Warning: High Schmoopie Alert! If you are easily nauseated by love and cuteness, do not continue reading this!
It was twelve years ago today that Fritz first answered my personal ad. Yes, I keep track of things like that, but it’s easy to remember because it’s also Talk like a Pirate Day. And yes, I do have that email still. I have just about every email he sent me. No, you can’t read them. You’ll throw up on your keyboard, and I’m not buying you a new one.
That first message, though, wasn’t all gross and schmoopie and cute. That didn’t happen until later. The first message was, in my opinion, pretty much the perfect response to a personal ad. He gave enough information about himself to stand out from everyone else, but not his whole frickin’ life story, and let it be known that he appreciated that I was a funny, unique person. After getting swamped with messages like, “ur pritty… rite me bak,” it was a relief to get a message from someone who could spell and hit a shift key every now and then. The first photo he sent me was of his face photoshopped on Chewbacca. The second photo was kind of out of date and out of focus, but I could tell he was vaguely humanoid in appearance. Human? Check. Decent grasp of the English language? Check. Ok. We got us a winner! Yeah, my standards were pretty damn high.
But seriously, the conversation just flowed. It was effortless. Like I knew him all my life… except that all his stories were new. And he hadn’t heard all of mine yet, either. Each email sent built on the one before and as we got to know each other, we’d veer off topic into all kinds of tangents. For instance, I mentioned to him that I was selling something on ebay, which lead him to tell me about something goofy he bought on ebay, which lead to asking each other what the weirdest thing we’d ever seen on ebay was, which lead to me posting a link to an auction of dolls of serial killers, which lead to him admitting that he had a favorite serial killer, something I’m sure would have scared most women off, which lead to talking about putting the lotion on the skin, which lead to how ironic it was that Buffalo Bill had a little fluffy dog, because generally speaking, psycho killers don’t have much respect for animals, which lead to me talking about how screwed up it was that some guys would answer my personal ad telling me that their dog could beat up my cat Sheba, which lead to him asking about some of the other responses I got, which lead to me forwarding them to him, which lead to the development of the site Way Too Personal, and winning the coveted MountainDew.com site of the day award in 2000. Or was it of the week? Or month? I don’t know, but like Al Bundy had four touchdowns in one game, I had a site that won an award from Mountain Dew. And a lot of other awards, but the Mountain Dew one really brought a tear to my eye.
So, yeah. Big surprise that Fritz and I went off topic a lot, huh?
After a few weeks of swapping emails multiple times a day, we moved on to the phone, where we were still just as chatty. Our first phone conversation lasted over five hours. Since he lived in Baltimore, and I was in Northeast PA, going on a date wasn’t quite so easy as if we lived a hop skip and a jump away, but within a month, we had our first date, and it was magical. Actually, it was a trip to Chilis, then a visit to a club called the Voodoo Lounge. Not exactly high romance, but we had those little twinkles in our eyes like Davy Jones used to get on the Monkees. Smitten. Totally smitten.
So thanks, Fritzie, for being so bored one Sunday night in Baltimore, twelve years ago, that you thought, “What the hell?” and decided to peruse the personals in Pennsylvania. The overwhelming odds against us ever finding each other boggles the mind. That I’d list my location as “North of Philly” because 9 out of 10 people around here didn’t have a computer in 1999, and that you’d be looking at ads in the Philadelphia area because you were thinking of moving to Pennsylvania. That you’d find me. That I wouldn’t ignore you message like I did so many others. It still kinda pisses me off that I had to go through months of weeding through all kinds of freaky pornographic messages, and emails that looked as though a blind dog typed them with his toes, and you just popped on one night and wrote to one woman and found a wife. But I’ll forgive you. Someday.