Love is a Battlefield: Part Three
Love is a Battlefield: My War Story One Cliché at a Time
Part Three: Taken by Surprise
Continued from Part Two: Going on the Offensive
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The first instant message came in the middle of writing an email. Instant messaging is basically email on speed, if you’ve been living in a bomb shelter this decade. Her message popped up unexpectedly, though I was used to having my MSN Messenger open so I could see which of my friends was online. She was 27 and lived hours away in another state, which was not optimal considering that I already spent 9.5 hours a week on my commute, listening to books on tape. But this being my first dating site IM, I thought it rude not to reply. And oh, by the way, she was definitely attractive. I decided to “give it the old college try.” I opened the IM and it said “Hey there, I saw your profile and noticed the picture of you at Macchu Picchu. When were you there?”
At that moment, I silently thanked a female friend for informing me that the webcam headshot I’d been using left something to be desired. She’d also helped me pick out the Machu Picchu shot. I replied to the IM, telling my new acquaintance that I’d been down there the year before. She wrote back that she was about to travel South America for a month with her brother and was trying to fit Macchu Picchu into their itinerary.
We chatted awhile about her trip—it was an easy topic to break the ice with. I offered some travel tips and suggestions on what to do and what not to. She told me her employer would be transferring her somewhere near me in five months, which explained her search in my area. Our IM conversation felt like the love child of serendipity and Murphy’s Law. She was quite intriguing but geographically undesirable for almost half a year. When you’re interested in someone, five months feels like adding three dog years to forever and a day.
Insert cliché here: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
So we had real IM-istry (IM-chemistry) and our flirtatious banter ended with an exchange of email addresses and phone numbers. She promised “a full report” when she returned to the States and we set up a dinner date five months in advance, contingent of course on our relationship statuses at that far flung time. After I closed the chat window, I realized that an entire hour had slipped by and my facial muscles were sore from smiling the whole time.
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