Our Love Story: Part I

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ken and I met where everyone meets these days. At a corner coffee shop.

Kind of.

In truth, we actually met on Match.com. He was Geaeslore and I was MirandaWrites2. Honestly though, I never intended to join another dating website. My journal entry from 11/14/2010 reads as follows:

In September, just after I returned from Italy, I decided to make an impulse purchase. It had been awhile since I’d made any waves (or ripples for that matter), in the dating scene. After little foresight or thought, I plunked down my plastic and purchased a three month membership to Match.com. What? Initially, it was simply an experiment. A place to find good stories and to write about how unnatural and awkward dating is. Something I could laugh about years down the road. So I began my search; trolling through profile after profile after endless profile. I detested the idea of someone making judgments of my character based simply on an image and a few trite interests; all of which, most people, generally put the exact same thing. Go figure. The funny parts I wrote about (averting tragedy through humor I suppose). Needless to say, I had no intention of actually meeting someone online. It wasn’t the right format. It was seedy and strange. It was basement-dwelling-still-living-at-home-with-his-parents and probably unemployed cave dwellers. Which would interest me why? But then I saw one profile with a tagline that caught my eye. It said simply “I’ll converse with you.” And that’s exactly what I needed. I longed to talk with someone. Immediately something shifted. Here was this stranger, someone I had never met, saying that he’d be willing to chat with me. To start a dialogue and break the oppressing silence. I don’t know why, but I believed him.

After exchanging a few emails— Ken’s lengthy epistles followed by my brief responses— I suggested we meet at Buzz Bakery in Alexandria, VA on an early Saturday morning in October of 2010. We hit it off. It was a typical first date (getting to know you questions and such), but I finally was able to come clean about my short virtual responses— I was using an iPhone rather than a computer. As our first date ended, we both left apologizing for having monopolized the conversation for a little over an hour. But Ken asked if he could see me again and I thought that would be okay.

Over the coming weeks Ken took active measures to pursue me. A true romantic, he took full advantage of courting me in a brilliant manner. This included thoughtful intelligent conversations, unexpected flowers, tender hand-written letters, and a genuine listening ear. I knew things were going to be good between us when he let me set NPR as a preset on his car radio. As the months passed, we continued to develop a closer bond by exploring new things together. I introduced Ken to corn on the cob and falafel and eating new foods in general. He introduced me to Harry Potter and Ender’s Game, reading the books aloud to me. When Ken asked me to meet his family for Thanksgiving, after only knowing me for a few weeks, I panicked and said no. Eventually I warmed to the idea and accepted his invitation to spend the holiday in Boston. Through the winter and spring of 2011 we saw each other four to six times a week, logging many miles on I495. We also took weekend trips together (to Warm Springs, VA, New York City, and Orlando). We camped and biked and explored D.C. on weekends, making the most of our time together. While both of us had lived strong independent single lives, suddenly we found ourselves turning into a couple. Entering a relationship that neither one of us really expected.

On September 16, 2011, after almost a year of dating, we both took the day off work and went for a hike at Sky Meadows State Park (a place that had special significance to us). I had thought maybe he might propose that day, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Instead, we enjoyed the brilliance of a crisp autumn morning. As we hiked, turning off onto the Appalachian Trail, I kept stopping to soak in the view and bask in the warmth of the sunshine. I knew Ken had prepared a gourmet lunch for us and was looking forward to that, but as we reached the summit we stopped to admire the view and that’s when Ken started to tell me how he felt about me. He then knelt to one knee and proposed with my great-grandmother’s wedding ring. Needless to say, I happily accepted. We were engaged for seven and a half months before getting married in May of 2012.


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