We met in a singles bar. We were both there just for the music. Some girlfriends talked me into going after a very traumatic marriage break-up. Men and romance were off my agenda forever-so I was there only to dance. He was there to watch his friend playing in the band. We were both standing at the bar. He said hi and I tried to ignore him. Then he asked if I’d like to dance. Well, I did come here only to dance-so maybe just one dance and that’s it.
I looked over his shoulder while we danced. He made small talk-told me he was a musician. He said I looked familiar. I said ‘You probably played at one of my weddings’. He continued chatting while we danced, ‘Were you born here?’, Which school did you go to?’ Blaaaaah. Then I stopped looking over his shoulder and starting listening. Turns out-we grew up about 4 kilometres from each other in Melbourne-me in Richmond-John in Brunswick. During my younger years we used to visit my cousins that lived just a few doors down from him. His father was born in the same village I was born in-Bella, Italy. Even in a new country people from the same village mixed in the same circles. But we’d never met.
Our lives took different, faraway roads. I was forced into an arranged marriage when I was seventeen. I jumped ship when I was eighteen and remarried a couple of years later. That lasted 23 years. John pursued a musical career as a drummer. He became sought after, backing international stars when they played in Australia. He met lots of women too, but he never met ‘the one’.
After that first meeting we agreed to catch up for coffee ‘sometime’….
When I began meeting his family and friends he’d introduce me by saying “I’ve waited 47 years for my Pupa (that’s our dialect for Bambola=Doll) because he was forty-seven when we met.
We both believe we were meant to be together earlier in our lives. The singles bar we met at was in Richmond-I always tell him we had to go back to our early roots-so that we could meet where we should’ve met a long time ago. Also-my first husband had the same surname as John. I always tell John I married the wrong Petri, that he should’ve come looking for me earlier.