13 years ago today, my now-husband and I met IRL (in real life) for the first time. We already knew each other surprisingly well — sharing many interests and some common friends — and had known each other for a month or so. We’d even met briefly, for less than 3 minutes, in a dark movie theatre a week earlier.
But March 19, 1995, was the first time I ever got a look at him in the light of day.
We’d met on the internet in a school newsgroup at Acadia University. I was a lowly freshman, he was a former grad / current employee of the Computer Centre. I spelled his name wrong in a newsgroup, he flamed me and threatened (jokingly) to delete my computer account. It was love at first byte.
[cue eyerolling at really bad pun]
Seriously, though. We clicked online and after 5 or 6 weeks of emails flying back and forth, we decided that we should meet. I had no idea what to expect — the cynic in me anticipated a short, fat, balding 40-yr old man living in his mother’s basement. The romantic in me was happy to find out that the basement actually belonged to one of the German profs, he wasn’t yet 30 or fat, and had hair most of the way down his back — about as far away from bald as a guy can get. We were engaged by the end of December and married each other a year later on October 19th, 1996 — the choice of day was no mistake. 🙂
Looking back from where I am today — living in Ottawa, with two kids — I wouldn’t have changed a thing and am terribly glad that I was naive enough to meet up with the guy I met online. In fact, I think March 19th is a more special anniversary for me that October 19th in many ways — sometimes you really do just kind of have to jump in without looking first, don’t you? In getting to know him online through the written word in the manner I did, I got to know the inside of him without the more superficial physical side of him mattering.
It’s rare to truely get to know someone from the inside – out.