I stopped in a mall video store on my way home from a long work week; I was looking for a particular film and I noticed it on a nearby floor display, so I approached to find the last video copy was being looked at by a young man.
I picked up a DVD copy and started looking at it. The man said (referring to the video), “Have you seen it?” I replied, “No, but if you watch it, apparently you’ll know where I work, because everyone at work says it’s just like our office.” (The film was “Office Space”.)
The gentleman replied, “Before I know where you work, shouldn’t I know your name?” I told him my name and we spoke casually for awhile. He asked me to go for coffee with him, but I was reluctant as he was still a stranger to me…or so I thought.
I agreed to have a ‘frozen Coke’ with him in the mall outside the video store, where we continued our pleasant conversation. Suddenly, he said he had to leave because he was catching a flight ‘back home’ in a few hours and he had to get to the airport. He asked if he could call me, but I declined because we all know those long distance ‘relationships’ NEVER work. He said he enjoyed talking to me, and asked if he could e-mail me. I agreed and gave him my e-mail address.
He asked if I might ever like to meet him in a chat room or on a bulletin board to talk. I mentioned I was registered on one board but didn’t think he’d be interested because it was a board for fans of QVC (the home shopping channel). He got that ‘deer in the headlights’ look about him and asked what my user name was. When I told him, he responded with his own user name for that same board, and we discovered we’d been ‘chatting’ on-line for several weeks prior to this chance meeting. In fact, neither of us knew where the other was from, so meeting this way was truly remarkable.
Suddenly, it was as if we’d always known each other, because all the discussions we’d had between us on-line made us fast friends in person. He was no longer a stranger, but a dear friend, and I no longer felt reluctant to give him my phone number.
As he left for the airport, he reminded me of the first post I had put on the bulletin board to his attention. After weeks of reading and laughing at his posts, my first post to him said simply, “Casanova, I think I love you.” (Yes, Casanova was his user name.)
That was in April 2004.
Casanova relocated from Georgia to Pennsylvania to be with me in November 2004, and we’ve been inseparable ever since.
So you tell me, did my on-line profession of devotion to him constitute a first date, or was it over frozen Cokes outside of a video store in Pittsburgh? Perhaps one day our grandchildren can decide.
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