Sometimes the stars align and everything just goes right. On Tuesday, thanks to one of my favourite people, Country Boy and I had the pleasure of sitting 21 rows up from the ice at the Leafs game, which is basically my happy place: boy, beer, and the blue and white.

We laughed and talked throughout the game, trying to make bets on the outcome, drinking, and just generally enjoying ourselves. After the game, courtesy of another wonderful girlfriend, we managed to get a table at Real Sports for a couple pints where his baby sister and her boyfriend joined us and that is where my nerves really kicked in.

My last big love, you know the one, the guy who broke my heart, the one who made me think that believing in love was wasted effort because when your heart breaks into that many different pieces you almost forget how to put yourself back together – that guy. We dated for over a year and I was so incredibly in love with him that I put up with never meeting his family and with being his secret girlfriend because I was never strong enough to force the situation, to tell him what I needed. So, these days meeting the family is a big deal. It’s so important to me that I’ve put a time limit on it, if I’ve been dating a guy for 6 months and he still hasn’t introduced me to the family, I’m done.

Country Boy didn’t have a problem with introducing me to his baby sister but I sat there wondering if I was talking too much or too quickly or if I was saying too much about myself. It was intense. But in the end, we got along well and she seemed like a wonderful young woman, beautiful, confident, and sure of herself.

After the bills were paid and we went our separate ways, Country Boy and I walked hand-in-hand back to my place, all smiles and stolen kisses. The night was warm and it made for a lovely walk but we couldn’t just saunter back to my place without running into more people that I know. As we came up to my street, we almost bumped into another girlfriend of mine and, as always, he was charming and if her messages the next day were true, I was glowing.

There is something about being happy and feeling safe that makes anyone look more beautiful. Country Boy has that effect on me. Being around him makes me smile in a glowy happy way that I had forgotten I knew how to do until recently.

I don’t know how things will go between us as we move into 2012 but I do know this: Country Boy has taught me that my heart wasn’t ever broken beyond repair, it was just waiting for someone to understand me, someone to make time for me, someone who for whatever unknown reason knew how to bring the glowy, happy, smiley me back. And I’ll tell you a secret; I love it.

This article was previously published on December 15, 2011.

Follow Shannon on Twitter at @Shananigans.

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