Before Oprah Declared It Was Cool

My husband and I met in an AOL chat room long before that became a "normal" thing to do. We were both in our 30s, and each was so badly burned by and burned out on love that we had given up. I was fairly successful in Chicago/Toronto; he was up and coming in Baton Rouge. We both had reasons to be awake late at night. We talked via chat and e-mail a long time, and suddenly he decided to fly in to meet me. We never even spoke on the phone. When we met, I was looking the best and fittest in my life, and I was looking around the crowded space for a man who described himself as "a fire hydrant with legs". When my gaze landed on a man over by the door, neatly dressed, tall, with what we used to call a "barrel chest", hands tucked into his pockets and smiling the absolute sweetest smile I had ever seen on a human being older than 3. Later, we found that we both knew within the first minute of meeting that this was our forever love. He has a sneaky sense of humor that my family didn't see, is scary-smart, and is hands-down the nicest, kindest, most honorable man I have ever known. (His father wins second place.) I have my moments, but was a true, brash Yankee. I shocked myself that weekend, I who had never done anything without evaluating it first. He was such a gentleman, and so tender with me. When he flew home, I was sure -- based on past heartache -- that I wouldn't hear from him again. I wanted this too much; I'd let my heart be vulnerable. Of course he was going to hurt me, to show me that my risk wasn't worth it, that my judgment was flawed and my self-respect forfeit. I waited for an e-mail, certain it wouldn't come and if it did, sure that it would be the long-distance kiss-off of my worst fears. While I waited, the doorbell rang. He'd sent me roses. A classy kiss-off then, I thought. But the card was just his name, and and a directive to answer my phone, which rang even as I stared at it blankly. It was he, safely home again, murmuring quietly in my ear, saying nothing my head expected and confusing me utterly. When he asked me to fly to
Louisiana soon, I still wondered and worried. Then the plane ticket arrived. My weekend in Louisiana with him. I spoke to his parents on the phone and I was terrified. His mother's first words were that I really sounded like a Yankee. When I returned home, we already knew that he would move to Chicago to live with me. So fast. But we were both certain, though we were also each too careful to be the first to say "I love you." His arrival date was delayed one week and I met his parents, in Chicago
on business, by myself. Oh, God! His Baptist parents got to meet the loose Yankee who their son had met in today's version of the personals just 5 weeks prior and for whom he was now giving up everything in order to live with her in sin
They were wonderful. Astonishing. Miraculous. (And have always been.) Of course my man was wonderful; with such a family, how could he be otherwise? Well, we finally declared our love (I admit it, I caved first but he followed immediately) and we married one year to the day of our first online talk. Big wedding. We've had just two fights in 12 years, and some minor disagreements along the way. We have endured hellish circumstances, any one of which would have broken a less solid pairing. Through it all, neither of us has ever doubted the other nor considered any path that wasn't together. We remain rock solid, stronger through trial than ever before. We are each other's forever love.

For those who have given up after loneliness and heartache, who have seen their years slip by and wonder if they should just settle, please hear me. You -- and your true mate -- deserve to find each other. Don't change your hopes and dreams. Change your routine, try something new, and be willing to take a chance that your heart wants but your head fights against -- when that happens, listen to your soul. It knows when love is forever.
SleepyMom SleepyMom
41-45, F
7 Responses Feb 14, 2010

I say give it a few years too, and it'll hopefully keep getting better and better.<br />
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Don't let the naysayers inside. They can't expose their most sensitive parts (like a heart with feeling) to claim any prize without risking at least something. It's merely my opinion.

Well, Sleepy Mom, you have a tried and true marriage. I would be shocked, if after all that you and he have been through, you would part. You go girl! BB

Smiliebean, right back at ya'! : D

I didn't say he was a bad human. I said "surely you're a better human being than that." It isn't a matter, at least as I see it, of saying I am above him. If he had commented on love in general, so be it. Each to his own. But his comment was directed at me, about the marriage and partner I cherish, and it was a disparaging, cynical, insulting thing to say. He intentionally sought to sow doubt and worry. He planted the wrong seed and if what grew out of his effort was a bit thornier than anticipated, as the gardener it's all on him. I meant what I said, that IF his comment is indicative of his true sentiments then -- to continue the analogy -- I don't doubt he reaps what he has sown there. For the record, though, if I misread his statement or misinterpreted the intent, I offer my sincere apology. I do, in fact, hope he is the better, kinder, more positive human being that lives in us all. And to you, DiscoBiscuit, I say this: thank you for trying to serve as intermediary. I appreciate your evenhandedness. I can only hope that no one comments in a way that seems insulting regarding anything I post about my children. If I was a protective wife on this one, imagine the literary lioness I would be then!

I understand what your saying there, however putting yourself above someone because of their opinion is just as bad or worse then what they had meant to begin with. I think your right, although I don't think telling someone they are a bad human is a healthy response.

After 12 years, a miscarriage, my becoming disabled , our house being hit by a tornado while we & our kids were in it, 8 moves, one bankruptcy, caring for my mother during a two year terminal illness, the birth of our two boys after two horrible pregnancies, the loss of our house, the layoffs for him, a long recovery back to financial stability, and the death of each of our mothers, I would say we have been tested enough to remain certain of our love and the strength of our marriage. Cynicism is ugly when used to hurt people. Surely you are a better human being than that. If not, then I would imagine you are the creator of the very situations that makes you doubt love is real and allows you to pour acid on the happiness of others.

Give it a few years.