It was a chilly November night in Birmingham, Alabama. We had been following each other for a few weeks and it was time to come face to face. As I sat at the bar with friends, laughing at the quip our bartender had just shared, movement across the street caught my eye through the restaurant’s front window. There he was. I recognized him from his picture and our chance encounter a week earlier. He waited patiently for the signal and sauntered across the street seemingly without a care in the world. As he stepped through the door, his electric eyes caught mine and I was bitten.
That’s the way I like to tell the story of meeting my husband on Twitter. That’s right, Twitter. I remember the days when it was taboo to meet someone online for the possibility of a date. It’s still not as widely accepted as meeting someone at a party, in a bar, church, or other natural setting, but it’s far more common than 10 years ago. Granted, we always have to be careful about who we talk to and especially who we meet, but there are some good safety tips out there to help you when you cross that bridge.
I used numerous online dating sites throughout my single years. I’ve never been one to shy away from technology and tended to throw caution to the wind whenever it came to making new friends. That’s not always the smart thing to do, but it afforded me a lot of experience figuring out what does and doesn’t work online. You wouldn’t believe how “careful” I have been over the years, setting up fake email addresses, never using my real name, fibbing about my age a bit, and never putting my true zip code. All of these things were safety precautions I took to ensure that if I did meet someone who started stalking me online, they wouldn’t get very far.
As I matured, I surrounded myself with people and places that were well populated and lit so I could relax a little bit when meeting an online friend IRL (“in real life” for those of you new to the language). So when I first spotted Daniel’s Twitter profile on a mutual friend’s timeline, I was immediately intrigued. The bright red fez on his head struck a humorous chord with me and I had to find out more, even though his profile picture was oh-so-small. Click. “Follow.” I am following Fez Boy on Twitter. Now we sit back and watch. Ding! He followed me back. Ack! What? What do I say now? What do I do? How do I get to know him better AND impress him from afar via Twitter?
We spent the next few days interacting a little on Twitter, but mostly continued messaging with our other friends. That week, I attended a local improv comedy show with a friend. I noticed a guy sitting by himself at the table behind us, in the corner. Hmmm, creeper. (That was my go-to line back then for anyone sitting by themselves in a corner at a show. I was horrible!) During intermission, I went to the bar to get a drink. Creeper was in line behind me. I didn’t notice him until I got my drink and walked around the side of the bar to talk to friends. Wow, Creeper is kind of cute. I would totally go out on a date with him. Do I go introduce myself? Not being the shy type AT ALL, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it for some reason. I was suddenly painfully unsure of myself. What? Who is this girl? Creeper got his drink and walked back inside to watch the rest of the show. Drats! As the show resumed I kept a discreet eye on Creeper without being obvious. He’s got a great smile. I snuck another glance at the end of the show and POOF! He was gone. Noooooooooooooo!
The next day Fez Boy (Remember him? From Twitter?) mentioned online the improv show he attended last night. What? Could it be? No way! I asked Fez Boy where he was sitting. He said in the back. I asked if it was the back right corner at a table by himself? Now who’s the creeper, Sherri? He confirmed my guess – CREEPER IS FEZ BOY! I was thisclose to him the night before and chickened out. I can’t believe it. But I was also giddy that we have the same taste and glad I found him to be very cute in person.
This is a sign. I must meet him now. I planned a casual group dinner at a favorite local restaurant for anyone that wanted to come and put out the call on Twitter. I made sure Mutual Friend was able to come and crossed my fingers that Fez Boy would make an appearance. He came. He crossed the street, came into the restaurant, and I fell instantly.
Twitter is a great tool for professional and personal networking. It’s easy to find like-minded people for social events, causes, business referrals, references, and everything in between. And you might even find your soul mate on there like I did. Looking for love for love? I’ve got an app for that.