Afternoon Inquisition

Afternoon Inquisition 5.14

I met my last girlfriend in the emergency room. She was passed out on my lawn with the neighbor’s dog licking chunks and used vodka off her chin, so I took her in to have her stomach pumped. When she came to, our eyes locked, and it began a wonderful three weeks of freaky bliss.

Now, that may not be the perfect example of a “meet-cute story”. I mean it has all the key elements — chance, humor, and, best of all, a cuddly puppy! — but it’s probably never going to find its way into a Rom-Com plot.

How did you meet your partner? Is it a meet-cute story, a meet-ugly story, or a meet-meh story?

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

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  1. Meet semi-cute. A couple of friends conspired to invite us to “group events” and then make sure no-one else showed but us. It took a few times. I’m slow.

  2. I and The Girl met in college, at a rally protesting the KKK.

    We were introduced by a classmate of ours, and while I’d like to say that the rest was history, the rest actually was an awkward love triangle, friendship, and two failed marriages (hers and mine) with 15+ years of not seeing hide nor hair of each other, until a different mutual college friend indirectly reunited us with a blog post.

    Ummmmm…. so yeah. Categorize as you will.

  3. I’m not currently dating anybody, but typically I’ve met girls on TEH INTARWEBZ. Almost all the gals I encounter in real life are already taken. I’ve dated one or two girls I met through friends or at parties or whatever, but none of those especially went anywhere.

  4. My husband and I met at the first day of a new temp call center job. He sat in the back, I sat in the front of the first day. We were going around introducing ourselves, and he mentioned that he wrote in his spare time. The trainer asked what genre, and I piped up “Science fiction, of course”. I got a glare from the trainer, who asked the guy in the back “what do you like to write?”

    The answer? “Science fiction, of course”

    We hooked up within a month and have been happily coupled for three years, married for six months.

  5. My friend from HS, her’s from college had a party. We met, I asked her out, we started dating. It seems quite bland looking back, but it was terrifying at the time.

    Our friend was psyched, which we found out later was because he was hoping we’d wreck each other emotionally and both be able commiserate with him about his past (old and brief) relationship in college. He broke up with us 6 months later, literally saying to us “I’m not okay with you two being together.” We haven’t spoken to him in 9 years. As far as we know, he’s still pining after the “one that got away.”

  6. My last BF I met at a GLBT social group. I won him over by telling him he reminds me of a country song-“Save a Horse, ride a cowboy”.

    Now, ain’t that classy.

  7. Hmmm…not much drama here. My best friend introduced me to his fiancee, who introduced me to her best friend…who I married.

  8. I’m not officially dating anyone, but I did recently reconnect with someone I had a MAJOR crush on when I was 12! And it’s all thanks to MySpace!

    When I was in 7th grade, I fell madly ~in love~ with Ruben Lopez, who was in 8th grade. We went to a very small school, K thru 8th grades, about 250 students total. Both of us had been there since kindergarten, but for some reason I did not notice him until I was in 7th grade. I didn’t have any friends (I was bullied heavily, from kindergarten on), but he was very nice to me, an artist, athletic, and obviously very intelligent. He was also totally hot.

    I remember the yearly “7th & 8th Grade Dance” vividly that year. I danced with one person: Ruben. I remember hearing his friends daring him to ask me to dance, but I said yes anyway. I knew I wouldn’t have another chance.

    I still remember his red tie, and how I laid my head on his stomach (he was so much taller!) My heart was pounding like crazy. After the dance, I quickly scurried back to the table I was sitting at with my twin sister, red-faced. I think I ignored him and his friends the rest of the night.

    I’m 28 now, and a few months before my 27th birthday, I randomly found him on MySpace, and I contacted him, asking if he remembered me. He did! (I’d hope so; it wasn’t a large school!) He also remembers the dance. It turns out he was actually planning on asking me anyway, and he too had a crush on me, but he was 13 and dumb and his friends were dumb. He felt bad that I had heard that conversation.

    We’ve been talking ever since! He lived in Florida when I first contacted him, but he’s since gone into the army, and gas visited me twice within the last year (he still has family in Arizona, both in Phoenix where I live and near where we grew up). We also e-mailed and texted a LOT. We get along famously. Oh, and he’s still TOTALLY HOT!

    The last text message he sent before he was deployed to Afghanistan (on May 11th!) was: “Thank you for everything baby, love u!”

    I MELTED. And I don’t melt easily!

    I plan on writing regularly (something I’m normally very bad at). He’ll be gone at least a year. This doesn’t bother me as much as it might others. I’m too busy to date, anyway. Who knows what will happen when he returns to the states. I’ll likely be single (I usually am; I prefer it that way), but still, who knows where we’ll be. But regardless, I’m glad we were able to re-connect, the memories always make me smile, and I’ve made a very good friend, no matter what happens.

    Awwwww. <3 to the internets and re-connecting with old friends!

  9. I am currently without a partner, but it has led me to find my inherent superpower. Sign up on the innernet’s largest dating site as an atheist, become The Invisible Man!

  10. My sweetie was introduced to me through my then-boyfriend. It was like at first sight and we had an instant friendship. After two years of secretly pining over each other while each of us thought that the other was way out of our league, we were finally both single and got together. During that time, he’d dated a woman that I haaaaaated, which only increased my hopeless feeling that he’d never go for me.

    Well, he dumped her, came to visit me, and we spent 3 days straight talking (okay, with a little sleep to break things up). But it still took a week after that before we admitted our feelings for each other. He told me over ICQ. Before I could respond, there was a fire drill in my dorm and I had to run out. Poor guy nearly threw up, he was so nervous and thought I’d freaked out on him. We’ll have been together 9 years this fall.

    So I vote cute.

  11. Fifteen years ago, Kevin Grazier (yes, Dr. Grazier of BSG fame) asked me to help him write the skit “It Came From Tau Gamma Tau” for the Dr. Who convention being held in Chicago. He also offered me a part. Seemed like fun so I agreed to meet him there the day after Thanksgiving.
    I was checking in when one of the conference sessions broke and I spotted Kevin spilling out of a meeting room. (Kevin is 6′ 2″ and has carrot hair -he’s hard to miss). With him was another diminutive female red-head in a Star Fleet uniform and sporting a smile that sent a shockwave through my heart.
    Normally, I never would have stood a chance but two events conspired to “make her mine”. First, to save money, Kevin only rented three rooms for the cast. By whatever twisted logic he employs, he not only arranged for me to be put in the same room with her, he had me in the same bed. (My twisted logic said, “No way” and I slept on the couch). Still, this made it easy to arrange to go to all the same sessions, meals, etc.
    Secondly, my future wife’s ride home from the convention totalled his car and she was left stranded. Before you ask, I was exonerated for lack of evidence. Her home was only fifty mile out of the way for me so I gallantly offered to drive her back.
    After eight hours locked in the car with me, I was able to Stockholm-Syndrome my way into her affections. We’ve been happily married now, lo! these past eleven years.
    In my eyes, definitley meet-cute and maybe even ROM-COM worthy. I understand I may be biased.

  12. I met my wife 30 years ago in college. We were introduced by friends, found we had lots in common, she was smoking hot, smart and had that cool English accent but only became friends. We hung out at times and were good friends for the next four years and then we took that fateful camping trip to the Olympic Peninsula… sunsets, red wine, camp fire, tent, and engaged a couple months later. Married 23 years this August.

  13. @marilove:
    It’s not babbling if the story is well told and enjoyable, qualities which your story had in abundance.

    Mine is typical, we met at work, dated without telling anyone, finally told some people and my wife got let go (they say there wasn’t enough work, I still wonder)…..

    But, the proposal was good, if not a little dumb on my part. I bought the ring and was planning on proposing at Multnomah Falls, then we found out my wife was pregnant. Which was no problem for me as far as us not being married, but a couple of people asked when the wedding was. My wife was down in the dumps, so I went and got the paperwork certifying the ring because it was not ready and I got down on one knee in our crummy little kitchen and proposed. The rest as they say is history.

  14. Somehow I feel that I can’t do the story justice by leaving a small paragraph, and I don’t want to be so pretentious as to fill up the page with our whole story, so I’ll post it to a blog and link to it.

    It is somewhat long but it’s a fun story involving drunkenness, vomiting, jealousy, inexperienced sexual awkwardness, and lube!

  15. My husband was friends with my college roommate. He came to visit her and ended up spending the night with me. We went on the longest date ever about a week later. We went to dinner, a movie, ice skating back to my dorm where we sat and talked the entire night then we went to church with his family in the morning. We saw each other pretty much every day until he left for basic training. We kept in touch with letters that we wrote to each other everyday until he came home. We’ve been married for 5 years and together for 7.

  16. Don’t have a partner. Am not looking for one. No particular drama in any of the relationships or almost-could-have-been relationships I’ve had.

    Holy fuck, I’m boring.

    I have enough friends who have enough friends that if I asked around, I could probably get introduced to somebody who was “available” and get a date or two out of the arrangement. But between that and applying Floquet theory to diffusion equations, my heart always goes for the latter.

  17. @Mordicant: Aww, thanks! I left out some of the more pathetic aspects of my crush. Like the very intricate, drawn-out daydreams I used to have, and the crying-myself-to-sleep listening to sad Mariah Carey songs. I knew his adult self was rockin’ when I told him all of this, and instead of being weird about it, he laughed and told me he thought it was cute.

    I suspect he’ll be making fun of me with old, sad Mariah Carey songs until we die.

  18. It was a meh meeting, with a good outcome. Jim and I were introduced by a mutual friend on our university campus, I could take you to the exact spot, near the Alumni Club. No immediate sparks, but soon he became part of our group that had supper together in Commons. I first noticed him because he got my jokes, wasn’t shocked at my atheism or lack of interest in ever having children, and could keep up with the (probably not as witty as we thought it was) repartee at the table. 37 years later, I am grovelingly grateful to the inexperienced 19 year old girl (me) who somehow managed to pick out someone I still love, and who still loves me. During my 40s he stuck with me through a nasty fight with clinical depression. 5 years ago we began The Cancer Life (prostate, going ok, thanks) and now I am Florence Nightingale-ing my way through his broken hip (there was a ladder involved). Please put me down for another 37 years. Thank you.

  19. Let’s see… Tim and I met 7 years ago in college. He saw me perform in “The Vagina Monologues” (oh yes, I was the “angry vagina”) and wanted to cast me in a play for his directing class. He got some mutual friends to introduce us at a party at his frat, I think there was an ice luge involved? Anyway, he cast me in his play, and he was a great friend to me. And at some point we realized we liked each other, but he had a gf. And by the time he didn’t, I had a bf. And that went back and forth for over six years until a few months ago, we were finally both single AND finally came out with “I still like you.” And seven years later, it’s even better than I could have imagined!

    Meet-cute? Cute-saga?

  20. So, I was dating this weirdo. Like, super creepy. He had good reason to be, I guess, but I was tired of being his “therapist”, and was honestly not at all into marrying this guy.

    At the time I was working in a vet’s office. There was this older guy that I clearly shared a lot in common with: we were always in trouble for being late (seriously – 7:30am is TOO EARLY!), we hated the same idiots at work, and we both liked geekery and porn! He fake-drunk emailed me and asked me to go see a movie (not as a date, of course). We flirted A LOT after that.

    There was a lot of complicated weirdness involving my then-boyfriend, this new work guy, and my supposedly open relationship. Then I finally decided I actually LIKED the new guy and was TOTALLY CREEPED OUT by my boyfriend.

    I broke up with Creepy and started dating the new guy. It was rocky at first, but we dated for two years, living together for most of it. Just before our 2nd anniversary, I went on a week-long trip to visit my parents without him. When I got back, it was like all his doubt about our relationship had vanished. I was so ecstatic about it, I didn’t notice all the strange signs…

    The night before our anniversary, at a monthly get-together with friends, he proposed to me in front of everyone with a very sweet and touching story. He is not one to share his feelings publicly, so I was completely caught off-guard and didn’t see it coming at all.

    We got married on the winter solstice, almost 6 months ago.

    Happy, happy!

  21. @JJ: “It seems quite bland looking back, but it was terrifying at the time.”

    That’s the best definition of falling in love that I’ve ever heard.

  22. Okay, these stories are great. A red-headed stunner in a Starfleet uniform! An angry vagina! I love Skepchick commenters. Moar!

  23. I met my wife on the side of a small rural road as she stood under a guava tree.

    She was with her family and I with mine and I knew most of her family (but not her or her mother), so we stopped to say hi and we were introduced.

    We lived in different cities, so we were just friends, but talked a lot and wrote to each other, and saw each other whenever I was in her city or she came to mine.

    Then in 1999 an earthquake stuck in her city and she move to my city to finish university.

    We got married in October of that year.

  24. Mine is cute: I was in high school. I was straight at the time, or at least I thought I was, and I was in love with my best male friend. When he came out as bisexual (on the way to coming out as gay) I thought I still had a chance with him, so I “supported” him by going to a gay youth support group with him. There I met the most vivacious, funny, adorable woman who eventually asked me out. I thought to myself “Could I date a woman? I’ve never really thought about it before. I guess I could give it a try!” Fast forward to now – we’re still together, ten years later. Married (we’re Canadian), supporting each other through school, and trying to have a baby. Funny how life works out. :)

  25. Oh yeah, and her pickup line to me (in the context of a gay sex-ed lecture, referring to my complaint about having small breasts): “Anything more than a handful’s a waste!” I was 17, a total prude, and was both horrified and intrigued by this.

  26. I met my partner at a bdsm/sex club. I was there with a friend that night, but it was my sweetheart’s first time there and he was new in town and all by himself.

    He later told me that when he saw me, he thought I was the most beautiful woman at the club that night and had to talk to me. So he positioned himself between me and the bathrooms. And sure enough, eventually, I went to use them and said “hi” to him.

    We ended up talking a lot about scene stuff and life stuff. But were we really bonded was our love of comic books. At the end of the night, he let me tie him up and have fun.

    We’ve been together for almost two years now and looking forward to more pervy and nerdy years together. Also all the fun we have making up stories of how we met for more conservative family/friends/coworkers.

  27. @fairweather:“Anything more than a handful’s a waste!”

    I always heard this as “mouthfull”. Maybe it’s a Kansas thing.

  28. @davew: Oh geez, I would have died on the spot if she had said that. As I said, I was a prude. Whoa, was I ever.

  29. I met my boyo at a (now defunct) goth club in Boston eight years ago, where I was the crazy chick stalking his (now defunct) best friend. Lulz ensued.

  30. My wife and I were in the same dorm our freshman year of college. We had made several mutual friends, and spent time hanging out. I dated another girl for about 8 months, which overlapped with summer break. That ended badly in the fall the next school year, and I started hanging out with my (now) wife more, as a friend. Mostly because it allowed me to avoid my ex-girlfriend. The more we hung out, though, the more it became clear we were attracted to each other. Things progressed, and eventually we started dating. Then she got kicked out of school for not making grades. Oops.

    She moved home (with her overbearing bible-literalist parents, but that’s another story) and started taking community college courses towards an AA, hoping to be re-admitted. Eventually, she decided to go to a different school for her BA. We kept dating, semi-long-distance for the remainder of our college years. We both graduated in ’98, continued to date for another 2 years before marrying in 2000.

    So… not quite rom com material, but maybe a little cute.

  31. @ JSug: “Then she got kicked out of school for not making grades. Oops.”

    Hehehe, my girl ended up on academic probation her first semester of Uni that we were together. She had an 8am calculus class and just couldn’t bring herself to get out of bed.

  32. We were at a friend’s week long birthday party, my future Boy was drunk, and stuck his hand up my skirt as I walked down the stairs. My best friend saved his life that night. He doesn’t really remember it.

    Then he slept with a bunch of my female friends, who all said he was great in bed and I should give it a go.

    We finally slept together at a Sci Fi con in January, started dating in May, and got engaged at yet another SF Con over fourth of July weekend.

    We’ve been married for 15 years.

  33. I do have another story, however, that I think is more rom com worthy:

    Okay, also freshman year of college (it was a very full year for me). Just a few weeks after school started, I was visiting some of my new friends in their dorm-room across the hall, and was introduced to their friend, G, who was an RA in a different dorm. She and I started chatting, and hit it off right away. Somehow it came out that she was a member of the campus juggling club, which impressed the hell out of me. I had taught myself to juggle a bit in high school, and wanted to know what they did at this club, so she invited me to their next meeting. I showed up, had a blast, and she loaned me a spare set of clubs to practice with (up to this point I had only juggled beanbags).

    This progressed to the point where we were meeting frequently for “practice sessions.” Well, okay, we did practice a lot. She taught me how to pass clubs. But we also spent a lot of time talking and getting to know each other. I learned that she had been involved in a fairly serious relationship with a guy the previous school year, but that he had left to teach English in Japan for a year. They were still in contact, but not really “dating” anymore. But she also made it clear that she was not really interested in dating anyone else right away. No problem, I figured I could bide my time. I was having a blast just being around her.

    A few months passed, and something changed. G stopped showing up for juggling club meetings, claiming she was too busy with classwork and her RA duties. She made similar excuses when I wanted to meet her at other times to practice. Then she stopped returning my calls. Eventually, I resorted to email, asking her if I’d done something to offend her or something. She apologized for avoiding me, and invited me over to her dorm to talk about it. Turns out she had started dating someone else. That hurt by itself. The real kick in the nutsack, though? It was another girl. Ouch.

    Well, I was open minded, even back then. I wanted to be a good guy, so I told her I wasn’t mad (lie, I was more than a little ticked), that I didn’t hate her (true, I was hoping I still had a shot if she changed her mind again), but wished she’d been a little more up-front with me (true, at this point I’d been laying awake nights trying to figure out what I did). I got a nice hug and a kiss, and we pretty much went our separate ways. We were no longer actively avoiding each other, but understandably we didn’t hang out as much as we had previously.

    As it happened, things didn’t work out with her girlfriend, and she did decided she wasn’t gay after all. But by that time I was dating someone else. She eventually started dating the guy in the dorm room next door to mine, which kind of sucked. They got married a few years later, and I lost track of them after that.

    So there ya go. A not-so-classic story of missed connections. It would be a better story if we’d hooked up in the end, but that’s life for ya.

  34. My sweetie and I met on a CompuServe form about 17 years ago. He used the word “yclept” correctly and I was overcome with bliss. [My degrees are in English and Linguistics. I’m an archaic word slut.] We met in person at a mutual friend’s house, had instant chemistry. He then moved 2057 miles and we’ve been living in sin ever since.

  35. Wow, there are some great stories here. My last girlfriend and I were best friends for about five years, and then one night we just kinda started making out. Then we were together for three years.

    I’ve now been single for three years, and am growing more and more confident that I will die alone, save for maybe a cat.

  36. I met my husband at college about a week after he got back from his Mormon mission. He had not had a date in over 2 years and I was pretty much the first girl he’d seen as a civilian. I caught the desperate look in his eye and decided he was to be avoided. We were both in the band and he chased me for about a year and then when some other girls decided they wanted to date him, I decided I did,too. Fortunately, he chose to date me and we got married about 2 years later. We got engaged in Inari, Finland which is way north in Lapland above the Arctic Circle.

  37. I met my husband thru a friend in college. I hated him but he chased me to no end. I finally decided to do a pity date to get him to leave me alone, and well, I was hooked!

  38. I met my wife on ICQ. I was 17 at the time, she was 16. She was living in Texas at the time (I was in California, where I’ve always lived), and trying to locate a friend of hers with the same first name. She thought she found him and messaged me in the process.

    I was used to random people trying to add me on ICQ without giving a reason, so I responded as such. She swears I wrote, “Who the hell are you, and why are you writing me?” I’m pretty sure I was more diplomatic than that. Regardless, we chatted for a bit. Turned out that night was her prom, but she had broken up with her boyfriend the day before he was going to ask her, so she was at home moping while her friends were having fun.

    We spoke on and off for about a year online and via snail mail. She seemed like a really nice girl, but I made the baseless assumption that she was just a simple, average, small-town girl and that was that. But when she’d pop back online after a few months we’d chat nonstop for a while.

    I went through a rough time a year later with my first relationship starting and ending very poorly. Meanwhile she had just had a deeply disturbing run-in with a male friend of hers, and confided in me about it. We got to talking some more, and for fun started taking various online personality tests (very scientific), and getting consistently similar or identical results. I also learned a little more about her, finding out she wasn’t quite the simple, closed-off person I had assumed.

    After considering her a bit more seriously, and spending a couple of hours on the phone with her over the next couple of weeks, I started to realize there were serious feelings. Important words were exchanged, phone conversations slowly got more… intimate, and plans started being made for her to visit me.

    She was 17 at the time, so she managed to use her Oklahoma household’s looser grasp on her as a way to get permission to take a bus halfway across the country to visit me (her father, in her Texas household, was not remotely happy). She ended up staying for about a month and a half. Shortly after, I took a bus trip to visit her in Oklahoma. After another bounce back or two, I flew out to her, and she drove home with me.

    We moved in together, got pregnant, got married (the pregnancy changed the timing of the marriage for insurance reasons, but we already assumed marriage was a given), and started our real lives together.

    Things were pretty messy for a while. Not in our relationship, which has been pretty rock solid for eight years now, but financially, work, etc. I was still acting at the time, but not always steadily enough to pay the bills, and she was finding whatever work she could do. Careers slowly shifted and changed, priorities solidified, and we eventually had a second child (this time planned). We recently got a house, got our finances back on track, and have made improvements to our communication skills to take our relationship to an even better level.

    So I just happen to have one of those rare examples of a successful internet relationship, and it dates back to before it became popular. We enjoy setting that example, and we enjoy the feeling as we continue whooshing past each divorce statistic. In fact, that’s one of our secrets. No matter what petty arguments we’ve had, we’ve been too stubborn to let them split us up, which forces us to get past them and move together into brighter times. There’s a lot to say for that.

  39. So many great stories! I met my sweetie when my co-worker, his mom, invited me to her 50th birthday party. I thought he was adorably dorky, but he lived outside of Kansas City and I lived in bum-f*&% Oklahoma. But he followed me out to my car when I had to leave and asked if I would see him again when he came back to visit. So I did – that next time, he pretty much ensured he would never get rid of me by staying up until 2am with me, making fun of that stupid old paranormal TV show, Sightings. Then the next time, we went to a Star Trek movie. Every Friday night, after his arrival in Podunk, we would go to “Rock and Bowl” at the local bowling alley. It was perfect! I asked him to marry me a couple of months later.

    The punchline is that I found out later that it was all a set up by his mom! Which is ironic, since his mom and I are now, 15 years, one wedding, and three children later, mortal enemies.

  40. I’m in an odd place right now. Lisa was my supervisor at Blockbuster (ugh), and I always had strong feelings for her, but she wasn’t interested so we stayed friends, even after she moved to the other side of the country.

    After about seven years of quiet romancing, she finally saw the light and we started a long distance relationship. It lasted until it became a short distance relationship, when she decided she just couldn’t change gears. I was devastated, but went back to being friends, and was happy for her when she married.

    Last year she called to tell me her marriage had fallen apart, and I helped her through that. Some months later, her dog passed away, and I helped her through that. She’s had a couple other blows since.

    I don’t see us getting back together, especially now that I’ve joined the army reserves and am about to ship off to boot camp, but I love her so I give her a shoulder to cry on when she needs it.

  41. I was between wives at the time and she was between husbands. I had been divorced for about two years and had been steadily sleeping my way through all of the women in town. Which is tough when you are raising three kids as a single dad. I always carefully shielded them from all the women in my life. I didn’t think it would be fair for a parade of different women to be passing through their lives. So I only hooked up on the Fridays and Saturdays that they were visiting their mother. I met her on yahoo personals or yahoo messenger, something like that, I know it was yahoo. I would normally be chatting with 5 or 6 women trying to set something up for my next free weekend. We went out a few times and I didn’t think it was going anywhere. I couldn’t really remember who anyone was most of the time. She logged on and said hi while I was chatting with several women. I thought she was someone else who was interested in some things else. I told her that I thought I had found what we neededd to make it come true. A year later she told me that I had mistaken her for a different girl. We had planned a halloween wedding about 4 years ago, then I got shipped off to Kuwait so we ended up getting married in June. That way if I got killed she would get the life insurance not my ex.

  42. I took the wrong turn down the right street and looked at a girl, she seemed to be walking.

    I smiled and she gave me the best “Oh as if!” look I’ve ever seen. Then she looked again and stuck out her thumb.

    I offered her a ride but she confessed that she was standing in front of her own house and just wanted to talk to me.

    That was nearly Five years ago, I think, it could be more.

    She’s as lousy a judge of men as ever,


  43. @marilove: You call that small? That was half the population of the shitty little Texas town my parents moved me to in 1981. I went from a grade school K to 6 with 800 students to a school K-12 with about a 103 students in a town of 500 people. I was out of there in 1990 and glad to be gone. There were 10 people in my class and 4 in the class 2 years ahead of me. And I still can’t remember a lot of them

  44. Elisa and I met working at Nefco (New England Food Cooperatives) in Cambridge. She was the cheese buyer and I drove a forklift in the warehouse. We would chat each other up when the food truck came everyday. I was entralled at this beautiful older woman (33) at the time and couldn’t understand what she saw in me at (24). It certainly wasn’t my money. Still within a year we were living together and a couple more married. Still don’t see what she sees in me 21 years later.

  45. I think mine is cute and my wife must also, because she tells it to everyone she meets.

    I moved to the US in October 1988, I found a normal single bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a small complex in New Jersey. The stairs to the upper floors was right outside my door.

    On morning of the first Saturday after I moved in I heard a loud noise followed by some swearing outside the door. I opened it to see an attractive female picking herself up off the ground having just fallen down the stairs.

    “Are you alright?”
    “Do you need any help?”
    /sound of door shutting

    Our twentieth anniversary is later this year.

  46. First day of first year. I’m wandering around the campus, trying to get my bearings between classes. I stayed in my hometown to go to university, so unsurprisingly, I run into a guy I hung out with in high school. As we’re wandering around together, we run into one of his high school friends, a guy who bears the label in my mind of “that hippie with the massive hair.” Well, that hippie and I turn out to have quite a lot in common. We spend most of first year playing chess and talking. Somewhere around Christmas I begin to toy with the idea of our getting together, but decide that if he really liked me, he would say so. By the end of spring exam period, I decide that to hell with that strategy, invite him over to watch some movies and kiss him.

  47. Wow.. So many good stories here and mine is kinda boring.

    You know. American Army guy posted to South Korea in 1997 where he meets an Australian girl who is studying abroad. He sees her through a crowd and decides to introduce himself. She tells him to fuck off when he says ‘hi’. Not to be thrown off, he takes another shot and makes her laugh enough to get a conversation started. They date. They break up. She goes back to Australia. He goes back to the US. Somehow in spite of everything they end up staying in touch. Each of them gets engaged to someone else. Both end up canceling their engagements while pining for their ‘lost’ love. Then finally the two start a long distance relationship that leads to him moving to Australia and the two of them getting married.

    We’ve been married for 6 years now, (Anniversary is this month ), and have a baby on the way. So yeah.. You know. Pretty normal. ;)

  48. So, I don’t have a quite so cute story, and the status of the relationship’s a little hazy, but I can’t not tell stories when given the opportunity. This one has all three.

    Meet-cute: I saw a pretty, geeky looking girl at a party and thought she might laugh at a dirty joke I had. She did. We talked all night, and again at another party. I can (mis)quote Shakespeare, and she recognizes it, I can (also mis)quote Carl Sagan and she’ll listen.

    Meet-meh: We went from just talking to kissing because she dropped hints about as subtle as a kick in the teeth, until I got it through my thick skull.

    Meet-ugly: Sooner or later, her husband’s going to be pissed.

  49. We met on a bus full of folk dancers traveling back from an event in Colorado to Minnesota which is where she was living. I was heading back to Madison, WI after a 9 months of traveling, so I caught a ride as far as MN with the bus. I sat down next to her because there was a vacant seat and not because of any particular attraction to her, but when we started talking, and I found out that she was into mathematicians, SF, puns, shaggy-dog stories, and other traits or interests of mine, I was convinced that I’d found the girl of my dreams. That was 20 years ago this 5/29, and I still think that.

  50. My last so called partner was really more of a brief sexual fling. then she ended it and I have not heard from her since. Still trying to figure out what happened to the “remaining friends” bit.

  51. @level20monkey: “Remaining friends” is tough. I’ve only done so with one ex, and even then I had to go through a period where I didn’t want to talk with her for a while.

  52. Hiya folks, so I’m a little late to the party but I just HAD to share the story of how I met my current boyfriend.
    I met him at a “Skeptics in the Pub” event which I organised! I know, crazy hey?
    We live in South Africa and there is almost NO skeptical activism down here, so I decided to start creating some. I organised the meeting with some of the members of a local skeptical forum and the first two gatherings were really small (like two or three people). Then in January we had a bumper turn out and Mike (my BF) was one of the skeptics who joined us that night.
    I was immediately charmed by his towering intellect and powers of critical thought and we have been officially together from the end of January.
    I guess I should thank the SGU (and Rebecca especially) for inspiring me to start writing my skeptical blog – you guys set me on the path which led me to my awesome boyfriend.

  53. I was going to keep this brief, but no one will read it this far down, so what the hell…

    I met my wife 16 years ago while in my 3rd year of college, studying abroad at Edinburgh Uni. Freshmen and foreign students spend a week of orientation together, and I met up with a small group of people at a horrible mixer event where they served cheap booze mixed in a steel bucket – it was DIRE. We all ended up going to a pub (and eventually hanging out together all year).

    My wife and I bonded over TV and They Might Be Giants, and spent a lot of time together, but we were both too chicken to push anything. One movie night where the whole dorm was watching Thelma & Louise, I spent the first 40 minutes debating if I should take her hand or not. After a while I asked myself what the worst possible outcome was. I figured that would be her standing up in disgust, slapping me in the face and running out. I decided I could live with that.

    We have been married for 12 years and have two beautiful children who shall eventually take over the Earth.

  54. It was 1988. I lived in Alaska, he lived on Long Island. We both logged into Quantum Link (Q-Link) on our C64 computers and chatted in a place called the Red Dragon Inn. We got to know each other better over a roleplaying game in Q-Link, and started phoning, chatting privately, sending cards and letters, and basically falling for each other online. Still, we were sane about it. We knew folks who had met and not hit it off. I needed a roommate, and he needed to move away from home to someplace with trees and mountains and wilderness (ie, NOT Long Island). I asked if he’d be willing to come be my roommate and we’d see if this whole romance thing would work out. He thought about it and decided to give it a try. On Dec. 5, 1988 he stepped off the ferry. He was holding a cassette tape case oddly in his hands, and when he saw me, he dropped the case, and it flew open, spilling tapes all over into the slushy snow. He was flustered, embarrassed, and totally adorable. I fell in love with him on the spot. I think it might have taken him a few days to get over his shyness and embarrassment and culture shock enough to realize he loved me, too. We’ve been together ever since. We got married just under two years later, so we’ll be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary in 2010, but we still celebrate our “us-i-versary” on Dec. 5th.

  55. @Merkuto:

    You have increasingly become one of my favourite posters here. Your comments rarely fail to induce at least a smiling chuckle. You almost always seem to include a nugget of unpopular, and perhaps unpleasant truth wrapped up in an unavoidabley fun and entertaining way.

    Kudos to you.

  56. @Gabrielbrawley: There were 13 kids in my 8th grade class. I say 250 total students, but I could be completely off, because I don’t remember. It was no more than that, though.

    I grew up in a really strange area, right on the Arizona/California border. The house I grew up in was in the middle of the desert, on the *California* side of the river … but we went by Arizona time and everything we did was “in town” ten miles away, in Parker, AZ, including my dad’s business. So it was like we lived in AZ, but our house just happened to be in the wrong zip code. The K thru 8th grade school I went to was on the California side, and we learned a weird mix of California and Arizona history, and went by Arizona time since everyone else did.

    High School was “in town” — in Parker, AZ. Our high school got money for us “Cali side” kids to get bused there (10 whole miles lol). The nearest high school on the “right” side of the border was far (3 hours?).

    My crush — Ruben Lopez — actually ended up going to Lake Havasu High, because he lived near there and not near Parker. I was very sad. :(

    Parker had about 750 students? My graduated class had 100. Yay huge drop-out right!

  57. @marilove: Oh and that K thru 8th grade school was a 45 minute bus ride. In August. With no a/c on the buses. 115+ degrees was normal. And I remember once during monsoon season, there was a big wash that got flooded out, and our bus was stuck on the other side, and there was no other way to get to our house! That was fun.

    I was there visiting my dad last October, right before the elections, and we were at the Elk’s Lodge for some charity auction dinner. ALL the local politicians were there. It was hilarious. You could feeeel the tension.

  58. I was working an early morning shift and taking a shower at 3:00AM when my roommate brought home a trashy blonde he met at a party. He decided that it would be a good idea to introduce us as I was washing my hair. I introduced myself through the transparent shower curtain, and she was polite enough not to laugh.

    My roommate ended up vomiting all night, and never got to bed his new find. She and I ended up getting married, having two kids, and getting divorced after nine years.

    I’m not sure wheather to thank my friend or blame him…

  59. I met my wife by having an argument (on IRC) about some religious or philosophical point which is now lost in the mists of time. We disagreed, but enjoyed the debate, and so exchanged IM details.

    There was a friendship immediately, sight unseen (there’s a funny story in there about how I knew she was born in the Philippines, but not that she was an American of Danish descent – talk about your inaccurate expectations…). We talked on and off for a few weeks, including one nearly all-night session.

    Then, I needed to go on a business trip, and so let her know I’d be ‘net-less because I’d be in a particular town. Turns out, that town was where she was going to college… so we arranged a coffee date.

    The rest amounts to her pretty much hitting me over the head and dragging me off — I’m kind of clueless about it when people show romantic interest, but I’m happy she went to pains to make it clear.

    We’ve been together for 10 years now, and it’s been a largely geeky and wonderful experience.

  60. I went to a school-funded dinner for some club that I wasn’t a member of at my friend’s apartment. (She did invite me though.) My friend invited me to come early and help, and there was a guy there who was also helping. I strongly suspect that my friend intended for us to meet, because she knows how I am and what I like in a guy.

    After most of the people left, the three of us decided to go to a gay bar for some reason, even though none of is gay. It seemed like a good idea at the time. The place was mostly empty but we had some drinks and I got uninhibited enough to hit on him. I said something like, “I want to ask you something, but I have to finish this drink first.” My drink was mostly just melting ice at this point, and he said, “You’ll never finish it”, and he grabbed it and drank the rest. Then I invited him back to my place, and he accepted.

    Yadda, yadda, yadda.

    Then afterward he ended up cleaning my shower, toilet, and the rest of my bathroom in his birthday suit. We continued to see each other occasionally, and my apartment was noticeable cleaner during that time (usually I’m a complete slob). Then we graduated from college and went our separate ways.

  61. I don’t have a partner. I have a cat! I met my cat at a cat adoption event held at a local pet shop. I walked past his cage and he reached out and snagged my arm. And that was that!

  62. Best bud had a really cool friend who was chubby. I think voluptuous women are attractive; he didn’t. He thought we would be perfect for each other. We are. Married for 7 years so far.

  63. @catgirl: Y’all went to a gay bar because gay bars are awesome and better than straight bars! No creepy men trying to hit on you. (Except that one time I went to a LESBIAN bar/club and some creepy, drunk man was hitting on all the women. He got kicked out. I almost socked him.)

  64. @Rebecca: Agreed! I’ve read every post! There were a few longer ones I had to skim through, but I’m reading them again now!

    Best AI EVER.

    @whitebird: And thank you! It makes me feel all fuzzy whenever I think about it. My crush was so pathetic, and if I could tell my 12 and 13 year old self that he and I would reconnect years later, I probably would have saved myself a lot of heartache (I was bullied really, really badly, so I basically latched on to him because he was so nice (and, well, hot)). I just remember all those unset love letters! Oh, man, we were all idiots when we were 12, weren’t we?!

  65. Late to the game, but here goes:
    Met Aaron through a mutual friend. I was going as a third wheel (I thought) to a Great Gatsby theme party with said friend and her boyfriend (who will be her husband as of tomorrow!) but when we were heading out Aaron and another guy (who is now our best friend and performed our wedding ceremony for us) showed up to come with us and our friend as all, “Hey you guys should hang out.” Or something like that. So we did.

    I was actually in a relationship at the time, but the boy wasn’t really into parties so I wasn’t going to make him go with me. I spent the evening with Aaron wishing my boyfriend was more like him (it was a rather unhappy relationship, but we’d been together for so long that I didn’t know how to break it off).

    That was in the spring of 2004. In the fall of 2004 I finally broke off the unhappy relationship. Ran into Aaron again a couple weeks later when the same friend as mentioned above suggested we go to his room to hang out. We started talking there and have been nearly inseparable ever since. :-)

  66. Ok. the story I wrote about how I met my wife is several pages long and only half finished so….. Here is the highlights.

    I had tried to date this one girl, we’ll call her Kim, and it didn’t work out, instead we became friends. I had dropped by Kim’s apartment one evening to drop something off, and met my future wife to be, Ann, and she was drunkety drunk drunk. Kim and Ann are childhood friends, Ann had come up from her college that she was attending, and they were getting ready for a girls night out at the gay bar, being poor they were pre-gaming it by first drinking at home, I remember thinking to myself, “Man, I just watched that girl do 5 shots, I hope she’ll be o.k.“

    The next morning I got a call asking if I wanted to babysit Miss formally drunkety, drunk, drunk, and was now hung over as all hell, as Kim had to go to work and didn’t want to leave Ann alone. We went to the pet store and out for a cheap lunch. No spark, she had a boyfriend I was content being single with a few frienefites.

    Six months later, I had gotten an invention to travel to Ann’s college with Kim for Ann’s 21st birthday party. At the party Kim and I snuck into the back room to take a nap (it was around 2 in the morning), we fell asleep together. Sometime during the night I awoken with the odd sensation and the unmistakable smell of puke, having been deposited on me and Kim by a wayward party guest. Apparently you can get so drunk as to become confused and not know the difference between the bathroom and a bedroom, and a toilet and two sleeping people. In a daze I felt my sweater being ripped off me by Ann and some more sober party guests who worked swiftly to clean us up. I should mention that this sweater was brand new, and was the first time I had ever worn it.

    Fast-forward 6 months, summer had arrived and Ann had broken up with her boyfriend moved up to the city to work and live with Kim. Kim had become involved in an abusive relationship and was not around as much as her asshat of a boyfriend monopolised all her time. Ann and I had started to hangout more, and we grew to really like each other.
    Problem was, Ann was going to Japan for a semester abroad at the end of the summer, so we didn’t really want to start up a relationship only for it to go long distance. But, I think we both recognized that we had was too good to just not do anything about. So we dated, and she went to Japan as my long-distance girlfriend. While in Japan I became jealous and suspicious as she had the time of her life with a group of other people, many of which cheated on there partners they had left in the states, and who constantly hit on her in an attempt to make her stray. Ann filled me in on this via email and the occasional phone call, but assured me that she was behaving.
    When she had come back she had started to act really weird, many times giving me the cold shoulder. One weekend she had invited me to spend a weekend at her college, she went to one of the many rural Liberal Arts schools and I the University of Minnesota. During this time she mostly ignored me, and would tell all who would listen that she was planning to go back to Japan as soon as she had graduated, which was at the end of the semester. The thing was, she had never told this to me, just made sure I was in earshot when she would tell anyone else. The indirectness was more insulting than just breaking up. So I did it.
    I was angry, which made recovery faster, or it would have had she not called crying just about everyday, saying that she was upset about the break up, and eventually I stopped answering. Spring Break came around, and one day she was at my apartment. After some talking we made up, saying I was worth more than Japan. So anyway, things got better from there and then one day she asked me to marry her.

    That was the much abbreviated story, if I think I’ll finish the rest and post it on a blog, but there you go.

    @Sam Ogden: See, more story involves puke too!

  67. Wow, seems like I’ve told this story a lot recently. At least if I do it online once, I can cut & paste.

    I first met Jennifer Connelly when she was filming “Inventing the Abbots,” when she came over to my van down by the river for a tongue bath and vigorous sinus massage. She said “I think I might be turning into a lesbian,” which was a bigger reason for concern in the 90s than it is now. “Only you can bring me back…”

    Oh, wait. I’m not cleared to tell that story yet. You guys need the official cover story. *sigh*

    Okay, MasalaSkeptic and I met online in 1994 in a Star Trek chat room on IRC.

    It wasn’t really a Star Trek chatroom as much as a splinter group of people who had been noticed as high-quality snark merchants on the main room. A few people founded their own room, and invited a few others. By the time I got there, MasalaSkeptic was already there (going by the IRC name “otl,” which was an abbreivation of “out to lunch,” but we started thinking of it as a separate word that rhymed with “bottle,” so “ottle” was born and still exists on the JREF forums.)

    We all got to be pretty close for online friends, which was still a bit of a new phenomenon in the mid 90s.

    In late 1995, I moved from Huntsville, AL, to Atlanta. In March 1996, I went to the CSICOP meeting in Buffalo. Maria was still in school in Pittsburgh, so she and her boyfriend (another member of our Trek snark faction, although he might be the least snarky person I’ve ever met) drove up to meet me and yet ANOTHER IRC buddy from Toronto, who came to the conference with me. Also at the conference: James Randi. I have known Randi as a flesh-n-blood human exactly one day longer than I have known Maria.

    Later that year, the weekend of Nov 22, I flew to Pittsburgh to visit Maria, the BF (Sir RarelySnark), and her other friends. I only know the date because it was opening day for “Star Trek: First Contact,” which is what we all did that first night. That same weekend, I tacitly convinced her to dump Sir RarelySnark. Which she did. She said “you have the sexiest thyroid gland I have ever seen.” Hmmmm…

    She got her Masters the following spring, I drove up for her graduation, then that same afternoon we packed her apartment into the back of my car and the next morning drove back to Atlanta. (FUN FACT: According to MapQuest, my apartment and her apartment were 666.0 miles away driving distance. I don’t believe in signs, really, but that is as close to one as I’ve ever seen.)

    About 8 months later, we had the first of our three weddings. This was a courthouse thing mainly meant to start the paperwork for her green card. The actual wedding was going to be another 8 months after that, one week after a Catholic blessing ceremony. So I’ve assumed that we would have to have three divorces if we ever split up, which is why I fully expect her to simply murder me in my sleep if we get to that point.

    More fun facts: My brother, upon meeting Maria the first time, immediately started asking her about her weird and gnarly gods, which is entirely in character for him. He saw brown skin and heard “Indian” and jumped right over the phrase “quickly lapsing Catholic.” When asked how her gods were different from his one God, she asked “What, you mean Mary? Well, she’s a woman.”

    More brother fun: He warned me that same weekend to be careful that she wasn’t just marrying me for a green card, despite all her claims to anyone who would listen that the green card actually was why she was marrying me. The hilarious part here was that my brother was about 18 months into his own wedding, to a lovely girl named Mitsuko who he met while he was stationed with the U.S. Navy in Japan. I don’t know how much Mitsuko wanted a green card, but between me and my U.S.-military brother, who had access to the most top-secret information?

    Anyway, in August, it’ll be 11 years from our third wedding. That’s the one we count from, because there was cake. After all this time, she finally knows all my secrets, although it took awhile. It was less than four years ago that I told her I was a technical writer by trade. I had allowed her to believe I was a piano player in a whorehouse, so this felt like a huge betrayal.

    And while I recommend to everyone that they marry a Skepchick, I didn’t have the option. I think Rebecca was about 16 at the time, and Maria was still a Catholic anyway. Happily, they both got over it.

  68. I interviewed her for a job.

    Umm… wait, maybe I should clarify. As the senior member of our team, I sat in with the supervisor on her interview so as to provide another opinion. The job was the same as mine, so we were on the same level. We were also with other people at the time. Over the next two years, we became close friends. Eventually, we split from our respective partners, she quit, and we got together in the span of about three months.

    But, short version: I interviewed her for a job.

    Bonus fact: I still have the notes I took during the interview.

  69. In the college IT dept, I was technically his boss. He disappeared towards the end of the school year, and I kept sending him stern emails asking for his weekly IT work reports. Our supervisor belatedly informed me he had left school early because his father suddenly passed away. So I sent apologetic emails. At the beginning of next school year, we met up again at the first frat party. He claims to remember nothing until finding me there the next morning.

    Later on, I got knocked up. We spawned a cutie, though, so now we’re a happy family.

  70. @JESherman: I was petting a neighbors siamese when Katt, a seal point siamese, came over, meowing sadly. There was 8″ of snow on the ground, and Katt clearly didn’t like it, stopping every 2nd step to shake each paw.

    Nobody knew where she came from, so we fed her and took her in until we could find her family. At first we put her out every night and when we went to school. This was always a huge struggle. Then we found out it was dropping to 30 below F every night, and the local dogs liked to kill cats. We also learned that someone driving by had simply thrown her out of the car into the snow.

    We never put her out again, and she was the most loving, loyal pet ever. She moved with us from Ft Defiance to Mesa, San Diego, and Puerto Rico, and lived to the ripe old age of 22.

  71. I enjoyed this thread so much that I finally signed up so I could leave a comment… so here it is…

    I was randomly poking around the Internet late one night, and somehow ended up on a webpage where this girl had written about obscure kids TV shows from her youth. Many of these shows were also favorites of mine — particularly a bizarre late 70s show called “Vegetable Soup,” which hardly anyone I knew seemed to remember. (It was an educational series about racial diversity, and featured some freaky puppets and animation, including Bette Midler as a talking spoon…)

    So I sent her an email, and we exchanged a couple of messages about “Vegetable Soup.” Seemed like a cool girl… but the conversation had run its course, and I didn’t want to be a creepy guy on the Internet, so things ended there…

    … until about a year later, when I discovered that some cable channel was actually showing “Vegetable Soup” again! This gave me an excuse to write to her again, so I did. And this time, we kept writing. After a couple of months, she came to see my band perform. And she gave me a box of vegetable soup mix.

    That was almost ten years ago, and we’ve been married for almost four years now. And we still love goofy 70s kids shows; just finished a Super-Friends DVD…

  72. I met her when I was Dungeon Master for a competitive D&D game at a local convention, and she was a competitor.
    Her team won, if I recall correctly.
    Later on we met again at a friend’s party, then started playing the same tabletop RPG. With a loose connection to the Muppets in the game, she discovered that I’d never seen the movies, and invited me over to see the first one.
    When I arrived, I discovered three things:
    1) I was the only other one there.
    2) She was interested in me.
    3) This was our first date.
    22 hours later I left for another date (where I apparently talked about her, mostly), and then came back. It’s now over 13 years together and 10 years of marriage, and I haven’t left again yet.

  73. @SicPreFix: Thanks. I appreciate the sentiment, especially as unpleasant things presented in funny ways are something I’m endlessly fascinated with, and try to share. I’m happy they’re well received.

    Being a little fond of the whiskey, I’m also happy Skepchick’s comment section has a spell checker.

  74. I was the brewmaster at a local brewpub and every time a new crew of servers/barstaff were hired, I spent an afternoon giving them a brewery tour, showing them how beer is made, and then we’d sit at the upstairs bar and do a tasting of all of my beers (I would go into great, boring detail about the style of beer, it’s origins, it’s defining flavor characteristics, and everything). Usually by the end each spiel the new staff were mind-numbed by the overwhelming info on what they thought was “just beer”. One particular training class brought a dark eyed beauty, who was way out of my league and way to young for me. She made lots of eye contact and paid very close attention to the processes and the beer style descriptions. She even asked insightful questions that filled my stomach with butterflies. Three weeks later we were dating, and now she is my wife of six years and soon to be the mother of my first child.
    How’s that?

  75. @w_nightshade: I read it. ;) I love the “debating holding his hand” moment I shared with my current husband forever ago.

    We were laying on his living room floor, watching Eddie Izzard (hooray, introducing people to Eddie!!). I was laying between him and my then-boyfriend, Creepy. (Hooray, love triangles!). The backs of our hands were barely touching and I wanted to hold his soooooo bad. I honestly don’t remember if I stretched out my pinky first or if he did, but we ended up holding hands. So awkward and awesome all at the same time.

  76. I met Girl through

    Her profile picture was awful, basically a girl in a green knit hat bundled completely up against the cold. She thought I looked like an uptight suit with no sense of humor. But we gave each other a shot because that’s what you do on eHarmony.

    On our first date, she won my heart in two ways. First, the punchline of her first story was “and he said, ‘we’re not talking about the literature, we’re talking about common sense!'”, and second, she turned to me while I was running on about something and said “Oh, that’s such bullshit. Really, just get over yourself.”

    Girl maintains that she only moved in with me because someone had to take better care of my dog. I maintain that I only moved in with her because I needed someone to balance my checkbook. We’ve got two kids, I wear that green knit hat all winter, and Dog has never been happier.

    As the hat says, Life is Good.

  77. We met while we were both in the Air Force, stationed in Australia. She was my crew commander, and as some of you may know it’s a big no-no for officers and enlisted to mingle.

    My friends took me to Adelaide for a going away weekend about two weeks before I left, and she showed up. I asked her to dance, and while we were dancing I planted one on her. We spent my remaining time in Australia together as much as possible and were married the following year, and it’s now been ten years as of this past April.

    She told me later that she had spent her entire tour avoiding all of us enlisted guys, and me in particular, and only showed up at my going away because she figured it was “safe” since I was leaving. Ha!

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