Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Pour Yourself a Cup of Tea and Let's Get to Know Each Other

Hello, I'm Sarah.

A British chick soon to be married to a San Franciscan, and then embarking on the adventure of a lifetime moving to California, USA to be with him. Go put the kettle on and settle in whilst I tell you a bit more about me, him and our story.

Peter and I met online (not on a dating site) in the Spring of 2012. We chatted with increasing frequency throughout the Summer, making our relationship official in the Autumn. Yes, before we'd met in person. Some thought we were crazy -- some probably still do. He came over for a glorious fortnight at the beginning of the following year. A long and lonely Spring and Summer later, I made it out stateside, where we got engaged. Now we're back in the world of video chats and looking forward to planning our wedding -- we've just set the date for next April. I'm excited!

If you've been following the timeline here, it does mean that we haven't seen each other at all so far in 2014. However, we are getting married in the UK, and that means that more time is required than in the USA. Getting registered to get married is valid for up to a year, but must be done a minimum of 15 full days prior to the ceremony, in order to give the locals the opportunity to object to the marriage if needed, e.g., if they could verify that one or the other had been married previously. Bizarrely, this increases to 16 days for a religious ceremony, and as we are both Christians, this is the type of wedding we will have.

Given the international nature of our relationship, Pete also has to have been in the country for 7 full days before we go to get registered to get married -- and we have to go together, in person. This makes a total of 23 full days Pete will have to be here before the wedding, and that's not including any time for a honeymoon, or for packing up and moving. Also, Americans get pitiful amounts of holidays from work (although 23++ days in one go would be rare here too). Therefore, we are going to break it up. Have him be in the country for the seven days and we get registered to get married, then wait out the 16-days-plus-a-few-months back in the land of the video chat, and have him come over a few days before the wedding. Hope he won't be too jet-lagged!

The good news in this plan is that Pete is going to come and visit me for Christmas! I can't wait! (Seriously, I'm already playing Christmas songs, the ones that count down to having one's beloved arrive back on Christmas Day. Yes, in July. Thinking about snow also has the same effect as a cool breeze on these hot summer days, though. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. But mostly I'm just starting the countdown a bit early.) The bad news is that I have to wait until Christmas to see him again... when I've already been waiting since last October. When another October will have passed us by, meaning both our dating and engagement anniversaries will have gone without us seeing each other in the flesh. I don't know how I'll handle that.

On that sad note, has the kettle boiled yet? I'll take tea with lemon and sugar, please. I've got a lot more to say, and we've got all afternoon, but in the meantime, why don't you leave me a note and start telling me your story. I'll play Mum.*

*Note to Americans and other foreigners: the British very often say "I'll play Mum," when they mean "I'll pour the tea from the teapot into the cups." We take this element of the tea-ritual very seriously.