How We Met
It’s Valentine’s Day. The day of love. Today, I’m going to share our own little story.
Let’s set the scene. It’s a few years ago. I’ve been spending my days cruising Tinder. Was this a particularly proud time? No. But I’ll tell you, I was having fun. Well, as anyone who has online dated in the history of ever knows, it’s fun for a while, then it stops being fun. I got to the point of it being less fun. That’s when I swiped right on…Charles.
The profile said he was only three miles away. He had a nice face, and he had a real job! These are two things that were kind of hard to come by. By some miracle, he also liked my face.
The reality? Not quite as simple.
Charles was on a road trip from Minneapolis to Yellowstone National Park. For scale, when he saw my face pop up, he was actually 3 hours away in West Yellowstone. Charles used Sprint as his phone provider, and they simply don’t exist in this state. So, when he finally connected to wifi in his hotel in Yellowstone, it said I was only 5 sweet miles away.
So, we matched!
We exchanged three messages on Tinder, and then he gave me his number. Just like that.
So, we texted.
For three weeks. We never spoke on the phone. We only texted.
After three weeks, I had the spur of the moment decision to book a plane ticket out to Minneapolis to see this guy. I know, what. The. Heck. Maybe a word stronger than heck. The next day, because you know I did this late at night after a few bottles glasses of wine, I told Charles what I did and that he should be expecting me in less than two weeks.
The morning of my flight, I was 99% sure I was not going to get on the plane. I thought I was going to throw up the entire time. What if he was a serial killer? What if he didn’t show up to get me at the airport? What if this whole weekend sucked?
But whatever. I was on the plane. And Charles picked me up! He was shorter and thinner than I had thought he would be, but it was him. He drove the flashiest compensating-for-something Ford Focus that you can get, and wore leather herringbone gloves. Yeah.
We left the airport and drove to brunch. He got lost and had to ask me for directions. Brunch was at this cute place in Saint Paul called Ward Six. He might have picked that for the brunch cocktails to take the edge off. But we had beignets covered in powdered sugar and laughed the whole time – the first time I had heard him laugh.
After brunch, we went to Minnehaha Falls – a Minneapolis staple if you’re touristing. This was my first time in Minneapolis since I was a kid, so this was new and fun. Then we went hiking (serial killer alert on!) and to see Spoon Bridge and Cherry and to the St Paul Cathedral. All beautiful.
After a full day of sightseeing, he dropped me back off at my hotel and I got dressed for dinner. By some lucky coincidence, Charles had tickets to see a play at the Guthrie Theater that same night I was in town. I spent an hour getting fancy and then we went to dinner at Alma. To this day, this is the most fabulous meal I have ever eaten in my entire life. I would eat that meal over and over again. It was also the most expensive first date either of us had been on.
The play was exquisite. It was the Cocoanuts, a Marx Brothers musical comedy. Again, we laughed and giggled the whole time. During intermission, we snuck out onto the skybridge and watched the snow fall over the Stone Arch Bridge.
Next day? Breakfast. More sightseeing. Lunch at Surly, and then walking downtown before catching my flight. I was being semi-responsible when I was booking this trip, so I had designed it to be short and easy.
After a long walk, and a lengthy conversation, we decided that we were going to move forward as a thing.
So that’s it. The story of how this all shook out. It was this crazy series of coincidences that all came together to make this happen. I know that not everyone believes in fate, but this was too much going on at once for it not to have been.
Right now, two moves and a few years later, I’m sitting in our living room of the house we share together. The dog is asleep on the couch and Charles is playing Forza on the Xbox. Things are far from perfect, but we’re happy and all it took was the great miracle of Tinder, bad phone service, and drunken air miles spending.
Tell me how you met your sweetie…I love those stories best!
Happy Valentine’s Day!