My wife Heidi and I have been together nineteen years today (married for seventeen). We first met when we were twenty, back in 1996 on an online chat site. At the time, that was kind of a weird thing. To meet someone on the Internet and go on a date was almost unheard of.
Of course, now it’s routine. People meet on the Internet all the time and go on dates. But at the time, people thought it was a little strange.
I remember the first time I saw Heidi. She’d told me her address in Blackrock and I’d taken the bus over there. I wasn’t sure what to expect really. I hadn’t had much experience with women, having gone to an all boys school and being very shy.
When Heidi told me her name online and that she was from Norway, I pictured a woman in lederhosen with blonde hair in plaits. Probably what a lot of you would picture too. The beautiful woman that answered the door didn’t match that image and I was thrown for a moment.
I quickly recovered, however, when we walked around to the pub and I found it so easy to talk to her. I had so little money, I’m not sure how I thought I had enough to pay for a date. I did, however, have free tickets to a college social, so I asked Heidi to go to that with me.
We took the train into the city and went to the club. In retrospect, it was a disastrous choice for a first date. Once there, we couldn’t hear each other and most of the conversation just consisted of nodding and hoping that was the right response.
When I took Heidi to the taxi rank, we had our first kiss and I knew I had to see her again. Nineteen years later, I still have the same desire to see her every day. She’s my best friend, wife and love all wrapped up in one person. I can’t imagine my life without her and I hope I never have to.
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