Today is Valentine's Day, and because we're a holiday birthday family, it's also MTL's birthday. Happy birthday, oh love of my life!
(I got him a Kindle. Because we're soulmates like that.)
I have to admit I am generally cynical and snarky about Hallmark holidays. I think perhaps some of it has masked a quiet resolve not to care that I have not dated or been married to anyone who was much into romantic gestures. It's easier to just dismiss it all by saying it's all corporate broohaha and that romance should not be limited to a handful of days each year. Which is true, but that only really works if the person you love is romantic other times of the year.
Here's the mushy truth: romance isn't just in bouquets of flowers and boxes of chocolate, and my life has become full of romance ever since I met MTL. I can't remember a day when he has not told me, with full sincerity rather than rote habit, that he loves me. I can't remember a day when he hasn't at least once held me close, looked at me with that special look, made me aware of just how sexy and amazing and wonderful he thinks I am.
There's been some chocolate, too.
HOWEVER. Hallmark holiday or no, having that wonderful man say Happy Valentine's Day, sweetheart! this morning as we climbed in our respective cars, and then discovering he'd beaten me to Facebook and posted on my Wall...
Yeah. Guess I'm just a big mushy-hearted sap after all.
ANYWAY. It occurs to me that I never did tell you, my bloggy readers, how MTL and I met. So here you go. It's a long one, so grab a drink and get comfy:
Last year, a few weeks before Valentine's Day, I texted a few of my girlfriends about feeling like I could really use a compliment from some hot guy right then. You know, just for the ego boost. Shallow, yes, but honest. My friend Melissa suggested that I try out an online dating site just to do some casual dating, have some fun, get back out there. She suggested Yahoo! Personals, since her sister had tried that one.
So I decided what the heck and signed up--for free at first, just to check around. Then I did buy a brief membership, since I thought perhaps there was some potential. I created my profile and looked around at the profiles of men in my area who seemed interesting. On that site you can send little generic "icebreakers"--phrases like Your profile made me smile. I remember that one because it's the one I used when I saw MTL's profile. Anyhow, I got some responses from several men and we chatted a bit on that website. It was nice to be able to do that there, without all your super personal information on display (they know your first name and general location, plus photos and whatever you've written in your profile) and get a feel for someone before deciding even whether to exchange email addresses, much less phone numbers and whatnot.
At any rate, I connected with a few different men and went on some dates. I did the careful meeting in public, letting friends know where I was sort of thing. One guy, Scott, was very nice--but TOO nice, if you know what I mean. He just felt like a friend. He was rather into me, but I didn't feel the chemistry. But we went on a few dates. There were a few others with whom I only had one date. Nice, but not for me. And as much as I intended to keep things casual, I didn't feel right leading them on as if there was a future in the relationship. I also felt weird about juggling multiple dates, to be honest. Some women may enjoy that, and I'll admit that for a very brief time it was very flattering to have several men interested in me, but it's not for me.
So much for being a "playa". (Heh.)
I still didn't expect more than some confidence-boosting, companionable, casual dating. Little did I know that God had something else in mind.
MTL was one of the men I'd sent an icebreaker to. I thought he was cute and I very much liked what he said in his profile. He seemed to have a good sense of humor and be very "real", if that makes sense. He ended up responding a day or two later (more on that in Part II), we sent messages back and forth for a bit on the site, and then we exchanged email addresses. And we continued to communicate quite heavily. Lots of back-and-forth short messages. Our senses of humor clicked really well. We're both snarky and sarcastic, and we discovered that we "got" each other's humor even through email, which can be tricky.
Then we exchanged phone numbers, though we started out just texting. I found that he had a quick mind and sense of humor, and he wasn't so nicey-nice like Scott. How do I explain this? Scott was the kind of person where if I said something snarky about having a bad day or whatever, he'd be all super-comforting instead of being snarky back--which is what I want and need. MTL, on the other hand, gave back as good as I gave him. He was making me laugh, and I hadn't even talked to him directly yet.
I remember the first time I texted him, I was getting a mani-pedi. I wrote him that I was sitting in a massage chair getting my feet rubbed--so sad that he wasn't out of work yet. He retorted that some people have to actually work for a living.
And then we talked about science fiction.
(Fate, I'm telling you.)
The next day I started my solitary road trip to visit my dear friend DraftQueen and my sister in the Boston area. That night, February 12th, I had my first direct phone conversation with MTL. He even kicked his kids out of the house so he could have some privacy. Two days later, on Valentine's Day, I texted him Happy Birthday and he texted me with Not sure if this is inappropriate or not, but I don't care. Happy Valentine's Day!
I saved the text. I still have it.
(I told you. SAP.)
And five days later we went on our first official date.
3 years ago