12 years ago, if it wasn’t for e-mail, I may have only been ‘Cookies’ without the ‘Clogs’. Since my husband was born and raised in the Netherlands and I was from the SF Bay Area, our main line of communication was through our inboxes. Though we met in person (not some blind online datings service or something) while he was on a short business trip to the SF Bay Area, we really got to know each other through our numerous emails.
I was 19 and my soon-to-be husband was 22 when we met and various circumstances resulted in him with my email address, unbeknownst to me. When I received an email several months later, I only vaguely remembered him. We wrote casually as friends as we had a lot in common despite the cultural differences. We were both the youngest with three older sisters. We had similar tastes in music and the same sense of humor. Digital conversations were natural and just plain enjoyable – totally innocent but occurring daily.
One day he said, “I think I love you…”
I kind of went off about how serious that was, especially prefacing it with an “I think”. We chalked it up to a language barrier as the equivalent of “Ik hou van jou!” held much more meaning to him and he understood why I did not take it lightly. At this time, I still didn’t think it was dating and did not have any romantic feelings or thoughts in mind.
He came out to visit a few months later to attend a convention and I played the perfect host. He finally admitted that he did in fact love me but I responded, “I’m sorry. I don’t feel the same.” No, I like him in that way – he was just a friend I couldn’t live without. Uhm, yeah, with that realization I told him the next day that I loved him as well.
For years we kept all the correspondence during our now-identified dating period (I was just clueless but it was in fact dating). In fact, I think it is still archived on one of our backup discs. These short, but more often quite lengthy, messages allowed us to get to know each other extremely well despite the nine-hour time difference and the 5,000 miles between us. That and the constant instant messaging kept us pretty busy for many months. That regular and candid communication set the pattern for our marriage, and now family, for the past 11 years. We’re still best friends and can’t imagine it any other way!
Since Yahoo! Mail is sponsoring this trip down memory lane, here’s a quick video showing how things might have gone for us if it was around 12 years ago: