…blogging that is. Melanie enjoys chronicling life's little events online, hence the birth of this blog, and as with all things, she asks and I do my best to oblige. So join me if you will through this first venture of our meeting…
Some background. Between college and spending a year working on a startup company I spent almost 6 years below the Mason Dixon. I was back living at home in NJ, working for a family business with my aunt (boss) and one other woman comprising the entire firm. I had grown apart from my high school friends with my close friends now spread across the country. With the typical options of meeting someone at work or through friends all but non-existent, and never being the type to try and pick up a future girlfriend in the bar, I turned to online dating. I gave eHarmony and Match a try over the course of 6 months…there were a lot of first dates…and not much more than that…was I the only normal person in the online dating world?
Fortunately for me, Match reverts you back to a free account after you decide to stop footing the bill. I was down in Florida on business, got back to the hotel room around 8pm or so, and with nothing to do, figured I’d peruse the site. I did a basic search and sent some winks, the limit of a free account, to a few ladies based on profiles that actually had some appeal. Generally you wink…the person either winks back or you get a kind email back saying sorry (you’re ugly) if not simply being ignored. Enter Melanie…
Rather than the typical wink back…the next day I get an email saying that I had a message….what?!? A simple wink had elicited an email…my curiosity was officially peaked. I spent 5 days hemming and hawing over whether or not to sink any more cash into the site. One night I decided to bite the bullet, plugged in my credit card and anxiously opened my message…a whole 2 lines. I quickly questioned whether it was worth it…and just weeks later I’d be telling Melanie it was the best money I ever spent.
After long nights emailing and chatting back and forth I knew I needed to (attempt) to bring my “A” game for this one and figured I needed something a little different than just dinner so I opted for the Melting Pot. I got ready, got my sister’s stamp of approval on the outfit choice for the evening, and headed out on what would be the last first date of my life.
I pull up and see a “Beware of Dog” sign on the door...better than a father with a shotgun right? I ring the bell, Melanie opens the door and the ferocious beast plops at my feet for a belly rub. She opts for flip flops over heels (had Kate steered me wrong that’s shes going casual or is there already some comfort – I need to get out of my own head)…and we were off.
Though it was an early night due to the food coma that might as well be a money back guarantee at the Melting Pot, it was a great one – the conversation never ceased nor was it dull and I knew that there was something different about this girl. I dropped her off and was barely to the end of the block when my phone binged - she had texted me to thank me for the date and give a slight dig to both of us for being in before her mother. I was always the one to send the first communication after a date…the fact that this one came so shortly after (to me) was huge.
The next morning we were chatting as I puttered around the house. After a few too many episodes of How I Met Your Mother, I put up an away message saying I was between “heading to Atlantic City to gamble or Philly to lick the Liberty Bell.” Melanie, as I have since learned, always being up for an adventure said she’d take the ride to Philly but made no promises about licking any century old metals…the compromise…popping my real Philly cheesesteak virginity. Less than 24 hours after our first date we were embarking on our second. The 2+ hour ride down and back flew by and even in the lulls in conversation it didn’t feel awkward at all…in fact, it felt like I was taking a road trip with someone I had been seeing for months.
Right before dropping Melanie off I remembered my “homework” from my mother. To find out her mother’s maiden name as my parents are from the same hometown. Homework done (along with a kiss on the cheek) I was on my way home. I reported back to ma dukes to find out that my grandmother and her’s were best friends. My grandfather had sublet a room in her grandparents home when he first moved to the area 60 years ago. Date number three was three days later, at which point it all came together…and we haven’t looked back since.
It was truly meant to be.