Ya gotta love the internet.
I was working a very high-pressure job many hours per week, including most Saturdays. It was a relatively low-paying position since it was salaried, but there were occasional bonuses, other fringe (read: free food) benefits, and I loved the owner (still do), so I trudged on.
Indeed, it was this cruh-hazy work schedule and the fact that I hadn’t been in town long that led me down a path I probably wouldn’t have trod otherwise: internet dating. My girlfriend reported meeting many “cool” guys on one particular site, and encouraged me to sign up. Since I wasn’t interested in any guys from college, and was tired of trying to keep up with the singles scene with what little free time I had, I thought, why not? It was cheaper than bars, clubs, and concerts, and wouldn’t take nearly as much time.
The one stipulation I had in signing up was that I become a member of a Catholic singles site, once I found out there was such a thing (there were several, actually). This stroke of genius was based on something my dear mother pounded into my head that actually stuck – “Whatever you do, marry a Catholic.” At the time, my faith life was lukewarm, at best, but it somehow made me feel safer to wade into the virtual dating waters with the word “Catholic” in the URL.
To spare you the boring (and let’s save this for another post) details of my short foray into Catholic internet dating, I met up with a couple of heretics, a future priest (still a beloved friend of my family – he baptized our son last year), someone my sister was friends with, a couple of guys from California, and a very nice – but bland – suitor who wound up marrying my parents’ friends’ daughter. All this dating led me to an epiphany – just because someone is quote-unquote Catholic doen’t mean they are right for me. I know what you’re thinking – duh.
Let’s go back to the “couple of guys from California.” I ended up having a pretty big crush on one and married the other.
The first guy – we’ll call him G – was pretty darn attractive (I’m pretty sure he knew he was, too), and owned his own business. And, he was “Catholic.” Well, there were some red flags, but that didn’t stop me from meeting up with him. It was the weirdest thing. G was divorced (okay, red flag) and several years older than I (perhaps another red flag), and yet I had the hardest time picturing him as a married man. He just acted like a bachelor (BIG red flag). He also ended up being one of those who liked to play head games. By that time, there were too many flags on the field, so I ended it.
Not too long after, a guy we’ll call D started e-mailing me. He was funny, and interesting. I have always thought I have a, let’s say, different sense of humor, but I didn’t find myself having to explain what I was saying to him – D thought it was funny, too. Or, maybe he was just being nice. Whatever the case, we had many lengthy conversations on the phone (long-distance – so much for internet dating being cheaper!), and more e-mails. Gosh, I wish I would have had the presence of mind to save those letters!
And, so, 9 years ago today, I met my husband for the very first time in the local international airport. I was a few minutes early, and distinctly remember rushing to the ladies’ room and saying countless “Hail Mary’s” to calm myself down. I don’t remember EVER being so nervous as those minutes before meeting D. Out from the gate walked the tallest guy I’d seen in quite a while. He looked nice. And he was smiling at me. Gosh, I was so nervous, I hardly said a word the whole walk through the airport, while he was talking a mile a minute. D didn’t really seem to be my “type,” but I was pretty sure I didn’t like my “type” anymore anyway. He was a bachelor, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that he just seemed like a married guy. Why wasn’t D married?!
D tried to pump my gas, but we were in Oregon, so he couldn’t. It was a sweet gesture, though. I dropped him off – still had to go back to work for the rest of the day – and couldn’t stop thinking about him. It turned out to be one of the most amazing weekends of my life. While he was in the other room, I told my friend I thought I was going to marry this guy, as crazy as that sounded. After he left to return to California, I called my mom, crying, because I didn’t want him to leave. She called it: “You’re in love!” D and I kept talking, flying to meet each other, etc., and the following January, he proposed. It seems unthinkable, but I can definitely say that God knew EXACTLY what He was doing when he put the two of us together.
So, nine years, many more jobs, several moves, 3 children, 2 mortgages and one car with more miles on it than I care to mention later, I’m still thinking about him, loving him, learning how to be a better Christian, Catholic, wife, and mom because (and sometimes in spite) of him. And I feel so very, very VERY blessed that, at least for us, this internet dating thing caught on.
Love you, Davey.