“So Where Did You Two Meet?” (Nancy’s Blog)

The implausible has happened: he put a ring on it! (Thank you, Beyonce, for familiarizing a fun way to say “I’m engaged.”) After the squeals of delight, the examination of the rock, and the questions about the proposal, inevitably people want to know how we met.

Well, it was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly I had a blowout on my rear tire. As I crouched with a lug nut pretending I knew what I was doing, scared and alone, a pair of leather loafers came into my line of vision. I stood to find a dashing, debonair hottie standing next to my car, a donut in his hand (the tire kind, not the glazed variety). He was my knight in shining sports car, and from that moment on we were inseparable…

Ok, maybe not.

Here’s the for-real: we met online. On a dating website.

It just doesn’t have the same dreamy, romantic edge to it. “We met online!” will likely not enhance any wedding-reception toasts, and may not be the most exciting fodder for front-porch story time with the grandkids.

But here’s how it all played out: after a botched love triangle, and a random foray into the world of dating an ex-convict (and of course the infamous deportation of my baby daddy, which preceded it all), I was feeling doubtful that I would ever encounter “the one.”

My sister-in-law repeatedly encouraged me to try online dating. I would roll my eyes and mutter “that’s for losers and pathetic people who can’t meet anyone in real life.” No offense to those who hooked up via MiGente or MySpace. Hah. But she was adamant, and one day she plopped her laptop in front of me and insisted we take a look. I allowed her to help me create a quick profile — though I continued kicking and screaming the entire time.

I immediately began getting responses, and was intrigued. But I noted that the majority of respondents were Black. Nothing against my chocolate brothers, but my personal preference is for some smooth caramel. You know, Latino. Lo and behold, I discovered there are several Latino-specific dating sites. I went with LatinAmericanCupid.com. I made a lot of connections, and a few just-friends that I still keep in contact with.

And then there was him. Our IMs were fun and funny, and our first phone convo lasted seven hours. Literally. We just clicked that easily. The fact that we didn’t live in the same state made me pause, but not for long. The distance disappeared the moment I heard his voice, or saw his Skype-face, and we were soon buying plane tickets and booking hotel rooms in which to rendezvous.

And so now, rather than being hesitant or embarrassed about the way we met, I cherish it as miraculous. A miracle that in this crazy-hectic world with endless online activities, hundreds of dating websites and millions of users, two people living separate lives on opposites sides of the country somehow found each other, and found love. It’s as simple as that.

And hey, it sure as hell beats ending up with the drunken frat guy who bet his buddies fifty bucks that he could take you home after last call. Just sayin’.