- San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico (SJD) → Dallas Fort Worth, United States (DFW) Date: Thursday 5th January 2012Flight: 2438
- Thursday 5th January 2012 | 2 Comments |
It all started when I made my new year’s resolution for 2012: I would have NO commitments or not date anyone for one year to take a break from dating. I had been dating the entire year of 2011 and had no luck meeting anyone worthwhile; I was getting my heart crushed along the way. I told all of my friends, “One year off from dating—cheers!”
I had an incentive work trip January 3-5, 2012 to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico that was mandatory to attend. I was actually dreading it. I had so much other stuff to do with the New Year kicking off at work and wanted to get back in the gym/diet routine and didn’t need a vacation to mess it up. I ended up going on the trip, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and then had the early flight with my director of operations since we were the only two from Dallas that went on the trip. Our flight was supposed to take off at 9:30am so we got to the airport at 8am.I had to get up at 6:30am after a night of partying; I was dragging to get out of bed and catch my flight. Trent, my director of operations, and I got to the airport and the clerk at the counter checking us in told us our flight was oversold and then asked us if we could take another flight. I, being in sales, said, “Sure, as long as it is a direct flight to Dallas.” Our original flight had a layover in Houston then to Dallas. Now, it was 9am and our flight didn’t leave until 12:30pm—what to do? Well, we are in Mexico ending our vacation, so of course, we head to the bar (the only one in the small airport) and started drinking shots, then drinks! Time went by and the drinks went down quicker when Trent got up to go outside and smoke. As I was sitting there feeling pretty intoxicated, I heard on the loud speaker, “Final boarding call flight 2438 to Dallas.” I was like OH MY GOSH that’s our flight. I looked at my ticket, and sure enough that was our flight. I looked around for Trent and saw him coming up to the bar dazed and confused as we frantically closed out our bar tab, grabbed our luggage, then stumbled our way to the gate. The clerk looked at our ticket and pretty much told us we needed to run to the airplane… I was thinking run, yeah right, more like stumble my way onto the plane. As we got on, all I could do was laugh because of how we changed our flight, and then almost missed it. I was oblivious to my surroundings; my thoughts centered on people probably seeing us at the bar getting sloshed and now here we were the last ones on the plane. As I looked at my ticket I saw we were the second row on the plane and there was a young man sitting in the third seat on our row just starring at us. All I could imagine was how he was thinking, oh my gosh, I have to sit next to these two drunks the entire way to Dallas?
I reached up to put my luggage in the overhead compartment and could barely get it in as my coordination was slightly off from the alcohol. We sat in our seats, the young man on the aisle, I in the middle, and Trent near the window. As soon as we were settled, the flight took off. Since we had been so rushed to get on the plane, I hadn’t had time to go to the bathroom before we left. My bladder is so small when I drink, and I thought I was about to burst! We hadn’t even reached maximum altitude when I said,” I’m about to go to the bathroom in my seat if I don’t go now.” Trent was like just get up and go but I countered, “The seatbelt light is on and the bathroom is in the back of the airplane.” This meant I had to stumble to the back of the plane past all those people who probably hated me for making us have a late departure.
Trent and I took a break in our conversation and I sat there frantically trying to wait until we were at maximum altitude when the young man next to me, who was very good looking, asks me, “So what’s the weather like in Dallas.” To be honest I don’t really remember what I said because all I could think was this boy’s accent was hot!
With liquid courage, that’s what came out of my mouth. “Are you from Australia?” He smiled and said yeah, most people think I have an English accent. I replied back, “Definitely Australian and your accent is hot!” He politely laughed and said thank you.
I immediately got excited and thought, this is going to be the best plane ride ever! I’m sitting next to a hot Aussie! At this point my bladder was about to explode so I excused myself and passed Ben, the hot Aussie, and nearly sprinted to the bathroom. When I came back to my seat and Trent and I casually started talking to Ben when the lady serving beverages asked us if we’d like anything. Of course, Trent and I were in, and Trent had offered Ben a drink, so next thing you know it, we’re all drinking doubles on the plane!
For the next 2 ½ hours I got to know Ben casually and he seemed like such an amazing guy! Down to earth, good looking, had a head on his shoulders, career driven, and I thought, he could be a GREAT guy to get to know outside of an airplane…and oh yes, he lives in AUSTRALIA!
He was in Cabo on holiday with his family, who was actually sitting in the back of the plane and probably saw me sprinting to the restroom. He was traveling to Dallas to see some friends their family had actually met in Cabo a year ago and they had never been to Dallas. Being in the hotel industry I asked him what hotel he was staying at and he replied, “The Hilton Southlake.”
I replied, “Oh, I used to work there and you will love it!” I told him I would reach out to my friend that still works there to send up amenities as well as upgrade their rooms. He said the reservations were under his name so I assumed it would be as easy as that to ask a favor for. One double drink led to 5 and I of course had to go to the bathroom again and asked to slide out of the seat and Ben goes, well I’ll go with you and introduce you to my family. I thought, I’m probably not in the best state, but sure! I vaguely remember meeting them and just remember saying you will love Dallas and the hotel your staying at. We went back to our seats and had begun our descent when Ben gave me his email and phone number to stay in touch. Trent, Ben, and I stumbled—again—off the plane and into customs where Ben was so busy chatting with me that he lined up with me in the US immigration line instead of foreign immigration line. I thought that was too cute! I said goodbye and it was great meeting him then called the Hilton Southlake to upgrade their rooms and send up some amenities when my friend that was working said she didn’t have their reservations under that last name. I was like great—they are all going to think I was lying about being able to help them. I sent Ben a text and the number came back with an error message- so I sent him an email hoping he would get it asking if he had the confirmation number or under a different name? He ended up checking his email and sent me a text with the information so I would have his number. I got them set up at the Hilton and then was using every effort I had to stand straight and make it through customs as I was not in the best shape from mixed beverages. Trent and I finally made it after waiting an hour to go through and the guy was just laughing at us considering the condition we were in. He said I hope your vacation was nice and welcome home.
“Thank you, thank you, it’s great to be back!”
I went outside to meet my best friend, Ian, who was picking me up from the airport and told him about Cabo and my stories that I always have and how I met Ben on the plane and what a great guy he was. When he reminded me what about my new year’s resolution, I said I know—I mean duh-he lives in AUSTRALIA. I get home and Ben had texted me saying thank you again for the favor at the Hilton and they loved their rooms and he asked if I wanted to come to Southlake and have drinks. It was a Thursday, January 5th, and I had to go to work the next day and was already in poor shape that I said I think I’m going to stay in to recover for tomorrow but I definitely appreciate the offer. He was polite and said ok well have a great night and I thought what a nice guy and I wish nothing but the best for him.
The next morning I’m getting ready for work when I get a text from Ben, who I had labeled in my phone, Ben-Australian- plane ride, so I wouldn’t forget who he was saying hey we are going to be in Dallas tonight to have dinner at Private Social and I would love for you to come and you can bring a friend if you’d like as well. I thought, well that’s sweet, but this could be so awkward considering I show up with a girlfriend for dinner with his whole family and friends there. They would probably think I’m crazy! I thought about it and said ok, what do I have to loose—plus it’d be nice to hear their accents again. I called up my girlfriend Allison and said hey want to go to dinner tonight with some Australians? I told her the story and I was like, look, let’s just go and if it is beyond awkward we can part ways after dinner. She agreed so I went to work then went home to change, picked up Allison, then pulled up to the private social. I thought, this is either going to go really well, or a downward spiral quick!
We walked in and Ben came up to me, I introduced Allison to him and he introduced us to his friends and family. They were some of the nicest people I had ever met and kept thanking me for the hotel favor. Dinner ended up going REALLY well, thank goodness, and Ben, being the gentleman he is, ended up picking up the tab for BOTH my girlfriend and I. I was impressed to say the least and of how polite and genuine he seemed. After dinner I invited him and his brother, Taylor, and his friend Chris, out with Allison and I to meet up with my other friends that were already out. They obliged and we went to the grand opening of Mr. Mesero’s Restaurant where we ended up taking more shots and I introduced him to my friends that were there. We wrapped up and as we were going to the next bar, Sfuzzi, Ben and I walked outside to start moving through the crowd when I was leaning against the car and he said,” I’ve never kissed a Texas girl.”
I said, “Then why don’t you?!” That first kiss is one I will never forget; my heart melted and it was the tenderest and most endearing kiss I have ever had. I then thought, wow, this guy is amazing! I rounded up the troops and we finally headed to Sfuzzi for drinks and dancing—I still had an amazing time with Ben. One of my favorite memories is when my best friend, Ian, came up to Ben asking if he could borrow him to use his Australian accent to pick up girls. I laughed and said sure and Ben excused himself and said, I’ll be right back.
Chris and Taylor ended up leaving Sfuzzi and taking a cab back to the hotel and toward the end of the night all I kept saying to Ben was are you sure they are ok? He stressed to me they would be fine and even made sure they got back to the hotel safe and sound. I ended up driving Ian back to the apartment building in which we both live and Ben helped me get Ian to his apartment as he had lost his keys that night. Ben ended up staying the night since it was so late and asked me if I could take him back in the morning at 8am for his golf round. I said sure, even though in my mind I was thinking, that is SO early for a Saturday to wake up. The next morning I drove him back and dropped him off thanking him again for dinner and a great night out and good luck at his golf game. He thanked me and I drove off back to Dallas where I immediately went back to bed.
I woke up to a text from Ben around 1pm saying thank you again for everything and that the golf game was going well. I was actually SHOCKED that he had text me, I was thinking, well it was great meeting him and too bad he didn’t live here. We texted back and forth for awhile then he asked me what I was doing later and I said no plans yet. In my mind I was going to take it low key since it had been such a late night. He asked if I wanted to come down to the country club where they were playing for drinks later and I said sure, my girlfriend is coming up to hang out from Fort Worth and watch a movie, but could she come with me? He said of course so I asked my friend, Laura, if she would go and her, being the adventurous girl she is, said of course!
We went to the country club where we said hello to everyone again and seeing Ben again put a BIG smile on my face; there was just something about him that I liked SO much. It was like I had known him for years and we just instantly clicked when we met. We ended up having drinks and having another great time when we decided to wrap up the night. Ben was leaving town on Monday which meant I had one more day to spend with him Sunday, but of course, I had an obligation for the board of directors I am on, and told him I would give him a call later that Sunday afternoon to meet up if he’d like. He said definitely and stayed in touch via text with me the entire day. I ended up going with him to one of their friend’s house that lives here and we all hung out and had yet another great time. Knowing this was my last night with Ben really was kind of crushing for me. Ben was the first guy in a LONG time that I had felt this way about in a matter of days. I’m not your typical girl who needs a boy or has to have a boyfriend, but am rather selective on whom I date. I always told myself, I never want to settle. I thought, well life isn’t fair or easy, so of course this guy would live 15,000 miles away. The next morning we said my goodbye and he promised to stay in touch. He and his family were going back to Cabo then to Australia.
At work on Monday he texted me saying he was on the way to the airport and asked, “Why don’t you come with me?” I laughed and said let’s be real, I just got back from Cabo, I’m a million emails deep, and your family would think I’m some crazy girl that you just met and why is she ruining our vacation?
He said no, I really want you to come to Cabo with me, it would be so much fun and we could see each other more. I had told my friends the story and was like am I a crazy psycho if I go? All of them said if you don’t go you’ll always wonder, what if…
I agreed, but still wasn’t sure considering I had just met this guy. Monday night rolls around and he is still trying to convince me to come when he asks, what will it take? I said, well I looked up tickets and they are $800.00, there is NO way I’m paying that for 2 nights as I would leave Thursday and come back Saturday because I couldn’t miss my best friend’s birthday Saturday night. He said well let’s make a deal, what if I pay for half of the ticket and you pay the other half so we both know each other is serious. I thought about it then said let me sleep on it. The next day a dozen roses and a teddy bear show up to my office with a card saying I’m sure I want you here. So, of course, I booked my flight.
Considering I had just got back from Cabo, everyone I work with thought it was so strange I was going back the following week. Trent knew the whole story and said well, Ben was a great guy! Now came the hard part: hey mom and dad, I’m going to be out of the country with this guy I just met—see you soon?!
As would any parent they were VERY concerned and thought I had gone off the deep end. I ended up reasoning with them after a knock down drag out conversation and said I have to go and I promise I’ll stay in touch. To make them feel more comfortable I gave them the address of where I was staying and said if you don’t hear from me at least twice a day or stop seeing updates on facebook, and then you can call the police, otherwise, I’ll be fine! After all, I had met his family and my friends had met him, so what was the worst that could happen?
The next two days in Cabo were absolutely amazing! Spending time with Ben was like heaven on Earth; we just clicked and thought alike! Ben had asked me if I would stay until Sunday and I knew Ian would be heartbroken if I missed his birthday. I ended up texting him saying, I’m going to stay until Sunday, and Ben said he would buy you a steak dinner for letting me miss your birthday. Ian wrote back and said no worries, I totally understand and I’m very happy for you that things are going well. We had another wonderful night in Cabo and the next day, Sunday, was the day everyone was leaving to go home. Ben, his brother Joel, and his wife Lauren, all left in a van earlier than me and his friend Chris since we had later flights. Ben and I had talked the night before and we decided to try and make this work. I have done long distance relationships in the past, and they are not only hard, but very hard to make work. I figured I’d give it a shot since he was too great of a guy to pass up. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
I got back and filled in everyone here on what happened and the next thing I knew, I had booked a plane ticket to Australia to go see Ben. The trip was 1 ½ month away. We stayed in touch with each other through an app called Viber, which goes through the internet for phone calls and texted through imessage, so it was free. I had one trip in February already planned to CA for a leadership conference for HSMAI which is the organization I am on the board of. Ben and I became close and official once he sent me the “facebook relationship request” and were inseparable via text. We became so attached that he flew into LA in February to see me while I was there to have 3 days together before I came to Australia; this way it wasn’t as long until we saw each other. I knew in my mind, seeing him in LA would make or break my Australia trip. I would either have a blast in LA making me even more excited to see him in AU, or have an ok time knowing this could go bad in Australia since we would be together for 7 days straight, which for some people can be unbearable at times.
Of course, things were perfect in LA and I couldn’t wait to see Ben in AU. March came and I left for the BEST adventure I had ever been on. 16 ½ hours later, I arrived at 5am half awake, but still had enough energy to run up to Ben and give him the biggest bear hug and kiss ever. My trip to Australia makes me speechless at times just because there are no words to describe how amazing of a guy Ben is. He had the trip planned out for stuff I wanted to do, such as seeing koalas and kangaroos, to surprising me with a trip to Sydney for a roof top dinner overlooking the Sydney opera house! The seven days went by way too fast, but there wasn’t one time or point where I didn’t have regret or worry about Ben. His friends and family were welcoming with open arms and at first I was a bit nervous about how the girls would respond simply because of how catty girls can usually be. Especially with our situation, I was expecting grief and dismay. However, I got complete opposite and they all were amazing women and loved our story of how we met and what had transpired. After he dropped me off at the airport I knew the next time I would see him was in Dallas, almost 2 months later. This time our goodbye conversation was a little different, during my trip to Australia, Ben asked if I could see myself living there. I said well, let’s see, the ocean, sun, you, great people? Hmmm…yeah I guess so! We had sat down and realistically talked how we are going to make this work long term. We went over every scenario and the only one that made logical sense was for me to move there. We again said our goodbyes and as I was getting on the plane, I knew this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Thank goodness for the app Viber, we continually stayed in touch via text and phone until he got here 2 months later, which felt like the longest two months of my life. During this time frame I informed my parents of what was going on and of course at first they were very upset with the situation and how unreal it was or could be. I agreed where they were coming from, but said I never believed in falling for someone so fast like Khloe and Lamar, but they work! Sometimes when you know, you just know! My parents and I fought a drawn out battle for about a month until Ben got here and they met him. My friends were all dying to meet him considering I never get this way about a guy or am ever in a relationship that lasts longer than 3 weeks let alone a month. Ben came into town and it was like I had just seen him. Same feelings, same butterflies, and I never wanted to let go of his hand. I gathered all of my friends to meet him at Prime Bar, and they all loved him. One of my girlfriends, Sarena, said I was watching you two from a distance and I can definitely see how in love you both are and how genuinely he cares about you. The second night was the most nerve racking for Ben, meeting the parents. We went to my parent’s house for drinks before dinner and I couldn’t have asked for it to have gone more smoothly than it did. My dad asked all the right questions and Ben had all the right answers. After drinks my parents, Ben, and I met up with my sisters for dinner so they could get to know him as well. Dinner went great and I could tell my parents really warmed up to Ben. Later that night, my parents sent me a text saying, good job Marla, it was a pleasure to meet Ben and he seems like a great guy! My heart melted when I read the text; because it was then I know they realized how much Ben meant to me. The rest of the time while he was here in Dallas went by too fast, but I wouldn’t trade a second in this world to take it back.
Which leads me up to present day; Ben and I continue to stay in touch and the next time I get to see him will be on June 29th and the day we start our first adventure together will be July 4th, as we both board a plane back to my new home, Australia. I decided to take a chance on love and this was one opportunity I couldn’t pass up or I would regret it for the rest of my life. I’ve told my story to several different people and to hear their response such as it’s an inspiration to know love does exists, or the fairy tale does come true, inspired me to share my story by writing it. If you would have told me I would be writing this story today last year, I would have looked at you and laughed. I was about to give up on love for one year, until I got on the flight I wasn’t scheduled for, and met Ben, who ironically enough, was not in his originally assigned seat. He had traded seats with his brother’s wife, so she could sit next to him. You never know what or who God has in store or planned for you, but always remember, His timing is everything. Everyone can have a fairy tale— you just have to be willing to take a chance on love.