When I first read the premise behind Russell's 'No More Bad Photos Competition' I thought it was going to be difficult to choose a photo, but once I sat down to write my entry one photo jumped out at me immediately. It was the first "couple" photo of Luke and I, taken on our first weekend away together to San Sebastián in March 2009.
Luke and I met during my first week in Pau, when we were introduced by my host mother, Domi, who was Luke's boss. (My apologies to the ones who already know this story.) We began dating almost immediately after meeting, but everything was casual. After all at the end of the summer I would be going back to America and Luke to England. The idea of it being anything serious, at the time, seemed impossible.
To this end, perhaps to convince ourselves more than anything, we tried to steer clear of what I would call "coupley" things. We didn't have any photos of just the two of us, if we were in a photo together someone else was always with us. We didn't call ourselves boyfriend and girlfriend. And perhaps most important of all, we didn't have the "so where is this going?" conversation that seems to plague so many relationships.
Our bubble of avoidance was shattered in mid-March when Luke asked if I would be interested in going away with him for the weekend, just the two of us. We considered going to Biarritz, but we had gone there a number of times already with our group of friends. Plus there was a strong likelihood that our friends would get the urge to go to the beach and join us. So we decided on San Sebastián - home of tapas, Basque cuisine, surfing, and the most Michelin star restaurants.
We spent the weekend laying on the beach, eating amazing Spanish cuisine, and visiting the same gelato place more times than I can remember. We taken a number of photos of each other but so far didn't have one of the two of us together. That changed on our last day on top of the San Sebastián Aquarium (we also discovered our mutual love of aquariums) when we finally had our first couple photo.
It is a little dark on our faces, and the pose is awkward because rather than find someone to take it for us, Luke is holding his hand out. But it still makes our photo album because it is our first.We may have fallen in love in Pau, but San Sebastián is where it all changed for us. I had no idea then that three years down the line I would be living in England, married to the incredible man posing right next to me.
We've often talked about going back to San Sebastián, the place where our relationship changed to the more serious. Someday we will, and we'll pose on top of the Aquarium like we did that day, but this time I think we'll ask a passer-by to take the photo for us.
Remember: The truly bad photos are the ones that don’t exist at all.
Entry for In Search of a Life Less Ordinary's 'No More Bad Photos Competition'