Hi crafty people. I don’t have a craft project for you today, but rather I have an entry for my Storytelling Sunday feature. It’s February – the “month of love”, so I thought that I would tell you the story of how I met my husband.
A few days ago, I did some research on Internet Dating for a presentation that I would give to my sorority next week. This topic ties into my story today because, you see, I met my husband on the Internet. Yep – that’s right. I used to be a little embarrassed to make that declaration because until recently, meeting people on the internet was viewed as seedy and a little on the creepy side and there is nothing seedy or creepy about our relationship.
In the late fall of 2000 I was single and living in a small town in Kansas with VERY limited opportunity to meet NEW people. I started visiting a chat room – which at the time, was much different than the chat rooms of today’s Facebook or other communal forums. This was before the time of social networks or eHarmony. It was just a group of people; men and women from all over the country, chatting; laughing, joking, and generally just passing the time. It was entertaining and a non-threatening way to talk to other adults at that particular time in my life.
There was one guy in this chat room, Kurt, who seemed to be a very popular guy because of his quick witted humor and snappy dialog. I would find myself laughing so hard at his comments that tears would be streaming down my face before the evening was over. Coming to the “room” and waiting for the banter to begin was a nightly occurrence and one that I looked forward to after a hard day at work.
Yes, this chat room was much like a virtual Cheers for me. A place to be, except it was much cheaper and didn’t involve drinking.
Just like in real life, when you meet someone new, you may reveal what city you live in, or are from, etc. and Kurt mentioned that he was from Missouri. I lived in Kansas at the time, so I chimed in that I lived in Kansas and that we were neighbors. That sparked more conversation and after several months of visiting the chat room, one evening, I sensed that Kurt wasn’t his usual funny self and that he seemed to be a little down, so I sent him a PM asking if he was ok. We chatted back and forth for an hour or so, and finally he said, “You know, I’m getting tired of typing. Can I just call you?” He did, and we talked all night (yes, from 11:00 – 6:00 the next morning). We talked about everything, life, politics, religion, friends, and family. I didn’t know two strangers could find so much to say to one another. After that initial phone call, we spoke several more times on the phone and in the chat room during our routine visits.
One evening Kurt made a confession to me. He explained that he was leery about talking to strangers he met on the internet, and that he had hidden his identity from me to protect himself (like I was some sort of stalker or something). Only after getting to know me better would he feel confident enough to reveal that his name wasn’t Kurt, but was Victor. I felt a little silly because in all of these telephone conversations I had addressed him as Kurt, but after the initial surprise, I realized that it didn’t matter what his name was because I was getting to know HIM, not his name.
We continued our telephone conversations for several more weeks until one night he said he wanted to fly down and meet me and asked if I thought it would be okay. I was very happy at the thought of actually meeting this guy who seemed to have the same likes, dislikes, beliefs and life ambitions, so I told him I’d be happy to meet him at the airport. I was a little nervous about meeting a stranger, but took some precautions, such as informing all my friends where I was going, what I was doing, who to call if I never came back. I felt that meeting Victor in person was risky because after all, he was a stranger, but I was compelled to do it anyway. I’m so glad that I took that leap of faith.
The meeting went fine, and after a few awkward moments at the airport, we became better friends and over the next 3 years, Victor either drove (5 hours on the road) or hopped a flight to see me. Every two weeks he made that long trip and in between we talked on the phone nightly. He must have felt that we had something special, otherwise he wouldn’t have gone to so much time and expense to continue our long distance relationship.
Victor proposed to me on New Year’s Eve, 2002 and we were married the following September. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. We are happy and more in love after nearly 8 years of marriage than I could have ever imagined we would be. That first encounter in a chat room in cyberspace was a turning point for me in my life but one that has been a blessing in more ways than I can express. Here is a picture of us, along with my son and daughter on our special day.
Thanks for looking in today and for letting me share my story with you this first Sunday in February. Have a great day.