Arriving in Lima – Roy & Sue, a love story.

After what seemed like days of flying and zero sleep, I arrived in lima at 11pm at night ready for death.

Luckily, I was rescued by one of my favourite couples in the world, Roy & Sue.

Roy and Sue are the parents of my 2 very close girlfriends and, before I even understood their love story, I already knew that in life this was the kind of role model partnership that I wanted for myself.

I remember one of the first times I stayed over at my girlfriends house (over 12 years ago now – yikes!)

T, hearing laughter and giggling coming from the bathroom – ‘What’s that?’

Jules, sheepishly – ‘That’s my mum and dad having a shower … they’re like this all the time.’

A brief history of the love affair.
– In the very early 70’s, Sue a young 22 year-old single Latin American lady migrates to Australia, courageously taking this journey from Lima to Sydney with only $2000 in her pocket, no family support, and speaking very little english. Within 15 days of this amazing adventure, and amidst the culture shock, Sue meets Roy.

– Roy, after a stint in the british army, at 24 migrates to Australia and is working as an electrician, when one day in his early 30’s an Argentinean co-worker asks if he would like to follow him to a salsa club. In this salsa club, at 32 and not looking for marriage, Roy sees a 22 year-old beautiful Sue and everything changes.

Roy in a British accent – ‘I looked at her and said to my mate “that’s the girl I’m going to marry”… The feeling was uncanny.’

Love story or not, they’ll be the first to tell you that marriage is not easy – you both have to work at it equally, with the most important ingredient being communication and to have common interest to avoid growing apart, as they have seen many couples do.

With 38 years of marriage under their belt (and counting!), their lives are richer than most, and as cheesy as it sounds, it’s because they have each other – everything else was a bonus built on that foundation.

Roy, 71 – ‘ The best thing I ever did was marry Sue.’

And for Sue (61), the best decision she ever made was to migrate to Australia which in turn lead her to Roy. I can only hope, and pray to all the gods and aliens, that one day someone could give me even half of this compliment.

Now in November 2010, hundreds of miles away from home in Lima, this amazing couple greets me warmly, looking fit and fabulous in their retirement, and most importantly, very very happy.

Marriage isn’t like playing with sand – It’s til death!

The women in my family are built strong, with a wicked sense of humour, and to be honest most of us have inherited a less than favourable attitude towards men (as partners).

My grandmother, Popo, has never asked me about marriage. At 30, at a time when my friends and family are expecting me to tie the knot any second now, my own gran has not once put any kind of pressure on me and instead speaks to the opposite effect.

Popo – ‘Men are trouble. Its very hard to find a good man, very hard. You don’t have to get married, just save your money. Marriage isn’t like playing with sand you know, you don’t play around, it’s til DEATH!’

With stern words like these being passed down from my grandmother, to my mother, to myself, it’s no wonder I became a slight commitment phobe.

I ask Popo if she regrets getting married to Pak, she replies no, of course she loved him (my grandfather Pak passed away a couple of years ago), however it was not easy being married to a Muslim man who had been divorced once before, and had taken a second wife briefly. Plus dealing with all the other mischief that men get up to. But he loved children, and her favourite time in life was when things were good with her husband and her 7 children. (my mother had been the eldest)

My mother once told me the story of when I was born, that she had purposely told my father that I was a boy. She watched him get all excited and tell everyone in the neighborhood that he had just had another son, and then when he was done, she laughed and told him that I was actually a girl. My father got mad at her practical joke, but my mother found this hilarious. She loved telling me this story, and her face lit up at the memory.

Strong, with a quirky, wacky sense of humour.