This Article is About
cool thing
4 months
phone calls
luggage
fate
She Better Be Worth It!
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She Better Be Worth It!

Every couple has a great story about how they met...

One of them likes the story and shares it with everyone they meet all day long, while the other prefers to say something like "We just met through friends..."

Guess which one I am? :)

Here's how it all went down...

I wasn’t going to make the flight. I had to make the flight. It’s the middle of winter, and I’m standing in the crowded Portland, Oregon Airport. All around me were cancelled flights and frustrated would-be-passengers.

Is she worth it? How could I know for sure unless I actually met her... in person? And…yikes… her family. All at once. We’d been dating for about 4 months. By “dating”, I mean emails and phone calls. That’s it. But I was 28 and ready to settle down. Emails and phone calls are cute, but not enough. So there I was in a jam-packed airport trying to get up to Alberta, Canada to actually meet her and see what’s up.

I was the last one to get on the first leg of my adventure. The only reason I got on just as the plane was pulling away was because I only had a single carry-on for luggage. The poor souls ahead of me couldn’t check their bags. Fate? We’ll see.

We had met “online” through a dating website. Keep in mind, this was 12 years ago before it was the cool thing to do. No MySpace, nothing like that at all. Today everybody does it, but not 12 years ago. I guess we helped pioneer this thing. Anyway, I was going to grad school in Iowa. Her screen name was “Lemonade” (with lots of sugar.) She was living in a small town just across the Montana border. Barnwell, Alberta. About 900 people. That should tell you something.

It was a good thing she was growing up under the radar in Barnwell, because it gave me a half-way decent shot at her. Fortunately for me, she didn’t have too many prospects in a town with only 900 people, mostly grandmas and grandpas. But what I didn't know at the time was that her dad was the one who was responding to all the guys who were writing her on their old-school dial-up modem computer. He had to do it because she had about as much interest in "online dating" as a Canadian does in sunscreen.

So there I was trying to win her over via email, and I was talking to her dad? Really? But eventually I must have said something smooth because she started writing me back. (I could tell it was her by her accent.) She swears her dad never wrote me, that it was always her.. but even 12 years later, I sometimes wonder.

Without giving too much away, when she later flew out to Iowa, all my friends suddenly took an interest in online dating. What can I say, I’m a pioneer.

So I arrived in Great Falls, Montana. Cozy little airport. “Cozy” meaning stuffed, mounted bears staring at you from every corner. Yup, I was definitely almost in Canada. However, I was over 2 hours behind schedule because Montana has winter, too. This was pre-cell-phone days, at least for me, so I had no way of telling her to wait a wee bit before she made the 2-hour drive to the Calgary Airport. Stress…

Much to the dismay of the bears, I got on my connecting flight to Calgary with no problem. No problem until we ended up with seat-belts fastened on the tarmac for over an hour only to find out our flight was about to be cancelled due to mechanical problems. As we turned around to head back to the terminal, passengers started eyeing each other. Like bears that didn’t want to be stuffed. I could see them thinking, “I’m faster than that guy”. No, you’re not. I’m 28 and ready to settle down. No way in HELL you’re beating me to the Stand-By Customer Service counter.

And they didn’t. I even managed to stop and buy a calling card so I could call her brother in Calgary. I asked him to get hold of her on her Magnum-P.I. cell phone to let her know I was running about 4 hours late. It was the least I could do. Especially once I heard that her Dad thought I’d just turn around and head home with all the flight problems. Oh really, Dad?

So I finally made it to Calgary. She was even prettier in person than on her “profile” page, which instantly made me speechless for the 2 hour ride home. There I was, thinking how worth it the trip was, and she later tells me that she thought I looked good, too…but that my carefully-chosen jeans were a little out-dated. She did let me drive her new truck though, so I guess that says something.

I slept in the next morning while she went to work. So I got to spend the next day hanging out with her parents and grandparents. Yippee. Good ‘ol bonding time with the parents… like removing 3-foot icicles from their roof with her dad. “Chores” with Grandpa. Her grandpa tried to warn me about her two older brothers who “weren’t afraid of the devil himself!” But I’d been working out, so I figured I could handle a couple of ex-linebackers from Barnwell.

We did all the family stuff. Dinner with Aunts and Uncles. Hockey game with the other in-laws. (I did mention this was in Canada, right?) On my last day there, we finally got some “alone-time”. I knew fate was smiling when I noticed that the letters on her license plate were my initials, including my middle name. Yes, she let me kiss her. Yes, she wanted to see me again.

And as I was saying good-bye to her family on the way to the airport, her dad (all 33+ years of football coach in him) bellowed out, “Well Seth, you got my vote!”

Fate? 12 years and 3 beautiful kids later, I like to think so, eh?

P.S. Her family nickname while growing up was "The Chosen One". Well, now she's my chosen one... and her accent still makes me melt!


Street Talk

Too cool Seth, this really caught my eye since I have been on some really scary lame internet dates, I am a Canadian citizen living in Oregon lived in Portland for 10 years. it is really refreshing to read a positive story like this. You never gave in and kept walking forward that is what perseverance is all about Kudos to you.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Wonderful! Thanks for sharing your story.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks Cynthia, I love our story- and our kids get a kick out of it, too :)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

what a great story Seth!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks Lacey!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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