You probably would not believe me, but they met over a bowl of mashed potatoes — It’s true!
It is surprising just how many people are meeting their future life partners over the Internet these days. MiLady found me over the Internet 11years ago. It’s a funny story:
Every fortnight, I participate in a genealogy discussion called “GenChat.” It is like a chat-room (I believe that is the closest description to it), with close to 100 persons participating. With everyone typing away, comments scroll down your screen faster than you can read them!
Six weeks ago was the first one, and for a brief moment I felt like I was in a very familiar place …
I was still in Ontario, having received my honourable discharge for my service in the Army; she was working in a psychiatric hospital in Alberta.
I had a fledgling website — it was an electronic storage for my poetry, nothing fancy, just words. I would post what I wrote and wait impatiently for feedback and/or ideas of what else to write about.
She had a website full of pictures, animation, all types of do-dads, etc. She was also in a competition called “Web Brawls,” and was looking for followers to help her advance to the next level of competition, when she found “Rainbow Gateway” — or “RainGate” which I often referred to my creative place.
She found poetic rhyme telling stories from WWII, forgotten soldiers, not-so-practical-but-mobile secret weapon ideas for the military (that will never work), a young schoolboy’s crush on his grade two teacher, cowboys, learning to cook, tolerating children, tolerating parents, mythology (Greek, Egyptian & Native lore), lost love and romance.
She spent hours reading my writings, when she should have been working. She laughed. She cried.
I was at home composing a letter to my mother, when my computer notified me that I had an e-mail.
Looking it over, I realized “I don’t know who this person is,” but she was complimenting my poetry having enjoyed reading it. She then explained about the competition she was in and asked if I would follow her website and vote for her — as she was prepared to do the same for me in the little contest I was involved in.
After checking out her website, I learned that she was in the semi-finals, and she had a good chance of winning this thingy! (I took liberty of checking out her competition too.).
I then wrote back to her, thanking her for her kind words and agreeing to follow her website — but, I was feeling a little off and rather than just rattle a standard reply, I wrote back in rhyming couplets (the first two lines rhyme with each other, followed by two lines rhyming with each other, etc, etc, etc. Shakespearean-style basically).
Well, I don’t know what happened on her end … maybe I did something wrong, I’ll never know, but she wrote back almost immediately — and her e-mail was twice as long as the first one she had sent!
Wondering just what I had gotten myself into, I responded in kind to her second e-mail, again in rhyme, and sent it off, thinking: “Okay, she’ll calm down, the novelty should wear off now.”
Is this where I confess that I never did finish that letter to my Mother?
A dozen or so e-mails later, we decided we would call each other and talk over the telephone one evening. Her voice was very sweet and melodic like a giddy schoolgirl sharing a secret with her best friends. She was a breath of fresh air and I was intoxicated by her. One night led to another, and another until my telephone bill showed up.
My jaw hit the floor when I opened that envelope, I had — somehow — amassed over $500 in long-distance charges in just over two weeks! THAT almost ended the relationship.
Back to the computers …
Now, GenChat did not exist back then, but ICQ did, so we tried that first.
ICQ was a learning experience for me. I learned that although I was not a two-finger typist, I only typed about 27wpm — words per minute, while my future wife typed approximately 6000wpm in comparison!
[No, truthfully, it was more like 120wpm].
A typical evening on ICQ went something like this: after typing a small novel that would fill my computer screen, MiLady would go down the hall and grab a coffee, then take it outdoors, enjoy a cigarette, finish her coffee, come back inside to her office and wait for my reply of two sentences, or less, to arrive!
While on my end, I would attempt to go to the next room to use the bathroom, but another screen-filling novel would arrive before I could get off my chair! (It did not help matters any that the old clunker I was using was only a 486 with an orange monochrome monitor.).
After a little investigating on her end, MiLady found that MSN Messenger permitted sound chat. So, ICQ went bye-bye and we tried MSN. It was just like the telephone only minus the long-distance charges.
After a while, we agreed that we had to meet, so having sent her the money to buy her airline ticket, MiLady came to Ontario four months after that first e-mail.
Oh, and she WON the Web Brawls! First Canadian website to do so. 🙂