From drunk nights to date nights and all the in betweens, our Saturday nights were always fun. We met in Seoul, South Korea which has a huge expat community and an electric night life. So, yeah, you could say our relationship was pretty much built on socialising and getting drunk in the beginning. In fact we officially got together while drunk on New Year’s Eve in an Irish bar we frequented a lot. I know, I know, the romance is killing you.
I met Berto on my second night in Seoul. Of course, he doesn’t remember meeting me that night. How could he when he walked into the bar in space boots shouting, “HUP!!” and was clearly intoxicated. We passed a couple of words that night but nothing major for another couple of weeks. Our next meeting was weird for me. We just talked and talked. We clicked.
I hadn’t the best history with men, to say the least and had gone to Korea as a kind of detox. That went well, I arrived there in late August, started seeing Berto in mid-September, officially got together that New Year’s Eve and then married two years later. I’ve never really been one for detoxes anyway.
Our relationship moved pretty quickly but we were happy. We were living our best lives: going out most weekends with some date nights thrown in the mix too (before meeting up with friends for drinks), discussing travel plans and just generally having fun.
We left Korea when my second year visa expired and travelled South East Asia, Myanmar and India for three months before returning to Ireland to get married.
I’ve heard that travelling can either make or break a couple. With a hand on my heart, I can honestly say it made us. We were both doing something we had always dreamt of; something we were both so passionate about. Did we have disagreements on our travels? Absolutely. But they were over in a flash and we carried on to our next adventure. It was so amazing and it brought us even closer together.
Almost a year after leaving South Korea we moved to Shenzhen, China as a married couple. We didn’t think that status would have any affect on our socialising or meeting new friends. Shenzhen was a little different to Seoul when it came to making friends anyway. In Seoul, we had a huge social circle but even outside of our circle, everyone just got along. If you ventured out alone, you’d always find someone to chat to. All the expats were simply awesome and some will be our friends for life. Shenzhen’s expats had their cliques and it was a little more difficult to make friends. Then we were told that we hadn’t been invited to a night out because we were “a married couple and probably wouldn’t want to get drunk and messy.” Little did they know, drunk and messy were our middle names.
I guess that’s when things started to change a little. We still went out in Shenzhen but not as much. We had friends but not as many. Then we started talking about having kids and soon we were expecting baby number one. While I was pregnant, we still went out and had fun, I just didn’t drink and Berto kept his “getting messy” to a minimum. But again, we were faced with another “we didn’t ask you guys because …” comment. This time because I was pregnant.
When we decided to have a baby, I didn’t think anything would change much. Berto on the other hand, being the more realistic half of this relationship, knew there would be huge changes. I think I was just so caught up in my need for a baby that I couldn’t really see much further than my bump.
Now, as I sit silently on our hotel bed, Reagan between us and Leticia at the other side of Berto, both of us sipping wine but neither of us speaking apart from the occasional whisper or “love you”, I realise how much our relationship has changed. Of course I miss the old Lorraine and Berto out on a Saturday night, drinking rings around each other and burning up the dance floor. How could I not miss it? It was a big part of how we met and what we did together. And while this isn’t really what you’d consider a “wild Saturday night”, its certainly what I’m comfortable with right now.
Our babies are still so young. We’re still getting to know them. Their personalities have so much more growing to do, and so do they. But time goes far too quickly. While I’d love the odd night out now, I’m also quite content sitting here knowing that our babies are healthy and happy. Of course, it might be a little better if Berto and I could actually have a conversation without the fear of waking either of them up but hey, that’s parenthood.
Before we know it, our girls will be grown and we’ll be able to go out again. I’m not sure we’ll be quite able for a “wild night out” by that time but we’ll definitely give it a shot. I’m sure the hangover will be well worth it by then too.