First of all, let me say this—it should not have worked. We had so many things working against us—more than 100 miles in distance and more than a decade in age; a divorce and a child on his side of the ledger and a dear friends and a successful consulting career that I had no intention of leaving on my side.
He’s an introvert; I’m an extrovert. I would rather be parasailing and he would rather be at the museum. He rarely travels; I have a permanent case of wanderlust. It just should not have worked. But it did. And now we are spending the rest of our lives together.
When I placed my Yahoo ad I got the usual mix of responses—some normal sounding men along with freaks, geeks, perverts, and foreigners. And along came John.
We emailed once or twice a week for a month or so. Our first date was September 22, 2001 at the 1848 House in Atlanta. I told my friends I had a “practice date” coming up that weekend. I didn’t see how anything could possibly come of it, so I had no expectations other than spending a nice evening with a interesting guy. Let’s just say I got more than I bargained for. We had a delightful evening and John asked me if I’d like to visit his neck of the woods. I said yes, all the while remembering every horrible thing I’d been told about “out state” Georgia. Imagine my surprise when Columbus turned out to be a lovely town, not so different than my side of Atlanta and not at all like a scene out of Deliverance.
My Columbus journey was our second date. It was also the night of our first kiss. We were both smitten. For the next 10 months we took turns making the 115-mile trek to each other’s house for the weekends. For a couple of those months I was on an out-of-state gig and we’d have to squeeze what we could into my 36-hour weekend furloughs. We chatted on Instant Messenger almost every night and spent a lot of time counting the hours until the weekend, when we would be together again.
We both knew very early on where the relationship was going, and in the spring of 2002 we started (quietly) talking marriage. We both admitted the weekly drive was getting to be a grind. On June 8th, John put a ring on my finger and made our engagement official. I took a very deep breath and put my house on the market said goodbye to Atlanta when it sold, sold six weeks later.
We were married April 12th, 2003 at Upatoi Chapel, which was built in 1895. I like the idea that we took our vows in a place that has been standing since our great-grandparents time, and will likely still be standing in our great-grandchildren’s time.