You can find love in the strangest of places

Whether it’s in Tesco, at devotions after mass, or on holiday, embrace the signs of love. It may be your one chance, says Joan Mitchell

My cousin met her husband at a wake. A friend rented a room from her future in-laws. My neighbour married the bus conductor

My parents met at devotions on a Sunday night, after mass. My cousin met her husband at a wake. A friend rented a room from her future in-laws.

My neighbour married the bus conductor, and an ex-colleague married a Turkish waiter she met while on a holiday.

I introduced my friend to the most ‘boring’ man in Ireland, but I forgot to mention that fact to her — they are married now. My sister met her husband when he came to train volunteers at her ‘drop in’ centre — they are divorced.

I met my husband at club 92, in Leopardstown in the September, we got engaged on Valentine’s Day in Trafalgar Square, in London, and married that August. We had been a couple for 11 months. We got married in the Caribbean, and as I walked down to the wedding my future husband was standing on a balcony, overlooking the gardens, singing ‘Love Changes Everything’. Fifty onlookers heard him sing, and when he finished there was a loud applause.

I am unaccustomed to such romantic displays: my face went red and I burst into tears — happy tears, mind you.

My mother-in-law had her eye on a dishy bloke in 1950s England, and, despite trying to attract his attention, she was forced to trip herself in front of him, so he would help her up and, hopefully, start a conversation. They are married 50 years this October.

Love can happen in the strangest ways.

I met Pam on honeymoon in the Caribbean. She had left England to emigrate to Canada when she was 18, and she had an argument with her boyfriend before she left and never heard from her again. She was on honeymoon and got married the day before us, to a nice, sensible Canadian guy, Steve.

While I kept in contact with Pam by email, I discovered that through a website, Friends Reunited, she had hooked up with her ‘lost’ boyfriend, who had emigrated to Canada, too, and was living in Nova Scotia.

Pam met up with him and it was like they had last spoken yesterday. She left nice, sensible Steve and went to Nova Scotia to live and has never looked back.

Grainne Close went to primary school with me in a 58-pupil school. I lost track of her and, 15 years later, bumped into her in a juice bar, where she was working in Dublin. Next time I saw her was on the BBC News at Ten: she and her partner, Shannon Sickles, had become the first gay legal partnership in the UK, in 2005.

Love can come along any day and bump into you, whether at mass, in Tesco’s car park, or online. As long as we are open to change and can grasp an opportunity, it is never too late. Anyone know where devotions are on this week?

Will Smith and Jada

Jada met Will on the set of Fresh Prince, but she thought he was a bit childish and a tad immature for her tastes. She met him again five years later, in 1995, and realised he had grown up, so she agreed to date him.

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne

It’s a well-told story: Sharon’s dad was Ozzy’s manager and he despatched his little darling to the crazy rock star to collect a debt. Sharon took pity on a troubled Ozzy and got him into rehab and they married, just three years later, after a very tumultuous relationship, but it has certainly endured.

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Don’t worry if you make an ass of yourself in front of a royal — it can pay off. Kate’s attempt to curtsy when she was introduced to her prince, ended in a rather embarrassing stumble, which in turn resulted in William spilling his drink all over himself. It wasn’t like that in the fairytales ....

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