Twas a cold dark wintery night and the stars were glittering.. well, ok maybe not - but it was December 30th 2000 in England and bloody cold! I was browsing the web, and I came across this web site called MatchDoctor.com. So, I shouted over to my brother (who had moved in my apartment "just for a couple of nights" - 6 months ago..) "hey bro, shall we register on this thing?". He replied "what does it cost?", "a freebie site" I said. So, with nothing to lose except a few moments of tedious registration to the site, we both enlisted.
Having browsed the listings of contacts, and perused their profiles, I wrote a brief "hi" to three people. I received one reply - from Texas. I did not realize it at the time, but this one reply was to change my life. Her name was Laurie, a name I had never heard of previously, so I had trouble remembering how to spell it. Laurie kindly suggested I spell it "Lori", which I did for a while, but the name was getting very close to our British term for the American "semi-truck" - Lorry :). Needless to say I did not want to associate this with the new love of my life. So I soon learned to spell it. However, I was always rather adept at "pulling" Lorries (semi trucks!). See here.
We soon realized the limitations of conversing on Matchdoctor, so we decided to try the software called ICQ (phonetic - I Seek U). There are numerous chat interfaces on the Internet, but we think none compare with the chat capability of ICQ. Seeing the lady you pine for, typing in real-time and even seeing her backspacing errors brings you closer together I think..:-)
During our initial chats across the pond, we soon discovered that we had many commonalties, and after one chat session lasted 9 hours, it became apparent that we maybe had something special happening. You ever tried talking to someone for 9 hours straight? It was a new experience for both of us, and we loved it.
Alas, our early chats were brought to an abrupt halt, due to me going away in the New Year for a predetermined skydiving holiday. Yes I said skydiving. I am one of those guys who gets the urge occasionally to throw himself from a perfectly serviceable aircraft, that is my catharsis.
Our first phone call was so nice... hearing Laurie's voice for the first time was beautiful, and I promised to call again New Years Day from Spain. It was a strange time for me in Spain, all I wanted to do was think about this lady from Texas! I phoned her again on New Years Day as promised. And after a couple of mishaps skydiving I decided to cut short my holiday and return home to the UK. We started chatting once again on ICQ, but now with the occasional phone call thrown in for good measure. The time zone difference worked really well for us, Laurie would come home from her place of work as I was getting out of bed in the mornings, so we chatted for a while each morning. Then when I got home from work, she was soon to be getting ready to go to work! Giving us twice daily chats.
I am a very impetuous person (ask her!), so within about 3 weeks of first meeting Laurie in the virtual sense, I was meeting her in the physical.
It all started when my sister and I were searching different sites, when we came across MatchDoctor.com. We had to become a member in order to browse, so.... we registered. I am a bit of a skeptic anyway, so when days had gone by without a single response, I did not really give it a second thought. I had only been looking for a pen-pal anyway. Then, one day when I was visiting my sister, she said, "hey you have a message at MatchDoctor.com It was from John, just a simple, "Hi, how are you?", I must have hit the reply and cancel 3 or 4 times. My sister told me, if I did not answer she would do it for me....NOT....so I answered.
We started with just e-mailing and realized it was not enough, so we went to icq..things escalated from there... I was so intrigued by this wonderful man from across the pond,(as he calls it). He told me he would be gone over the New Year, as it was a pre-planned trip. I remember thinking...great I meet someone and he goes off skydiving, figure with my luck, something will go wrong and never hear from him again. Before he left, he gave me statistics on skydiving accidents to try to re-assure me.
I could not keep from thinking about this man..wondering when I would hear from him again. Well, when I did, it was not on the web..John called me from the airport in Spain, seems there was a mishap and he cut his holiday short.
We talked forever, about everything, he was too good to be true. We finished each other''s sentences and felt so much alike about so many things. We actually talked for over 9 hours one day... can you imagine..no disruptions, no outside intrusions...actually, our schedules were perfect....as he mentioned...
I had to meet this man...look in his eyes and know...we had to know..there was definitely something there...I remember thinking about obstacles..distance...what if it got serious, would I move? Yes, I would. I work for a major corporation so my possibilities were endless. Here we were talking about things in the future and we had not even met..we kept asking each other if we were crazy. Trying to rationalize this relationship. He flew across the pond so we could meet, I was so nervous, but as soon as I saw him, I knew.....
Now it was just a matter of TIME and legalities....some things just cannot wait....I had already waited all my life for this man...JOHN...