I met Ollie when I was sixteen years old. He was in my class at school. We did a Business Studies class together. He was the accountant, I was the secretary – a match made in heaven right from the start don’t you think? Unfortunately, I was going out with a right dork at the time, a big, scary dork at that. Ollie was lithe, Asian and beautiful. He was growing his hair long at the time, and he was so deliciously shy. I used to sit on his desk and tease him, and he would hide under his hair and giggle. It was so adorable. I knew I wanted him from that very moment.
It took me two years to finally get rid of the boyfriend I was already seeing at the time. By this time, I had almost forgotten about that beautiful shy boy. He’d changed schools (we both went to single sex schools) and I didn’t see him at all during our final year of high school. I quit school halfway through the year and did an outdoors course run by the local council. It was so much fun, we sea kayaked, tramped, went white water rafting, we spent about 4 months together, every day from 9am – 5pm and we really grew close. During this time, I met Justin. One day, on a ride home from some place we’d been doing something crazy at, I put on a mix tape I’d made, “Ship of Fools” by Erasure came on and Justin’s face just lit up. “I know this song!” He announced excitedly – Erasure weren’t popular OR known that well at the time, and he said “I only know one other person who would listen to this music.”
And that was it. Some months later, I had found work in a law firm. I went straight from the course into the job, and everyone was so proud that I got a job – that was after all, the whole point of the course. I was running around town and bumped into Justin and..interestingly enough Ollie. We looked at each other and I couldn’t stop, because I was working so I said hi to Justin and continued on my way. I heard Justin laughing as I left and a few days later he told me that Ollie had asked him if I was me, and he just knew. He eventually hooked us up together, we were 18 years old.
Ollie’s hair had grown out by this stage, it was long and beautiful and always smelled delicious. He was so gorgeous that I could not resist him. Left to right – Brent, Ollie, Justin and Brent’s friend whose name escapes me. This is at Brent’s parents house, we partied all the time. I was generally the only girl, and I cannot tell you how much fun I had with these boys. They were always so willing to pose and be stupid for me. This is a typical night for us. What I love the most about this photo is Ollie’s look at Brent, who obviously was not playing the game by showing his abs. These guys were so adorable.
Ollie was at University this year. He had just had his 18th birthday and we used to go out all the time. We’d go to a bar in the city (the drinking age was 20, by the way..I had a fake ID, I’m not sure how Ollie ever got in..sometimes we’d go in in a big loud group so that the bouncers did not notice the younger looking ones). We’d go to this bar for the covers band Joe 90, who were so freaking cool, they placed the best music.
Ollie and alcohol have always been a really bad mix. He gets drunk on the smell of it and turns bright red. But look at him. Look at the complete adoration on his face. I love this photo simply because of the way he has crushed me to him and looks like he might just die from the pleasure of being so close. He held me like this, all the time.
During this year, he had a University Ball which he invited me to. I couldn’t miss work, and was working about 3 jobs at the time, so I had to go down for just the weekend. It was the first time I’d travelled anywhere alone. I took a bus and when I arrived he took me back to the dorm he was staying in. He had a room by himself which was rare, particularly because it was a double room. I remember going to the toilet and coming back to find two guys sitting on his bed with the most expectant and hilarious looks on their faces. It was so funny and so embarrassing I wasn’t sure what to do. Getting dressed for the ball with a bunch of girls I didn’t know was frightening. When I went back to his room he said to his friend “Isn’t she gorgeous?” and his friend, Stephen – whom I miss terribly said “Yes she is mate. She’s beautiful.” I have never been so flattered in all my life. Although I don’t look particularly beautiful in this photo at all! This was the beginning of Ollie’s addiction with taking my photo, by the end of the weekend, I was so sick to death of photos that I wanted to smack him.
There are so many photos that I want to share with you all, it’s really hard to sit and choose which ones will work and which ones won’t. At the end of this year, he came home for the Christmas break. We partied loads, my sister went away and I looked after her house. I lost my grandfather…we created life. I remember being in Ollie’s shed (that’s where he lived when he came home) and listening to “Lightening Crashes” by Live for the first time. I cried, because I realised in that moment, that I wouldn’t see my Grandad alive again. I was right. Also, I knew I was pregnant. But I pushed it to the back of my mind, because…I had only just turned 19 years old. These things don’t happen when you are 19, they just don’t. You’re invincible and completely safe from all those real life things. Apparently I wasn’t.
I moved to Dunedin that year, I was going to do my final year of high school in preparation for University. Ollie came with me to help me settle in. I became incredibly sick, we finally bit the bullet and bought a pregnancy test. It took us ages hovering around in the chemist to get the nerve to do it. I did it soon after in a public toilet. As soon as I peed on it, it changed. I was so nervous, and so afraid that all I could do was laugh. He didn’t know what that meant..we talked about what to do, I couldn’t abort..I just couldn’t, and told him so. We sat in a park, stunned and completely unsure what to do. Ollie was still only 18 years old. He had never had a girlfriend other than me. He chose to stay.
They put me in hospital for severe dehydration. My veins had collapsed and they couldn’t find one to put the needle in to help rehydrate my body. I lost a lot of weight and spent 3 days letting them put fluids into my body again and get me eating again. I had the most wonderful nurse. She asked me if my parents knew and I cried. I told her no, and that I didn’t want to tell them. She told me I had to, and when I was ready, she would bring me a phone. The conversation was awful. I still remember you dad, and your sarcasm. I also remember the both of you telling me to come home. I had been expecting to be disowned, it was so nice to hear them want me back. Ollie came with me. He faced up to my parents after impregnating their youngest daughter. He was 18, don’t forget. My father still talks about how proud of him he was. It was a very brave thing to do, if you know my father, you’ll know why.
Ollie came up to see me every chance he got. I spent my pregnancy depressed and in tears. I was terrified of what was going to happen. I had no idea how to look after myself and now I was going to be the mother of a child. It was frightening. He soothed me with very few words. He would just hold me, or spend hours with me on the phone, just listening to me talk..he’d tell me he loved me and that would be enough. I missed him so much during this time. But he came up as often as he possibly could and always made sure that we did stuff together.
You can’t tell, but I am heavily pregnant here.
And here. Ollie spent his life loving me…he did everything to ensure I knew how much he loved me. He touched me all the time, he held me and kissed my tears away. He was everything anyone could ever want, and so incredibly beautiful on top of it. His hair became a problem for him however, and he began to be mistaken for a girl. He was delicate and slender and we would walk into shops together and the sales assistants would ask if they could help us girls. My sister in laws wedding celebrant asked my sister at her wedding, how I had a child when I was a lesbian. I loved it, it was hilarious, but it started to wear Ollie down.
He lived in a flat this year with some of his male friends from University. It was a real boys flat, they were all Engineering students bar Ollie. This was my first visit. I was still pregnant I believe. I went down after Siobhan was born too. This is around the time that Ollie decided it was time to cut his hair. The hairdresser, like all hairdressers refused to cut it all off, she said it would be too much of a shock for him and cut it shoulder length instead.
This is Ollie’s “I got your daughter pregnant!” look as he so affectionately calls it. I don’t have a lot of photos of him with his hair this length. It lasted maybe 6 months before he got the whole lot taken completely short. It was a huge shock for me at first, I loved his hair. He used to play bass guitar and hide behind it, it was beautiful.
And it has been varying ranges of short ever since. People don’t confuse him for a girl anymore, but they do confuse him for much much younger than her really is. Just the other night he was carded when he went to the supermarket for some wine. He said the lady gasped when she saw how old he was. The drinking age here is now 18, Ollie just turned 31. He is very lucky damnit!
The years have gone so fast since these days…that baby there, she’s turning 12 this year. On Tuesday, Ollie and I will be celebrating our 13th year together, and our second wedding anniversary. I hate to be a sappy romantic, but the truth is, I can’t even begin to tell you how much this man means to me. He is my very life. The person who grounds me, who picks me up when I fall, and I fall a lot. He has always been there, always loved me, and never ever judged me for anything I have, or have not done. I could not ask for a life partner better or more gorgeous than he is. Just look at him. He really is one of the most beautiful men I have ever seen. And do you know what makes it even better? He really, doesn’t see it.
This is the male part of the family I married into.
Thirteen years on the 15th of this month, an unlucky number for some. For me, it’s just another year that I can look back on and know just how incredibly blessed I have been to have had him share with me. Here’s to so many more to come.
Thank you for believing in me Oliver. I love you more than I ever really let on..homo. <3