In 2006, I didn’t know one little thing would eventually forever change my life for the better, in ways I never could have imagined.
Once upon a time, I met my husband… on the internet. I have to admit, to this day, I’m a little embarrassed to admit we met on the internet. While it’s become common enough nowadays, it still doesn’t have the charm of some of the “How We Met” stories that my friends and acquaintances can boast. But, it is what it is, and I can’t exactly change it!
Jay wasn’t exactly what I had expected in a significant other. I had always imagined myself with someone with jet black hair, either straight or curly, with a dark complexion, and quite possibly Greek. What can I say? I was young, idealistic, unrealistic, and in love with Greek boys (and Greek accents). This concept of my soulmate/perfect guy/the One or whatever you want to call it, was not in the least discouraged by the fact that I hadn’t ever met a Greek man in person. That part, of course, would magically work itself out in due time. Oh, yes, also I’d like a pumpkin that turns into a carriage and also a pair of glass slippers, please! Ahem. Sorry, couldn’t resist the urge to make fun of my younger self. Now, back to the story...
I used to be a subscriber to E Magazine (called “The Environmental Magazine”), and in every issue, I saw the same ad for a website to meet like-minded pen pals/significant others. After a year or so of seeing these ads, it finally worked on me. On a whim, and without any expectation for anything coming from it, I signed up. I completed my profile, and didn’t even bother to look around the website. I signed off, and forgot about it completely. The next day, while going through my usual routine, I checked my email. In my email, there was one from this website, informing me that I had a message. I went to the website to check it out, and found a very polite, very brief message. Out of curiosity, I checked out his profile. He wasn’t my type. Blonde, trim and fit, and obviously modest. Despite the fact that he wasn’t my type, something clicked anyway. Somehow, I found him immensely attractive, and after reading what he had offered of himself and his personality on his profile, I was intrigued. It appeared we had some very uncommon things in common! I messaged back.
Once we started talking, there was simply no stopping it. We would talk for hours and hours at a time, absorbing as many details about one another as possible, losing track of time altogether. We spent more hours talking to one another over the next two weeks, that it was more than I had talked to anyone before. Something with us just clicked. It wasn’t long before I was absolutely crazy about him, but I remained reserved and tried to keep it to myself. If there was one thing that really bothered me, it was the distance. I was in San Francisco, and he was from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Since I had never been to anywhere that wasn’t touching the state of California, to me, he may as well have been a world away. Months went by, and we still talked to each other constantly. Days he was too busy to talk, I desperately missed him.
Not long after, he went to visit his brother in Reno, Nevada, and asked if I’d want to meet afterwards. Without a second thought, and with my heart thundering in my ears from excitement and anticipation, I said yes.
Our first meeting was no big deal. I took him to Jamba Juice, which doesn’t exist in Canada (Ironically enough I took him to a location I had never before visited, and ended up working at 2 years later). I was a film critic for a non-profit organization at the time, and we went to a movie I was supposed to review. I remember even now, exactly how nervous I felt. I had to keep reminding myself throughout the duration of the movie to breathe. I was so entirely distracted by the fact that he was there, right next to me, that I couldn’t even focus on the movie. If you were to ask me what happened in the movie, I couldn’t tell you.
After the movie, we met up with my mom so I could introduce them. We stood there and chatted for a bit, and shortly thereafter, he left. He had to head back to Reno, where he was staying with his brother, and then back onto his home in Canada.
My heart felt heavy as he left. Ordinarily, I am an immensely detail-oriented person. I could tell you all about the little details that no one else would remember. I can’t remember what he was wearing that day, nor can I tell you what I was wearing. I can’t even remember all that much about what we said. The entire thing is nothing more than a beautiful blur to me. I have no doubt I was such a ball of nerves the entire time, that all of my attention to detail simply slipped away.
Once he got back home, we went back to talking as much as ever, if not more. We decided to go steady, long distance. The first few months were blissful, and I felt like I was constantly walking on air. After that, the distance started to have its toll on me. I was raised to be a very touchy-feely person by my mother, who constantly insisted on regularly giving and receiving hugs. It was hard to not be able to touch and feel the person I wanted to the most. I don’t know where all the time went, but it was now a year since we had started talking online. He decided to make another trip down, this time for two weeks, and just to see me. After a few months of planning and saving, it happened.
I should probably disclose a detail here now. My parents were very strict, and as such, I had never been on a date. So, naturally, I had never been kissed.
Once Jay was actually in San Francisco, I started to go a bit cold and chicken out on him. I didn’t touch him once that first day. Rather than telling him that I was just kind of nervous, I ended up telling him that I just wanted to be friends. He was quite disappointed, but agreed. The next day, I realized I had made a mistake. I was allowing my fear of something new to destroy something that I really wanted. We decided to see a movie, and decided on "Lions for Lambs." I was walking slightly ahead of him, and I turned back to look at him. I swallowed my fear, and bit the bullet. "Come on," I said, and I reached my hand out to him. For just a second, I could read the confusion, and then the surprise, register on his face. But he quickly composed himself, and took my hand. Butterflies went wild in my stomach. Once we sat down in our seats, I cuddled up to him, leaning my head on his shoulder. I closed my eyes and tried to calm myself. I was trying to preserve the details of that moment in my memory. Halfway through the movie, he surprised me. He kissed me. My first kiss.
To be continued...