Currently writing this while hacking up my lungs (gracias, bronchitis) & listening to S-Town, which I have been waiting (impatiently) for.
Seems like a better time than ever to tell you how Steve & I met.
I had just graduated from Florida State (GO NOLES) and was living in Nashville at the time, working at a restaurant (s/o to my Swanky’s people) & a grocery store (Publix 4ever) & interning for Provident Music.
One night after work I put on my best pair of yoga pants & my favorite purple Cypress Lake High School Cheerleading t-shirt and went grocery shopping. Why do I remember details like this? I have not a clue. I can recite song lyrics and outfits worn like it’s my job, but heaven forbid I actually remember something important.
ANYWAY- I was living the life, let me tell you. As I’m meandering up & down the aisles of the store, one of my closest friends, Kate, calls to talk to me about this website she joined, Catholic Match. I about laugh my face off when she suggests I sign up. If anyone knows me (or Kate) IRL, you would probably not peg us for online dating people (which means nothing anymore, but in 2009 it was still kinda taboo– reserved only for the socially inept and axe murderers, IMO). I insisted it was not for me, even though I’d only been on one failed Sushi Date with a v v southern dude since moving to town. Obviously my yoga pants were getting me a lot of dates & my love life needed no help, thank you very much.
Later that night I went home & created an account. Naturally.
DESPERATE TIMES & ALL THAT (I had just turned 22 & worried I might never find a husband, ok?) So I paid $20 and found the most flattering photos of me that didn’t also scream “This Might be a Catfish” & got to work penning my super witty bio. I don’t remember anything I wrote, but probably something about long walks on the beach & cats (jk, I hope.)
The first two guys I “chatted” with (ie, AIM but via their website) got real weird, real quick. I kid you not this was a summation of my first (AND LAST) convo with Dude #1:
Dude 1: Hey.
Me: Hey. Blah blah blah life details weird convo blah blah, I’m awkward, it’s fine, tell me about yourself whatever
Dude 1: Blah blah blah I play sports and I got my masters degree at the age of 6, I’m so accomplished blah. I want 12 kids and my wife to stay home with them.
Listen, friends. I am Catholic & no stranger to wanting lots of children. Having a large family DOES NOT scare me. My dad is one of 11, my mom one of 6, and I am the oldest of 4 DRAMATIC women. Also, every mother- stay at home or working or working from home, is a saint.
HOWEVER, DATING/GENERAL LIFE ADVICE: please do not passive-aggressively proposition me to bear your twelve children in our first internet conversation before you even know me. kthxbye.
Enter Dude #2. I had higher hopes for dude two because he seemed pretty normal, albeit boring. This was a few conversations in, I believe. We lived in different states, just for context.
Dude #2: So, what are you doing tonight?
Me: Cleaning my room & baking something for my coworkers. (was I trying to sound like such a Martha? IDK I was 22)
Dude #2: Oh, cool. Wanna come clean my apartment? :Wink face:
NOPE. BOI, BYE.
Then I took a break. I was like: this is the single dumbest thing I have ever done in my adult life. I’m not desperate. Honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting, or if I was setting the bar too high (probably) but I was starting to think this was not the way to go for me.
Almost a month goes by and it’s Christmas Day. I am home in Ocean City with my family, killing time before dinner and I’m bored, so I decide to hop on Catholic Match & see if anyone got cuter-slash-less weird. During this time I stumble across Stephen’s profile. HE LOOKS SO IRISH I BASICALLY DIE. He is wearing a button down & is from New York & looks put together and his photo isn’t part of a dimly-lit club scene and he has pictures with his family, and his profile says one of his favorite places is Ocean City, NJ.
This stops me because, being from Florida, I am unaware that people even:
A. know where New Jersey is
B. much less, Ocean City and
C. have it on their list of favorite places?????
So I message him. I forget what I wrote but I know I used OC as a starting point. And then I wait, and obsessively check my inbox. And I wait some more.
About a week goes by and it’s New Year’s Eve. I am at my parents house, about to watch the ball drop on TV, eating appetizers and drinking wine. Since Steve has still not responded I get all defensive and I’m like– whatever Catholic Match is the worst, boys are the worst, everything is the worst. Dramatic stuff, friends.
A lot of my prayer life up until this point was dedicated to my future spouse, but never was my prayer so fervent (read: demanding) as it was this New Year’s Eve.
I remember looking over the porch of my parents apartment and up into the freezing cold sky, saying:
God, can I pretty please just meet my spouse this year? We don’t have to get married right this second. I can be patient, but if you’re open to it could we maybe just meet? That would be fabulous.
Was I lunatic, or was I a lunatic? A: I was a dramatic boy-crazy lunatic.
Lo and behold, a few days later I found in my inbox a message from one Steve the Ginger (this is what I called him until I knew his last name. 22 is the worst age of human.)
And guess what? I couldn’t read the dang message, because my subscription had EXPIRED!!!!!!!
What cruel Shakespearean twist of fate hath we here?!
Et tu, Brute?!
I spent some time going back and forth about wanting to read the message, and wanting to keep my hard-earned latte money. I decided I would pay, just one last time. ONE LAST TIME. If things didn’t work out I would say goodbye to internet dating forever and go back into the real world and embrace the spirit of CHILL.
Luckily for me I guess the third guy’s the charm. So what happened next?
To be continued…
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