No, it wasn’t in some kinky chat room! I was a science fiction chat host for Omni Magazine Online for AOL. Bryan attended my chats, and we both spent some time in our off hours relaxing in a private chat room for SF fans.
He had just finished a relationship with another woman. I was separated, with a divorce in process, and I was NOT looking for anyone. At all. Ever again.
Just like in the face-to-face world, we interacted for a while as a part of a group before we realized we had quite a bit in common, and were in fact interested in each other. We instant messaged and emailed for a while, even exchanging pictures, just getting to know each other better.
Finally, Bryan took the plunge and gave me his phone number. I called his answering machine while he was at work the first time, just to hear what his voice sounded like. Eventually, we did talk on the phone, and it was like talking to a good friend. We had plenty to talk about, and definitely grew more attracted as time passed.
After about six months of long distance contact, we asked the million dollar question… should we try to meet in person?
Boy, that’s a scary question, although it wasn’t quite such a quandary back then. What if he was an axe murderer? What if I was a bunny boiler? What if either one of us, in our slowly growing long distance relationship, was not being very honest about ourselves and, in fact, were not as represented?
I was living in Alabama with the boys, my company had closed up shop in Portland and transferred me there. Bryan was a lifelong Alaskan. At first we talked about possibly meeting somewhere in the middle – Las Vegas? Los Angeles? Finally, I decided that since I’d always wanted to visit Alaska, I’d go there. If Bryan and I hit it off, great! And if not, well, I had a credit card and a sense of adventure – I could rent a car and a hotel room and explore on my own.
Both of us were very, very anxious, but I flew to Alaska. I remember how hyperventilating-terrified I was to get off the plane – and how scared he was, standing there, shaking in his shoes, with a bouquet of roses for me. He gave me a hug and a nervous kiss, and we set out together.
We did, in fact, get along very well. I don’t think we stopped talking for hours. I fell in love with him, he treated me like a princess, and as we traveled around together, I fell in love with summertime Alaska.
From there, we continued to stay in touch long distance, enriching the phone companies. He came to visit me; we both met in Portland to meet each others’ families. He proposed in October and I accepted.
After Christmas, the boys and I moved to Alaska and Bryan and I began the process of settling in together. We were both more than a little set in our ways, and he had the added challenge of taking on a couple of young boys as well. We married in June, on summer solstice, and will be celebrating our tenth anniversary this year.
It’s been a great ten years. We’ve had some wonderful, mountaintop highs and some painful, dark and thorny lows, but overall we’re happy. We’re in this for the long haul – forever.
Thank you, sweetheart, for everything! I love you.