Shakers in Love

by Shaker Heather B, aka Gourmet Goddess

It used to drive me crazy when well-meaning people, trying to comfort me after yet another dating related disaster in my early 20s, would say things like, "There is someone out there for everyone." I was convinced that my own true love had been kidnapped by aliens and now resided in a petting zoo on the planet Xanthrope. For a long time, I just stopped dating all together. Then, when I started dating again, I tried online personal ads, which resulted in the hilarious disaster known only as not-so-dear-John. Then I tried online matching services that shall remain nameless, which proceeded to match me with individuals who most definitely did not share my sexual orientation but tragically did not want to accept this fact. So I stopped dating again. Bought a house. And spent all my free time doing home improvements rather than dating.

And then, last summer, there was a wonderful happy accident that was all Shakes' fault!

I am an occasional commenter here on Shakesville, known as Heather B. or sometimes GourmetGoddess. And sometime last June or July, something I said caught the eye of a certain Boxer Rebellion. He followed my link back to my own personal blog, which is supposed to be about cooking and food but is really only my own personal online bitch session and diary. At this point, I only had a few readers, most of whom were members of my family. He started reading me and providing an occasional comment, which I thought was nice, and I started reading him. But that is as far as it went. And then there was the fateful post.

I was going through a really rough patch. Kinda sad. Very exhausted. Feeling like I was blogging into the void. And I wrote about it and how I just really needed to take a break. Boxer wrote some words of encouragement and then another friend wrote, "Drop me an email." And thankfully, Boxer misread that and, thinking that I wanted him to drop me an email, did so.

Our first email exchange was rather amusing:

Him: Oh and by the way, the picture of you from your family reunion with your face in the watermelon, so very cool. I was going to post a comment when I first saw it, but since I didn't want to come off as some skeezy boy who was trying to hit on you, which I am and would have been, and your mother reads your blog, I just held my tongue till now.

Me: I wish I could say I was the woman in the watermelon. That is actually a cousin, a few times removed (I really need a road map at our family reunions). Our hair is about the same color, but that is about it. I wish it were me. She is wonderfully beautiful. And, honestly, my mom would be totally thrilled to have a boy, skeezy or not, hit on me, especially in public. She's become utterly convinced that I am going to die a stereotypical cat lady…

And that was the beginning. We started out from that point on as email penpals. We learned about each other by exchanging those silly little quizzes. You know, the ones where you list 66 facts no one knows about you. Within a couple of months, we had confessed to each other that we were interested in each other as more than just penpals. Soon, we were talking via IM several hours each night.

And on Thursday, March 13 (my birthday!), we took the next logical step. He flew in from North Carolina and we finally met in person. And we got to ask the important questions, the ones you can never answer via plain old talking. Could we stand each other? Did we smell right? Was there any chemistry? Could we get along?

And the answers are: absolutely, oh yeah, oh baby, and you bet!

So, this June, we are going to take the next step and move in together, here in the Waukegan abode. Yes, moving half way across the country is expensive and horrid, but in the end we both think it will be worth it! (Side note: we have a PayPal donate button on my blog. Experimental cookie recipes to any and all who can help us raise some funds for moving expenses.)

We've tried to go back and look in the Shakesville archives and see which post it was that brought us together. We've never been able to find it. But it doesn't really matter. It is still a wondrous thing. It will be a great story to tell the hypothetical grandchildren. And I hope it serves as a hope-filled story for all of you, showing that where communities of like-minded allies join together—in the intertubes or in person—wonderful things can bloom. Like change. Like joy. Like love.

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