I ended up trying eHarmony for free over Valentine’s Day weekend…really as a lark. I wasn’t expecting anything too significant. I tried other sites in the past and didn’t find they were very effective. I thought the “guided communication” might be a different and a fun way to meet and learn about new people – and might weed out some of them.
Well, very quickly I was sent a few matches…and then a few more…and one of them was this smiling and cheerful face….so open and happy. Bob’s profile was so sweet – he seemed to really speak from the heart. And when we first emailed it was obvious that this wasn’t a simple and silly connection. We shared email addresses and eventually phone numbers. This led to night after night of hours of conversation. We didn’t meet right away as we lived almost five hours from each other.
I know every couple feels they have the most special connection, the most remarkable story. Bob and I feel our story is, of course, special and remarkable. And we think it’s a little different. It’s amazing to us anyway. Bob meandered his way to a tiny town in the mountains of western North Carolina from Africa by way of India – with an intermediate stop (perfectly logically) in upper Michigan. I found my way to same mountain range, five hours north, only 2 hours from the place of my birth.
The first weekend we met, we tramped about Bob’s beloved Pisgah National Forest and watched the waters cascade around us as we crouched beneath Bridal Veil Falls. Little did we realize then that the name of the falls would be a metaphor for where we’d be six months hence.
We spent the following few weeks meeting in some little mountain town in between our two homes and soon found that we wanted to be together more than the separation would allow. At another waterfall a few months later, just after a rainstorm that miraculously cleared, Bob proposed while we stood teetering on a log. I was completely surprised and thrilled and said YES without hesitation. Bob’s nervousness at the time made more sense to me when he confessed later that he’d been agonizing about whether to jump into the pool beneath the waterfall and propose to me but was petrified about losing the ring in the process. Luckily good sense got the better of him (at least that time)!
We planned to elope and honeymoon during our summer trip to Spain but the generous summer vacations that Europeans get meant that we couldn’t find a judge to marry us at short notice. So we honeymooned minus the wedding, in such exotic settings as Granada, Cordoba, and Santander.
Within a few weeks after returning to the US, we had a civil wedding and then promptly moved in together. Of course, our families wouldn’t let us get away with that and thus commenced the saga of our 3 weddings in 3 months. Bob’s family are practicing Syrian Orthodox Christians, whilst I come from more of a secular / Jewish background. After numerous tense weeks of trying to broker one marriage ceremony that would keep all sides equally happy, we arrived at the Solomonic decision of having two separate weddings: one a hippie wedding (replete with singing quartz bowl) held underneath the willow tree at our family home, and the other a Church wedding (replete with a wonderful priest bless his heart who literally showered us with blessings aka spittle while consecrating our marriage). During both these weddings, we merged elements of our two cultures (ironically in reverse order): I wore a traditional wedding sari while Bob wore a suit.
We have now been married for 4 wonderful, rollicking months. During our time together, we have both grown tremendously as individuals, and are continuously amazed at how well we complement each other. We often wonder what karmic forces aligned to allow us to so serendipitously find each other from afar. We are blessed by the wonderful love, support and guidance our families and friends have swaddled us in, and are often told our story gives hope to others (so much so that we are no longer embarrassed to admit that we met online)!
Our amazing journey is about to take yet another marvelous turn: We are expecting our first child.