Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's in a year?

“We’ve only just met, and yet, I feel like I’ve known you all my life.  We’ve just said ‘Hello’, I know, but still it’s like I’ve known you all my life.”—The Four Preps

A year ago today, I finally summoned up the courage to send a message to a girl who seemed pretty cute and pretty much my type.  Sending that message proved to be one of the best decisions ever in my life.  Since I often find joy in hearing the stories of how couples came to be… how they met, their early dates where they try to figure out if there’s something there, etc., I’d like to share mine, too, in case anyone reading this is like me in that regard.

For some time, my online friend Linda had been pestering me to join a particular dating site.  I was rather reluctant, having tried online dating services before with absolutely no luck.  Besides which, I had a girlfriend at the time, and I was happy with her, or so I thought.  But Linda saw right through me.  The more I talked with Linda, the closer of friends she and I became, and she could tell I was miserable.  Actually, I knew I was miserable too, but I figured a sad love or a bad love was better than no love at all.  That’s not to say I was dating a witch; my ex is really a nice girl with a lot to offer, but it just wasn’t meant to be for a number of reasons.  And it’s not really germane to the story, either.

Back on track, what finally got me to that site was Linda told me of the fun questions and quizzes, plus the instant chat function so that we could talk together more like in real time than by private messages.  So on September 19, 2009, I joined that dating site and started having fun with the questions and quizzes.  And filling out a profile too, because, hey, why not?  And of course, soon enough I began perusing other people’s profiles… and by “other people’s”, I mean “women’s.”  I created a list of “Favorites,” those whose profiles and pictures appealed to me most (mostly the pics, ‘cause I’m still a guy).  One of them was this irresistibly cute girl with a girl-next-door/possible naughty librarian look to her.  And each time I read her profile, the more I was intrigued.  The only thing that marginally worried me was her love of swing-dancing.  Mind you, I’m not scared of dancing, I just know I suffer from the Caucasian overbite.  But other than that, there wasn’t anything I didn’t like.

But I was a chicken.  I could not bring myself to send her a message.  She was in British Columbia after all!  I was trying to stay out of long-distance relationships, and this would be a LONG-distance relationship.  But I couldn’t stop looking at her.  She was so beautiful.  So I promised myself that I’d send her a message… if I saw that she was on the site at the same time as me.  I’d made the decision on a Monday, and when I saw her online that night and was getting ready to send her a message, I clicked “Refresh” and saw she’d gone offline.  Rats! 

So the next night I logged on while doing an air shift and saw her listed as being online, I gulped and started typing a message to her.  No backing out now.  I sent it to her.  After I hit “Send,” the page refreshed, and she was listed as offline.  Crap!  I logged off in frustration and browsed my favorite forums.  But the obsessively creepy weirdo in me wanted to go back to the dating site just in case.  So I went back and logged on a half hour later.

I don’t really remember how long I was on the site when my instant messenger window popped up.  It was the girl I’d finally gotten the cajones to write who was instant messaging me!  I talked to her for a solid three hours on chat, and I think I even got her to webstream the station I was at and dedicated a song to her.  Just as a lark. 

I went home that night thinking, “Holy cow, she responded!”  Lame, right?  Well, I didn’t really have any hopes up.  It was just a conversation.  That lasted for three hours.  And seemed to end too soon.  But hey, we’re just meeting, so why shouldn’t we have a lot of ground to cover… in one night.  But I had no expectations of the next night, for tomorrow is promised to no one.  But the next night, there she was again, ready to talk to me.  Whodathunkit?  And whodathunk it would be another three-hour conversation, this time having her call me at the station…voice contact!  Going home that night, I thought, “Cool, I found a friend!”  Because that’s how it usually ends up for me… stuck in the Friend Zone.  So again, no hopes up… especially after the third night (a Thursday), when after another three-hour conversation I found me saying to myself, “Aw dammit, you’re falling in love with her.”  Note: the “dammit” was because I figured there was no way she was going to feel the same way that I was beginning to feel.

I still talked to her on Friday night.  And Saturday night.  And Sunday afternoon, when she called me “Hon.” I figured that was a pretty good sign.  So by Monday evening, at the end of another three-hour conversation, I finally let slip those three little words.  I said them kind of meekly, bracing for rejection or “We don’t even really know each other yet!” or something like that.  Instead, a return volley of those three words with a “too” added to them.  I couldn’t believe my luck.  She was in love with me, too!  Just don’t ask me why.  I had no clue then, and I still don’t now.

And that was just within a week of “meeting” each other.  Since then we’ve spent two weeks together in person and we still talk on the phone everyday.  It’s still a long-distance relationship for now, but that distance will shrink considerably and will soon be as non-existent as the emotional distance between us.

I have truly found my other half.  The other half of my life.  I knew it within a month, which sounds really odd, but it’s true. And now a year later, I’m still incredibly in love with her.  It’s been the best year of my life, and though it’s been only a year, I feel I’ve known her forever, and that I always have known that she’s what I’ve been looking for.

Happy Anniversary, Erica.  One year down, a lifetime to go.

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