Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away… (April 1st, 2000)
I’d just filed for divorce the month before, and was living in Hawaii- where my ex was stationed with the Army. I was making plans to move back to NY as soon as the military would send the kids and I back.
I used to hang out online in an AOL chat room for Military Wives. There were a half dozen of us, if not more- stationed in Hawaii. We’d often get together for lunch, shopping, whatever- since regardless of branch, we were all within 30 minutes of each other.
One of the girls, I’ll call her Veronica, lived up the road from me. She’d had a son that was around my boys’ ages, and another on the way. We spent a lot of time together, even just doing mundane things like getting groceries.
At night, when the kids were in bed, we’d all gather in that chat room and gossip and talk about our days. They all knew I’d recently started the divorce process, because we pretty much talked about everything. They were always trying to get me to meet this guy or that guy that worked with their husbands, so that I wouldn’t have to leave the island.
Late on that evening in April, Veronica and I were the only ones on in the chat. She was telling me about this guy, and said I really should talk to him. She went on and on, knew all this stuff about him, and I finally caved and agreed to speak with him via instant message.
We ended up talking until dawn, moving to the phone when our hands were sore from typing. I really had no intention in starting a relationship with anyone, and told him so right off the bat. We talked about all sorts of stuff, and I was very open about the fact I was in the middle of a divorce and had three very young boys. I told him how I couldn’t wait to get back home to NY.
I really liked talking to him, and thought he was someone I could be friends with. I’d mentioned my plans for that weekend (taking the kids to Chuck E Cheese since it’d been rainy) and he volunteered to meet me there and keep me company. I agreed since it meant adult conversation.
The kids played and we all ate crappy pizza. Aaron and I talked until Chuck E Cheese closed. We’ve been together ever since- and got married 9 months after meeting. Our wedding story.
Eventually, probably about a month later, I learned that my assumption that Veronica knew him was wrong. I’d thought her husband was friends with him through work or something, but it turns out she’d just met him online that same night! I don’t know if I would have been so quick to meet him if I’d known ahead of time that he was a stranger to her as well.