Flirts are simply the site's version of “hello;” A little emoticon that breaks the ice and says “I'd like to see more about who you are.” Jim sent one, I checked out his profile and sent one back in the dance of delicate interaction that is getting to know one another in a virtual environment. When I read his profile, I was struck by a few things. One: he was crazy handsome. Two: he's a serious runner and I'm soooo not so I figured he'd not be into me and didn't have any real expectations.
Almost from the get-go (what does that even mean?) our conversations turned to food. They started about food, strayed away for a few moments, then somehow quickly returned to food. We love food. Not in the I'm-going-to-eat-until-I-can't-fit-out-my-front-door kind of way, but we love good food, paying attention to flavors, and figuring out how to make mediocre restaurant food better at home. We went from emailing every few hours (you can't respond too quickly and seem desperate you know) to emailing back and forth about 15 times a day. This carried on for a couple days while Jim was out of town and then we planned to meet for some Starbucks salted caramel hot chocolate.
That first week that we were emailing was a busy one. I took my part of jump-starting my social life very seriously and went on four first dates that week while Aeryn was gone. Jim was the last one because
almost immediately I was done searching for people to befriend.
Starbucks was meant to be a quick little meeting. It's easy. It's non-committal. It's tasty. So we grabbed a table and left reluctantly three full hours of constant conversation later. His family was having a social gathering that evening for the new year and he needed to get home to help out. I had no plans for the new year so I went home and wondered what he was up to for the next several hours. I didn't have to wonder too hard, he kept texting me all evening telling me what was going on and I felt some worry when he mentioned sitting at the girls table for game night. Later I learned that one member of that table was a girl he was being set up with though I imagine the fact that he was texting me all night was indicative of where his interests lied.
It was a week until we saw each other again. The following Friday we had our first real date. True to our selves we got together and made dinner together. Truthfully, he made dinner and I made chocolate mousse for dessert. His chicken picatta was fabulous and my chocolate mousse was amazing and we sat at the table and talked for an hour after dinner. Then we moved to the living room and continued talking until he'd been here for a full 9 hours with nary a moment of uncomfortable silence. After that, Jim would tend to show up in the evenings after his daughter was in bed. On B day's, he would come to the school and have lunch with me. On one such visit I was being a bit silly and gave him a copy of my school picture from this year after writing on the back “Do you like me? Check yes or no.” And we see the answer.
By Aeryn's birthday (two weeks after we met) I was asked by my stepmom what I'd do if he asked me to marry him and without hesitation I replied “I'd say yes.” And so began the greatest journey I've ever been on. I have no doubts now, or at any time previously, that he's the one for me.