Posted by: illinigirl | September 20, 2008

She opens her heart to an old memory. She closes her eyes, and she smiles. . .

I’m totally on an old school Blackhawk kick right now.  Wait, maybe all Blackhawk is old school?  😉

This topic is long overdue.  I’ve told a few of you that I would cover this topic because it’s pretty funny. . . (or it least it was if you were a friend along for the ride).

I affectionately refer to all the boys I’ve met online as “internet boyfriends” (when in realiity none of them were “boyfriends”. . . just friends that are boys). . .

No, no. . . I’m not talking about online dating here. . . this is *old school*, my friends.  This was internet chat rooms.

So, my freshman year, my college roommate was always chatting online.  I never really got into it and didn’t try it. . . Then, my sophomore year, when I was home for Christmas break. . . I was extremely bored, and I was snowed in at my parents’ house for multiple days.  Love my parents, but being snowed in was BORING.  I was playing online and decided to give chatting a whirl.  Who knew that it was so flipping addictive?  Also, who knew that it would lead to me meeting a few of my best friends?

(I will only focus on the people I’ve actually met through the chat rooms. . . now, let me say that I actually was pretty safe in terms of the people I met. . . you will see how.)

My name was one that tipped you off as to where I went to school. . . so I would get some people messaging me from my school or from people that wanted to give me a hard time about where I went to school. . .

J messaged me one night. . . and we figured out that we had a class together the past semester (HUGE lecture so not like I would know who he was). We chatted for several hours. . . than several more hours. . . and several more hours during this snowy break.  Because of who he was, I was able to look him up online and confirm his identity. . . so I wrote him back with my school email address once I knew he was the real deal and not a 52 year old sex offender or something.  So fast forward to New Year’s Eve. . . we were able to actually get out of the house in the snow!  Kim and I were going to be out at the same bar he was. . . so I got to meet him (for approximately 1 minute!).  We chatted a few times when we got back to school, and we started hanging out in real life in March (?).  We never dated or anything, but it’s amazing how close we became through chatting and emailing.  I still feel like I can tell him pretty much anything. . . and I think he feels the same.  I haven’t seen him lately in real life because our lives are not conducive to seeing each other. . . but we write each other all the time. . . probably at least once a week and sometimes every day.  He’s been remarkably good at keeping in touch!  🙂  Yes, I’m impressed!  Although we are different as can be in so many ways. . . he’s been a really good friend.  Love ya, bud!  😉

That brings us to another friend. . . I met him shortly after J.  It’s funny because I met him independent of J, yet they became friends.  It’s a strange coincidence that is “my life”. . . It also isn’t such a coincidence and makes sense if you knew more about them, but I won’t share those details here.

So, I met D online sometime after I met J.  D was going to school elsewhere and not from my town. . . but somehow we found a really random connection in that I knew some of his relatives.  We chatted a few times, and then I didn’t chat with him for at least six months. . . Then one summer, I found out that he was transferring to my college.  I did a search online and found his email address (yes, I’m a stalker).  I emailed him to congratulate him and told him he should be friends with J, and that was that. . . I didn’t talk to him once we were in school, but I knew J and D had become friends.  One night at a bar when we were back at school, I ran into J and got to meet D!  It was so fun finally meeting him!  The sad thing is. . . I ran into him a few times at school and we chatted during breaks and stuff, but we NEVER hung out!  It’s so crazy. . . Luckily, after school, we both lived in St. Louis for a while and got to hang out many times.  Great guy.  He emailed me just last week and we talk occasionally. 

Then. . . there’s W.  W was from out of state.  I might have not started chatting with him until a Thanksgiving or Christmas break during my senior year.  Not sure.  We chatted online for HOURS and HOURS and HOURS when I was home.  I had so much fun talking to him.  Finally, after a million hours online, I gave him my phone number at school. . . and of course, the first time he calls me is at like 2:00 a.m. the night before classes started back up. . . and probably with some liquid courage!  🙂  I talked to him for an hour or so and had a blast. . . and then started the ritual of talking to him pretty much every weekend.

One night, while sitting around a bar during the summer after my senior year, my roommate Jess says, “Why don’t we go meet W next weekend?”

The next weekend, the two of us drove ~5 hours to meet this guy. (Yes, Jess accompanied me in case he was a serial killer.  What a great friend she is!  🙂  We had so much fun!  W was exactly the guy I thought he was (Which was not a surprise, as I’d spent so much time with him online and on the phone that I really got to know him). . . Jess and I got a tour of campus (or at least the campus bars) on Saturday.  On Sunday, he met up with us again and showed us more stuff around campus.  It was really fun to see into his world.  We didn’t talk much after that.  I really didn’t chat in grad school, and W was busy with things as well.  We did randomly chat one night in grad school though.  I was so excited to see his name on the screen and catch up. . . and he ended up driving to see me that very weekend.

Okay, now enter S. . . S was W’s good friend who also chatted.  I didn’t meet him when I went to meet W because he was out of town that weekend. . . but we had chatted and talked to him on the phone a few times by nature of him being W’s friend.  He was a fun guy.  I was in St. Louis during grad school for an internship, and S talked me into driving to their town for a party that summer.  I went and stayed at S’s house (yes, probably not intelligent, seeing as I’d never met him before. . . but it was all good because S was a really good guy.  I slept in his bed, and he slept on the couch.  He didn’t kill me, etc.)

So, I started this blog entry. . . and a combination of starting this entry an watching W’s football team play made me courious again about how he was doing.  I hate losing touch with people. . . There’s really no excuse for losing touch with people you care about!

I ended up looking up W on one of my online networking sites a few weeks ago and found him!  It’s so exciting to trade emails with him again and get caught up on the five years that we’ve missed.  He also gave me an update on S, who seems to be doing very well.  It totally made my week to hear back from him, and I hope we stay in touch!

So. . . as you can see, I’ve been an internet nerd for as long as the internet has existed.  Yeah, yeah. . . make fun if you will. . . BUT. . . My life has been changed for the better by all the amazing people I’ve “met” online whether it was in real life or not. . . and yes, that includes some of YOU!

(P.S.–I know that this is a LONG post, and it would make it so exciting to have pictures. . . however, I’m not going to splash pictures on the internet of my internet boyfriends out of respect to them.  Anyone else is fair game.  🙂 )

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Responses

  1. that’s what i was always afraid of…that they would be some old pervert.

  2. Hah, you can meet TONS of good people on teh interwebz. 😉

    Hey where’s the ranch dressing entry!?! Thought you were doing a new one?

  3. Of course, gw! You belong in this category! (although not the “internet boyfriend” category!)

    The new entry is up. . . Sunday is my intense “phone talking” day. . . so it was delayed. 🙂

  4. OH, kcjayhawk. . . you totally reminded me that I need to do a PSA.

    GIRLS, DON’T DO THIS!!! I know online dating is popular, but I don’t recommend meeting random guys on the internet from afar and going to meet them.

    The guys I met were really good guys, but I had enough details to confirm this before I gave them any info about me.

    I can’t tell you about how I knew who J was without giving away info about him. . . but I had a way of getting more info about him before meeting him.

    With D–I knew some of his relatives and never actually went to meet him. . . met him through J.

    With W–I really didn’t know much about him other than what I knew from a million hours on the phone, BUT a friend drove with me to go see him, and we hung out in public places.

    With S–Well, this one was kinda dumb (as I knew him the least out of these boys) but he was one of W’s best friends, and I’d talked to him a decent amount. . . so I was fairly confident he was a good guy.

    It worked out for me. . . BUT I was SUPER careful.

  5. It is true that you spent hours on the computer that week/year, because I spent days waiting to get on the computer. I’ll like to do a PSA about sharing the household computer or hanging out with younger siblings that are also snowed in and bored. Thanks for nothing!

  6. Hmmm.
    Let me refer you to the following quote…
    “and not a 52 year sex offender or something.” While I totally concur with your concern about sex offenders, you make being 52 sound like it’s almost as bad as being a sex offender! I object!!

    BTW…Happy Birthday!!

  7. Pat, the age was completely arbitrary! 🙂 I know sex offenders come in all ages and sizes!

    Sister–You had your own little chatting obsession with a certain dog sledder. . . and most of my chatting occurred between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. . . . and yes, some other times. . .


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