Like any couple, my husband and I are asked – like, hundreds of times per day – how we met. People are interested. They want to know how we found each other. What circumstances in the universe that brought two strangers together. And at what point we decided it was forever – you know, the whole love story bit. All of the parts right until “happily ever after,” because after that it’s just the boring sections of life. Why else would fairytales use it as their closer?
But our answer is always the same. Or rather, our separate answers are always the same. I fumble a little. While Bo, my now-husband, goes straight for the jugular. He tells them that we met online, and it was through Plenty of Fish.
Because he has no fears, and I’m not as quick to admit to my semi-questionable choice in dating sites – no offense PoF, after all, you worked! And if you’re reading this, we’re ready to do our commercial.
Some Back Stories
Bo and I both came out of serious relationships before meeting. He had a fiancé who liked men and money; I had a live-in boyfriend who wasn’t into commitments. Some of those people told other people to kick rocks. And everyone continued living their separate lives … until they didn’t. Thanks to the Internet.
Bo was encouraged to online “date” by his bestie who said, “Get off my couch and go meet women.” He doesn’t like bars or getting off couches – but when they’re really comfortable, no one does – so he signed himself up. A compromise.
Meanwhile, I joined after different events. 1) I was tired of being a fifth or seventh wheel. 2) A certain individual showed up at my door different times. After they’d materialized my correct address. 3) I was angry about 1 and 2. So my sister, the free spirit, talked me into joining the PoF app. After telling me to get over myself, she said it was time I tried something different. While I decided it was time she was right.
Three days and two days later, respectively, we had officially e-met. It was exciting and new, yet far from life changing.
Personalities, Not Computer Science
When chatting, Bo did a few things to get my attention: his profile picture was him with, well, a bow. He was actually trying to get to know me. And he told me, when he disappeared for daylight bouts at a time, that he’d been hunting. “Trying to put meat in the freezer.”
So we kept talking. Only, it turned out that he had no intention of ever meeting me. He just wanted to flirt with girls … and get his friend off his back.
But the friend said he, too, should get over himself. Which he did by asking me for coffee. (I had tea.)
We were each other’s second met-online date. His first, as he tells it, answered her door “high as a kite”; he left without so much as a, “Nice to meet you.” Mine was lunch with a 30-year-old pizza deliveryman who was bad at describing his job. He told me about the homemade tattoo he got 7th grade, and I told him what life was like without tips or unsanitary body art.
The day of Bo and I’s first date, the universe lined up strategically. (I know, barf. But bear with me.) He was to go home for a holiday break, but got stuck in Kansas. My afternoon had suddenly opened up, and my roommate and her boyfriend decided, Sunday afternoon and all, not to be sober.
We were also puppy sitting, which is irrelevant other than it was happening.
Because I was just meeting this guy, and because I didn’t want him to see the shitshow taking place in my apartment (which I also didn’t want to see), I met him in the parking lot. Past the stairs, far enough that he couldn’t see the door propped with a dog cage, nor the couple lounging, blasted, in robes.
First I saw his truck, and out came a man who was waaay better looking than his photograph. (Not that he photographed badly, either.) He had full-on scruff and a straw cowboy hat. And I pretty much couldn’t breathe. My body did that cartoon *boing* thing, where your back stands straight and you’re petrified stiff.
(According to a later conversation, he was slow to exit the truck because he was giving me the up-down from the rear-view mirror. Making sure I wasn’t a fake or way fat.)
I’ve never been one to wear weaponry; there are very few daily situations where I’m like, “Damn, too bad I didn’t bring my giant blade.” It’s just not something one generally needs. But him needing it, or thinking he might, struck a chord.
The obvious question, which is what in the hell I was thinking, comes up often. Why I would get in a vehicle with a stranger, who wears knives, like it was NBD. Especially as my only safety net was a non-sober couple – half of which didn’t even know I’d left. And there is no good answer. It just felt like that was what I was SUPPOSED to be doing that day. Comfort trumped logic.
The Smitten Kitten
It wasn’t love at first sight. It wasn’t even love on first date. BUT, about 40 minutes in, I decided I was going to marry this dude. As in, years later.
And to answer your follow up thoughts, no I hadn’t had that feeling before. No I didn’t actually think we would end up married. Because, well, duh. And I sure as hell didn’t tell him – or anyone – about my psychotic ideas. I kept them to myself, expecting them to go away. Sometimes outrageous thoughts happen, and then they go away. It was just a strong, intense crush that would dissipate, or at least level out. Like a sudden formation of weather.
Meanwhile, to the physical world, I was probably bumbling around. Faking conversation while cramming thoughts into the outermost corners of the brain, like where underwear is packed in suitcases. Drooling over his preparedness skills, and eyeing that belt knife like it would bring heroism to a climactic movie scene. Then getting overzealous – acting like I was good with directions or that I was an expert in coffee. All while stuttering and toweling my palms.
He’s never said either way how I came across. Lunatic with an eye for shiny metal, your everyday basic crow. Or a charming version of myself. One who can function even when she’s blinded by crazy and scruffy jaws.
Even if it was the dumbfounded way, though, I guess it worked.