Elise: Kate, you have found the man of your dreams. A man who wants to spend
the rest of his life with you, and yet, (as you mentioned) you are
embarrassed by how you met! What gives? Please explain this…
Kate: A lot of people wrote to me asking about my relationship after the wedding dress posts, and then Elise thought I was being ridiculous when I admitted to feeling awkward about a certain aspect of it. So she challenged me with the following question, and here I am, embarrassing myself in front of a national audience, yet again. I draw strength from the example of Penelope Trunk, who talks about her relationship in as brazenly* straightforward a manner as she talks about anything else. Everything else, rather.
I have a dark secret. It’s not a well-kept secret, because I’m about to tell you. My fiancé and I met in a way that no one really wants to hear about. In a way that the New York Times doesn’t want to print in the weddings’ section. In a way that causes the people we tell to pause for a long moment, desperately attempting to collect themselves, before finally stammering, “Oh! Um…Glad that worked out for you. I’ve heard it can work.” And then they quickly add, “My coworker’s cousin’s good friend met her husband that way.” Another pause. “Bad divorce. Turned out he was a serial killer. Yup. The real deal. Didn’t kill her, though! So I guess that’s something. But good. That’s just great.”
Have you guessed it yet? Of course you have. We met online. Through a dating site. This one, actually, if you must know. What? It was free!
See how defensive I am? It’s a problem. Like my addiction to parentheses. So far, I’m doing pretty well with that today. I’ll probably give in to temptation soon, though. Just wait for it.
Anyway. I had been broken up with a few months before and none of the guys I was meeting in my graduate school classes were very cute and I’d lost ten pounds from Feeling Bad About Life, and Emily, who was on the site already, said, “Seriously, just go online. It’s amazing. Every guy you talk to will want to buy you dinner, and you’ll feel incredibly hot all the time.” Since Emily is gorgeous, brilliant, and everyone in the world thinks she rocks, I thought I’d better listen.
That’s just the thing, though. It was really only because Emily is gorgeous that I joined a dating site. Because the stigma, though admittedly fading, is that dating sites are for ugly girls. No one says it explicitly. Just like no one explicitly says they won’t date guys who are shorter than them (by the way, the guy who broke up with me was shorter than me. I’m a rule breaker! And I’m using parentheses…You knew it was coming). No. It’s not expressly stated. But it’s there. You can feel it.
Everyone tries to put up really sexy photos of themselves on the dating site. I think it’s to prove that they’re not on there because they’re ugly. My fiancé didn’t get this memo, though. He picked what I am certain to this day are the least attractive pictures ever taken of him. He was making a bold statement about the frivolousness and superficiality of human mating rituals. Ha! No, he just had no idea which pictures actually looked good.
He wrote to me, and he was by far the most clever, interesting, and funny guy I’d heard from on the site (I’d been on about a week). I read his message and laughed aloud and found myself thinking, “Please please let him be cute!” I clicked on his profile. My heart sank. It was apparent to me that he had developed his wit, kindness, and intelligence in order to compensate for his obvious shortcomings. But here’s the thing—I wrote back anyway. He was too interesting to ignore. I told myself at least we could be friends. So we wrote every day for a few weeks before we even met. And then we met. And….
As it turns out, we’re simply both really unphotogenic sometimes. He was the cutest boy I’d ever seen. I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I still can’t. I’m thinking about him right now, as I write this. And now. And now. Annoying, right? No, it’s awesome!
Awesome until I have to tell someone how we met. And then, immediately, I wonder if they’re wondering if I couldn’t get any dates. I tell myself the way to combat this is to tell more people about it. But then they give me that look. And there’s the awkward pause. And they mention that the woman who married the serial killer….well, she wasn’t exactly good-looking, if you know what I mean.
Thanks for the question, Elise!
Everyone: Has anyone else met an awesome guy online? Or in another slightly awkward manner?
P.S. As much as I approve of the internet’s intimate involvement in couple’s romances, I think twitter engagements might be too much even for me. There has to be a line. What do you think?
*That’s a little joke. You’ll get it if you know her blog title. I’m hilarious, right?