Prince Charming and I met online eleven years and three months ago. We lived 1000 miles from one another. I was living alone after being divorced at age 32, after a 3-year marriage. (I had been divorced a couple of years.) It was a dreadfully boring Saturday night (a concept I cannot begin to imagine at this point in my life), so I decided to check online to see if there were any e-mails I could answer. None. I was relatively new to the internet and started poking around. I found something called “Love at AOL.”
“What could it hurt?” I thought to myself. “I’ll just look around a little. It should be amusing.”
A search for men in my region of the country with some similar interests brought up S. I e-mailed him.
My blog was only a week old yesterday, but some of you may have already figured out that when I write, I write a lot. I explain things a lot. Being 32 and divorced (never mind completely new to online dating), I wrote him a long e-mail explaining me. I did not want pretense. It was sort of a “this is who I am, let me know if you are interested in more.” I do not remember what I wrote at all, but it was probably 4 or 5 typewritten pages.
I did not hear back from him for a couple of weeks. That was fine; I just figured it was not something that would happen, and I did not need to waste time worrying about it. (Later I would learn that it took so long because he was, let’s say, “overwhelmed” by my e-mail.) Apparently after he got over the length and depth of the thing, he was impressed by how different I was from everyone else who had responded to his ad, or whatever it was called.
For the next 3 months we e-mailed, IM’d and talked on the phone on-and-off. Then right after Memorial Day weekend, we decided that we were going to talk more. And meet.
I was getting ready to go on a trip to see some cousins. I had a new car (which I still miss, but it wouldn’t hold the dogs AND the kids after they came along) and some vacation time built up. S and I decided I should make a slight detour to meet so we did not build “castles in the sky,” only to potentially be disappointed when meeting later.
I had never driven 15 hours before. I decided to stop after 12 and do the last three hours the next day to not be so tired when I got there.
We had done a LOT of talking so we would not be misleading one another. He had also been through a divorce, and due to our histories, we both thought it was important to just be ourselves when we met. He did a really good job of that. I almost did, but will admit to spending 30 minutes curling my hair the morning I began the final 3-hour leg of the journey at 5:30 a.m.
When I met him on June 1, 1997, there was no chemistry for me. He was definitely not “my type.” He was wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt and had on glasses with frames that were just a little too big. My heart sank a little, but I was careful to keep it hidden.
He worked at a college and was on-duty. However, it was summer, so there was not much going on. He took me for a tour. Somewhere on that tour, the chemistry kicked in. It started to not matter that I liked “tall,” and he was “not-so-tall.” It started to not matter that I liked “lean,” and he had a football player’s body. (Three of his undergrad years had been funded by a football scholarship.) It started to not matter that I liked dark, thick hair, and he had medium-brown, ordinary hair. I cannot explain it, but by the end of the tour, I liked him. And I could imagine liking him a lot more. It must have been the Prince Charming qualities that would take years for me to fully realize. (I am actually sure I have not realized all of it yet.)
We spent 4 days together. He visited me two weeks later. After that we saw each other on the 1st day of every month until the following April. We were engaged in February (the trip in which he visited over the 1st day of March), and got married on June 30. We wanted to get married July 1 because we clearly had a thing about the 1st days of months. But we got married in Canada, and July 1 is a National Holiday there. And we did not think it would be easy to find a random person to perform the ceremony for “foreigners.”
We each only had one witness. Mine was my favorite cousin. His was his very best friend.
S made all the arrangements for the wedding which was in Winnipeg. He had driven up there from North Dakota one long weekend to check out things and start on the arrangements. I did not have to do anything. He was not controlling about it; he would have let me do anything I wanted. In hindsight he probably wishes he would have made me do some of it because he set a precedent which has never been broken. Louise. does. not. make. travel. arrangements!
Our honeymoon was spent moving him from North Dakota to my home in Missouri where he would begin graduate school. Little did I know that the 2 years for a masters’ degree would turn into 4 years for two masters’ degrees. (The only reason he is not working on/does not have his PhD is that he got a real job and that had to go on hold–at my insistence.)
The day we got married, I was somewhat terrified. In ways, I knew S better than anyone I had ever dated. Our relationship was based mostly on talking, which we had done a lot. We made a point to visit one another, but talking on the phone was what we did most. (No free cell phones in those days, either.) But in other ways, I felt like on that day I did not know him at all. I was sitting in a car next to a man I had spent a couple of handfuls of days with, on my way to get MARRIED to him. But I am not the type of girl to back out. And I also know that I have very good judgment, but I often do not trust it when it relates to me. So I went ahead with it, even though part of me said I could be a complete idiot making the biggest mistake of my life.
It has been the best thing of my life. I really do not know of many any men who could even come close to being the Prince Charming he is, especially with me. I think I am a pretty good catch, but it is not just anyone who could appreciate all of my finer qualities. He can. He has. He embraces them. He is all the things I am not. I am uptight. He is calm. I am a workaholic. He is a lazy bum willing to stop and enjoy life sometimes and makes sure I do as well. He does not play mind games, and does not acknowledge them if I do. He will be honest with me unless it is to tell me that something makes me look fat. We are a terrific team. There will be a lot of posts in the future about his specific attributes, but for now my purpose is to let you know overall how wonderful he is and how happy I am to have been married to him for 10 years.
So right now we are in Winnipeg, which is where we got married. We are staying here, where we stayed on our honeymoon. But I think he booked the best suite they have this time. Remember HE makes all the travel arrangements. Which is good, because I am the frugal one, and we would be staying in a cheap dump if it were up to me! We will be here for 5 days—which is 3 more than we were here when we got married. There is a certain market/mall to which we are excited to return. There are some beautiful sites to see and the ruins of an old cathedral (an amateur photographer’s paradise). We have some letterboxes to find. We are having a wonderful time getting the honeymoon we never really had
By Louise Cannon