Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rare but wondrous spontaneity

In the big ways, I'm not a very spontaneous person. I researched buying my computer for well over a month before choosing one, and the last time I needed new shoes, I bought and returned several pairs. But on the rare occasions when I make a decision that's sure to create an alternate timeline, Star Trek-style, I've had tremendous success--sometimes without even knowing it.

The most blatant example of a snap decision I made is how I ended up meeting my boyfriend. In a fit of frustration with my single status the October of my senior year in college, I went on an online dating frenzy to find myself a match. The one guy I really liked--who used complete sentences (sexy!), wrote like a sweetheart, and was a total hottie--didn't respond, and my search fizzled out after meeting one guy for coffee a few times.

But six months later, in a last fit of procrastination near finals time, I checked every online account I had ever made. The Yahoo account--the one I had completely forgotten about--had a tremendous surprise for me. The mystery guy I had taken to occasionally wondering about had gallantly paid the $25 for the ability to send a message that wasn't pre-written, and he had sent me an e-mail asking me to call him. Terrified of initiating phone contact, I wrote back with my own number in the vain hope he might be the one to break the ice.

The next day he called and asked if I could meet up that afternoon--off-campus! Leaving the cozy grounds of Vassar was always a big deal for me, and meeting an intriguing townie merely upped the stakes. But I figured, what do I have to lose? So I gave my assent, along with what turned out to be horrible directions, and trotted off to the edge of campus in my too-big t-shirt. (A friend I passed gave me one look and said, "Well, at least you're not misrepresenting yourself.")

Not only did I give him terrible directions, but the cafe that was our destination ended up being closed despite the hours on the door, and on a nice walk I tripped and got my shoes completely covered in mud.

That was over three years ago, and we've been together ever since.

I'd like to say my unintentional brilliance was the result of lessons learned at a young age, but the truth is I don't even remember the first special person I met thanks to a split decision. I met my friend Arpi in fourth grade, when she came to visit my class for the day so she could see if she liked the school. (I got her home phone number by calling our teacher; nowadays we would've probably swapped MySpaces or something horrible.)

The way I remember it, we bonded after I noticed her looking at a manual to the "science" of Star Trek and recognized her as a fellow nerd. But the way she tells it, our eyes locked earlier that morning in some coordinated outdoor activity, during which I randomly threw the ball to her instead of any of the 16 kids in my class I already knew. I honestly don't remember that, but she claims that's the reason we've been friends ever since.

You'd think after snap decisions having such great outcomes, I'd have learned something about the satisfaction that comes from taking the plunge. But my shoes are worn out now, and I plan to buy the exact same kind I have. And when my computer eventually meets its demise, I won't just snap up another one. But perhaps in personal interactions, I have some inner mechanism that just knows when to go for it. Or maybe I'm just extremely lucky.


Barbara Lorraine said...

Obligatory sentiment: AAAAWWWWWWWW!!!

Right. Moving on.

One of the aspects I've always loved about you and your boy is the fact that you found love on the internet and you're not afraid to say so. Even though we do EVERYTHING online now, people still stigmatize online dating, when the truth is the dude you met at the coffee shop is just as likely to secretly be a serial killer as the nice bloke you met in an online forum. Anonymity online isn't much of a real thing anymore.

You two are just so chock full of love for one another, it's astounding, and the fact that you got something so amazing from a purely serendipitous stroke of luck blows my mind. I'm always overthinking relationships and questioning my romantic impulses, preaching caution, la de la. There's a lot I'm willing to do on the spur of the moment, but your experience isn't one of them, and I envy you for that a bit. Because of that, I always look to you and your man as the kind of couple everyone should strive for. True story!

Luis said...

I second Barbara's sentiments.

I love hearing about how couples meet. I'm a bit of a hopeless romantic and just gush over these types of stories.

As a fellow member of the LGBT community, I think it's awesome that you were able to find someone worth holding on to online. I've heard too many stories of online meet ups that don't lead to anywhere substantial. It's refreshing to hear that even love can be found amidst zany web-comics and sleazy pr0n.

And while I've never met you, I've read through your main blog before and extend my congrats on living a happy love life.

Oh, and before I forget..."Awwwwwwwwwww!"

Geoff said...

Thanks to both of you! You're much too kind.

BarLor, I've always thought of you as a wonderfully zany and spontaneous! But of course you're my friend, and we're all an overanalytical bunch. Own it!

Luis, thanks for the kind words. Don't listen to the haters about the net, I say, and definitely don't give up on webcomics! I don't know where I'd be without Wonderella, for instance (although this week's isn't all that great, honestly).