Look at that, look at this/ Drop a stone in the abyss/ and walk away and know/ that anything can happen
--Paul Simon, "Look At That", You're the One
I used to be the biggest advocate against net.relationships. They rarely worked out, and when the relationship splintered to smithereens, as it inevitably would, it would affect others, and nobody would be happy. The odds were that it didn't work out, so why even bother trying? Even as I watched an old high school friend marry a guy that she'd met over AIM, I still wasn't convinced. The skeptic in me still pointed out that while I had two examples of net.relationships working out, I had so many more that just didn't.
Fast forward to May of last year. Another net.relationship was proceeding quickly to the blow apart stage in channel. I'd just been through an unplesant experience with a guy who claimed that he loved me, and had yet another email from him trying to explain that he wasn't all wrong. And when I was trying to deal with this, one of my two best friends, Zibby, asked if he might be able to help me formulate a final response to the guy who was harrassing me. And he did.
That was probably the moment what I'm about to type all became inevitable, although I didn't realize it until much much later. :) Anyway, this last summer was a complete and utter mess, for one explosion after another, and in time, friends get drove together. Somehow, my friends and I got driven through the fire, and when the flames had calmed down enough for folks to evaluate what had happened, I found myself much closer to a few people than I've ever expected to be.
Let me be straight and flatly honest here. I am an intensely private person. There are things I don't share, places I do *not* let people go. So you can imagine how much it was to my surprise to find that the tempering process had brought one person entirely too close to that inner core. But as iron alloys and becomes stronger when it is put to the flame, so too did my relationship with this friend.
Add in the fact that I was taking a human behaviour class at the time, and we talked about aspects of a human's life, including love...and I started to realize what was on my hands. But net.relationships never work out, and I was hesitant to even think of it this way. Because simply, I didn't want to rock the boat. So October progressed into November, and November to December, and thus do we make it to Christmas.
The two of us had exchanged Christmas presents, and I'd brought his book to Christmas with my dad's family. My cousin spied the book I was reading, noted it was about Canadian politics (not normally something an American would be reading) and asked who gave it to me. And I explained that my best friend lived in Halifax, and he thought it was fitting. She grinned, and asked if he was my boyfriend. And I said, somewhat prophetically, "Not yet."
Which brings us to Epiphany. Now, I know, there's a day on the calendar that's called Epiphany, it's January 6th, but...December 29th, early in the morning, will always have that name for me. Things had gone completely, utterly, and horribly wrong that day, and Zibby had offered to call. So he called, and let me cry long distance, and somewhere in that conversation, I utterly broke. And...instead of being scared, he stood there, took the full onslaught of my emotions, and caught me. And it was at that point we realized that we might as well quit lying to ourselves about how we felt.
We still didn't give each other the title of net.relationship, because we weren't completely sure what had happened, but then another crisis happened, and we rode that out together, and...well, it's been official ever since.
And Friday marked the two month anniversary of when I entered a net.relationship, thus making myself a complete and utter Grade A hypocrite. And you know, I don't care. :) I'm in a relationship, I'll scream it from the mountaintops.
I love you, Patrick (who is better known in the LJ world as zibblsnrt