Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The best $150 I ever spent

Valentines Day this year was on a Saturday.  I spent the evening with some of my closest lady friends over dinner talking about some fun memories we have of past Valentines Days and then finished off the evening with some traveling pants films.  All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening.

This winter's weather was pretty brutal and we had more than one day of sub-zero temperatures.  The day after Valentines Day was no exception to this and despite my plans to spend the evening playing games with friends, the 4 degree weather encouraged us all to stay at home.  I was home alone that weekend and had been on a roll of watching as many Hallmark channel movies as possible (or as long as there was room on the DVR).  Have you ever watched the Hallmark channel?  Do you know how often they show commercials for  The answer is: almost every commercial.

I'd never been on before, but I have been on what feels like every other online dating service.  You name it, I've probably tried it.  (Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder, eHarmony, ldssingles, ldsmingle, ldslinkup, okcupid, HowAboutWe, etc.)  I'd recently canceled many of these accounts and so I figured that I should give a try since the commercials were so compelling (read: not compelling and insert major eye roll).

I signed up and put a ridiculous photo up of myself so that I could browse while watching this on tv.  I paid the $150 for a 6 month membership and quickly found that looking up LDS people was an option.  I had no idea.  I started browsing the LDS dudes within 300 miles and let me tell you.  The options are not good (Is that offensive?).  I set the filters up to 1500 miles just to see if there were any LDS guys on the site that looked like they were even somewhat viable options.  I saw a few guys who were cute, sent them a "wink" and went about my business.

Ten minutes later I had a message from a guy named Michael, as follows:

We started texting a few minutes later where we realized a few more fun connections:

1. We grew up 90 minutes away from each other; he in South Carolina and I in North Carolina.
2. His brother took me on my very first date.  (We went ice skating at the mall after meeting at EFY)

The following night we talked on the phone for the first time and it just felt like I had reconnected with someone I'd known my entire life.  A few weeks before this I'd gone out with a guy in his mid-forties who was really into LEGOS (reallllly into LEGOS) so I said to Michael at the end of our first phone conversation: "Even if I never talk to you again, you've given me hope that we're not actually at the bottom of the barrel."

On day 2 of knowing each other, he asked if he could fly up to meet me and I screamed inside and told him that he could buy a ticket after he talked to our mutual friend (and my Bishop) Boyd.  The next time I apply for a job, I'm putting Boyd down as my personal reference because by the next morning I got a flight confirmation email from Michael for March 19th.  5 weeks away.  Writing all of this down makes me realize how crazy this time was, but we talked on the phone every night for hours, texted all day - we both just couldn't get enough.  Every night when we'd get off the phone, we always told each other how much we liked each other and it was during those conversations that we both realized that we were falling in love with someone that we'd never even met face to face.  You guys.  That. Is. Weird.

The next few weeks are kind of a blur of texts and phone calls and even though I'd gone to Utah to see my family, I hadn't said a word to them about him.  I just didn't want to get my mom's hopes up in the event that he turned out to be some psycho on (or before) March 19.  He was giving me no reason to worry, but I've been around the block enough times to know that I shouldn't involve my family at all unless things are serious.

And things were serious.