It was late spring of 1999. I realized that in the last several years, I hadn't met one woman that I deemed worthy of spending my time with, or possibly even spending my life with. I knew a woman like this was out there; the problem was merely finding her. Long story short, I decided to take matters into my own hands and see what happened.
On May 27, I posted an ad on Yahoo! Personals, describing who I was and what I was looking for. With no expectations, I sat back and waited. I was in no hurry, and besides - nothing would probably ever come of this anyway. Soon, the first response came in: a teenager in Canada who was just looking for a penpal. Not quite what I was looking for. A few days later, on June 1, the second and final response arrived in my mailbox. A woman named Bev, from Fullerton - just 10 miles away from me. So far, so good!
Bev stated in that first message that she wasn't quite sure why she was writing, but she did anyway. Like me, she took a chance. She sounded nice, so I replied, beginning a week of daily emails back and forth. During that week we found that we had much in common, and became genuinely interested in one another.
Soon the emails turned to phone calls. That first evening, we talked for over 4 hours. Anyone who knows me would be shocked to hear that I spent so much time on the phone, much less with someone I'd only known for a week via email! Needless to say, we just clicked. I felt like I was talking to someone I had known for years.
On Friday June 11, we decided to have our first date. Actually, it felt more like "meeting" or "getting together" rather than a real date. All of the pressures associated with a typical date were happily absent. It was a spur of the moment thing, really - we talked on the phone after work and I suggested that maybe we should actually meet face to face and see a movie or something. I hadn't seen the newest Star Wars movie yet, and for reasons she may or may not explain, Bev wanted to see it for a third time. So we settled on a theater and show time.
I turned the corner at the front of the theater, and there she was, just like the picture she had emailed me. We knew each other instantly. I suddenly realized I was completely out of cash, and guess what - the theater didn't take credit cards, nor was an ATM machine anywhere to be seen. Bev, having just met me in person, was gracious enough to pay for my ticket. I can't imagine how things would have turned out if she hadn't been so understanding!
While I can't say much for the movie, I can say that the date was a complete success. We went to Denny's afterwards (with a stop at the ATM in between so I could pay her back) for some dinner and conversation, then called it a night. The rest, as they say, is history. We quickly became much closer, and within the first few months, I think we both knew that we had found "the one." If I had it all to do again, I wouldn't change a thing.
A few weeks later, my sister called and started the usual grill about my love life. I told her about the guy that I was dating at the time and that I wasn't really feeling a click. Having found her man on the Internet herself, she suggested that I try Yahoo! Personals. I resisted at first and then she made me the offer that I couldn't refuse: she would read every (applicable) personal ad and email me twelve finalists. I read the ads that she sent me and they just didn't sound right... except one.
Maybe it was my mood, maybe the rest sounded like perverts, maybe it was fate. I decided on a whim to write a rambling email to this total stranger. He wrote back and sounded normal, interesting, intelligent and straight. Eureka! I actually felt that this was someone I could hang out with. The first time we talked on the phone he sounded sincere. No pretense, no major psychosis. We talked for over 4 hours and I really felt excited about this guy. I had to meet him... and I was willing to sit through Star Wars (again) just to see if he was legit. I saw him. He was tall, thin, brown hair, smart and played the guitar. But then I was thrown for a loop...
He said he had no money with him. There wasn't an ATM in sight and the stinking movie theater doesn't accept credit cards. At this point, I'm thinking "Is he just saying this to end the date early?" Well, I wasn't going to let him get away with that. If he really wasn't interested, I was going to find out right then and there. I offered to pay. He accepted. So maybe he was interested. Star Wars was Star Wars. Afterwards, he went straight to the nearest ATM and paid me back. Denny's was fun (even though I can't remember a lot about it now). We became best pals (and more) instantly. And lived happily...