- I met my future husband, Will, while I was studying abroad in Oxford.
- Our bond grew even stronger when Will supported my mother after her suicide.
- I eventually moved to London, married Will and now we have four children.
I'm a native New Yorker who did my undergraduate studies at Oxford in the early 2000s. It was during Prince William's mania that Americans began flocking to St. Andrews in droves.
I didn't seriously expect to meet, date, kiss, or get married to Prince William, but I'm sure my mom would have hoped that would happen. I didn't care about titles, but I did think a lot about what it was like to date a British person, or to date multiple British people.
But I quickly decided that British men probably weren't for me. They were too weedy, too drunk, and didn't seem to like to express much emotion. Moreover, his mythical “accent” became more of a source of confusion than sex appeal after he realized he had over 30 different accents, depending on where he was from.
But I found my own will.
we first became close friends
We didn't have the same classes because we studied different subjects, but we attended the same university and lived in the same first-year dormitory. We were introduced through mutual friends during our first month in the UK. It was more than 20 years ago, but I vividly remember the meeting in the hallway. He was wearing a pale blue hoodie that matched his eyes. He spoke passionately about “Seinfeld” and his obsession with New York.
I heard a strange chirping sound, but it wasn't a butterfly.That was for sure: I knew this person somehow. It would be important in my life.
Will and I never dated in college. I had entered Oxford late, after spending a few semesters at a liberal arts college in the United States, so I was a few years older than him when we met. It doesn't seem like a big deal now, but at the time I felt too mature and wise to date someone younger than me.
Instead, we became the closest of friends, bonding over our love of food, pop culture, and similar senses of humor. Still, on paper they couldn't be more different. He is from London and comes from a large, close-knit family with five brothers and his one sister. I grew up in Manhattan, the only child of a single mother, with no other relatives. But I always felt comfortable talking to him. Best of all, I didn't have to police my personality around him. He enjoyed the weirdest, wildest version of me.
In a romantic film montage of his college days in England, Will is everywhere. Me and another friend are trekking to the pyramids in Egypt. One Christmas, he handed out presents wearing a Santa hat. He was standing next to me at the costume bops (college dance). Dinner and college ball.
Will was there for me when I needed him most
I lived in Paris with my mother while studying abroad for a year. She experienced a mental health crisis and she died by suicide after she lived there for several months. I had no other parents or family to contact.
I don't know how I would have gotten through that period without friends like Will, who showed up the day after my mother died and quietly, deftly, patiently put my life together and helped me get back to London. I wonder. my life.
After my mother died, I was in a deep state of confusion for a long time, convinced that I was damaged, and went about my daily life trying to numb my true emotions. I moved back to Manhattan, but I didn't think it would be healing to return to the city I grew up in without the people I loved most. In fact, I felt like I was a ghost.
Before I knew it, I was back in London.
Will and I weren't dating in the traditional sense when I started thinking about the possibility of quitting my job and moving to London. It may sound dramatic to change your life on a whim, but after my girlfriend's mother passed away, I stopped believing in stability. I was 25 years old and had nothing to lose. Will and I soon moved in together for financial reasons, and since I was initially unable to work legally in the UK, we “kickstarted” our relationship.
Rather than chasing the ghosts of the past, London provided the ideal backdrop to create new memories.
Sixteen years later, I still live in London with my husband Will, and I have no regrets. Now we have four children.
England is where I grew up. This is where I became a parent, a spouse, and a writer. This is where a part of me will forever remain 20, watching reruns of Seinfeld, eating supermarket tortellini, and slowly falling in love with a British guy in his dorm room. be.