Marie – first dates

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This is Marie. She got engaged on her first date and married the guy three months later.

Were you drunk?
Yes. I was invited as Jeremy’s plus one to a wedding because I needed a lift to Sheppo, and he needed a date, so a mutual friend arranged it. I crashed at his place that night, and met his parents hung over AF, having spewed all night. His mum said she’d never seen a woman so pissed in her life.

How did that lead to engagement?
He drove me to my parents place after breakfast, and we got engaged in the car on the way back. We stopped in to tell his parents our news and his mum took her engagement ring off her finger and gave it to me there and then. It was her mother’s ring.

You were in midwifery for a bit – best names?
A couple once named their baby ‘Pho-hobe’. I said “No, I think it’s spelt P H O E B E”, the mum said “no it’s Pho-hobe, the same way it is pronounced”. I also delivered twins called Rocket and Parsley. And also, most Chinese boys are called Kevin.

What was Fiji like as a volunteer nurse ?
Beautiful. But I saw some horrible burns and some really terrible cleft palettes – people in their thirties who had never eaten their whole lives, as they couldn’t chew because they had nothing from their nose to their tongue. They are a spiritual people so they believed they were being punished for a past life. They were therefore isolated from their communities. After surgery, watching them smile for the first time was beautiful.

Dumbest thing you’ve done?
I went to a clothing sale in a warehouse which was packed full of people. I had found an amazing green jumpsuit and was admiring myself in the mirror when a lady on the mic called out “Excuse me, this lady was wearing a green jump suit when she arrived here but can’t find it. If you have it, please return it.’ I felt in the pocket and there was a used tissue. I took it off, threw it and ran.

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