INDIANA: We thought for our inaugural post that we should divulge how we actually met. That way you can care about us if you don't know us already. We used to tell people that we met at space camp or we'd be super vague and just say that we met over spring break, but in all actuality, we met online.
I: No, no. It was AsianBrides.com, but you got a half off discount because I'm only half Asian.
C: Oh, that's right. You know me. Always looking for the best deal.
I: Okay, the real story is this: we met online, on a site called CollegeClub.com, which was way before it's time. I don't think it exists anymore. It was basically like Facebook, but for college students--
C: -- you mean, like Facebook before parents got on there?
I: Yes! Ha! I worked for College Club as a campus rep at the time so I was pretty into it.
C: This was in 1999. You were going to college at Olivet in Kankakee, Illinois, and I was at Tech here in Atlanta.
I: I had recently been horrifically dumped by my high school boyfriend, so I found myself creating a Match U profile, which was a section of the site for singles. And then one day, Chris saw that I was online and sent me a chat invite.
C: Your headline was "Moms love me, I can cook, and I love Jesus".
I: Aaaaand only one of those turned out to be true. I am sorry I won your affections by deception. I don't remember what your headline said. It probably said, "Insert headline here"... but I remember there was a super hot photo of you playing bass like a rock star.
C: My pics are all the headline you need.
I: You sent me a chat invite, and I messaged back something like, "Hey, man, I don't usually talk to strangers online" because my grandpa kept sending me all these newspaper clippings of young girls getting kidnapped or raped by old men they met on the Internet!
C: Really? I don't remember that.
I: Well I immediately recanted when I saw your photo. THEN you said, "It's okay, I have to go to Campus Crusade for Christ". So then I was like (in my head), "HOLD UP. Hot guy, in a band, and loves Jesus?" And all the promises I made to my grandpa went right out the window. Then I gave you my AOL IM name.
I: I'm the only one who calls it A-O-L I-M.
C: Fact: We still used AIM to chat while I was at work up until 2014.
I: Ha! Totally true. So our AIM relationship begat long letters and thoughtful packages in the mail. And then, finally, you asked me if you could call me some time.
C: Although I disputed that until I learned how to use Grep and checked my old chat logs. I DID ask to call you!
I: So then we started talking on the phone, and before you know it we've been friends online and in letters and having these very long long distance phone calls for well over a year, almost two years. So the next logical progression was to meet! In person!
C: So we did.
I: I visited a friend over spring break, who was up the road from Atlanta in Knoxville, Tennessee, but it turned out to be a bust. So I decided to make the drive down the highway to finally meet you in person.
C: I met you at your hotel and when you opened the door, you hugged me full on and said, "How ARE you?!"
I: I'm a preemptive hugger. You know that now. Hey, thank you for not catfishing me.
C: Thank you for not catfishing me!
I: That was a great weekend. I liked hanging out with you. It wasn't awkward at all. It really was like we had known each other like for real for real, and not just online, for years.
C: Yes, it was a great weekend. We hiked Stone Mountain, had dinner at Bahama Breeze, you went to church with me, and when you left, I cried. I had such a good time.
I: You used to be a softie. It's important to note here that we were just friends at this point. No flirtation, no hand holding, no hanky panky.
C: Were you interested? I know I was, but I also knew it could never work out between us.
I: I just never considered you as an option, you know? I remember I was going on dates with some other guy that I really wasn't that in to, and his best friend pulled me aside one day and asked me why I couldn't commit. I told him that I wished I could find a guy like you. But you know... real, and not from the Internet.
C: My step-sister was living about an hour north of your college in Chicago, and I had always wanted to see Chicago (it's where my dad grew up), and I knew if I planned a visit with her, we could hang out together again.
I: So you did that thing that AirTran used to have: X Fares. College students could fly stand-by super cheap, so you came up to Chicago and I picked you up at the airport.
C: I brought my guitar with me.
I: It was a really great week. We got lost in the city, we went to Six Flags, and hung out and just laughed together.
C: And on my last night, I sang some songs I had written you.
I: But I had no idea they were about me. They were nice, but I was so clueless.
C: And then when I was done I professed that I had been in love with you for years. And I gave you a letter that I had written the night before that said that I couldn't keep on being just your friend anymore because it hurt too much to not be able to be more. I fully expected us to end the friendship. You were always saying that if a guy told you he loved you, you'd kick him in the shins and run away.
I: I read the letter, and I was just incredulous. I read it with you sitting right there and when I was done, I looked you in the eye and said, "Can I just say ditto?". Ha! I did not kick you in the shins. Nor did I run away.
C: So we held hands. And we decided to make a go of it.
I: And now... 14 years later... we're married!
C: And we have three kids!
I: And a blogcast!
C: And a blogcast. I still don't know how I feel about that word.
REFERENCES & NOTES:
- Article: What Ever Happened to College Club by Erich Stauffer
- HalfAsianBrides.com is available for purchase whereas AsianBrides.com is not (<-- risky click of the day).
- Map: I did this drive way more times than my family knew about!
- Regarding AOL IM we apparently weren't the only ones on it in 2014.
- I found Chris' old band's Myspace page!
- AirTran doesn't exist anymore.
- The movie Ghost probably ruined me, romantically.
- Can we please bring back "ditto" as a saying, in general?
- Blogcast is totally a word and it's my new favorite word after the word portmanteau.