Change is a funny thing. I grew up surrounded by people who were not only repelled by it, but steadfastly pulled against it or anything resembling it. I lived in one house from when I was born, till I was 6. I lived in a second house from 6 until I left home (properly) at 20. I pretty much left home directly into my first serious (in the true meaning of serious) relationship.
It’s no wonder I reacted badly to the demise of that relationship – at the time it was the one stable, steady, unchanging thing I had in my life.
At the end of my relationship with Alan there were a lot of changes in quick succession. I moved around 6 times in 12 months. I pared my belongings down to 3 pieces of furniture and a car load. I decided I was going to be very good at my job and so worked very hard in that direction. At the same time, though, I was subconsciously placing myself in a rut so I was back where it was comfortable and stable.
Anyway, whole other story for a whole other night, and the reason I got onto this was because of the wedding this weekend. It’s nice, sometimes, to know some things never change. Brett in a lot of ways through uni was my mental savoir. I’ve always found it easier to be friends with guys rather than girls, and he and I pretty much hit it off from orientation. He was always so dorky and awkward, but on the other hand had a wicked sense of humor and was the life of the party, particularly when he was pissed. I have memories of he and I standing in a very long queue of very quiet people waiting for a bus, and him dropping suddenly onto the ground into a commando roll going ‘PEW PEW PEW’ with his fingers up as guns. And then there was the time I refused to come out with him and his buddies from south campus, so he bullied them all into coming around to my house dressed as gangsters and they literally kidnapped me. Physically turned up to the house at around 10PM and dragged me into the car. Only in Wagga could you get into a night club in pyjamas without ID. And then there was the time he showed up to my birthday party dressed in a 1970’s suit, having written a poem using the letters of my name, and recited it using props (like a cauliflower and cheezels for some reason) and without doctoring the colourful language in front of my grandparents. So. Many. Stories.
The whole time I knew him through uni he was never in a relationship. He always had plenty of women in his life (room, tent, whatever) but was never in anything more than a few weeks or months at a time. This is not through lack of trying on his part though. I have never, ever known a person with the capacity like he has to fall in love with a girl. And he would fall for seemingly anyone without warning – he didn’t have a type – each girl was remarkably different. Once he decided he was in love with someone that was IT – forsaking all others yada yada. It made things interesting at times, particularly when he fell pretty hard for Angela for a period of about 10 months when she was still with Matt. Anyway.
Every time he fell he went in full tilt. He bought them flowers and rings in the first couple of weeks, he started planning their lives together pretty much after the first date (or hook up, whatever came first). For reasons that I completely understand this scared most of them off – to have a guy that visibly besotted with you is a little off-putting.
Case in point – in the final year of uni I came up to Sydney during break for 2 weeks (I had just started seeing Alan). I get back to Wagga, having not seen him for only 2 weeks, and the first time I see him I’m on the bus and he’s on the street. As the bus is pulling in he’s looking at me grinning like an idiot and pointing at his finger. He gets on the bus and points again, without saying anything.
‘Oh! Right. What sort of ring?’
‘It’s an engagement ring! I’m engaged!’
Queue a big fat WTF look from me at this point. ??I mean, the girl gets the ring, right? Also –
I had never met Renee. Neither had he until 2 weeks before. Thereafter came some crazy nights of he and his new fianc?? coming out to the pub with us and us getting to know the finer points of Renee. There were only a few so we got that out of the way pretty quickly.
Anyway, in full Brett fashion he decided that they should both go to New Zealand to meet his family. At this point he decides, being the old fashioned gentleman he is, that he would go to NZ and shear sheep for a few months to save enough money to take them both over there. He scrapes his pennies together, gets on a plane, and finds himself a job. During the time he’s away I hear hide nor hair of Renee, but to be honest I was all good with that.
Anyway, Brett gets back to find Renee isn’t answering his calls. She’s not phoning him and will have none of his nonsense. He finds out through the grapevine that she’s now with someone else and didn’t want to be with him anymore.
It was heartbreaking to watch.
There are a lot of stories like that. Like the time he actually moved in with one after a couple of weeks (again engaged) and headed back to NZ, only to return and find she’d not only kicked him out and changed the locks, but had shacked up with a guy from the RAAF. Poor bastard.
So I was more than a bit curious to meet this girl who he’s not only been together with for 2 years, but he’s actually making it to the alter with. I’ve kept in touch enough with him over the years to know he hadn’t changed a terrible amount, but then when Rebecca (his wife now) made her speech, it became clear just how much he hasn’t. Apparently they met at the Coogee Bay Hotel on her last night in town (before flying out to NZ). They met and hit it off completely, and had a really amazing night together. Brett at the time was working in a pretty decent job. So what does he do when she leaves? Chucks his job in and follows her. Just like that. Decides that she’s the one for him, and to hell with everything.
I guess it just goes to show; if you stick with one method of anything long enough eventually you’ll find success. Brett landed his woman in the end, and she seems like a great girl. They were so genuinely into one another – it restores a girl’s faith that it can happen. People can co inhabit and enjoy it. It makes me a little less scared when it comes to certain things.
Also, even with all the cheese and craptastic music, it was great night. And you know why? Because everyone there was so happy – to just be there, to start off with, but also because Brett and Rebecca were. It was a small wedding in the local town hall, but it was great. I’m really glad I went.
Congrats Bwetty – you’ve come a long way baby. Way to get the girl.