rugby shirt wearers, oblivious to my aversion to the heat. Apparently the post-training drink was something of a ritual for them.
I had mastered the art of entering a room without making eye contact with anyone, and thankfully I located my colleague fairly quickly. I sat and made pleasant chit chat with my colleague and some other teachers, sipping on a cold drink. One drink.
I scanned the room quickly; the anxious behaviour of someone in a place where they feel uncomfortable. I saw my colleague had moved and was sitting at a tall, circular table with four of the rugby players. I didn't pay any attention, and hurriedly sipped down the remainder of my drink. I reached for my purse, said a few goodbyes, and stood, as if to make my quick getaway from the bar. My colleague friend met me before I could move anywhere.
"Jess, come and meet these guys. They are all keen to meet the new school teacher." Her eyes were sparkling. I was like a shiny new toy.
"I'm sure they are. Just tell them I'm tired. I want to go home. Goodnight!” I tried to side step her and escape before this got even harder.
"Please. Last time I'll ask. Promise." So I put on my best polite smile and followed her to the circular table.
The four males were watching every step. It had gone desperately quiet at their table. I was sure that all four of them were very decent guys, but I was just so desperately tired.
"Hi!" I smiled again. I offered an extended hand to shake as she introduced all four by name.
I smiled and shook the first one’s hand. And then another smile, and another shake. And another…
"And this is The Farmer."
And suddenly I realised I wasn't going anywhere.
Thirteen years later I am still here, and to think that that night it was only supposed to be one drink. Perhaps there’s something to be said about first impressions after all.