Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Monday 17 January 2011

The Happy Ending... (but no need to cue the sunset)

This, of course, is not the end. It's not even the beginning.

Somewhere here in the middle, however, the Prof. and I have passed a landmark and have made our relationship official. This is the secret that was revealed in the CBC interview posted below: We got married on Dec. 4!

When I started writing this little romantic story, only a few days after we'd met, I thought that I might have a chance to start writing where most movies leave off -- to honestly capture the happily-ever-after part that's supposed to play out after the credits have rolled. I'd wanted to write about what happens AFTER two people decide to be together and run off into the sunset -- without any idea how this whirlwind would work out. What I didn't realize, however, was exactly how many decisions would be involved in making this leap; I hadn't considered the fact that when approaching a sunset, the horizon line will continue to move.

So... over the past year and a half ... whoa.

Many, many things have changed -- me included.

Me, pre-leap: I was 33 years old, on the brink of buying a house in the suburbs. I had a good job in journalism and a good group of friends, but in general, I'd been feeling uninspired. I'd also begun to wonder if I'd grown too old for inspiration.

Then, I met the Professor on a hike in Gatineau, Quebec one Saturday at the end of the summer.

And, I made the decision that first began this leap: In September 2009, after basically nine days of knowing this Frenchman while I was still in Ottawa, Canada, I boarded a plane to go and live with him in Nice, France -- a place I'd never even visited before.

(Here are the articles from the Toronto Star that tell the story from the beginning. My Twitter story begins two months later and this blog begins a month after that.)

After a few months of fumbling through our language difficulties, the Professor and I then decided that I should get a year-long visa so we'd have a little more time to smooth out our cultural differences (some of which were crushing, some actually freeing).

And now: We've made another decision to run off into the sunset together. But the real one. The BIG ONE.

I know I've skipped many details in the past few months, but I didn't really think I had a choice. I wasn't trying to be secretive, just honest. I wanted to make sure that I was making this decision for me. Well, for us.

That said, I'm going to spend a few Mondays going back in time to fill in the gaps that I've left. (One of those gaps being how an awkward and exciting whirlwind can finally mature enough to make its way into the mayor's office.)

My resolution for 2011, I guess, is to go back to 2010 and to fill in the blanks.

In the meantime... I would love to hear more tales of other people's romantic leaps. The emails I've received so far have been heart-warming and heart-breaking, inspiring and even hilarious. They've also helped me get through some of the tougher parts of being here in France, away from my family, friends and everything else that's familiar. writekerrymacgregor(at)

Happy New Year!


  1. Hi Kerry,

    Congratulations on your marriage!

    Jennie R (the Canadian who moved to Belgium)

  2. Thanks! How are you dealing with Belgium now? Does it feel like home yet?

  3. I knew it!! When I heard you say "my in-laws"... I am so happy for you!! That is absolutely fantastic and I'm soooo looking forward to you filling in the gaps!! I'm also in a serious relationship with a hot foreigner (he's German) and in a few months time I'll be making the leap to join in him Europe... (Just gotta finish off/ tie off loose ends in Hong Kong!)

    Looking forward to your story!!! All the best!

  4. This is so exciting! I'm looking forward to your 'gaps'! And I can't wait to see if any were similar to mine because I feel like our stories have a common theme.... I was 31 when I met my Frenchmen, good career, great friends, fun city life but all BLAH, so ten months later, I found myself in France, and then six months after that married. It's shocking how quickly life can change :-)

  5. Hi Kerry! Luckily he is fluently bilingual because even after two German classes, my German is "nicht gut" (not good)! He works in London, so the plan for now is to move there to be with him, though in my heart of hearts I would love to spend a couple of months in Paris before leaping across the channel to be with him!

    Can't wait for your updates!

  6. Oh! And can I add you to my blogroll?

  7. I promise to check your blog more often! Everything was here! Oh, well: it was better to hear it directly from you!

  8. GW: Haha. I've finally figured out who you are! I couldn't figure out who I'd been talking to in real life!

  9. I love that you took a calculated risk and it has worked out to your benefit. If more of us were willing to go outside of our comfort zones and listen to our inner voices (not naysayers) our lives would be so much more enriched. Thank you for leading by example. (Even if the "surprise" hadn't taken place it still would've been an amazing journey). I am, however, glad it did as it was the first thing I was searching for when I found your blog.

  10. Faith: It is so, so hard to fight against the naysayers, you're right. And most of the time, they don't even have to be asked for their opinions! I hope you're listening to you inner voice and finding some of your own little adventures...