Friday, May 04, 2007

Online Dating, Circa 1994

Leah suggested this would make a funny topic for a blog post following a conversation this morning, and I agreed. So here we go.

The Internet, 1994. A place I connected to with a 14.4 modem plugged into my Packard Bell 386 with a 127MB hard drive. I had a 5.25 floppy and games to play with it (still do, somewhere.)

Actually I wasn't dialing into the Internet yet. That wouldn't come until 1996 or 1997. I was dialing into BBSes.

For those who don't remember, a BBS was basically the equivalent of a local website. Many of them offered a game or two, some email functionality, and newsgroups if they were sophisticated. They were run out of guys' homes (or businesses) with dedicated computer(s) and phone lines. The big ones in New York might have 20 or more computers networked together, on 20 phone lines; the biggest I ever dialed into had three connections, one of which was only 1200 baud.

While playing a game on one such BBS, I met a girl who attended a local high school. Not my school, so I'd never met her. Had no idea what she looked like, and aside from our common interests of liking BBSes and Legend of the Red Dragon, I knew next to nothing about her. Being a teenager and thinking myself somewhat suave, I got her number, called her a few times (she had a nice voice), and asked her out. And she agreed.

We saw a movie, met up for pizza a couple of times, and soon had to stop seeing each other since her dad was being transferred to another city (ah, the problems of youth.) And, as it turned out, so was my dad, so there you go. We both knew that going in, and both agreed to just enjoy whatever happened in those couple of months as it happened. Remarkably mature considering I was 16 at the time.

So that's my tale of Internet dating. I was doing it before it was cool, and frankly I would consider that experience far more positive than many of the stories I hear from my friends about it. So I guess you could say I retired undefeated from my career at Internet dating, found myself an awesome woman, and the rest is history.

I'd call that a win.

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