Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How I Met My Girlfriend

Right now said girlfriend is probably reading this going "oh shit..." but don't worry, I'll keep it clean.  It's a good story to tell because I think some people are skeptical about some of the methods we used for no real reason.  Online dating is stigmatized, I think unfairly, because of a small handful of horror stories, and because the world is run by extroverts who simply cannot grasp why singles might not want to booze into each other at the nearest bar.

I came across her profile on a vanilla dating site one evening in January.  It was her freshly shaved head that caught my eye, a look that precious few have the facial beauty to pull off with any sort of success.  I'm a sucker for uniqueness (and for stunning blue eyes) so I knew I had to talk to this girl.  I sent out a short message and tried to temper my already rising expectations.

I wrote:
Absolutely adore the shaved head I have to say and I think abrasiveness is in the eye of the beholder, or the particular sense under siege by said abrasiveness. I fit pretty much all your 'message me ifs' so here I am, messaging you if.

-Alex

P.S. I made you a boot so you can crush bugs

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(_____)

(It's not a very good boot) 


Gf wrote:
Thanks, I'm really liking the shaved head too. It's growing in a lot faster than I expected, which is disappointing. May be about time to shave it down again.

The boot is awesome, thank you. It will be perfect for stomping those little nasties. I usually wear my barefooting shoes -- not so good for stomping bugs. And I like boots... especially the big black steel-toed kind. That's another thing though.

Anyway, so I meet a lot of your "message me ifs" too and I could talk about fetish porn almost endlessly. I am definitely a fan... we could be onto something here :P
 

Sometimes when you message someone the conversation is awkward and stilted.  Either they shut you down with one word responses (seriously, what's the point?) or you just have different methods of communicating.  Abbi and I clicked early and often as we raced through all the big topics for both of us without much need for segues.  Hockey, Horseback Riding, and then we got to the good stuff, BDSM.  It turned out that we were both members of a decidedly less vanilla dating/social networking site and checked each other out there as well.


Messaging on the sites quickly turned to instant messaging as neither of us felt inclined to get in our own ways with unwritten rules about "how soon you should contact someone."  I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to meet up with her soon, but I also knew that going from the internet to a face to face meeting can be difficult.  The biggest fear is that you're some kind of psycho, looking to lure women into your lair of torture.  (Actually she might not have minded that.)  I tried to tell her as much as I could about myself, about my family without being a conversation hog.  I figured the more she knew about me, the more comfortable she would be in meeting me.  Neither of us really wanted to webcam much, but we did talk on the phone a few times.

She seemed pretty down to earth, intelligent, attractive, and all the other things that matter so I started discussing a possible meet-up.  It seemed a little soon, but also convenient so I suggested I take her to the Sabres game I had tickets for that week.  I guess my efforts to make her comfortable had succeeded because she had no trouble hopping in the car with someone she'd never met in person and letting them drive her an hour away.  (To the rape forest!  Just kidding, to Buffalo!)


I was taken aback by how cute she was in person.  Lucky me, I must be the only person where every date I've met from the internet (all two of them) has been more attractive than their photos.  I also noticed her colorful converse(?) shoes.  Another win in my book.

It's kind of interesting how some people just naturally get along.  They can talk for hours about anything and everything without even noticing where the time is going.  Abbi and I were like that from the start.  It was evident that we just worked together.

I figured I'd take her to my favorite spot in Buffalo (besides the arena of course), Gabriel's Gate in Elmwood.  (Taking a girl out to dinner is a win in my book because it's pretty easy to impress.  I'M PAYING FOR EVERYTHING, LOOK HOW AWESOME I AM!)  There we met up with my tall and somewhat intimidating (in appearance) friend Phil, stopping by for a drink before taking his son down to the arena.  Conversationally Phil and I shoved Abbi into a corner as we started to talk hockey.  I think that worked more to my advantage than it would have with other girls.  Still getting to know me, I think she appreciated getting a feel for how I interacted with friends, and being new to hockey was probably thankful for the opportunity to merely listen and pick things up rather than have any spotlight on her.

I don't think she knows this, but after Phil left, while she was washing the delicious wing sauce off her hands, I sent him a text.  "This girl is legit cute."  He agreed.  The few mile drive from the restaurant to the Arena gave Abbi a nice tour of some of the more beautiful parts of downtown Buffalo and her first look at the throngs of Sabres fans trudging through snow and cold to watch their beloved hockey team.

I know sporting events are seen as kind of lame for a first date, but I think people don't realize how perfect they are.  There's enough distraction that you're not overwhelmed by trying to converse the entire time, and enough stoppages that you can if you want to.  I knew Abbi was into me from the beginning (because come on, look at me) so I took the opportunity to get closer, putting my arm around her.  I took the fact that her mace remained put away and not in my eyes to be a good sign.





Nathan Gerbe was left all alone, McCormick looked like a fifty goal scorer and not a fifty face beater and Drew Stafford sealed the deal as the Sabres prevailed 3-2 in regulation.  After the game I steered her through the jubilant crowd and back to my car where we warmed up and enjoyed the goals a second time courtesy of Rick Jeanneret's voice.

The drive back to Rochester was rife with animated discussion and Abbi wound up inviting me in.  The first thing I noticed was that her room was set up pretty much exactly how I would have set things up.  In previous relationships I'd always felt out of place at their house, dorm, whatever, but Abbi's place just felt right.  The next step was as easy as it was obvious and I told Abbi that I'd be more than happy to be in a relationship with her, something she was in complete agreement with.

Here we are, five months later.

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