They call us Georbyn. It’s one of those names that happens when you combine our first names, like Bennifer, Branjelina, and the now defunct Hiddleswift (RIP). Our story is not the kind that Hollywood would make a movie out of, but I’d like to think Nora Ephron might take a liking and at least write some kind of essay called, The Things We Find At Our Lockers or That Time We Broke The Rearview Mirror.
I clearly recall the day I met George. I had no idea where Gibsons was, but when my friend (who was quickly becoming one of my best friends) pushed this boy in front of me on my birthday, I had the opportunity to finally meet someone from the little Sunshine Coast town. It wasn’t a ground breaking moment. Nothing spectacular happened, but I remember it well. That was the day I met George.
For the first few years of high school, I had my group of friends and he had his. I went to George’s house once in high school with his cousin to watch The Green Mile. Missy and I sat curled up on his leather couch crying hysterically. George and I barely spoke.
We were science partners in grade 10. I was drawn to him. Not in a romantic way but a comfortable way. We were friends even though we didn’t speak much. He showed me the first Ipod, we watched a birth video together, I did very poorly in chemistry with him. George probably did well – he’s really smart. Grade 10 meant we were allowed to attend formal (ie. Prom). I had the idea that I would ask George to go - as friends. Unfortunately for our love story, someone else asked me first. George has mentioned that it was probably for the best and I agree. I still wonder what our fate would be if I had gotten to him first.
High school went on and there wasn’t much Georbyn action. We hung out a few times. During Christmastime, a bunch of us drove downtown listening to the Harry Potter soundtrack finished with a walk in Coal Harbour. This was a group event, not a date. We graduated together and headed off for summer vacation. I was dating someone at the time so we didn’t chat much, but we ran into each other a few times at Open Mic nights at a coffee shop, or when he was performing magic tricks outside a coffee shop (coffee shops were already a common denominator). Then came our first year in college.
George and I were in the same Psychology class; we ended up being desk buddies as was the ritual. I felt like we were long time friends. Whenever he was absent from class iI felt immediate panic. George then headed off to UBC and later Montreal for school.
Then I started working at Crema and we became good friends. We spent time with each other in groups, he gave me rides in his CRV. He drove me home many times where he would drive through the park late at night and play music from horror movies. During my time at Crema, I was dating someone so of course nothing came of these interactions.
And then I wasn’t.
When I worked at Crema, George would always show up at one point in the day either to drop something off or pick something up. I always felt so happy and excited when I saw him, but didn't recognize the feelings as anything more than seeing a good friend. One day I realized the truth of what those feelings were. I had a big giant crush on my friend George. George Giannakos? I specifically remember a shift when I was at work and George walked in wearing this green and blue plaid shirt looking just so adorable. I turned to my co-worker and said: “I think I’m going to marry George”. No dates, no nothing and I had this epiphany.
I must have mentioned my feelings towards him as some point because George and I had to meet up at JJ Bean (again with the coffee shops) where he told me he didn’t want to date me. I don’t think I took him seriously. I went off to university for a few months and he went down to San Fransisco for a few days. We both ended up doing our own thing for a little while yet again.
George was going to take a month long trip down to Florida to see family and I felt a certain sense of sadness when I was saying goodbye. Then I got an Iphone and we started texting (actually DMing through Twitter. Courting was swiftly becoming an online endeavour). We started talking. A lot. About everything. We clicked – like when something fits perfectly into something else. We even texted at midnight on Christmas. And then George came back from Florida.
We had somewhat of a whirlwind spring/summer romance. George will say we weren’t dating and I agree but we were definitely seeing each other. We were seeing movies, going out for lunches, having coffee, seeing shows, we even went to a dance. The ambiguous nature of our relationship was tough at times – George would have other things to do and be occupied out of the blue. He didn’t have to answer to me, we weren’t dating afterall. But something was happening but I didn't know what yet.
There came a point when it got too hard to be in an “in between” and not be a couple. I told George I didn’t want to have a relationship that had no foundation. It wasn’t a relationship. We didn’t speak for a little while and then one day at work George showed up and he apologized and we continued... not dating. I was happier to be with him than not, so I didn’t care and was fully in love.
Then came my heartbreak.
George left for Japan for a month followed by a three-month stint in Montreal only two weeks later. Him leaving me (and us) like that was a blow. I felt like I had lost something. I spent those three months trying my best to get through school and life. I went on a few dates as did he, but it didn’t feel the same. I was in love with him and he was far away. During that time I spent a lot of time with his younger brother, it was close to spending time with George and although I appreciated the it, my life wasn’t the same. He was missing.
A turning point came when George told me he was going out with a girl. I asked if it was a date and he said he didn’t know. I couldn’t handle that and imminently tried to pull the plug on the whole thing. I told him I didn’t want to be in love with someone who was going to go out on dates with other people. It was too hard. We didn't speak for a little bit but he got back in touch with me and we talked it out.
I literally counted down the days for George to get home. I could hardly contain my excitement. He showed up at my doorstep in December and I was elated. We started dating shortly after.
During our three years of dating we certainly went through some ups and downs. It was challenging and fun and we grew to know each other and understand each other. We almost broke up during a very serious Robyn breakdown. I was still carrying baggage from previous relationships and experiences that I mistakenly and selfishly brought into Robyn and George’s relationship. But I learned and we grew.
Three years after we started dating, George got down on one knee and asked me to marry him only a few streets down from where we will soon start building our very first home together.
They say that marriage is hard work and it's true, we work at it every day, but I don’t think it’s as hard as some think it is. It takes being open with one another and letting them see some of the not so pretty sides of yourself.
From two years of being married to the most caring man in the world I offer this advice:
Always stay young and have fun. I always hear from others about how George and I look like we’re having so much fun. The truth is: we are. We make time to do fun things whether it’s a road trip, the movies, going to the driving range, making dinner, going to the grocery store or furniture shopping. Anything I get to do with George is fun to me. It reminds me of when we first started dating and I could call him up and make plans to go on some adventure. That part of us hasn't changed since we've been married; it's only gotten better. I find myself daydreaming about him and missing him when I don’t get to see him. I still feel excitement well up inside me when I think about the minute I get to see him next. It’s better than butterflies.
I always think about how intertwining our relationship has been. It has almost been as though we were introduced as kids so we could become friends, find ourselves on our own, fall in love, and then get married. We were being prepared. Having so much history before we started dating has been a major blessing and I believe it has made our marriage that much more resilient.
George is the most wonderful man I have ever met. He is a gentleman and a sweetheart who loves his family more than anything. He is smart and he takes care of me and I take care of him - we take care of each other. He makes me ridiculously happy.
This is the story of how I met George, how we fell in love, and what two marriage means to me. It’s the story of us.