My good friend, Barb, at A Chelsea Morning asks “How Did You Meet Your Honey?” I’m a couple of days behind, but I thought I’d share, since so many of you have. I’ve enjoyed all the stories I’ve read so far.
I’ve mentioned before that Carl and I met online while playing trivia in a chatroom on MSN. I was separated, living in an apartment, and trying to save up enough money to file for divorce. I had moved out in July 2001 and had no social life apart from work and church. I had a few online friends, but no plans to ever meet any of them. It just wasn’t my thing. John, one of the guys I played trivia with, started paying more attention to me in late February 2002, asking all kinds of questions about my pending divorce. I thought it was kinda creepy, but I accepted his invitation to play Scrabble. I also let him know that I was not in the market, nor did I have any plans to start dating. Turns out, John was seeing Sue, but it wasn’t common knowledge among our trivia buddies. Carl and Sue had been friends for a few years, having met in one of the game rooms, and they played Scrabble quite often. Sue and John were in cahoots, playing matchmaker for Carl without his knowledge.
The four of us got together for a game, then the two of them left us alone to chat. We became very good friends over the course of the next few months, but dating was out of the question, for several reasons. The main reason was that I was still married, but even if I hadn’t been, we lived too far apart to consider it. I had told him about John’s interrogation, and he laughed that I thought it was creepy. We laughed that they thought we would even want to date. Really, only the desperate look for love online, right? We made fun of people who went online in search of dates.
He listened when I talked about my soon-to-be ex, and asked why I hadn’t already filed for divorce. I explained that I was saving up for a lawyer, and hoping in the meantime that my husband would clean up his act. He advised me to hang in there and work it out if it was at all possible to save the marriage. He had been through it, hated for anyone else to have to go through it, and did not recommend it. Unfortunately, my husband chose to continue womanizing, even placing ads online and hanging out at p*rn sites, all the while accusing me of all things sordid. After a year of separation, I filed for divorce.
We discussed our failed marriages and lessons learned, and agreed that it was best to just be friends. Three months later, I found out that my friend, Nikki, from Australia was coming to the States. She would be making the rounds, visiting several of us in our trivia group. I invited her to come visit me, and she accepted. Carl had said he would like to meet her, but he didn’t have a place for her to stay. We put our heads together, worked out a tentative date, and decided that the 3 of us should meet in Memphis. Two weeks after my divorce was final, Carl and I met in Memphis (he flew, I drove) for the weekend. It wasn’t a date, just a couple of friends getting together to have a good time. We didn’t have a good time, we had a wonderful time! We knew immediately that we would be more than just friends.
He was a gentleman and treated me with utmost respect. I’ve never met a more upstanding man. He had never been to Arkansas, so I offered to take him and show him around. We went to my apartment to freshen up, then we went to climb Pinnacle Mountain. He took me to dinner afterwards, and I offered to let him stay the night at my place. He agreed to go to church with me the next morning, then we went to visit my parents. We went for a walk in downtown Little Rock on Sunday evening before going back to my place for a home-cooked meal, then we settled on the sofa and laughed and talked and cuddled until we both fell asleep. I did most of the talking, which I’m sure is what put him to sleep. The next morning, we drove back to Memphis to meet Nikki’s flight and hang out with her until he had to catch his flight home.
We had so much fun in Memphis, sightseeing, shopping, and goofing off. He held my hand, opened doors for me, and wouldn’t let me pay for anything. In one of the music stores, he bought me two CD’s – Norah Jones and John Mayer. The instant we heard “Come Away With Me”, it became our song. When the time came to head to the airport, he was reluctant to go. He looked so sad. He had finally met the love of his life, and was having to leave her behind. He hugged and kissed me and promised to call as soon as he landed.
We talked daily by phone, email, instant messenger, or webcam – often all at the same time, and took turns flying to visit one another at least once a month. We dated long distance for a year and a half, and talked about getting married someday. When his mother proposed, I accepted. On March 9, 2004 my girls and I met him in Memphis for my birthday, and he presented me with a ring and an official proposal. We were married the next day in North Little Rock.