I just found out from a friend that an acquaintance from college is getting married.
That, in itself, is far less than shocking.
Here's the shocking part.
This girl is NOT unattractive.
She's not odd.
She doesn't sit home in the dark with an Atari.
She didn't have troubles making friends or getting dates.
She was what I would term "Normal".
Whatever normal is.
However, she apparently has always (who knew??) gotten in chat rooms for fun.
Not that odd.
I can see the appeal.
It's like blogging but shorter.
Now here's the odd part.
She started chatting with a guy and apparently hit it off quite well.
She added him to her friends list.
They started chatting, IMing and e-mailing each other various times throughout the day.
About a month into it, she finally gave into his requests for her phone number.
They started talking on the phone about twice a week.
They had loads in common, got on perfectly well and made each other happy for that brief time they were conversing.
She started to think she was falling in love.
He told her that he was falling in love.
He's from England.
ENGLAND. As in England, the country, across the ocean, the country.
NOT England, Arkansas (and yes, there really is an England, Arkansas).
Apparently he decided he was in love with her and he saved his pennies and flew here for a visit.
He was here for a week.
They both felt that they had fallen in love talking via email and IM and then further on the phone. That meeting just reinforced that everything they were feeling was truly REAL.
A month later, she flew there for a week.
The next thing anyone knew they were engaged.
He's moving here to be with her.
Visas are applied for and the whole nine-yards.
Now, I'm not saying this isn't off the wall . . . my first instinct was "She's marrying some guy she met on the internet??????" I wouldn't expect you guys to have a less extreme reaction. I think we all kind of lurch around a bit and think, deep down, that there was something wrong with these people if they weren't getting things done with their real lives.
And probably, a few months ago, I would have stuck with just that impression.
It would have gone no further.
But that was months ago.
Since then, via these blogs, I have met some of the most EXTRAORDINARY people.
Male and female.
I would not hesitate a second to call any of you friends.
You're all astounding and fun and wonderful and hilarious and it makes me happy to think about reading about your days and your ideas and your feelings.
I hope that you feel the same about me. . . .
But here's the question . . .
Do you think you could honestly, for a second, think that someone you met in this fashion was more than a friend? Could you start communicating with them in other avenues (I KNOW that most of us DO communicate via email as well, but that's different) and then escalate to a phone call and then to possibly more?
I'll answer first . .. I have NO idea.
I haven't been in that situation, yet.
I've thought about calling at least two of you.
Both were female (and you guys KNOW I'm not gay), but I just had such a connection. You know, those friends you meet and immediately feel like you've known each other for ages?????
I've met you wonderful people via blogging comments and some in email.
But, do I think I would want to start instant messaging you lot and then escalate to calling and what-not? Do I think I could fall in love with one of you?
Females - no way could I fall in love with you. I'm straight, straight, straight.
Males - thank God, I don't have to ask myself that . . most of you guys are married, in long term relationships or starting new dating escapades.
Until 3 hours ago, I didn't even THINK about anything more than friendships with anyone I'd met via any form other than face to face. But now I have to really think about it.
I guess I'll get back to you guys on this.
In the meantime, I would LOVE to hear your ideas . . . have any of you met other bloggers or, I guess, people you have met in some other way on the internet? Would you? Do you think it's possible to fall in love with someone you've never met face to face??