It really was an amazing story, particularly when one realizes how many of these Internet relationships break down with those first face-to-face meetings. We corresponded constantly for a week, writing long missives in which we revealed our likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams, and idiosyncrasies. At that point we figured we should take it to the next level: phone. So we started on the phone, and the chemistry that had developed through emails continued. We also exchanged photos at this point, since neither had posted a photo online. Over several weeks we ran up a ridiculous long distance bill. (I was teaching in Tennessee; she lived in New York City.)
Finally, by the end of July we knew we had to meet. So I booked an early August flight to the Big Apple and she found a place for me to stay near her office in lower Manhattan. Thankfully I had a teaching schedule that allowed long weekends. I flew up on a Friday and she met me at LaGuardia. When I walked up the ramp and saw her waiting in a yellow floral dress, her blond hair highlighted with a bluish-green streak down one side, I knew . . . and she knew, that this was it. We came up for air on Monday and I flew back to Tennessee. For the next eight months I flew to NYC at least one weekend a month and she visited Tennessee a couple of times. We were married at the end of May 98, eleven months after those first emails.
Not surprisingly, email and the Internet have always been a focal point in our relationship. In those months before our marriage we continued to email constantly - although we were still talking on the phone each night - and we would send IM's throughout each day. Even now, we'll IM each other during the day, often taking care of important stuff that we just wouldn't have time to tackle with the kids around. My parents can roll their eyes and shake their heads in amused wonderment, but it works. And ten years on, it's a relationship that continues to evolve - with a little help from the Internet each day.