Cyber Connections Cafe\’

Real Stories of People Riding the Internet Wave

Young Widow Finds Love

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on August 26, 2006

My internet experiences began shortly after my first husband Walter or better known as Jeff died very unexpectedly and young (he was 49 …I was 39) in June 1994. Needless to say I went into a deep depression and cut myself off from family and friends. It was just me and the dog (Ivan) eating popcorn and beer for dinner against the cruel world. It was then that one of Jeff’s good friends decided maybe if I had a computer I could stay in touch with the world that way so he hooked me up.

I found a chat room for widows and widowers and thus started my life on AOL. The group ended up being a lifesaver for me and we started a Jersey group who often met for dinner and other social events. In fact my 3 bridesmaids were all from the group. I met many good friends who were all going through or had gone through the same emotions and feelings. A few of them I still keep in touch with and several have met new partners and are moving on with their lives.
I am attaching the file from David’s and my first chat that we put on a disc as our wedding favor. Just as little prelude…..

The story of the chance meeting….. or was it really destiny??? Many
of you have probably heard the story of how we met and know why there
was a computer on the top of our wedding cake, but for those of you who
have not heard the whole story or read the exact words of that chance
encounter November of 1996, we thought you might enjoy this little
story. It is truly a tale made for TV….. hey, maybe we should write a screenplay!!!!

It was a typical autumn day last November 11th….. the leaves were
falling, the wind was blowing, and two people in different states, miles apart, were both sitting at their computers “surfing” through the chat rooms on America Online (AOL). It was a weekday and normally both of them would have been at work, but it was a holiday for one and the other was on vacation.
Catherine was speaking to some of her widowed friends in the Widow and Widowers Room, and David was checking out the screen names of the people in the numerous Big Beautiful Women (BBW) Rooms.

For some reason (destiny perhaps??) Catherine decided to venture into a
BBW room to check out what was happening. There were a few interesting
people but the one that caught her attention the most was a man by the
screen name of Decay (maybe he was a dentist!!!) or better known
as David in the real world. He was a little down as he had just
returned home early from a weekend trip to Massachusetts, where the woman he met there ended the weekend early. Catherine, who despite her own reasons for being down, always liked to help cheer others up and starting to converse in the room with David. Ahhhhh alas … she had a little bit of competition, as some other female was also flirting with Decay. Once again for some unknown reason, Catherine who usually backed off from in room battles over men, decided not to let this one go so easily. She put on her best “flirting” hat and went to work.

She asked David why he didn’t stop on his way through New Jersey from
Massachusetts. He said that he didn’t see any sign indicating that he
should stop. While David joked with all the women that their signs were not out for him to see them Catherine worked on developing hers. She told David that of course hers was out… it said an Exit off the NJ Turnpike. The “other” female who was from Maryland, was trying to convince David that she was closer to him. But Catherine didn’t give up and was able to convince David that her sign was bigger and was up first!!!
Soon Catherine’s flirting abilities paid off and David agreed to meet her for some private conversation. And so now… here for the first time for the public to view is the actual words of their private
conversation that night when two lives were changed. Now, please don’t think that we are about to share everything that was said between Catherine and David, but we did think you might enjoy getting a flavor for the conversation……

Begin IM – 11/10/96 11:32 PM
Decay: How about dinner, maybe some dancing? Or romancing??
Coco: All of the above is great with me…
Decay: No preferred order?
Coco: Dinner….dancing …with romancing fit in along the way!!!
Decay: OK, I don’t know what restaurant, type of food, dance
club, what do you want in a date?
Coco: I don’t have any high expectations…quiet romantic
dinner….maybe near a fireplace…and I like old rock music….fast and slow…
Decay: Oooo, finally, a classic rock fan……..what CD’s
should I bring?
Coco: what do you have???
Decay: From Allman Brothers to Yes (no ZZ Top yet….:o(
Coco: I am not fussy…whatever you like…
Decay: Any good restaurants with fireplaces there, that let you
play your own CD’s?
Decay: That would be too much……
Coco: LOLOL the CDs is what is tough
Coco: funny though….I just bought a new CD boom box
Coco: and have a fireplace……but no restaurant here!!!!
Decay: Well, if you cook dinner we’re all set…..
Coco: nah… isn’t my idea of a date!!! LOL
Decay: You’re right, I’ll have to find a nice place……eat
first, music and firelight later……
Coco: LOL
Decay: I have been on the sidelines for years…..
Coco: why on the sidelines???
Decay: Had a broken heart at age 13, and a couple of strange
girls along the way threw me off the dating bus…..
Decay: But I’m breaking down the walls to get into the game
Coco: How old are you???
Decay: going on 41, next December 8…..
Coco: oh okay…
Coco: but I do not understand how you could not date in 20
Decay: There’s just me, wanting to meet a nice person and maybe
turn my life around….
Coco: what do you do for a living???
Decay: I work for a land surveying company in Clinton,
MD…..last 19 years or so….
Coco: any brothers or sisters???
Decay: Born in Texas, left in ’56…….lived in Minot, ND,
England, mostly DC area…..yes, 2 of each….
Decay: Mom and Dad live nearby, most of my relatives too….
Decay: I’m 5’9, 228, brown hair (still have a lot, unlike my
dad), hazel eyes (nearsighted)
Decay: slightly diabetic, not dependent on insulin, just
Decay: Live in a 1-bedroom apartment in Waldorf, since
Decay: No lady friends, not too many prospects yet, but I’m
working on them…..
Coco: well quite a biography!!!
Decay: Just didn’t want to be hurt like I was when I was real
young……I was in puppy love with a girl in
England…..when we came home I had to say goodbye, broke my heart to
do it…
Coco: You were really scarred not to date for 20 years…
Decay: Scarred or scared?
Coco: both!!
Decay: You might say that, although I don’t feel
scarred…….just frightened of being hurt again…..
Coco: yeah but for 20 years??? that is a long time to be scared…
Decay: Well, I dated a little, never clicked with anyone, so I
just ignored that part of my life…..till this year..
Coco: oh okay..what made you decide to move forward???
Decay: The best man thing, last November…my friend asked me
to participate, and I didn’t want to decline…..
Decay: so I had to do the whole best man duty list…
Decay: toast the happy couple, I’m not much on public
Decay: dancing with all the ladies, all the silly dances
Decay: and I had such a great time, I realized what I had been
missing for so long……..
Coco: oh…
Decay: So, I’m out looking, am willing to travel to do it,
Coco: what are you looking for??
Decay: Not the perfect mate, just someone to share time
with…..watching TV curled up on the sofa, travel when I can
take time off……shopping for things I can’t afford and gifts for the
lady, of course…just sitting and talking, or out on the town…
Coco: not interested in marriage???
Decay: yes, with the right person, if she is willing…..
Decay: Whatever the lady wants is OK by me…..
Coco: you are a very interesting and accommodating person…..why
did your date chicken out this weekend??
Decay: I wish I knew….we had talked for a week by phone
beforehand, she sounded so sincere….we told each other our life stories…
Coco: and what happened….you met, right??
Decay: so nothing was a surprise…..Yes, we met in the lobby
of my hotel, I gave her a dozen long-stemmed roses, maybe that scared
Decay: I wanted to make an impression, she could have
interpreted it as a serious overture to a relationship……
Coco: hmmmm should have sent the roses here….
Coco: LOLOL I wouldn’t have thought any thing by them…other than
a really sweet gesture…
Decay: Do you like long-stemmed red roses boxed ? What a dumb
Coco: actually…like pink roses better…but willing to take
Decay: She liked lavender roses, sterling she called
them…..but I couldn’t get them in time……..
Coco: hmmm yes they are pretty!!!
Decay: I’m a traditionalist at heart, and a perfectionist at
Coco: you sound like a very nice guy….did you find out what
Decay: I tried to find out if I had done something to upset her
plans, and it all came out….
Decay: the age difference, the long distance between us, our
differing ‘agendas’
Coco: how old was she???
Decay: She thought it best that we cut the weekend short, and I
was in no mood to deny her that right….she is 29, I’ll be 41 next
Decay: I didn’t consider it important, perhaps I should have,
in retrospect…..
Coco: what, the age???
Decay: Yes, and no one I spoke with seemed to think that an
11-year difference was too much of a gap to bridge…….
Coco: no I wouldn’t either…
Decay: Well, she apparently did…..and I wasn’t looking to
sweep her off her feet and carry her off to Valhalla, just wanted to get through the weekend without putting my foot in my mouth….
Decay: After all, I’d never been to Boston…….
Decay: had never been north of PA turnpike before……..
Decay: I just wanted to meet a new person, was willing to take
my vacation in her backyard and be shown the sights….
Coco: oh well…maybe she just got nervous…
Decay: But she canceled all her plans… candlelight
dinner, no jacuzzi, no Cape Cod…she had brunch
reservations at a swanky restaurant in downtown Boston, then canceled
them, too….
Decay: She’s willing to be a good friend only, and that’s fine
Decay: I need more friends……
Coco: well maybe she had such a nice time….that she could feel
herself falling….and got scared…
Decay: Well, I still would have liked to have finished the
weekend….1000 miles was a long trip to be so short a time together….
Coco: hmmm well ..I am sorry…did she pay you any compliments you were cute…or sweet…???
Decay: Yes, she said I had lots to offer, she loves my smile,
thinks I am genuinely sincere and sweet…….just not right for her…
Coco: hmmmm well I don’t know….it’s got me stumped too……don’t
know why??
Decay: No, she could still be scared of men, she said she had a
bad experience
Coco: well maybe…maybe she wasn’t ready..
Decay: Well, I wish she had confided a little more before I
went all the way up there, but I had a good time and I’m glad I went……
Coco: You wouldn’t have known unless you went…
Decay: That’s true, that’s why I’m glad I went and found out
the way she felt….
Decay: But I’ll keep the travel a little closer to home next
Coco: so am I closer to home???
Decay: Oh, much closer…..Exit 9 is a hop, skip and a jump
Coco: LOL
Coco: I have a great sense of humor….think that is important…
Decay: Mine is dry wit, quick and sometimes funny…….
Coco: well okay….
Decay: You’ll have to judge for yourself…..
Coco: yes I will…
Decay: Well, strike while the iron is hot, I went to meet this
lady only a week after first speaking to her………maybe that was too
soon for her, but I’ve waited long enough……
Coco: no…it wasn’t too soon….
Coco: you need to find out…
Coco: so time to move on to a new one…
Decay: Resetting sights on Central New Jersey……targeting
scanners locking on…….
Decay: scan incomplete………target location
Decay: More input required…….
Coco: you mean directions???
Decay: Directions, instructions, suggestions……what have you
Decay: need directions to point nose of the Pontiac…………
Coco: LOLOL also need to know more about me…
Coco: you may not even like me!!!
Decay: Now the cat is out of the bag…….
Decay: well, we should talk more…..and discover….otherwise
we’ll never know…..
Coco: LOL what cat???? my cat is on my lap!!!
Decay: You have a cat? I like cats, much more than dogs…..
Coco: sorry I have one of each…
Coco: But Ivan (the dog) is a sweetheart…you can’t help but like
Decay: Do they fight or were they brought up together?
Coco: neither…
Decay: They tolerate each others presence……OK
Coco: yep…
Decay: Well, the ball has been backhanded to your
court……don’t reveal anything you’re unsure about, I don’t want to pry or make
anyone uncomfortable… can call me, if you want………
Coco: well whatever you want…
Coco: want me to just start rambling…or do you want to talk??
Decay: what have you not told me…..age? stats (not if its too
personal)….hair, eyes?
Decay: likes in food, music, ………thoughts on world events?
Decay: hobbies?

Coco: well I am 41 yrs old….born and raised and have lived within
a 40 mile radius of NJ….only child…parents
Decay: a homebody, eh….no desire to visit new parts of NJ?
Decay: I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters myself……parents are
well, live nearby…….
Coco: I was married for 16 years….husband died in June 1994 very
suddenly…had a few tough years at the beginning ..but we finally had
our act together and were having a good marriage
Coco: has been a difficult transition but trying to get my life on
Decay: Sorry to hear that……..keep it up………
Coco: it has been difficult…hate the single scene…he was very
much in love with me…and I miss sharing my life with someone
Coco: I am a romantic, sensitive, generous (sometimes too) , good
sense of humor, have 2 masters degrees, have a state job and teach part
time a Grad School
Decay: Two masters? Impressive, I’m studying to take the State
surveying exam, but doesn’t require a degree, but it helps though…..
Coco: I do drink …but reasonably….don’t smoke…used to
occasionally when out drinking…
Decay: Well, I’m not judgmental in those matters, haven’t ever
cared enough about someone to try and get them to change their
ways……except relatives, of course…
Coco: have you ever drank???
Decay: Not since Grandma gave me whiskey at age 2 or so, can’t
stand the taste or the odor myself……
Coco: that also is very unusual…
Decay: No smoking, no drug use, no running with loose women, no
life, basically…….LOL
Decay: No enhancements required……..
Coco: were you a priest by any chance???
Decay: LOL! No, not involved in the church, although we were
brought up as Baptists………
Coco: do you have a picture online???
Decay: Yes, mine from last November’s wedding, I was the best
Decay: but she married the other guy anyway……..
Decay: Had never worn a tux, I thought it was the best I had
looked in a longtime……..
Coco: LOLOL will you send it??? ….. any way I enjoy…watching
football, boating, reading. quiet times in front of the fireplace,
candlelight dinners, walking with the dog, movies…..
Decay: Not done much boating, I like all the others (Redskin
Decay: Do you have a boat of your own?
Coco: Miami fan…we did 21 footer…gave it to a friend….when
Jeff died…
Coco: so have rights for boat rides…LOL
Decay: That’s good, you still get to ride……do you water ski
or just cruise?
Coco: cruise….also like to swim..have inground pool in backyard
Decay: Parents have a pool too, that’s where I go, Dad had a
bass boat for years but sold it some time ago, he’s a landlubber
now…….like me….
Coco: I also bowl on a league once a week….enjoy dancing….and
listening to music…
Decay: I missed my league tonight…..because I was
traveling…….I have about a 162 average….
Coco: I have a 134…bowled a 169 last Wednesday..
Decay: Good for you!…..bowl on Sundays too?
Coco: who???
Decay: You, do you bowl on Sundays like me? I like lots of
music types, mostly stick to the classic rock
variety…….light classical………..
Decay: My dancing is rusty………..
Coco: No, I just bowl late Wednesday nite…
Coco: sounds like our taste in music is close…
Coco: dancing is like the bike…you never forget..
Decay: I have a friend who does the same, he doesn’t get home
till 1 am or so…….
Coco: yes ..same for me!!!
Decay: I like Allmans, Beatles, Clapton, Dire Straits,
Eagles…the whole alphabet…
Decay: Also Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss waltzes, Rossini
Decay: not much on operas, country is OK, but not my first
choice when searching the dial…….
Coco: not too much on classical
Coco: I do like the others
Decay: Well, we have a lot in common, but a face-face meeting
has to be a joint agreement………
Coco: I am open to it…. as long as there are no expectations…
Decay: Well, you have my phone number……..and no
pre-conceived notions expecting to be fulfilled, dinner and conversation is
Decay: Trust comes with familiarity and takes time to
Coco: yes how true…..would you like my #
Decay: OK, are you still awake to call or shall we wait till
the sun comes up?
Coco: LOLOL whatever …I am a bit sleepy….but could talk for a
Coco: my name is Catherine…
Decay: Lovely name, very dignified sounding……shall we talk
awhile offline?
Coco: if you like….
Decay: OK, allow me to call you, saves your phone bill…….
Coco: that would be fine…and very nice..
Decay: OK, have to get offline, I only have the one line
here……..I won’t keep you from sleep too long…….
Coco: okay….talk to you soon…
Decay: OK, bye for now…….
END IM – 11/11/96 02:52 AM

Well, whatever it was, (it was hard to tell after 3 hours and twenty
minutes) maybe the tone of David’s IM’s (instant messages) or the way
Catherine LOLed (laughed out loud, the two of them were attracted to
each other. That night they talked until the sun rose and they agreed to talk, both online and on the phone again…… and again …..and
again, and as their phone bills showed…. again!!!!! Finally David took the bold step and decided to ask Catherine if he could meet her …. in person. He wanted to come to Jersey that next weekend, but Catherine had plans for part of the weekend. David insisted and they decided to meet Friday night. Well, we won’t bore you with the details…. but arrangements were made and Catherine set up a marathon day of bowling, dinner, dancing, and drinking (some of her favorite past times). She even invited a girlfriend to meet them to go listen to a band she knew just as a precaution. After all who knew what kind of guy anyone who calls themselves “decay” could be!!!

Well, the evening went well with lots of laughs and good conversation
and to Catherine’s surprise a dozen Maryland roses!!! It was early
morning when they parted company (with a goodnight kiss that Catherine had to initiate because David was too shy). The two agreed to meet for
breakfast before Catherine left for her other weekend activity with the
widows and widowers. They met early in the morning for a dip in the hotel pool and breakfast, and before 11am Catherine was on her way to Long Island while David was on his way home to Waldorf. Catherine thought about David as she drove the 3 hours and knew right away that he was a romantic, sincere, nice guy. David had 5 hours to think about Catherine as he drove home and although the weekend had been hectic, he knew that she was a sweetheart!!!!!

Despite the nice encounter, Catherine and David continued to talk to
other people and even date a few. But…. there were also numerous phone calls, and e-mails, and nights of talking online into the wee hours, and the more there were, the greater the attraction. For David it was his birthday (Dec. 8) weekend that he knew (or thought he knew) that Catherine was the one, however no one told Catherine!!!! Catherine on the other hand was playing hard to get and resisted the thoughts that maybe she had met someone serious.

There was a quiet New Years Eve celebration and a romantic trip to
Cozumel, Mexico to celebrate Catherine’s birthday in February and weekend trips back and forth to Maryland and Jersey, and more phone calls and e-mails. It soon dawned on them that they didn’t want to spend any more time apart. And so some discussions were held and some decisions were made and by June of 1997 David had left his family , friends, and job in Maryland and relocated to New Jersey. Those close to him questioned whether any woman could be worth all that and Catherine’s supporters said that she was. And in the midst of moving and job hunting David found time to pick out a beautiful ring and plan a romantic proposal scenerio.

Catherine accepted and the rest is history…… David found a great
job that he really enjoys, they were able to plan the wedding they
wished for in 3 months and they are building a new home together. And
building a new life …. together…. forever.

An update: Catherine and David have been very happily married for 8 years now, grateful that the internet allowed them to meet because without that they would still be searching.

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