Everyone else in the pub was paired up. Everyone else in the pub had on variations of the same uniform, jeans and ironic t-shirt. Everyone was having philosophical conversations about the meaning of life or sports. I was in a white dress shirt and jeans, pretending to write poetry but really scrawling, “I hope he’s not a total ass. I hope he’s not a total ass” over and over on my tiny piece of paper. If we were to be meeting now, I’d have been putting status updates on Facebook; funny snarky comments about the bar folk while speculating the depth of horror this date would possibly take. Apparently with pen and paper, I was more honest.
Future husband walked in and looked around the pub. My head slightly bowed over the table, I saw him scan the crowd but didn't call him over. I just waited for him to see me and decide if he would stay or go.
Online dating is like that. Sometimes the person you’re meeting is a lying liar pants and they leave before contact is made. Sometimes you wait in a bar in San Francisco to have a face to face with someone you’d been chatting with and he spots you through the window and decides not to come on into the bar and tell you he doesn’t like what he sees. Sometimes you meet the guy and he tells you matter-of-factly that he’s “only five foot six on his good days.” and you, at five foot seven and a half can clearly see that this is not a good day and that he’s likely to only have had that good day once in his life, when he wore heels as a joke in college but your mother raised you to be polite so you smile and say nothing. Sometimes you meet a guy who likes science fiction movies and books and games and doesn’t listen when you tell him you like murder mysteries and romance novels and blow ‘em up movies and he asks you out again even though it's totally clear you have NOTHING in common. Sometimes you go out on a date to a movie and your former boss is naked on the massive screen above you doing things you didn’t want to discuss on a first date. And sometimes, you meet a guy who is nice but so dull you actually fall asleep mid conversation - and he doesn’t notice because he’s obviously used to people doing that.
Twelve years ago, my weird year of dating online ended when future Husband spotted me writing pretentiously in the corner and came over and introduced himself. We made awkward small talk for a bit, very aware of the surrounding couples bent on identifying the worlds problems and solving them from their bar stools. Finally, after the allotted fifteen minutes of evaluation time - "Do I like her?" "Do I like him?", we went outside, sat down at the table and he proceeded to tell me the truth. About everything.
Future Husband held nothing back then and he still doesn’t. He told me stories about growing up in Scotland. He told me funny stories about driving – though he neglected to tell me about the time he hit a sheep and it went flying over the guardrail. He told me stories about girlfriends – lots of funny stories about girlfriends. He told me stories about not having girlfriends – lots and lots of awkward and embarrassing stories about not having girlfriends. He was funny and charming and awkward and honest and yes, a bit of an ass and I’m pretty sure I fell in love with him when he told me the very embarrassing story about poop that no one would ever tell a first date. He was not at all boring.
I had no idea then that eight short months later; we would get married in a drive-thru in Vegas. I had no idea that ten years later, I would still find him funny and charming and honest and a bit of an ass. He still has all his own teeth and he still tells me funny and completely embarrassing stories about poo. And my life with him is not at all boring.
Happy Tenth face-to-face, Husband.