How I met Swedie: A love story

I can't believe it.  Today marks nine years since that fateful night that Swedie and I met.  It wasn't supposed to happen.  It never is.  That was especially true in our case.  There is this thing called the Atlantic Ocean that sits between our countries.  How could it work?  How could we even meet?

I was stationed in Turkey in 2005.  With my job at the control tower, I was unable to take the normal holiday trips that everyone went on when long weekends came up (Memorial Day, Independence Day, etc.).  We would end up taking trips together whenever the runway got it's annual work done on it.  Not as fun as going three buses deep to a party city in Turkey.  I would hear the crazy stories of the parties and European girls.  That's right.  EUROPEAN girls!  I got deployed to Iraq at the beginning of 2005.  I came back just before Memorial Day weekend.  When you come back you get two weeks of R&R.  This was perfect because it aligned with the crazy base trip to Alanya!

Meanwhile in Sweden, a dance class was trying to decide what final trip they would go on as a group.  They couldn't fully decide.  Swedie suggested a trip to Alanya where they would perform together.  The class liked the idea and decided that would be the trip.  She planned the trip for the entire class.  Good call, Swedie.

I had been to Alanya with my coworkers.  We had a good time and all, but they weren't my homies.  Now Alanya would be in trouble!  I had bonded with a group of guys (that I am still friends with) that would support this party mission wholeheartedly.  We made the eight hour bus ride filled with some trash talking, freestyle rapping and picture taking.  Needless to say, drinking was involved as well.  I was late to sign up for the trip, so I had a room to myself.  That would work because… um… I was "Jon Juan" back then.  This was going to be magical.  The hotel was nice and the weather was even nicer.  Let's get this party started.

I drank and partied like an animal for that entire weekend.  We did some swimming, people-watching, scooter riding, you name it.  Of course we were trying to talk to all of the European women.  A bunch of twenty-something "soldiers" with huge aviator shades and long chains was somehow appealing to them.  Jackpot, baby!

That Friday, I was in a drunken zombie trance in the party strip when I passed a club that my friends were in.  My friends were partying with a group of Swedish girls that were on a school trip.  I was in too much of a trance to join them.  It turns out that Swedie saw me when I walked by.  She has always had good taste in men, so naturally she found me attractive.

The next day my friends and I were piecing together our nights.

       - 25 Swedish girls?!
       - Yeah, man.  You missed out.  But I got their hotel info.  We're going to meet up with them later.

Man, all day I was bugging my friends about these mysterious Swedish girls.  They must have been beautiful.  And 25 of them would mean that the odds were on our side.  Somebody was gonna get lucky!  We did one last scooter ride around the city since it would be our last day there.  We had already said this would be an all-nighter.

We finally went to the Swedes' hotel.  The girls were all cute.  I didn't know who to talk to first.  I'm sure we looked like greedy vultures when they came out.  The problem was, Swedie had gotten sick on the trip.  She was not going to party that night (what a loser).  She had decided to come down and say goodbye to her friends.  When she came down, she saw the zombie guy from the night before.  Something (fate) told her to go upstairs and change really quick and go party with her friends.  I heard that we were waiting for a girl to come down.  Now I was going to wait for this girl in case she was the hottest.  Swedie came down.  I wasn't initially blown away by her (maybe I was still in zombie mode), but I was drawn to her anyway.  I went directly to her and said

       - You want to ride in the cab with me?

Smooth, right?  It worked (why wouldn't it?).  She got in the cab with us and sat next to me.  She told me she was sick, but she still wanted to go out.  I asked questions that you ask when you really want to get to know someone.  I didn't know that I was really trying to get to know her.  "Jon Juan" was trying to get lucky, but I was intrigued by her.  There was something about Swedie.

I told the Swedish girl after my first beer that I would stop drinking since she wasn't.  I bought bottles of water (like a boss!) and we danced to some songs of the time.  Kevin Little's "Turn Me On" (I was yelling "Fill Me Up!" like an idiot) and Usher's "Yeah" always remind me of that weekend.  "Pump It Up" by Danzel was the crew song for that trip.  Good times.  I remember thinking "this white girl can dance"!  Eventually I suggested that we go out to the water and get away from the club noise.  In hindsight I realize that I really wanted to get to know her.  At the time I was thinking I just wanted to get her alone so I could make a move.  I said some lines about kissing and communication that I had "perfected" in my player days.  It "worked".  I use quotes because now I realize that no matter what I said, we were going to kiss if she wanted to.  If anything, I almost talked my way out of a kiss.  But I remember there was some magic in that kiss.  I wanted to kiss her again.  I was instantly mad at my zombie moment because we could have had more than this night together.  It was the first time I had ever asked a girl for her email address.  That was also when I realized that she lied about her age.  RED FLAG!  Talking about she's 19.  She was so 18!

We had our good night.  She had a boyfriend, so I wasn't going to "get lucky".  I didn't care.  There was something about this girl.  The trip was over.  I got to work and emailed this Swedish girl.  I swear she was sitting at her computer waiting for it.  I emailed her just as I was clearing a plane to land from ten miles out and she wrote me back before that plane landed.  I think she likes me!  I was myself with her. She got my brand of mean flirtation.  I made fun of her English.  We discussed music and life.  She immediately dumped her boyfriend.  She had found the one.  I had too.  I just didn't know it yet.

I planned it so I could visit her (unfinished business) between my Turkey and North Carolina assignments.  I took a trip with friends to Germany and detoured to Sweden.  She paid for my hotel!!!  What?!  I'm not used to this.  When I finally got to Stockholm this unbelievably beautiful woman came to meet me at the bus.  I remember thinking "She's for me!"  I swore everybody else wanted her, but she was all mine.  I was so lucky.  We had a great time.  Then I got food poisoning and extended my trip.  Met the immediate family.  I told them I would see them again.  My future mother-in-law gave a knowing smile.  This was going to get real.

She saved up her money and flew out to see me for that New Years, a two-week trip in the Spring and the entire summer of 2006.  That summer solidified it for me.  I was in love.  It was for real.  I was ready to get out of the military and move forward in life with this woman.  That fall was when we officially began our lives together.  The Atlantic Ocean wasn't big enough to keep us apart.

We got married exactly two years after we met.  Exactly seven years ago today.  It's weird that it hasn't been hard at all.  We were fortunate enough to grow together.  Two people from two different worlds speaking two different languages formed one union that grows stronger each day.  I couldn't have imagined that we'd be here from in front of that hotel nine years ago when I offered a cab ride.  It wasn't supposed to happen.  I wasn't supposed to be in Alanya.  She wasn't supposed to go out.  Fate…  Boy am I glad it turned out this way.  I found the love of my life that day.  I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with her.  Until next time...


  1. Great story! Now it explains how she can dance!!! :)

    1. Haha. That's right Rosa. Not being able to dance would have been a deal breaker.

  2. I love your blogs!!!! This was so sweet and romantic! Sandra is a beautiful person inside and out!!!! I am glad to have met her!

    1. Thank you for reading Luwecine! And thanks for the kind words about Sandra. She says you are nice as well. Take care.


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