You know I can still remember that time I heard my girlfriend talking over the phone. What’s particularly special about that you might say? Well we’d been dating for about a year and then we decided to live together. So between us we wanted to get a house in Huddersfield. Fair enough. We got on extremely well. But then – we’d only been living together for about a year when I heard her talking to one of her friends over the phone.
Well, that’s fine except I saw a very different person speaking on that phone. Her body language had completely changed. And as for how she spoke – well, I could make out one or two words but that was it. Even her Yorkshire dialect had gone.
At the end of the conversation she put the phone down and turned to me. Her body language and how she spoke had come back again. The Yorkshire lass I knew was back. (Yeah, I know I sound a bit patronising but I’m Lancashire lad. And I’m a betrayer to the Lancashire rose by moving to Yorkshire to live with her but anyway…) She was partly amused at my look but a bit embarrassed as well. Or at least that’s how it looked to me. She could see I was smiling. I wasn’t angry or judgemental or whatever.
There was just something else for me to learn about her.
I was so astonished and impressed by her when she described the things she did when she came from Jamaica to live in the UK.
The things she did, like the jobs she got; the part-time classes she had to go to in order to get her degree; her decision to buy a house in Leeds and completely redecorate it; plus moving to Huddersfield, having a baby and bringing up that child on her own.
Yeah, I learnt more things about her and I loved her more.
Mind you, she learnt an awful lot about me. She learnt about the various things I’d experienced. (But that’s a long story in itself so we’ll move on.)
Yeah, she and I ended up getting married.
Now, people of all sort of different identities attended our marriage. It didn’t matter who they were or where they came from. They were our friends – some of those were even family members as well – yeah that’s a bit weird – being friends with a member of your family.
Moving swiftly along.
My wife’s Matron of Honour was from Barbados. And my Best Man was a gay woman.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We even had a guy who’s a hairdresser and he came with his girlfriend.
So you should be proud of where you came from or who you are. My wife is and I’m proud of her.
By Lee R J Middlehurst