Thursday, June 07, 2007

The long story

This coming Saturday will be the 6th anniversary since Dan and I met in person for the first time. Neither of us actually remember the date, but another significant event happened on that day, and I just looked it up on the internets and it was June 9, 2001. So that's the day we met.

The lead-up to and circumstances of our first meeting were a little different than those of most couples. I've told an abbreviated version of this story before in a meme, but the long version goes like this. I graduated college in May of 2000 and planned a trip to Europe for that summer (one of those 10 countries in six weeks whirlwind trips), partly with the help of a website dedicated to backpacking in Europe. Through that site I met many people and after I came back I remained involved, since I'd developed online friendships with a lot of people. At one point, I met up with a couple of different people from the site who lived in my area, one of whom later became my roommate (QIR) and another of whom later turned out to be Dan's brother. I found out later that it was around the time that I met the bro for lunch one day that Dan had mentioned wanting to plan a trip to Europe, so his brother recommended he visit the site, and Dan started getting involved in the online community as well.

At first, his writing style and sense of humor intrigued me, but I didn't know who he was, and through some sleuthing I figured out he was the younger brother of the guy I'd met for lunch that one time. He lived in Colorado and was planning a trip to the UK. There was a chatroom associated with the backpacking site, and he popped in there a few times to chat with people (me included). In the spring of 2001, I started a "one word story" thread (ie, everyone post one word to continue the story) and he jumped in with "The Spanish Inquisition! Because nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition." and though it totally was more than one word and against the rules, it made me laugh. A week or so later, he posted a thread asking for people's instant messenger IDs and provided his own, and I was definitely intrigued by this point so I IM'd him one day. We started chatting every couple of days, then every day, then for hours every day, and then in May I got up the nerve to give him my phone number. That night he called me and we talked for seven hours. Now I'm a chatty phone person, but he is not, so I understand it was a big deal to him that he'd found a girl he could talk to for seven hours. We began talking a couple of times a week, and planned that he'd come out for a visit in July when we had a message board get-together in the works for the Bay Area.

Not too long after that first seven hour phone call, Dan's grandfather (who lived in the Bay Area) passed away. His parents wanted him to go to the memorial service, and he agreed with the stipulation that the rest of the weekend would be his own. I was both excited and nervous and I met him at the airport with flowers and a hug. I didn't meet his parents at that time, though I understand they were on the same plane. He and I took the shuttle to the BART station and while waiting for a train I thoroughly embarassed myself by not paying attention to where I was standing and had the train operator honk at me for standing too close to the track. When we got to my house, he unloaded his bag and told me about his shirt, which was some sort of thing having to do with Game 7 of the Stanley Cup, in which the Colorado Avalanche were playing the New Jersey Devils for the title later that day. I didn't pay much attention (sports? what? meh!) and took him on a tour of Berkeley, the campus, and out to eat at Vik's, the best Indian chaat place in Berkeley. I wanted to kiss him all day but I wasn't sure what he would think of the idea. Later, he had to change clothes and head out east for the memorial service and he kissed me instead.

That evening, he spent time with his family and got to see part of the hockey game (I think) after taking the wrong BART train and then taking the right BART train and getting there a little late. I went to a party for my cousin in the city but came home pretty early because I wanted to be there when he got back. So I did, and he stayed at our place (mine, QIR's, and the girl with the rats) that night. The next day before he flew back to Colorado he and QIR and I headed over to the city to the Haight Street Fair and messily ate Ben and Jerry's ice cream. I took a photo of them in the Ashby BART station which hangs in my cube right above my head and I look at it several times every day. Dan lost his new prescription sunglasses on the BART train (bummer) but he got a ride to the airport from me and QIR and there was a lot of squishiness which I won't talk about, but I was very very sad when he got on that plane and very, very glad when he came back for another visit a month later.

It wasn't until quite a while later when we were fully established as a couple that he told me he'd missed the game to spend the afternoon with me. We didn't have a functional TV (other than for watching movies) and it never occurred to me that he'd want to watch a HOCKEY game rather than hang out with this hot chick he'd met on the internets, but after I'd known him a long time I realized that this game was a huge deal to him and he'd forgone watching it to spend time with me. Because I was more important to him than watching his team win the championship game, even though he'd only met me a few hours beforehand, and only kissed me once. I think he knew even before I did that the connection we had was special and important, but I figured it out pretty quickly, I think. Six years ago this Saturday the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in an exciting game 7, and six years ago this Saturday we each met and kissed the person who would be our best friend, psychic twin, and flerson. *VAPT*


Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Oh you crazy kids.

That damn website is responsible for how many marriages at this point?? I think at least 4, right (you guys, Robby and C-girl, Juergen & Ann Marie and Xan & Co.)? Considering the size of the community (which even during its heyday, wasn't exactly S.D.) that's a lot.

MLE said...

Cori and Mike, Bob and Fab, and who knows how many others. I think we're the last holdouts; everybody else got married years ago and they're all procreating too. Yeah, I find it kind of weird sometimes how many marriages came out of that site.

Yank In Texas said...

Wow, that is crazy. I never realized how many people got together from there. (I think you two have the couples covered.)
It's also interesting to see how many of us still keep in touchand have actually met and all.

And awww. And yay!

Cilicious said...

I think part of the reason so many couples hit it off was the fact that the site was about backpacking travel in particular, and perhaps, in general, embracing the unknown.
BTW the site has been upgraded and is still going strong.
Happy "anniversary."