Archive for the ‘Guest Bloggers’ Category

We Interrupt the Drama of My Life for Something More Long Distance Related…

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

In today’s Sunday paper I was pleased to see a column Q&A on Long Distance Relationships in one of those colorful Sunday magazine flyers: USA Weekend Magazine. Written by RelationTips writer, Dennie Hughes, she answers the question, “My boyfriend will be transferring to a school across the country. Do you think that, with all the “face-to-face” technology available, a long-distance relationship could work?”

The answer provided by Hughes starts by talking about inexpensive technology: web cams and Skype, Facebook and Twitter. She also touches on blogging, instant messaging and something I’d never thought about: playing online board games together.

She does mention that LDR’s can work if you are already in an established relationship but doesn’t seem to think it can work if a couple is in the early stages. For the full article click here.

I’m curious as to why she pooh-poohs people just getting started in a relationship. Obviously she doesn’t know our guest blogger and friend Amy who was kind enough to share her story with us in September. Amy met her husband on-line when they lived states apart. They just celebrated their 11th anniversary in the Spring.

Nor has Hughes met my friend and neighbor who met the man who would become her husband literally hours before she boarded a plane back home from her dream vacation in Egypt. They not only managed to get through those first few months, they are now several years married and have a beautiful son.

Hey Dennie – don’t be so quick to dismiss new love, even if it is miles or continents apart. It may not be “ideal” or more likely the real issue it doesn’t comply with what most people think are “normal” relationships. But people make it work all the time.

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Welcome: Guest Blogger Amy

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Today you’ll hear from someone other than me (which might be a refreshing change).

Amy met someone on-line back before it was cool to do so.

Here in her own words is Amy! Take it away!

I met my husband, Tommie, online. This was back when AOL charged you by the hour. As you can imagine, we had some very big online bills!

I was 21 and relatively new to the whole “on-line” thing. But once I had signed up with my shiny new credit card I was hooked. I LOVED it! Growing up I had always been big on writing letters. To me this was just another way to meet people!

I spent a lot of time in the chat rooms back then. I made friends and dated a few people. My real life friends and family that weren’t online worried constantly about me meeting my online friends face-to-face for the first time. For the most part, I made sure I met them with another friend around or at least always in a public place.

Tommie and I actually met via an ad I placed on one of the AOL boards looking for “friends”, not a “relationship”.

On my AOL ad I listed my likes, my age, etc. Tommie answered me back and we connected right away. So many guys at that time would message you and want to “cyber” (have the internet equivalent of phone sex for the uninitiated, like Lara.). How unattractive to get messaged and that be the first thing you see??

Thankfully Tommie wasn’t like that. The way he wrote was so creative and made me laugh. :)

One of the things I had put in my ad was that I liked “anime”, and he thought that was cool and what prompted him to message me. Seems like all the kids are into “anime” these days (Japanese Anime), but back then, it was more unusual.

We wrote back and forth for the longest time and would talk via I.M. (Instant Message) when we’d catch each other online.

At the time Tommie and I met online my Great Grandmother, the matriarch of our large family had passed away. It was a hard time for me. Tommie was sympathetic and comforting to me during that loss.

However, I had met someone locally and I dated him for a while. I didn’t mention this to Tommie. (More on this later.)

Over time my friendship with Tommie progressed from us emailing and I.M’ing to mailing little packages to each other of songs that we liked, creating cassette tapes for each other and sending letters and calling each other.

We worked different shifts and I would always rush home for lunch to talk to him before he laid down for bed. He would always wait for me to get online. We had our set times to connect and I SO looked forward to them! Tommie would even fax me little notes at work. We just utilized every form of communication at our disposal.

Somewhere at about the year mark of our “friendship” Tommie asked if he could come and visit me.
I said “Sure!”

Tommie purchased his plane ticket (After the ticket was already purchased I found out that Tommie had never flown before. He loathed the idea of flying so this was a pretty big deal for him.).

About that time I started to feel guilty for not telling him I had been dating someone…..so I worked up the courage and told him.

It really threw him for a loop: here he was coming to visit this girl, but she was already seeing someone.

Later he told me that he almost backed out and didn’t come but then decided, “What the heck?” After all, he already had the ticket.

Then Tommie told me that he too had a secret: He had a daughter. She’d been born when he was 17 and adopted by her grandparents with whom she lived.

I was a little taken aback but I’ve always loved children so it wasn’t a deal breaker for me.

When the big day finally arrived, I went to the airport to pick Tommie up. I was so excited; I had butterflies in my stomach. I was hoping I’d recognize him. I just had one picture to go off. People started disembarking. I looked and looked. No Tommie.

Once the last person got off my heart sank. Where was he?? Did he back out last minute? Lie to me that he was coming? Did I not recognize him? But no one was standing around like they were looking for someone.

This was before cell phones were so prevalent. I called home and listened to my messages from my answering machine. There was a message from Tommie that he had missed his connecting flight, but they had given him a seat on the next flight out.

He left me the flight # and time and asked if I could get his luggage. He described to me what it looked like. I went over to baggage claim and picked up his suitcase and brought it back to the house. I waited anxiously until time to go back to the airport. I had been all worked up the first time just to have it put on hold.

When I went to the airport for the second time, it was the same all over again: butterflies in my stomach, looking anxiously at everyone as they disembarked hoping to recognize him. People started filing out and No Tommie. ‘Not again,’ I thought. But still, no Tommie!

Finally, one of the last people off, there he was! A big smile lit up his face when he saw me. And I had a big hug waiting for him. It was so nice and exciting to finally meet him face to face. :)

He stayed a week and when I took him to the airport for his flight home, Tommie turned to me and dropped a bombshell. He said, “I think I’m going to move here.”

I almost passed out. It was totally out of the blue for me! Yes, we had a great time I liked him, but Whoa!

Tommie said, “Well, I just see a lot of ‘help wanted’ signs up here and there’s not a lot of opportunity down in Alabama…..”

I really didn’t know what to say but must have said something encouraging as I left him at the airport terminal, headed to a new part time job that I was starting that evening.

Shortly after I got to my new job I received a call from Tommie. He said his flight had been cancelled and he couldn’t get another flight for another couple of days.

Unsure what to do since I couldn’t leave on my very first night, I told him to just get a taxi to my job and take my car home, and he could come pick me up when I got off work.

Months later he told me that yes, his flight had been cancelled, but he could’ve gotten on the next flight. Instead he asked them to schedule him a few days later – sly!

Those two extra days did it for me! I was ready for him to move.

However there was still one other skeleton in the closet. It turned out that Tommie too had been seeing someone else and had failed to mention it to me! Even though he’d been upset with me for dating someone in real life while he was purchasing plane tickets, he’d been doing the exact same thing!

But after the 10 days we spent together he went home and broke it off with her and told his family that he was moving to be with me.

After six months of scrimping and saving money, Tommie moved to Kansas City. We were fortunate that I was able to put in a good word and get him a job where I was working.

The rest is, as they say, history: We moved in together and were married within a year.

It has been 13 years since we met online via AOL. In May we celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. And what wonderful years they’ve been!

Occasionally we still get a strange look and a “Really?!?!?” when people ask how we met, but now it is far more acceptable to have met online than it was when I met my Tommie!

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