I can read people on meeting them. I decide within the first few minutes if I like you – there’s no in between, it’s a yes or no. You may never know what list you fall on, but it’s there. I can mentally weed out fake people, nasty women and with a husband who is generous to a fault – those there for the wrong reasons.
I’ve never been wrong – except once.
Prior to meeting my husband I had my first son and to live in Sydney had to house share. This is hard when you have a child – through friends I got a flat mate – Craig. I knew at first sight I liked him. After living with him for a while it was a friendship set for life. He was 11 years older than me. Single. Never married and had no kids. He was gorgeous inside and out. Think a man who listened to me – at the time I was a man hater. He cooked us dinner, he cleaned and played with my son. On Christmas morning I woke to twice the presents under the tree for my son – he had shopped and purchased more Santa gifts. He was the perfect man, so why weren’t girls beating his door down? I lost sleep over it.
Then one day he came home from work, and dropped a bombshell.
“I got a phone call at work today from an old girl friend. I have a child – and she’s 5 years old. They’re coming down on the weekend”
My reaction is not printable. I went nuts. I looked up DNA clinic numbers, and solicitors. He was too nice to even doubt the story. I was not. I instantly hated this woman. With a vengeance. She was number 1 on my hit list. That weekend, her, her first daughter and Craig’s daughter arrived. I took one look at her, and said out loud “you don’t need that DNA test.” His daughter was the spitting image of him. Looks, mannerisms the whole lot. She was perfect. And she was his.
He started visiting them up the coast on weekends, and they came to our house. She had not told him about the pregnancy for personal reasons – health issues had made her seek him out. We all spent time together. And something happened. I started liking this woman. A lot. I fought it, this wasn’t in the plan. I hated her. But she was funny, nice and a great mother. I adored the girls and her mum. We became friends. Very good friends.
Something else was happening too – after a trip to Canberra to visit Nicole’s family they came back a couple. They had fallen in love.
On the 21st of November 2009 they were married, and I was bridesmaid. I stood watching two of my favourite people in the world say they would be together till death do us part. And they have been. Through good times and bad, kids, and recently becoming grandparents. He fathers both his daughters like a pro. He is sweet, beautiful, giving. And so is she.
That phone call delivered more than Craig a family. It delivered me a best friend for life, an extended family, and the one time I am happy to say my first impression was wrong.