Thank you to all the entrants in our Valentine’s Day “How we Met” love story with Ben Moss Jewellers. It was extremely difficult to choose a winning entry, as there were over 100 wonderful entries to choose from. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to share your love stories with us, they were all inspirational and moving. Clearly, love is in the air!
Our judges from Southgate and Ben Moss would like to congratulate Norlyn Bitangcol for being deemed the winner of the $1000 Ben Moss Jewellers gift card! She wrote a beautiful and moving story on how she met her loved one. Here is a snippet of her winning story below:
“I can’t believe I married Curtis from Junior High and High School!”
You know how all teeny bopper movies start out in the hallways of a busy school full of shots of random teenagers until everything goes into slow motion as they introduce the “Hot Guy character”. You know him… the tall, blonde, cute, boy-next-door character. The Guy that all the girls secretly have a crush on, but are all too scared to talk to.
Well that’s the start of my true life love story with my true life love and soul mate… My Husband, Curtis.
Not only was my Husband the “tall, blonde, cute, boy-next-door character” they write about in teen romance movies — he was literally the boy that lived right down the street from me! Some of our first interactions were shyly standing next to each other at the bus stop in the mornings as we headed to the same Junior High School. We were the same age but never in the same classes. And though we stood at the same bus stop every morning, and we knew we went to the same school, we didn’t really talk to each other.
Though I describe my Husband as the stereo-typical leading man in a teen highschool movie, he did differ from the stereo-typical character in that he was NOT the over confident captain of the football team. He was NOT the most egotistical, popular guy in school. He did NOT date the head cheerleader, and he was NOT the life of the party.
Infact, what made me and all of the other girls fall in love with him was that he was so nice but so shy that he didn’t talk to anyone … especially girls (which made us all think he was mysterious). He didn’t join in any sports teams (which made us all think he was in tune with his sensitive side). He never went to parties (though he was always the first to be invited). And what made him stand out even more is the fact that he experienced his growth spurt a year earlier than everyone else in our grade. So he was over 6 feet tall at the age of 13! It was kind of hard NOT to notice him, you know?
Me on the other hand…NO ONE noticed me.
I, too, was shy. I was not involved in any school clubs, and infact I was the tiny, quiet, Asian girl that everyone mistook for that “other Asian girl”. People usually didn’t know or remember my name and I was just one in a hand full of girls that had a crush on Curtis.
To make a long story shorter…
Junior high flew by and off we all went to high school. The SAME high school.
So there we were, still standing at the bus stop together, me still having a secret crush on Curtis. Except that in High School, I was now one in a hundred girls that had a crush on him. Bigger school just meant more girls secretly infatuated with him. He hadn’t changed, still shy, not talkative, didn’t date, kept to himself…it made us all that much more intrigued.
And then we got to Grade 12! The age of having class spares and getting our driver’s licenses. Like I mentioned before, though we were the same age, throughout our 6 years of school together we were never in the same classes! So spares (blocks of free time between classes) changed everything for me. Imagine my surprise when I found out we had spares at the same time as each other! I’d spend my spares in the library and guess who was there!? Curtis!
Eventually we would talk more and more. Sit together and do homework together. Sometimes he would even walk me to my locker after spare. Eventually those talks would lead to him offering me a ride home now that he had his license and was proud to be driving his first “beater car”. We did of course live so close to each other it was nice of him to offer. We had become friends and I was happy with that.
To be honest, life took over and over time I admit that I had become boy crazed with other boys than just Curtis over the years. Like any other high school girl, I was known to fall in love every five minutes. At one point I thought I might even move to L.A and marry Mathew Perry from the tv show Friends. But deep down inside, I still always held a flame for Curtis. The cute boy that I went to junior high and high school with.
I went to Post secondary, graduated, started working, moved to different cities. I kept in touch with all of my girlfriends through the years and would hear bits and pieces of news about Curtis here and there. News that would twig that part of my memory that maybe still had a girlish crush on him.
And then we were 22 years old…
Where did the time go?
I had moved back to the city for work and was meeting up with my sister in the mall for a shopping date when I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I turned around and saw Curtis, the same boy I had a crush on all those years ago…except now he was a man!
We chatted about work, and life after high school, people we still kept in touch with — a chat that lasted about a half an hour in my sister’s mind (as she was patiently and awkwardly waiting for me off to the side). Though I was now older and a little more daring and confident (I gave him the flirty vibes all throughout the conversation) I found that Curtis was still as shy as ever. I thought for sure after talking to eachother for that long he would eventually ask me for my number….but nope. When I sensed that he wouldn’t get the nerve to do it, I finally cut the conversation off. ”Well it was nice running into you again Curtis…maybe I’ll see you around sometime.”
I walked away happy to have seen him again. But sadly, I was slightly disappointed that I wouldn’t see him again.
The Shy Guy finally gets brave..
A few days later I get a call from Curtis! I’m stunned and the first words out of my nervous mouth are “How did you get my number?” Turns out he still had our Junior High and High School yearbooks handy and used them as a reference to figure out how to spell my incredibly long last name. A last name which he looked up in the phone book for my number.
Our first date was a week later.
He proposed a year later.
We got married the following 4 months later.
Our life together since then has flown by as we became Newlyweds…Homeowners…Aunties…Uncles… and eventually the very proud and happy Parents to our two beautiful Children.
And to this day, in every Valentine’s Day card that we write to each other it says: “I can’t believe I married little Norlyn from Junior high and High school!” / “I can’t believe I married Curtis from Junior high and High school!”.
This year we celebrate 10 years of marriage.
With kids and money priorities focused on “everyday life things”, we rarely give each other gifts anymore that aren’t “for the house”. So winning this contest would truly make this Valentine’s Day and this year’s 10 year anniversary all the more special. Perhaps we could celebrate with his and her’s wedding bands rather than getting each other a new vacuum attachment
Sometimes one’s story of how they met their soul mate doesn’t happen over days or months.
Sometimes it takes years.
I’m so happy to have found mine.
By: Noryn Bitangcol
Congratulations to Noryn and Curtis on winning our contest, and thanks again to everyone for sharing your special stories with us.