Cute Single Boy Chris and Allison Come Clean.
The late Sippie Wallace, one of the greatest ever female blues singers, warns against what I’m about to do here in her song “Women Be Wise,” when she advises, “don’t advertise your man.” [“Shit. Now, you tell me.” -pamie] However, in the interest of full-disclosure, and in honor of Valentine’s Day, I feel it’s time to come out of the virtual closet and take you Behind the Squishy. So come on.
Y’all remember the Cute Single Boys of the Week? Well, who was your favorite? I know Trejo was all sexy and Jeff was super cute, but really, it was Chris, right? You can say it. Everybody looooved him. Bunch of girls wrote him letters. Well, guess what? So did I. And now he’s My Man.
That’s right. I WON him! In your FACES!
OK, no. I sent him an e-mail. He wrote back. We talked a lot on the phone. We met. Now we’re together. There was some other stuff in between, and I’m not sure how much we’re going to say here, but you should know that pamie thinks she’s Pimp of the Century for hooking us up. Calls me her first ho. [“And you never forget your first ho, Baby.” -pamie] I could say some things about Chris being my link to pamie and Eric – I’m sure he was afraid for a while I was seeing him just to be around Pam, but I swear…it was to be around Taylor – but I’ll refrain. This is about me and Chris.
He’s a great guy. He’s my Valentine. I’ve got a few other things to talk about…but it’s his turn.
How are we going to tell this story, C? We gots to get this party started riznight.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the total computer genius that several people involved with Squishy seem to be. The intricacies of simple spreadsheets fill me with a slight dread. Web design? Please. Dreamweaver? Besides a really bad song from the seventies, I have no clue what you are talking about. Given my general reluctance toward all things technologically oriented, I was a little concerned about “meeting someone over the Internet.” Most of the stories I’ve heard about this phenomenon usually go like this:
API; June 1. A man in Tupelo, Mississippi was arrested today for driving his car through the front door of his doublewide trailer while under the influence of a mindstaggering combination of alcohol and barbiturates. At the time of his arrest he stated to police that he was trying to scare his girlfriend into moving out. She had recently moved in after relocating from South Dakota with her five children. According to the man, “she does nothing but sit around all day eating my food, spending my money on QVC and watching ‘her stories’. Her kids tear my house apart and steal my beer.” The man met his girlfriend in an AOL chatroom.
Now, I know that this is not the case all the time. But given that this is usually what had come my way, you can understand my reluctance when I did my Cute Single Boy of the Week entry for pamie. But I thought the entry was pretty good, so I turned it in. I got quite a few responses. Some scary, some nice, some just wishing me good luck.
But one stood out. Even Pam and Eric said I should write this woman back. She seemed to talk the talk, but could she walk the walk? So I e-mailed her. It was at this point that I learned Lesson Number One about meeting someone over the Internet.
But before I reveal it, let’s see what Al has to say about the initial stages of our Internet courtship.
Wait. Why is he funnier than me?
We were actually talking about this recently and, attempting to make our meeting sound romantic, rather than, well, creepy, I tried to put a spin on it that would appeal to his chosen field of history.
Al: “Well, it’s not like we DID meet in a chatroom. We can sort of get away with saying we met through friends, right?
Al: “But really, it is sort of sweet…in a World War II pen pals sort of way.”
C: “Right. Or in a Prison Wedding sort of way.”
I can’t wait to hear this Numbah One Rule for Internet Lovahs he’s keeping up his sleeve, but let me take a wild guess as to what it is: “Don’t make crazy, braggadocios claims as to your Trivial Pursuit prowess, if you can’t show up in Dallas with your best game.”
Is that it?
Heh. Actually, I bet I do know. I was reading back over some of our first e-mail exchanges – I can’t find the first one I sent, but I have most of the rest – and noticed a running theme: we tested each other. I swear, every single letter contained a challenge, whether it was “list these 10 things in order of coolness,” or “write a story of 500 words or less, containing the following elements.” I don’t know what we were thinking, and I don’t know what we would have done if those little quizzes had revealed unsavory things about each other, but it was all good. He rightly identified that McGwire was more of a bad ass than Sosa, and I wrote him a story about a sweatpants-wearing prostitute having a fateful meeting in a Greek restaurant. Really, could love have been far behind?
And y’all, I was sort of hooked on him before I even saw him. All you guys out there who are wondering what women want? We want good writers. If you happen to have arms like Chris does…well, that’s just gravy. But hold on, we’re not to the gravy part yet. I want to hear what C has to say about the electronic portion of our fine romance, and then he can kick off the um…rest of it.
Heh heh. Prison Wedding. Damn, that’s some funny shit.
Ignoring the odd jab at my Trivial Pursuit skills, I will reveal my number one Meeting On The Internet rule: TEST THEM, folks! And I mean good. Because, in my opinion, someone’s views on all the little crap is just as important to compatibility as the big stuff. And here’s why.
Say I ask the question, “What kind of house and/or neighborhood would you like to live in?” Pretty important question, don’t you think? Some people are city folk and others are country folk. (Like Donny and Marie.) Myself, I’m a big fan of the country living. So if I get back the answer that she wants to live in a farmhouse stuck way up on the side of a lonely hill in Virginia, I should be pretty happy, right? But what if I forgot to ask about her favorite band? What happens if we wind up on that lonely hill together and she is rockin’ out to Insane Clown Posse 18 hours a day? There would be some serious problems, people.
Yeah, we tested each other. We found out we liked a lot of the same stuff. Which then lead into some deeper stuff. Pretty soon, I was really digging me some Allison. Then a friend whom I had told what was going on asked me a question. THE question for a lot of people. “What does she look like?”
“Gee, I don’t know,” was my response. I hadn’t thought about it up to that point. I was jamming on this great e-mail vibe we had going on. I mean, really, how many women out there get their groove on to Wilco?
Now I know this is dangerous ground I’m treading on here. Because men, whether fairly or not, have a certain reputation when it comes to being attracted to the opposite sex. In general terms, we seem to be more, um, visually oriented, is one way of saying it. And I’m not going to deny that it holds some importance for me. While I’m not the kind to reject women who don’t look like Jennifer Lopez, I still am attracted to women who have curves in the right places. Curse me if you will, but that’s my take on it. Which leads to me second rule of meeting someone on the web. Be honest. Get you concerns out there at the beginning. Because if you can’t be truthful from the git-go, what’s the point? So we exchanged some pictures. Which lead to the general conclusion, at least on my part, of “Damn, she’s a hottie!” (Every now and then the fourteen year old in me works his way to the surface. Sorry.)
So, we decided to meet. Let’s see what Allison has to say about the momentous occasion, otherwise known as the first blossoming of our love for each other.
Here’s something I will never forget. I’ve known Chris for nearly a year now, and we’ve talked about all sorts of stuff, but not too long ago we were in some store in the mall and I picked up this beautiful plate and said, almost to myself, “All I want is a two-story wood house with a wrap-around porch and room enough in the kitchen to put a bunch of china.” I heard this little noise and turned and Chris whispered “yes…and a library…” We looked at each other and romantic violin music swelled in the air. Then, I realized we were in Brookstone, and they were playing Yanni over the PA. Now that I think about it, the dish I was holding was probably made of space-age plastic and could be plugged into your car cigarette lighter so that you could cook while driving, like all that other crazy stuff they sell in there.
Anyway. Aside from the fact that the whole idea was insane, and I was nervous as a rat in a cat factory (…whatever), I opened the door that Friday evening, and there he was. (Right on time. Which was nice. I need that, y’all. I’m late everywhere. It’s something I’m working on. Shut up.) Somehow, we sat and had a conversation. About what, I don’t know. We went to dinner at this seafood place I’d never been to before (nor have I since), and drank beer served in glasses bigger than my head. I remember the glasses distinctly, because I was so nutty and fruity-acting, and I was afraid I was going to drop one.
I don’t remember what we did after that…what was it? Oh, yes. I rained hellfire on his (truly) Trivial Pursuit. (Actually, I think he let me win. But I still won, ok?) Later on, we ended up watching “Saving Private Ryan” on my couch and then…some other stuff happened. People, please. Like I’m gonna tell you. There was some of this, and a little of that. Maybe a dab of the other thing. You know.
I suppose the moral of this portion of our story is this: A first date is a first date, no matter how you met. If you’ve been talking and writing to each other for weeks, and you’re already friends, you’re still likely to be a freak when you open the door. It’s a little bit easier, because you do know each other, but you’re still nervous, and probably even more so than you would be with some random jag you met in the frozen foods.
So, we now have this relationship. It’s sort of long-distance. Texas is big, y’all.
We’ve decided to fast forward to the present, now, and not include too much more about our dating story, because that’s ours – some of it’s good, some of it’s bad (the former heavily outweighing the latter) – but I can tell you that I love him. He makes me laugh and he gives me butterflies, and I’ve known from the minute we met that he’s a good man with a good heart and pretty, pretty blue eyes. (There’s some other good stuff, but that’s just for me. Y’all back on up.)
In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, I’m very glad things are going the way they are these days and, since I started this seemingly endless entry, I’ll let Chris finish it. Maybe pamie can have the last word.
The first date. You know how nervous you get on a first date? How driving to pick her up, your hands are all clammy and you can barely sit still? Try stretching that over FOUR HOURS. It was an interesting drive to say the least. So I show up, we sit and talk for a while and then we go to dinner.
Now, I know you are not supposed to use alcohol as a crutch. And I don’t. But at that particular moment I had a strong desire to have something fill in those awkward moments that inevitably happen on the first date. Which explains the schooners of beer Al alluded to. I just needed to have something to put up to my mouth when I had nothing to say.
But the evening went well. I realized that, although we got to know each other fairly well through email, it is a poor substitute for the real thing. That was a year ago, and it has just gotten better since.
I’m not sure if doing it this way is better or worse than the traditional way of dating. I know there are times (a bunch of them) when I wish I was with her. And I’m glad there are times that she is not around to see some of my darker/ sloppier/inconsiderate moments. If I had to make some sort of synopsis of the whole thing, I would say that if you meet someone you can get along with, it seems less important where they live. Hey, if the celebs can live on different coasts and make it work, I guess we can handle 250 miles.
Has this experience changed my view of Internet dating? Probably not. I still think it can be a dangerous thing if you go about it the wrong way. I’m just glad it worked out for us. However, when people ask me how we met, I will still answer “Through a mutual friend.”
Man. I’m still proud of that hook-up. That and Allison is a bad-ass and I feel incredibly honored to have her in my life. Oh, and Allison? If you were wondering if you really are my ho? Just know what I received for payment for your Southern ass: after meeting you for the first time, Chris bought me a bottle of wine. Red wine. That’s right, bitch. I didn’t even give you a sip. All mine. Hell, I did all the work. Now go get Sweet Pamie another Snickers.
Oh. Did you hear that sound? The sound of a thousand girlies squealing with glee? It’s because someone’s back.