The Story of Us*
(or: how two people living in completely different parts of the world
ended up getting together, falling in love and ultimately
getting married despite hating each other at first)
So yeah, this is not your average relationship. Although the number of online
relationships has grown massively since the Internet became a mainstream thing,
they're still a comparative minority compared to the regular boy-meets-girl
which happens to most people. But we never claimed to be most people.
We first met on an IRC
channel called #afd,
which stands for alt.fan.dragons.
I (being Graham as opposed to Heidi) had been a fairly regular visitor to the
channel since 1995, my first year at university; Heidi started visiting some
considerable time later on the suggestion of a friend. Apparently she was there
quite regularly for a while, but I never noticed...
We first started talking after an argument brewed up on the channel about
people from different nations. We really didn't seem to agree - in fact Heidi's
assured me that she thought I was a bit of an idiot - but afterwards she
messaged me and we talked about it some more, and I think concluded that we
didn't disagree quite as much as we thought. She told me a bit about her
past, about living in Africa and then moving back to the US, to explain her
viewpoint, and I in turn tried to clarify where I was coming from. Over the
next few days there were a couple of occasions like this where a discussion
in channel became a private discussion, and we began to chat regularly. This
was now October 1998.
By December we were talking about meeting each other. Heidi was initially
reluctant, but then agreed that I could come and see her at her college,
Smith College. Having
never been to the US before, in January 1999 I bought a plane ticket to
Boston and was met at the airport by Heidi. About halfway through my
weeklong visit, we went out for a meal at a restaurant, went to the cinema
to see Shakespeare in Love... and later, we kissed.
We met several times over the next 3 years - once in Paris, once in
California, twice in Seattle (when Heidi's parents were kind enough to
let me stay for several months), once in Switzerland, once in England.
In between we chatted online regularly, spoke often on the phone, and
fell more and more in love. When Heidi came to England in December
2001, we flew to Amsterdam and I proposed to her on a bridge over a
canal, and she accepted. Whereupon the bell in the tower of the nearby
church tolled ominously...
And so nearly a year (and, incidentally, lots of bureacratic nonsense
with immigration paperwork) later, we're to be married in Seattle, hence
this webpage. Hopefully you can find any information you may want or
need about the wedding here; if not, just e-mail Myself
or Heidi and
we'll try to help!
* Apparently this is a film starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Bruce Willis. I am
proud to profess my ignorance of this fact.