Michael and I met on Etsy.com, where we both are sellers. It was June of 2006 and I was browsing the Etsy forums. I saw this crazy little pickle avatar with some really snarky comment posted next to it. I did a bit of snooping around online, trying to figure out just who this new person was. I found that he had blogged about one of my mamadelic bags a day or two before. I took this as a sign. I had to know more about him! I checked out his shop tinymeat. I was intrigued, I LOVED what he was making. So over the next week or so, I watched the forums to see if he was around and always made a point to comment on his posts. We’d banter back and forth. I felt a connection, but had still never really talked to him, so had no idea if he was feeling it too.
Eventually I mustered up the courage to ask him to meet me in the chat room under the guise of asking business related questions. We talked for hours … and not about business. We sent each other links to our pictures in Flickr. Oh boy. I though he was HOT! He thought I was too, good thing! I couldn’t stop thinking about him for days after that chat. I even ordered something from his shop, just so I could have something to hold that he had touched. (I bought this wallet in case you are wondering 😉
After a few days, we started chatting on instant messenger and then on the phone. Eventually we got to the point where we were both so overwhelmed by the feelings between us that we HAD to meet. I had already planned a trip to NYC (this was in September) and Michael decided to fly down to the city to meet me in person.
I arrived in NYC a few days before Michael. On the day he arrived, he went to his hotel to check in, then came over to the Jacob Javitz Center where I was working at a trade show. He called me to say he was there and I rode up the escalator to the entry. I saw him across a very long room, leaning against a coffee stand. He was so far away from me but I could tell immediately that he was the ONE. I started the long walk over to him. It was very uncomfortable for me. I was crazy nervous and felt like I was on display. I just knew I would trip and fall or something. But I didn’t. I made it over to him and he bent down and hugged me. He was so much taller than I had imagined. I mean, he told me how tall he was, but until you are face to face it’s hard to understand the difference between 5’3 and 6’8.
He was just as he was in the pictures he’d sent me, big and tall and handsome with striking blue-grey eyes. We spent about 10 minutes in awkward discomfort. We tried to make small talk, but it was weird. The fact that I had completely lost my voice the day before and could barely manage a squeak did not help. I finally asked him if we could go out for a walk.
We left the Javitz and started walking into midtown. We spotted a coffee shop and I asked him if he wanted to get a drink. I had tea to help my throat. We sat at a table by a window and started talking. Things seemed to flow much better for us now. It was so surreal to be sitting across from the man I had been talking to online all these months. And in Manhattan of all places, how romantic! Michael made a few phone calls to some friends that we had plans to meet later that night. At some point, the reality of it all sort of overtook me and I reached out and grabbed his hand. I think I squeezed it tight, and maybe kissed it. He told me later that he fell in love with me right then. I told him later that I had already been in love with him for a long time.
That night we went out to dinner with our friends Emily Martin aka theblackapple and KateBlack. We ate at this crazy Japanese place in the East Village. We feasted on takoyaki and bull penis, mmmm. After our meal, we spun our own cotton candy. Emily headed home to watch Project Runway and Kate took us to a bar for drinks. We had a great time with them both. Once we left the bar at 1am, I realized that I did not have a key for my hotel room and could not possibly wake my boss so late at night to get it. I asked Michael if I could stay with him. He said yes of course!
I think I told Michael that I loved him that night. I’d never felt so intensely for anyone. I wanted to crawl inside of him and live there forever, as the same person. I still feel that way. The next morning we went to my hotel and moved all of my things out and over to his. We spent the next 2 days together exploring the city and loving each other. Honestly I think that the way we met and grew our relationship was the best. We got to know each other on an emotional and intellectual level before bringing anything physical into the equation.
The day we left New York, we road in a cab together to the airport. We were quiet and I think a bit sad. I cried as he got on his plane. I had no idea what the future would hold for us or how we’d manage to be together. We spent the next few months flying back and forth to Miami and New York. Finally we saved up enough money and Michael moved down to Miami to be with me. As soon he moved in we began our plan to move to Portland Oregon together. We’ve now been living in Portland for 7 months and could not be happier. We’ve been able to really expand our business since moving here. I feel like with the 2 of us working full time, we can bring it to the next level. We are getting ready to open a retail store in the front of our office and have hired a full time employee. Life together has not been without its challenges, but all in all, it’s been great! Thanks to Etsy for bringing Michael and I together!