Ours is an internet love story....
In November of 1996, I purchased my first computer after having landed a full-time job at a large insurance company.. I had been working temp jobs and had promised myself a computer as soon as I found permanent employment. I had become hooked on chat rooms while house sitting for a friend who had Netscape Chat and was anxious to be able to go online from home.
The first thing I did was to download Netscape Chat, but no matter what I did, I couldn't get it to work. So I tried IRC (Internet Relay Chat) that I had seen someone use once. I randomly chose a server (Undernet) and signed on. I ended up in a chatroom called Christian Singles and liked the group of people who came there regularly.
Not many days later, a fella named Gryfalia came in the room. I was playing "hostess" that night, passing out cyber wassail and brownies. Gryfalia pouted because they had walnuts so I "baked" him up a batch special without nuts. :)
We started chatting in the room, then in private chat, and as the days went by we found ourselves having very long conversations, learning about each other and having a great time talking to each other. One such conversation lasted from 10pm to 6am! Needless to say, I was sleepwalking through many days at work. As Christmas came around, we were beginning to think there might be the possibility for something more than an online chat relationship. Although my apartment was a wreck and I had a sinus cold, Ken convinced me to get together on New Year's Eve. He hopped on Amtrak and I picked him up at the station that evening. I remember thinking how cute he was when he came through the door, and yes, he DID look a bit like Skippy from Family Ties. :) We put his things in the car and he gave me a big hug! I was nervous about what he would think of me since we'd never even exchanged pictures, but it was wonderful to finally meet him.
I had not been sure that love at first sight was true until I met Ken. Even though I had had a terrible relationship before that made it hard for me to trust, I look back and know that I fell for him that first night. Within a couple of weeks I knew he was the one for me. But I had to wait for the right time for Ken to ask...
That time came on May 23. We had gone to downtown Chicago for the evening to Pizzeria Uno and had a wonderful supper. Afterwards we walked to Water Tower and Ken convinced me that we should splurge on a carriage ride (we were pretty broke at that time). I chose a white horse and carriage and we asked the driver to go on Lake Shore Drive. So, we did get to see the lake even though there were 8 lanes of traffic between it and us! :) Ken distracted me by pointing at something in the lake, and meantime was getting down on his knees! He said there was no one in the world he wanted to spend his life with more than me and asked me to marry him. The answer was yes, of course! About a minute later he said, "You did say yes, didn't you?" There was so much noise with traffic that he wasn't sure he heard me correctly!
In September of 1997, he moved down to B/N and shared a house with some college people so we could be close rather than only seeing each other on weekends. My life was MUCH happier then! I hated the stress of being apart with only one vaguely-reliable car between us. On February 28, 1998, the best day of my life, we became husband and wife in Evelyn Chapel at Illinois Wesleyan University.