The Octagon Bar: I Want a U2 fan Boyfriend / Girlfriend - Page 19 - U2 Feedback

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Old 04-08-2005, 01:54 PM   #271
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i was confused at ewen's post

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back in 82....
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Old 04-08-2005, 01:58 PM   #272
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Originally posted by U2Girl1978
nm...being too nosy...
Nah! We love to tell our story... Here is how I wrote it up in my diary... Sorry for the length It probably contains too much information, but you can choose to not read it. The diary entry + pictures are on my website in the diary section for March. Thanks for asking!

Yep, it's official Tara and I are getting married. I proposed on Friday, February 11th at approximately 4:25 PM EST inside Dulles Airport in Virginia. We’ll be getting married in Oregon on July 16th, 2005 at 1:00 PM.
It all started for me on July 2, 2004 when I was trying to get information on the new U2 album. I signed up on this U2 website for information about the completion of the album, but it wasn’t until September that I made my first post on Interference. A month later, on October 20th, 2004, I started a thread called "I'm single" which asked the question of whether or not any couples had met because of their U2 love. I posted it in a section called Zoo Confessionals, and it was moved to the most popular section Everything You Know Is Wrong, which gave it a lot of exposure. Before I knew it, people were telling stories about meeting that special someone, and then inquisitive singles began to pour in. "I want a U2 fan boyfriend!" and "I want a U2 fan girlfriend!" became a common refrain. Before long we began sharing pictures and musing about how cool it would be to have someone who shares our addiction. Two days later she walked into my life...
She spent much of her time in PLEBA, (Paul, Larry, Edge, Bono, Adam), a place I seldom venture into because it's scary! It's inhabited by women who would put those screaming Beatles fans of yesteryear to shame! She rarely left that section because the arguments in other parts of the site can become quite contentious. One of her friends in PLEBA, invited her to the "I'm Single" thread because the humor was fast and loose and people were beginning to post pictures of themselves. Tara wasn't “technically” single. She was in a two and a half year relationship with a man who went away to college to make something of himself. She was miserable and spent a great deal of time interacting with the ladies in PLEBA, because she missed having her best friend around and for a time he was quite uncommunicative in his new world. As he let her drift away, she walked into the "I'm single" thread and she took notice of me right away. But we were only flirting...
The single thread turned into discussions of the Octagon Bar which resides in the basement of the Clarence Hotel an establishment owned by Bono & The Edge of U2. It's located in Dublin, Ireland. To make people feel welcome, I began serving virtual drinks to the customers who came in and before long we had a steady group of regulars who made this bar their Cheers. People would come in from all over the world in different time zones to talk about their problems or to dance to the mythological juke box. To this date there have been over 12000 posts to the various threads created about the Octagon Bar, and I was the bartender. Every day that Tara could get near a computer she would stop into the bar and play the role of the crazy bar chick. She was someone who would hop on the bar and dance or slide across the hardwood floor a la Footloose. Her writing was always entertaining to me and she would frequently enter and ask where the bartender was. On November 3rd she sent me my first Private Message (the threads are open to the public, Private Messages are like emails) with some fragments of lyrics and poetry that she had written. The attraction was definitely there, but what to do with it? She was only half-single...

Four days passed and we exchanged many Private Messages and talked in the bar and then she surprised me by giving me her cell phone number. I was tentative about calling her; she was only 18! When I was 18, I didn't like 18 year olds, I didn't like them when I was 20, 25 or 28, so what made this one different? I was intrigued. I didn't know what I was going to do if she acted 18 on the phone. I didn't have much of an exit strategy, but something drew me closer and I agreed to call when I was down in Tampa for business. I rung her phone on Tuesday, November 9th and heard her voice for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised that this wild bar chick was remarkably level-headed, smart and easy as hell to talk to. We talked for over 4 hours and we were both amazed at how well it went. I even discovered that she was left-handed. I laughed nervously as I explained to her that I was supposed to marry a lefty since everyone in my family has married a lefty. My Mom is married to a lefty, my sister is married to a lefty, and my brother is married to a lefty. And up to that point, I couldn't remember having ever dated a lefty, besides, she had a boyfriend...
For the next week our conversations picked up, our flirtation was constant, but I was still a friend and learning about her life. I discovered a few details about her boyfriend and even gave her some advice. But even as I was trying to be a friend, I knew I wanted him gone and I suspected that he wasn’t the one for her, but I surprised even myself when I got angry at another guy in the Octagon bar because he was flirting with her. My feelings had risen to the surface and I admitted to him that I wanted to marry this girl. It was a strange revelation when you’ve only known someone for 25 days! Our relationship continued to deepen, but there was a hurdle on the horizon. She had plane tickets to see him in Phoenix. I told myself that I shouldn’t expect to hear from her and that this relationship was probably temporary and that I just needed to wait until she figured out that I was the one for her…
She couldn’t stay away. She called me and sent me text messages every day that she was out there. She even wrote me on the plane ride home. Her boyfriend in Phoenix was losing hold of her, but not fast enough for my taste. She was still divided against her self and sought to fill me in on how she was feeling about all of this. I didn’t want to hear good news about their relationship, but it was a fact that she still loved him. You can’t forget someone in a month, especially when the competitor isn’t any more real than the words on this page…

That Tuesday the new U2 album came out with great anticipation. I had gone to the Midnight sale at Tower Records and was completely exhausted the next day. That day we exchanged a few messages, one of which told me that she had a measure of love for me, but couldn’t fall love with me unless we were friends in close proximity to one another. That was encouraging, but the follow up message was less so. She told me the real reason why he had left. He left so that they could have a good life together. At that moment I felt awful and felt that it wasn’t right to compete against a man who was clearly doing the right thing. In my tired state, I jumped to the conclusion that it was over and I even told one of my friends that it was over. But then a little voice from inside (or above) told me to continue pursuing her. It told me to ignore what she had to say right now, that I just need to be myself and make myself known to her. Don’t clam up, don’t be defensive, just show her my heart. As I was digesting these thoughts, my phone vibrated to tell me that I had a text message. There is only one person who sends me text messages…
We continued to exchange letters and text messages and phone calls all the way until I left for Alaska. It was November 29th and she made me call her when I arrived in Alaska just to make sure that I was safe. Our friendship was transforming in front of our eyes. As I hop scotched from one time zone to another, she left for Hawaii and leaped to the west of me once again. I had survived her Phoenix trip feeling pretty good about our possible future, but I was still wary of the next impediment. Her boyfriend was going to be home when she returned from Hawaii. I decided that it would be a good idea to send her mail so that she would have that to help her forget her boyfriend. As I traveled around in Alaska and then Colorado we kept in touch via phone. Meanwhile, I sent her 10 separate pieces of mail to keep her occupied when she arrived home. There were postcards, letters and a box of chocolates that included the letter U and Z. They didn’t have a 2, so I improvised. I thought it would be cute and memorable. While I was in Colorado our conversations were getting more intimate, more oriented toward a future and more revealing of the deficiencies of the relationship that she was currently in. I became convinced that they weren’t meant for each other. Everything was going along great until she began to feel guilty…
I could feel her pulling away a little, not participating when I brought up how wonderful it would be when we… fill in the blank. This started about 3 days before she returned home. She was beginning to feel guilty for the conversations she was having with me. She had a boyfriend and she loved him and he was coming home to visit and she was looking forward to it. Sadly, when she arrived home, he didn’t seem to miss her the same way that she missed him. Alas, for our poor hero, she didn’t let that disappointment stop her and proceeded to fall back into the old life with him. I held onto my seat and tried to kill time. I slept on the couch restlessly knowing that the dearth of information I was getting from her could only be a bad thing. On December 20th she wrote me describing her weekend and her feelings. I thought it was over…
I woke up that morning from the couch and my heart caught in my throat as I read her Private Message telling me that she couldn’t imagine life without him in it, nor for that matter could she imagine life without me. She also thought it was a bad idea for me to visit with the wrong impression about things. I was angry, I was hurt and my walls were crumbling under me. I decided to write her back immediately and I was angry. I then did something that was uncharacteristic of me. I wrote a 4 page reply without reading what I had written and not editing it for content or clarity. I didn’t even know where I was going with it. I started with my anger and my intention was to close the door and walk away until she changed her mind, but as I was writing, I saw some light under the door and my heart wasn’t ready to give up on her. I sent off my emotional screed to her, in which I told her how I felt, and why I was good for her and he wasn’t. I felt better after having written it, but I was still angry, and wasn’t about to forget what just transpired. I didn’t want to be a fool…
Like all good women, she disarmed me immediately, without realizing that she was doing so. Before she even read my response, she sent me a text message asking if I was doing ok, since she knew that what she wrote would hurt me and was still concerned about me. Soon after she was at the library and received my response. It broke her. She sat in the library with her head in hands crying, and repeating "What have I done?" She decided that she couldn't hurt me again, and her heart was inclined toward me, even as she had difficultly in calling the old relationship dead. That night we chatted via Yahoo and it was even more animated that it had been previously, it was as if I had broken up with her and she was trying to win me back. That night I wrote another letter to her in which I made 3 arguments that I felt were important to discuss. One of them was titled “If we can’t be lovers, then we can’t be friends”. I knew that we had passed beyond the place where we could revert to friends. And I renewed the idea of meeting one another, even if we were to only meet as friends. I felt that we had reached the end of what was possible from a distance. We needed to stand in front of one another and determine if this was real or an illusion, because as long as I was out there as this mythical internet figure, it was easy to make more of me than I really am. I was also undermining her current relationship, so the only solution I had was for us to meet…
She tentatively agreed and we decided that January 7th would be the date for me to arrive. I quickly made my plane reservations and as we counted down the days we were getting closer and closer to one another. The anticipation was building and I kept hoping that she would break up with him, but she didn't. There was a benefit to that though, having him there caused us to slow down just enough to make those first hours meaningful as we discovered that the attraction was there even if we couldn’t do anything about it. I’ll never forget the first time I saw her. I called her from the plane and she told me that she was standing by a pillar. As I left security I saw her from at least 50 yards out, she was absent-mindedly looking up and around and I saw the red and black T-shirt with Ziggy Stardust on it. Her hair was dark and wild and she was tan from her trip to Hawaii. I quickened my pace to meet her, dropped my bag about 10 feet from her and swept her up into my arms hugging her tightly while I spun her around. She was trembling. And she was holding tightly onto me and we stood like that while I attempted to reassure her that everything was going to be alright. It was a strange and magical reaction, and an unbelievable feeling. I also must mention that her blood-sugar was low, so that probably contributed to her shaking, but it was still a great feeling to be greeted with such emotion…
It didn’t take long for her to decide that her old relationship was over and this is what she wanted. I was real, not an illusion and we immediately fit together like hand in glove. I had never felt so comfortable spending time with a woman with whom I had a romantic interest in. Typically I would be much more nervous, or would spend far too much of my energy trying to impress or entertain her. There was little of that awkwardness when I was with her, just a pervading sense of wellness. It felt right and it didn’t take long before we began to discuss making each other permanent fixtures in our lives. We spent Saturday in Portland doing record shopping. It was a wonderful day to spend with a friend driving around trying to find unique U2 items. Now that we had met, we quickly determined that we could do nothing more without meeting her parents. We had dinner reservations for Monday evening...
I went to church with her on Sunday and we spent the day together. I liked her church and was pleased to discover that her church and my church were not altogether different. She played Bass during the service, and it was a treat to see her up there. That evening we watched “Say Anything” together and within 15 minutes she was laughing at the similarities between Lloyd Dobler and myself; particularly in reference to that “nervous talking thing” that she finds so cute. She had to work the next morning and I popped in to enjoy the coffee and the atmosphere of this quaint seaside coffee shop. We headed to Salem to find a new cell phone for me. I had dunked it in a toilet on Saturday and needed a replacement. Our trip was a lot of fun. By this time we knew that we wanted to be together forever and we ended up sitting on some comfortable leather couches in Costco while we watched the world go by. We discussed our future as we cuddled in a warehouse far away. In a few short hours, I was to be introduced to her parents for the first time…
Her father picked a seaside restaurant so that I could enjoy the view of the ocean. I was introduced as Tim her U2 friend who happened to be in the area. I knew her parents weren’t dumb, but since there was no official declaration of my role, an awkward undercurrent was clearly in the room, but no one was willing to break through it and get honest. To my chagrin, the first half of our conversation was theology. I wanted to sell myself, but instead we dialogued about theology. In retrospect it probably spoke better of me than anything that I could have said about me. They seemed to enjoy my company, but we still hadn’t discussed US…
We took separate cars back home, and immediately after starting the car, Tara told me that her Mom had pulled her aside and told her that I was a keeper. She also told her not to screw it up. High praise indeed! She was bouncing in her seat with excitement and said, “Should I hug you or kiss you in front of them?” I quickly realized that she wanted me to have the “Dad” talk. So I asked her “Do you want me to talk to your Dad?” I have never had the “Dad” talk before, and I hadn’t really prepared anything, but upon returning to her house, I quickly got to the point with him and we began to discuss her future. He was a little alarmed because she was still officially dating someone else…
The next day, I left for home and she started closing doors in her life. The first was to clean up the ex-boyfriend. No one from the outside really understood that she had been drifting away from him for some time. The latter half of their relationship was marked by distrust, lack of communication, and a lack of mutual self-respect. In the end it doesn’t appear that either of them brought out the best in one another. Fortunately, he isn’t a creep, so she doesn’t carry any scars from that relationship. But still there are memories and things to clean up…
I went home with an internal plan in my head to propose in March. I figured that I would have her visit in February to meet the family then I would visit again in March, and then she would move to Virginia in April. I planned to surprise her by arriving a day early and planned to propose to her on St. Patties Day. My grand plan was to update the front page of my website with the words “I love you Tara Shaffer, will you marry me?” and then in small print would be the words, “come downstairs and open the door.” I was planning to be there on her front porch on one knee to surprise her. I even told her point blank that I wasn’t going to propose during the Valentine’s day trip. At the time I was telling the truth. The plan was very logical, but love is not always logical and I just couldn’t wait to propose…
My friend Chris helped me realize that if I were sure that I wanted to marry her, than it would be better to not leave her hanging. We were already discussing wedding dates, and there were a lot of good reasons to propose and very few reasons not to. Besides, April seemed a long way off. We were missing each other like crazy, and so we began to talk about moving up the date for when she moves out here. In late January, Chris and I went to Tiffany’s and looked at rings. I bought the ring the same day. It was hard to keep it a secret from her. I was glad when she arrived at the airport on February 11th. I was eager to see her, and even more eager to ask her to marry me…
In preparation for her visit, I bought roses, chocolates, balloons and Chris’ daughter made a sign that said “Marry Me Tara”. The plan was to meet her at the airport with a crowd of people and a lot of stuff. Chris brought his video camera to film it, and my sister-in-law brought her camera to take pictures. My intention was to create a garish display of all that is romantic. Had I been able to envision it better, I would have invited more people to participate and would have completely taken over the airport. She called me when the plane landed but the plane was stuck in a queue of other planes waiting to dock. I told her to call me when she got off of the plane so that I could prep my crew to film. Alas, she didn’t listen to me and she found her own way without warning me and surprised us all. We were milling about looking at the clock when I looked up and there she was running toward me. I hit the deck without thinking and she joined me there and kissed me. I pulled away a bit to remind her that there was an audience. Somewhere in there I also asked her to marry me and managed to pull the ring out of my pocket. Tiffany’s had wrapped the box inside another box with wrapping paper and a bow. I was told that she would appreciate opening up the ring this way. If anything, it allowed the moment to linger longer. Her hands were shaking too much to open it on her own, so I helped her open the box. The ring fit perfectly. The rest of the weekend continued to confirm that she also fits perfectly…

That night we joined Chris and his family for dinner. The next morning we picked up my parents at the airport and then decided to see the home of my youth. It was the first time that any of us in the family had been inside the old home since it was sold nearly 8 years ago. The people who had bought it had made many changes to the house. They turned the 5 bedroom house into a McMansion which was expanded in all directions and had a 4 car garage added to it. It was impressive and made Tara’s eyes bug out when my parents announced that this was the house that I grew up in. We all chuckled and explained that the house looked nothing like it did when I was a kid. The new owners were really gracious and gave us a tour. About the only thing that was the same in my house was my room.

That evening we had dinner with the entire family and we got to tell our love story to the family. My brother insisted that we both tell what we were thinking as we were going through it. The story I’m telling here, with her thoughts interspersed is what inspired me to write a historical account of how we met and what happened to us along the way. The next morning we went to church together and we were greeted warmly by all of those who knew of our engagement. My pastor even announced us as the 1st engagement of my church’s short history. We were both moved by their reception of us. That afternoon she had a chance to be a part of her first birthday party in my family. We were celebrating 3 February birthdays and we got to sign cards as a couple.

Monday was Valentine’s Day and it was a wonderful day. I drove her to the office and gave her a tour of the mail processing plant and had her meet some of my co-workers before going to the metro station to ride to DC. She had never been there before and so we went to the Museum of American History and the Museum of Natural History. We took pictures of one another on the National Mall in front of the Washington Monument and the US Capital building. We came home early enough to get changed for our trip to That’s Amore restaurant. It was a lovely restaurant and we were dressed well! She looked great! It was the first time that I got a chance to see her in a dress and I must say that I can’t wait until we’re married! Dinner was wonderful and we even ran into another couple that I knew which delighted her because she had an opportunity to be seen as a couple with me; a treat that we haven’t had because of the lack of physical time with one another. I picked her up from my friend’s house on Tuesday morning and had to drop her off at the airport that morning. Our love story continues on March 10th when I fly to Oregon to pick her up for the next phase of our lives… The long engagement.
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Old 04-08-2005, 01:59 PM   #273
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i was confused at ewen's post

well, in that case, instead of the two films that you mentioned renting, I recommend you watch Napolean Dynamite.
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Old 04-08-2005, 02:05 PM   #274
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Nah! We love to tell our story... Here is how I wrote it up in my diary... Sorry for the length It probably contains too much information, but you can choose to not read it. The diary entry + pictures are on my website in the diary section for March. Thanks for asking!

Yep, it's official Tara and I are getting married. I proposed on Friday, February 11th at approximately 4:25 PM EST inside Dulles Airport in Virginia. We’ll be getting married in Oregon on July 16th, 2005 at 1:00 PM.
It all started for me on July 2, 2004 when I was trying to get information on the new U2 album. I signed up on this U2 website for information about the completion of the album, but it wasn’t until September that I made my first post on Interference. A month later, on October 20th, 2004, I started a thread called "I'm single" which asked the question of whether or not any couples had met because of their U2 love. I posted it in a section called Zoo Confessionals, and it was moved to the most popular section Everything You Know Is Wrong, which gave it a lot of exposure. Before I knew it, people were telling stories about meeting that special someone, and then inquisitive singles began to pour in. "I want a U2 fan boyfriend!" and "I want a U2 fan girlfriend!" became a common refrain. Before long we began sharing pictures and musing about how cool it would be to have someone who shares our addiction. Two days later she walked into my life...
She spent much of her time in PLEBA, (Paul, Larry, Edge, Bono, Adam), a place I seldom venture into because it's scary! It's inhabited by women who would put those screaming Beatles fans of yesteryear to shame! She rarely left that section because the arguments in other parts of the site can become quite contentious. One of her friends in PLEBA, invited her to the "I'm Single" thread because the humor was fast and loose and people were beginning to post pictures of themselves. Tara wasn't “technically” single. She was in a two and a half year relationship with a man who went away to college to make something of himself. She was miserable and spent a great deal of time interacting with the ladies in PLEBA, because she missed having her best friend around and for a time he was quite uncommunicative in his new world. As he let her drift away, she walked into the "I'm single" thread and she took notice of me right away. But we were only flirting...
The single thread turned into discussions of the Octagon Bar which resides in the basement of the Clarence Hotel an establishment owned by Bono & The Edge of U2. It's located in Dublin, Ireland. To make people feel welcome, I began serving virtual drinks to the customers who came in and before long we had a steady group of regulars who made this bar their Cheers. People would come in from all over the world in different time zones to talk about their problems or to dance to the mythological juke box. To this date there have been over 12000 posts to the various threads created about the Octagon Bar, and I was the bartender. Every day that Tara could get near a computer she would stop into the bar and play the role of the crazy bar chick. She was someone who would hop on the bar and dance or slide across the hardwood floor a la Footloose. Her writing was always entertaining to me and she would frequently enter and ask where the bartender was. On November 3rd she sent me my first Private Message (the threads are open to the public, Private Messages are like emails) with some fragments of lyrics and poetry that she had written. The attraction was definitely there, but what to do with it? She was only half-single...

Four days passed and we exchanged many Private Messages and talked in the bar and then she surprised me by giving me her cell phone number. I was tentative about calling her; she was only 18! When I was 18, I didn't like 18 year olds, I didn't like them when I was 20, 25 or 28, so what made this one different? I was intrigued. I didn't know what I was going to do if she acted 18 on the phone. I didn't have much of an exit strategy, but something drew me closer and I agreed to call when I was down in Tampa for business. I rung her phone on Tuesday, November 9th and heard her voice for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised that this wild bar chick was remarkably level-headed, smart and easy as hell to talk to. We talked for over 4 hours and we were both amazed at how well it went. I even discovered that she was left-handed. I laughed nervously as I explained to her that I was supposed to marry a lefty since everyone in my family has married a lefty. My Mom is married to a lefty, my sister is married to a lefty, and my brother is married to a lefty. And up to that point, I couldn't remember having ever dated a lefty, besides, she had a boyfriend...
For the next week our conversations picked up, our flirtation was constant, but I was still a friend and learning about her life. I discovered a few details about her boyfriend and even gave her some advice. But even as I was trying to be a friend, I knew I wanted him gone and I suspected that he wasn’t the one for her, but I surprised even myself when I got angry at another guy in the Octagon bar because he was flirting with her. My feelings had risen to the surface and I admitted to him that I wanted to marry this girl. It was a strange revelation when you’ve only known someone for 25 days! Our relationship continued to deepen, but there was a hurdle on the horizon. She had plane tickets to see him in Phoenix. I told myself that I shouldn’t expect to hear from her and that this relationship was probably temporary and that I just needed to wait until she figured out that I was the one for her…
She couldn’t stay away. She called me and sent me text messages every day that she was out there. She even wrote me on the plane ride home. Her boyfriend in Phoenix was losing hold of her, but not fast enough for my taste. She was still divided against her self and sought to fill me in on how she was feeling about all of this. I didn’t want to hear good news about their relationship, but it was a fact that she still loved him. You can’t forget someone in a month, especially when the competitor isn’t any more real than the words on this page…

That Tuesday the new U2 album came out with great anticipation. I had gone to the Midnight sale at Tower Records and was completely exhausted the next day. That day we exchanged a few messages, one of which told me that she had a measure of love for me, but couldn’t fall love with me unless we were friends in close proximity to one another. That was encouraging, but the follow up message was less so. She told me the real reason why he had left. He left so that they could have a good life together. At that moment I felt awful and felt that it wasn’t right to compete against a man who was clearly doing the right thing. In my tired state, I jumped to the conclusion that it was over and I even told one of my friends that it was over. But then a little voice from inside (or above) told me to continue pursuing her. It told me to ignore what she had to say right now, that I just need to be myself and make myself known to her. Don’t clam up, don’t be defensive, just show her my heart. As I was digesting these thoughts, my phone vibrated to tell me that I had a text message. There is only one person who sends me text messages…
We continued to exchange letters and text messages and phone calls all the way until I left for Alaska. It was November 29th and she made me call her when I arrived in Alaska just to make sure that I was safe. Our friendship was transforming in front of our eyes. As I hop scotched from one time zone to another, she left for Hawaii and leaped to the west of me once again. I had survived her Phoenix trip feeling pretty good about our possible future, but I was still wary of the next impediment. Her boyfriend was going to be home when she returned from Hawaii. I decided that it would be a good idea to send her mail so that she would have that to help her forget her boyfriend. As I traveled around in Alaska and then Colorado we kept in touch via phone. Meanwhile, I sent her 10 separate pieces of mail to keep her occupied when she arrived home. There were postcards, letters and a box of chocolates that included the letter U and Z. They didn’t have a 2, so I improvised. I thought it would be cute and memorable. While I was in Colorado our conversations were getting more intimate, more oriented toward a future and more revealing of the deficiencies of the relationship that she was currently in. I became convinced that they weren’t meant for each other. Everything was going along great until she began to feel guilty…
I could feel her pulling away a little, not participating when I brought up how wonderful it would be when we… fill in the blank. This started about 3 days before she returned home. She was beginning to feel guilty for the conversations she was having with me. She had a boyfriend and she loved him and he was coming home to visit and she was looking forward to it. Sadly, when she arrived home, he didn’t seem to miss her the same way that she missed him. Alas, for our poor hero, she didn’t let that disappointment stop her and proceeded to fall back into the old life with him. I held onto my seat and tried to kill time. I slept on the couch restlessly knowing that the dearth of information I was getting from her could only be a bad thing. On December 20th she wrote me describing her weekend and her feelings. I thought it was over…
I woke up that morning from the couch and my heart caught in my throat as I read her Private Message telling me that she couldn’t imagine life without him in it, nor for that matter could she imagine life without me. She also thought it was a bad idea for me to visit with the wrong impression about things. I was angry, I was hurt and my walls were crumbling under me. I decided to write her back immediately and I was angry. I then did something that was uncharacteristic of me. I wrote a 4 page reply without reading what I had written and not editing it for content or clarity. I didn’t even know where I was going with it. I started with my anger and my intention was to close the door and walk away until she changed her mind, but as I was writing, I saw some light under the door and my heart wasn’t ready to give up on her. I sent off my emotional screed to her, in which I told her how I felt, and why I was good for her and he wasn’t. I felt better after having written it, but I was still angry, and wasn’t about to forget what just transpired. I didn’t want to be a fool…
Like all good women, she disarmed me immediately, without realizing that she was doing so. Before she even read my response, she sent me a text message asking if I was doing ok, since she knew that what she wrote would hurt me and was still concerned about me. Soon after she was at the library and received my response. It broke her. She sat in the library with her head in hands crying, and repeating "What have I done?" She decided that she couldn't hurt me again, and her heart was inclined toward me, even as she had difficultly in calling the old relationship dead. That night we chatted via Yahoo and it was even more animated that it had been previously, it was as if I had broken up with her and she was trying to win me back. That night I wrote another letter to her in which I made 3 arguments that I felt were important to discuss. One of them was titled “If we can’t be lovers, then we can’t be friends”. I knew that we had passed beyond the place where we could revert to friends. And I renewed the idea of meeting one another, even if we were to only meet as friends. I felt that we had reached the end of what was possible from a distance. We needed to stand in front of one another and determine if this was real or an illusion, because as long as I was out there as this mythical internet figure, it was easy to make more of me than I really am. I was also undermining her current relationship, so the only solution I had was for us to meet…
She tentatively agreed and we decided that January 7th would be the date for me to arrive. I quickly made my plane reservations and as we counted down the days we were getting closer and closer to one another. The anticipation was building and I kept hoping that she would break up with him, but she didn't. There was a benefit to that though, having him there caused us to slow down just enough to make those first hours meaningful as we discovered that the attraction was there even if we couldn’t do anything about it. I’ll never forget the first time I saw her. I called her from the plane and she told me that she was standing by a pillar. As I left security I saw her from at least 50 yards out, she was absent-mindedly looking up and around and I saw the red and black T-shirt with Ziggy Stardust on it. Her hair was dark and wild and she was tan from her trip to Hawaii. I quickened my pace to meet her, dropped my bag about 10 feet from her and swept her up into my arms hugging her tightly while I spun her around. She was trembling. And she was holding tightly onto me and we stood like that while I attempted to reassure her that everything was going to be alright. It was a strange and magical reaction, and an unbelievable feeling. I also must mention that her blood-sugar was low, so that probably contributed to her shaking, but it was still a great feeling to be greeted with such emotion…
It didn’t take long for her to decide that her old relationship was over and this is what she wanted. I was real, not an illusion and we immediately fit together like hand in glove. I had never felt so comfortable spending time with a woman with whom I had a romantic interest in. Typically I would be much more nervous, or would spend far too much of my energy trying to impress or entertain her. There was little of that awkwardness when I was with her, just a pervading sense of wellness. It felt right and it didn’t take long before we began to discuss making each other permanent fixtures in our lives. We spent Saturday in Portland doing record shopping. It was a wonderful day to spend with a friend driving around trying to find unique U2 items. Now that we had met, we quickly determined that we could do nothing more without meeting her parents. We had dinner reservations for Monday evening...
I went to church with her on Sunday and we spent the day together. I liked her church and was pleased to discover that her church and my church were not altogether different. She played Bass during the service, and it was a treat to see her up there. That evening we watched “Say Anything” together and within 15 minutes she was laughing at the similarities between Lloyd Dobler and myself; particularly in reference to that “nervous talking thing” that she finds so cute. She had to work the next morning and I popped in to enjoy the coffee and the atmosphere of this quaint seaside coffee shop. We headed to Salem to find a new cell phone for me. I had dunked it in a toilet on Saturday and needed a replacement. Our trip was a lot of fun. By this time we knew that we wanted to be together forever and we ended up sitting on some comfortable leather couches in Costco while we watched the world go by. We discussed our future as we cuddled in a warehouse far away. In a few short hours, I was to be introduced to her parents for the first time…
Her father picked a seaside restaurant so that I could enjoy the view of the ocean. I was introduced as Tim her U2 friend who happened to be in the area. I knew her parents weren’t dumb, but since there was no official declaration of my role, an awkward undercurrent was clearly in the room, but no one was willing to break through it and get honest. To my chagrin, the first half of our conversation was theology. I wanted to sell myself, but instead we dialogued about theology. In retrospect it probably spoke better of me than anything that I could have said about me. They seemed to enjoy my company, but we still hadn’t discussed US…
We took separate cars back home, and immediately after starting the car, Tara told me that her Mom had pulled her aside and told her that I was a keeper. She also told her not to screw it up. High praise indeed! She was bouncing in her seat with excitement and said, “Should I hug you or kiss you in front of them?” I quickly realized that she wanted me to have the “Dad” talk. So I asked her “Do you want me to talk to your Dad?” I have never had the “Dad” talk before, and I hadn’t really prepared anything, but upon returning to her house, I quickly got to the point with him and we began to discuss her future. He was a little alarmed because she was still officially dating someone else…
The next day, I left for home and she started closing doors in her life. The first was to clean up the ex-boyfriend. No one from the outside really understood that she had been drifting away from him for some time. The latter half of their relationship was marked by distrust, lack of communication, and a lack of mutual self-respect. In the end it doesn’t appear that either of them brought out the best in one another. Fortunately, he isn’t a creep, so she doesn’t carry any scars from that relationship. But still there are memories and things to clean up…
I went home with an internal plan in my head to propose in March. I figured that I would have her visit in February to meet the family then I would visit again in March, and then she would move to Virginia in April. I planned to surprise her by arriving a day early and planned to propose to her on St. Patties Day. My grand plan was to update the front page of my website with the words “I love you Tara Shaffer, will you marry me?” and then in small print would be the words, “come downstairs and open the door.” I was planning to be there on her front porch on one knee to surprise her. I even told her point blank that I wasn’t going to propose during the Valentine’s day trip. At the time I was telling the truth. The plan was very logical, but love is not always logical and I just couldn’t wait to propose…
My friend Chris helped me realize that if I were sure that I wanted to marry her, than it would be better to not leave her hanging. We were already discussing wedding dates, and there were a lot of good reasons to propose and very few reasons not to. Besides, April seemed a long way off. We were missing each other like crazy, and so we began to talk about moving up the date for when she moves out here. In late January, Chris and I went to Tiffany’s and looked at rings. I bought the ring the same day. It was hard to keep it a secret from her. I was glad when she arrived at the airport on February 11th. I was eager to see her, and even more eager to ask her to marry me…
In preparation for her visit, I bought roses, chocolates, balloons and Chris’ daughter made a sign that said “Marry Me Tara”. The plan was to meet her at the airport with a crowd of people and a lot of stuff. Chris brought his video camera to film it, and my sister-in-law brought her camera to take pictures. My intention was to create a garish display of all that is romantic. Had I been able to envision it better, I would have invited more people to participate and would have completely taken over the airport. She called me when the plane landed but the plane was stuck in a queue of other planes waiting to dock. I told her to call me when she got off of the plane so that I could prep my crew to film. Alas, she didn’t listen to me and she found her own way without warning me and surprised us all. We were milling about looking at the clock when I looked up and there she was running toward me. I hit the deck without thinking and she joined me there and kissed me. I pulled away a bit to remind her that there was an audience. Somewhere in there I also asked her to marry me and managed to pull the ring out of my pocket. Tiffany’s had wrapped the box inside another box with wrapping paper and a bow. I was told that she would appreciate opening up the ring this way. If anything, it allowed the moment to linger longer. Her hands were shaking too much to open it on her own, so I helped her open the box. The ring fit perfectly. The rest of the weekend continued to confirm that she also fits perfectly…

That night we joined Chris and his family for dinner. The next morning we picked up my parents at the airport and then decided to see the home of my youth. It was the first time that any of us in the family had been inside the old home since it was sold nearly 8 years ago. The people who had bought it had made many changes to the house. They turned the 5 bedroom house into a McMansion which was expanded in all directions and had a 4 car garage added to it. It was impressive and made Tara’s eyes bug out when my parents announced that this was the house that I grew up in. We all chuckled and explained that the house looked nothing like it did when I was a kid. The new owners were really gracious and gave us a tour. About the only thing that was the same in my house was my room.

That evening we had dinner with the entire family and we got to tell our love story to the family. My brother insisted that we both tell what we were thinking as we were going through it. The story I’m telling here, with her thoughts interspersed is what inspired me to write a historical account of how we met and what happened to us along the way. The next morning we went to church together and we were greeted warmly by all of those who knew of our engagement. My pastor even announced us as the 1st engagement of my church’s short history. We were both moved by their reception of us. That afternoon she had a chance to be a part of her first birthday party in my family. We were celebrating 3 February birthdays and we got to sign cards as a couple.

Monday was Valentine’s Day and it was a wonderful day. I drove her to the office and gave her a tour of the mail processing plant and had her meet some of my co-workers before going to the metro station to ride to DC. She had never been there before and so we went to the Museum of American History and the Museum of Natural History. We took pictures of one another on the National Mall in front of the Washington Monument and the US Capital building. We came home early enough to get changed for our trip to That’s Amore restaurant. It was a lovely restaurant and we were dressed well! She looked great! It was the first time that I got a chance to see her in a dress and I must say that I can’t wait until we’re married! Dinner was wonderful and we even ran into another couple that I knew which delighted her because she had an opportunity to be seen as a couple with me; a treat that we haven’t had because of the lack of physical time with one another. I picked her up from my friend’s house on Tuesday morning and had to drop her off at the airport that morning. Our love story continues on March 10th when I fly to Oregon to pick her up for the next phase of our lives… The long engagement.
only one smiley could sum this up
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Old 04-08-2005, 02:06 PM   #275
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well, in that case, instead of the two films that you mentioned renting, I recommend you watch Napolean Dynamite.
i...hate...that...movie




**prepares for flames**
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Old 04-08-2005, 02:13 PM   #276
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only one smiley could sum this up

I love my life!
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Old 04-08-2005, 02:18 PM   #277
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tara and tim
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Old 04-08-2005, 02:20 PM   #278
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*takes a bow*


now I miss him
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Old 04-08-2005, 02:21 PM   #279
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tara
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Old 04-08-2005, 02:28 PM   #280
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tara
Im spoiled rotten. I saw him this morning and now I feel like I havent seen him in months again. I think it was reading our story
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Old 04-08-2005, 02:36 PM   #281
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got it bad got it bad!









hot for teacher how ironic..........
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Old 04-08-2005, 02:38 PM   #282
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Awww....that story is so sweet.
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Old 04-08-2005, 02:39 PM   #283
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see you all next week. I'm gonna go start working on dinner
wish me luck
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Old 04-08-2005, 02:41 PM   #284
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I'm winning in pool
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Old 04-08-2005, 02:42 PM   #285
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see ya tara

way to go darren
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