Twenty years ago today, I went on a first date. I had met this girl with a cool nickname on an innerweb chat room called #Nicecafe on irc.
We were only 20-30 miles away when so many of the others in the group were hundreds or thousands of miles away. Chicago, Australia, Denver, London. And here we were, me in Renton, her in Tacoma.
We had talked on the phone, chatted online for hours and finally we decided to meet in person. I drove down to her school, PLU, in my pickup with my leather jacket. Listening to Offspring and fighting traffic on the way to meet this semi-unknown girl I had met online.
I pulled up to the parking lot a little early, listened to music and tried to calm the nerves that I didn't know why I had. I was just meeting some girl who was nearby. It was 6pm on that fateful Tuesday evening, October 4th, 1994.
She was stunning. beautiful. long blonde hair. Her doc martins and overalls just perfect. Fast forward many hours she bought me dinner and dessert on her meal card. We toured the campus. I met her friends. We talked and hung out for hours.
Driving home early that Wednesday morning I knew I had found someone special. I stopped by my work and told the folks on my graveyard shift i had just met someone special. I told anyone who would listen I think I found 'the one'.
Little did I know that 20 years later we would have two wonderful kids, an amazing life together and so many adventures, both good and challenging, lived through together.
That cute girl, in case you hadn't guessed by now, was none other than my beautiful wife Kristen Riley. October 4th changed my life forever and I am grateful everyday to have you in my life. I love you kristen. Here is to 20, 40, 60 or, as many as we are above ground, more!