Normally Gigi writes most of these blogs, with a few words written by one of the couple in the success story. When John said on face book that he’d be glad to tell me his story, I knew it would be beautifully written… After all he is a musician!!
How Gigi met John is quite a funny story. It’s when the Internet had just gained popularity and she was researching as much about Spain as she could.
One day she received a message from John, asking if she spoke Mallorquin because her profile said she was from Mallorca. There was a Mallorquin singer he loved and he wanted help translating her songs.
So they began an online friendship, sending and translating songs. Now it happened that one summer they were both going to Mallorca with their families. Gigi went with her sons and her Canadian boyfriend Daniel. John went with his wife and sons.
So Gigi was on the plane and the man sitting behind her struck up a conversation with her when he realized they all spoke English. As they were talking to each other, they realized who they were: Gigi and John!! (they’d never seen photos io each other). After meeting online and being friends for a year or so, they ended up on the same plane!!
They lost touch after that… Until face book of course. I think face book ends up bringing back into your life every single person you’ve ever known!!
Here is John’s store:
Neither of us remember meeting each other. Both of our earliest memories are different from each other’s. She remembered talking to me in line for a concert and I remember walking by the house where she lived in W. Philadelphia and seeing her on her porch and saying hello. But in both cases, we have the sense that we already knew each other. So there was never any Big Moment where I saw her walk across a crowded room and thought “That is the girl I’m going to marry”.
I was starting out as a musician in the local folk music scene and she was friends with people I knew in the scene. She was an art student. When I first knew her, in 1984, she was a very bohemian and quirky looking girl. She was skinny and had short hair and angular features and was the opposite of the girl I was seeing at the time, who was a voluptuous blonde bombshell. But I found myself thinking about Clarissa more and more and wishing that I was with her instead.
My girlfriend at the time decided to take an extended trip to Europe. She couldn’t bring herself to tell me that we were breaking up, but it sure seemed that way. This gave me the freedom to start calling Clarissa, who seemed fond of me, but not really interested in being more than friends.
I had been house sitting for a friend who lived a few blocks from Clarissa, and I kept trying to get her to see me. I don’t know what made her think of it, but one day she called me and invited me over to dinner. We had a nice dinner (although she made a dish with onions, which I hate, but did my best to hide that from her) and spent the evening walking around the city. It was much easier and more enjoyable to talk than either of us thought and we soon started seeing each other more often, and as soon as my girlfriend left the country, Clarissa and I wasted no time in connecting romantically.
Well, it wasn’t really quite that simple. Clarissa had been dating a guy. He was the Perfect Guy. He had a good job, and liked all the right movies and books and dressed well and her parents would think he was a wonderful son in-law. I hated him! Then one day Clarissa called me up and said she realized that, although he was the guy she was “supposed” to be with, I was much more fun; I was the guy she “wanted” to be with. And That was That.
It was clear early on that this was a very serious relationship. We not only related well in bed; we laughed all the time and never seemed to run out of things to talk about. Everything was great. Then my (ex?) girlfriend called and told me she was miserable and wanted to come back and be with me.
It was a very confusing time, and it took a few months for me to realize that I really wanted to be with Clarissa If anything, that time made me feel even stronger about Clarissa
At the time, I had no money and was struggling in music and it took more than a little convincing, plus Clarissa made it clear that she didn’t want a boyfriend who was sleeping on his mother’s couch, so I got it together and got a job and basically moved in with her.
We knew that we were a Couple. In my mind it was never a question that we’d get married. And we were not they type (We were Bohemians) to have me get on one knee, and go out and get an engagement ring. The fact was that one night I was feeling “interested” and she wasn’t so I brought up marriage in hopes that it would get her in the mood. (It did!)
We were married in June, 1988. It was a very organic ceremony in that we did much of it ourselves. A friend made Clarissa’s dress, and I wore a tie made from the same material. I wrote the music and had friends play it. Clarissa and her mother picked flowers from a childhood neighbor’s farm and the two of us went shopping in the Italian Market in Philadelphia for food to serve. Even the cake was made by a friend who was a baker.
I always felt that, once we decided to be a couple, being a couple was the priority. It wasn’t ever about Me or Her. It was always Us. And we like each other best when we are being who we are. If I ever got the sense that Clarissa was changing who she was because she thought that was what I wanted, it would upset me, and vice versa.
This means that we trust each other. We have learned to believe that we can be who we are and that the other will continue to love and admire them. I can look at a beautiful woman and she won’t feel threatened. She can have interests that don’t include me and that is fine. We can criticize each other’s work (my music and her painting) knowing that we both want each other to be better, so, even if we are being brutal (and we both can be), we trust each other. We have a running joke that our biggest disagreement is that we both think the other one is the smarter one.
We’ve also gotten good at fighting. If we argue, the goal is always to resolve things. It’s never to win the argument and it is especially never to hurt the other person. We stay on the subject and allow each other to have their say and figure out how to move forward.
As it is, both of us would rather spend our time with each other than anything else. We still have plenty to talk about. We still laugh together. And she’s still the sexiest girl I know.