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Dating Dilemas

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on August 26, 2006

I was widowed suddenly, at the age of forty, with four children between the ages of 9 and 17. After a couple of years I decided to make a clean break and move south to be closer to the family and to try and start afresh in a new place.
I joined a hiking club and did evening classes but it was hard meeting enough new people. I tried the local widows and widowers groups but found them to be full of predominantly older women who were not the most warm and receptive people, particularly when I was the youngest in the group by twenty years and attracted the attention of the few men that were there.
I tried match.com but I didn’t want to post a photo for fear of meeting people in the grocery store that I had met online, it would be too embarrassing. But, without a photo, it seemed the contacts were limited. Finally, I settled on trying eharmony.com. The joining process was extensive, with seemingly endless questionnaires, but soon I was emailing with a variety of possible guys. I liked that the contacts were private, I could email through eharmony until I felt I was ready to give out my email address or cell phone number and I didn’t have to exchange photos until I wanted to; eharmony also posts a page of safety concerns.

First date: Terry
Terry and I had long email chats and a couple of phone conversations, he had posted a photo, and he looked great, very athletic like the runner he claimed to be. I sent him my photo and we agreed to meet.
I was so nervous at the first date that I arrived too early and was then awkward about taking a table in case he didn’t show. I was so embarrassed about the whole idea and I felt sure the waitress must know I was meeting an online date that by the time Terry showed up, bang on time, I was completely flustered. However, he turned out to be charming and social and we had a pleasant evening eating dinner at a small restaurant conversing over commonalities and, naturally, about how eharmony was working for us. Terry mentioned some of the women he had dated and I, not wanting to admit this was my first date, talked about some of the interesting men I was talking to online. But, I found myself analyzing his words. Did all these women he mentioned mean he was just intent on dating numbers, a commitment phobic? What was he really looking for in a woman? Was he boasting or just filling in the conversation? I tried to relax and focus on the actual conversation and soon realized the evening had flown by. Terry was good looking and charming however he had one flaw I struggled to get over- he reminded me of my Dad! Which was just too weird. Not much either of us could do about that but apart form that he was great.
As we parted ways at the end of the evening there was a difficult pause, should I shake his hand and say ‘nice to meet you’, give him a quick hug goodbye or perhaps a peck on the cheek? Fortunately he closed the gap with a quick, warm, hug and the comment that “it certainly looks like you have them all lined up!” I walked away baffled. Had I really made it seem that way? I had only been trying to keep up with the conversation. I waited for sometime for a follow up email, we had had quite lengthy chats before the date but nothing came. Absolute silence. Finally, the reason for closure: ‘Other’! What does that mean? ‘Other’ can make you paranoid. There are a whole list of reasons from ‘Too far away’ to ‘Too busy’ but ‘Other’ doesn’t tell you anything and I certainly wasn’t going to ask!
I chalked the date up to experience and was kind of glad he looked like Dad anyway because I don’t think I could really go for someone who reminded me of my father.

Second date: Jim
Jim posted no photo, I wondered why but as I hadn’t posted one I couldn’t complain! We began to email and he seemed a pleasant guy, his emails where short and to the point, no slick comments like Terry here, but soon we swapped photos and decided to meet.
Despite his brevity on the emails Jim turned out to be a really great guy, he was divorced with one child, whom he adored, and he spoke respectfully about his ex wife which I liked, he seemed genuine and honest. He had said in emails which company he worked for but he explained at dinner that he hadn’t posted a photo because he was the CEO of the company and he was embarrassed about anyone from his company seeing his photo online. That made sense to me and we had a great evening, he seemed like a really decent man. But, between these two dates and the slow progress of the whole process I had met a guy at work who I was now seeing on a regular basis. I had turned up at this date not expecting too much and now I was stuck, did I see Jim again and in effect cheat on them both. I just couldn’t do it. It’s not me and Jim was just way too nice to be messed around. I ended up sending him an ‘Other’ closure message. How ironic is that!

Third date: Tony
By now I felt like a pro at this. The guy at work was turning into an ‘on again, off again’ thing so I couldn’t resist another try. I scrutinized Tony’s photo looking for clues to him, his mode of dress, the dog in the photo, the outdoor look, the tan, everything seemed to be giving away little clues to his life. I read each email over and over again looking for the meaning between the lines and I analyzed his voice on the phone.
We met at an Indian restaurant and I was a little surprised when he turned up in a cowboy hat and boots, somehow it didn’t quite jibe with my idea of a N.J born, Italian American lawyer, unless perhaps he was trying to curry favor with the Bush family somehow.
However, he was smart, witty and well mannered and the evening flew by. We hit it off so well that we were the last ones in the restaurant and then he insisted on lingering over dessert. When we finally left the car park was deserted with a dull street lamp outside and my car parked in the far corner. Tony insisted on walking me to my car, despite my protestations, and kept up a steady chatter. I opened the car door, hinting that I was leaving, but he noticed a scientific magazine on the front seat and leant in to get it commenting on interesting it was. By this time I was feeling uncomfortable and keen to get going, I gave him a quick hug goodbye and I tried to slide past him but it was difficult with where he was standing. He then noticed my dress and began to comment on it, while I tried to smile and look confident, I was feeling more and more uneasy and was wondering whether there was more to this than just polite chatter.

Was he hoping for more, was he waiting for me to suggest something else or was he just having such a great time he didn’t want to leave? Finally, half an hour later, I managed to maneuver myself into the front seat and shut the door quickly and waved goodbye cheerily but I was so spooked at his behavior that I drove home via a circuitous route checking for a following car as I went. That will be the last time I leave a place that late at night.

The follow up: Nothing, I never heard a peep from him again! What does this mean?

I have talked to a few others online, one was really interesting and said he was a pediatrician but when I mentioned I had four kids I never heard a thing from him again!
Another guy sounded great and we communicated at length for sometime but after we swapped photos I never heard anything from him again. I’m in great shape and have been told I’m very attractive so that was truly crushing!

This stuff can get to you. For now I’m taking a break!

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Too Good to Be True

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on August 26, 2006

I met a guy online who lived in California. (I live in Ohio) His profile sounded nice and his pics were great and when we started talking he said the sweetest things to me and got me all excited – the way I wish my husband would. Eventually he gave me his number and I bought a prepay cell phone so I could call him without my husband seeing a phone bill. So we spent a month talking. We even started going further than that, but over the phone if you know what I mean. It was exciting. He described his house and how big it was and how I could move out there and not have to cook or clean for anyone. And he would make me feel like a queen.

So I started saving every dollar I got my hands on – even moved some money out of our joint checking account without my husband noticing. I planned on leaving him and moving to California. We have two kids. I love them but they’re so much work. I could stay here and get lost in motherhood, or I could go out there and be spoiled by someone else for the first time in my life. I must have been crazy or having a midlife crisis or something because I actually did it! One day I bought a plane ticket and I did it. I moved to California.

He met me at the airport, but when we got to his house, it was a nasty little trailer! And he took all the money I brought with me and he made me do all the cooking and cleaning. I felt so stupid. I had to scrape up money again to find my way back home. It took a long time because he wouldn’t let me control a penny. After a year, I made my way home again but my husband filed for divorce. Now I live alone and my kids hate me. I only have to clean up after myself. I’m still online (obviously) but I don’t meet men this way.

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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…..
SO HOW DID THESE TWO MEET ANYWAY??????

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…..cooking 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
again……..
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
years….
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
diet….
Decay: Live in a 1-bedroom apartment in Waldorf, since
’89…….
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
speaking…
Decay: dancing with all the ladies, all the silly dances
too…….
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,
too…..
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
her….
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
question……..
Coco: actually…like pink roses better…but willing to take
red!!!!
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
work…….
Coco: you sound like a very nice guy….did you find out what
happened?
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
month……..
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…..no 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
too……
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
..like 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
time……..
Coco: so am I closer to home???
Decay: Oh, much closer…..Exit 9 is a hop, skip and a jump
away……
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
unavailable…….
Coco: LOLOL
Decay: More input required…….
Coco: you mean directions???
Decay: Directions, instructions, suggestions……what have you
got?
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
him..
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…..you 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
nearby…..
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
track…
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
special…
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
man……..
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
fan)
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
overtures……
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
fine…….
Decay: Trust comes with familiarity and takes time to
develop………
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
little..
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.

Posted in Dating and Romance, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Charlotte’s Web Mates

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on August 26, 2006

After getting out of a 6 year relationship, I was not meeting anyone and I am not a big bar scene person. I would go out dancing with friends and never met anyone because my friends and I were having too much fun together. And it’s hard for everyone to meet peole, but sometimes I think it’s harder when you’re gay – maybe it’s the smaller percentage of people available. Or maybe it’s my imagination. Anyway, I signed up at Match.com and met some really great women, but not too many I wanted to see again. I finally met Stacy and she was working out of town from Monday to Friday. I guess we met online at the beginning of the week, chatted a bit and met on Sat. night for our first face to face meeting. We had a pretty immediate attraction and Stacy was not going out of town that week so we saw each other a lot that first week. One thing led to another and she moved in and we were together for about 2 years.

Unfortunately, we parted ways and I decided to try PlanetOut.com this time around. Again I met some fun women but none that really matched what I was looking for in a partner. I found this one profile online that met most of the things I was looking for such as religion, being a professional and sharing some other common interests. I had my friends, Cindy & Jill, read the profile and they agreed I should answer it. I did but the woman was such a great writer that I was really intimidated and only wrote a very short e-mail. It took her about a week to answer my mail and that was also a very short answer, which I thought showed she was not too interested. I asked her in an e-mail what her AIM/Im name was so if I saw her online I would say hi. She told me and on a Thursday or Friday night I saw her online and said Hi. She was online chatting with her best friend and invited me into a private chatroom. We all three chatted for a while and then Rose said she had to go let her dog out. I continued to talk to her friend who was pumping me for info and then told me they were going bike riding on the bike path Sat. morning and invited me to join them. I agreed to join them and we met early Sat. morning in Manayunk. Both Monica, Rose’s friend, and I were riders but Rose was brand new to riding. All three of us started out together but on the path only two can ever ride side by side. Rose and I were chatting. (When Rose tells the story, she says I talked a lot which I do when I’m nervous.) Neither one of us was impressed with the other at all. I figured it was just another bad match – someone who only looked good on paper. The next thing we knew her friend was so far ahead of us we could barely see her, then she passed us going back to her car, saying she is meeting someone for lunch and has to leave! Rose and I go out to lunch in Manayunk, again not to thrilled with one another (but, hey, a girl’s gotta eat!). At lunch Rose reminded me of the party she and Monica were having for Monica’s birthday that evening. I ask if I can bring my friends, since I wasn’t sure about going alone. My friends and I go, and Rose was not there yet because she had her High School reunion that same night. Everyone at the party was asking if Rose was coming to the party and if she really existed. I thought that was weird but whatever – people are strange! Turns out, the people at the party were people Rose and Monica had been talking to online but hadn’t met in person yet. Rose got to the party around 9:00 and everyone goes to say hi to her. Everyone except me and my friends, that is. Cindy, Jill and I just keep on eating the snacks. After everyone is finished saying their hellos, I walked up to her and say hello with a nice smile. It took her a few seconds to figure out who I was and we spent the rest of the night talking to each other — so much so that the others were a little annoyed at her ignoring them. We all went to a little club nearby to dance. Rose and I really connected that night, and she drove me back to my car. We then began seeing each other and have been together for over 2 years now. We just had a new house built and are moving into the house in a week!

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The art of online seduction

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on August 26, 2006

This is a GREAT topic for a blog! In the spirit of all happenin’ blogs I’ll do my best to keep this one fresh daily. It gives me something to shoot for!

The internet has really enabled me to have sex with more women than any man should be able to fit into one lifetime. I heard Wilt Chamberlain banged almost 20,000, but I wonder how many of them were multiple women in one session, how many were quickies before and after games and how many of the 10K he actually had to seduce. Not difficult for a seven foot black pro athlete, but still, there’s an investment of time when seduction is required.

So how does a five foot eight inch, forty-five year old white guy from Harrisonville, Virginia have Wilt’s record in his sights? The Internet, baby!! The internet!

AOL chat rooms, Craig’s List, Match.com…the list goes on and on. These portals to like-minded, nubile, promiscuous babes have enabled me to get laid at my whim for the last twelve years. Each provides a different experience, but the end result is always the same.

Enough background.

I chatted up a co-ed, Elizabeth, from UVA for about a week. She knows my screen name from other girls around school, but since UVA is only holding a summer schedule, most of her friends are gone for the summer and she’s been bored and without a boyfriend.

Without getting into much more background, I’m known around campus (and have been for years) as a guy you can hit up for something you wouldn’t necessarily want to do with your boyfriend or the guy you plan to marry. I mean there are some things a girl needs that she just can’t have her husband-to-be thinking she’s got experience doing.

She hit me on chat late last Sunday night and right away the conversation swerved toward something involving discipline. Pulling hair, handcuffs, light bondage…and spanking. I didn’t know it at the time, but Elizabeth wanted to be spanked – she didn’t know quite how to ask for it.

Monday came and I enjoyed the company of a salesperson in from Charlotte. She was in town for two nights and posted on the Craig’s List Casual Encounters bulletin board. The title read “NSA Wanted for drinks in Charlottesville 7/23-7/24” – No Strings Attached baby – how sweet is that term? She needed a few drinks at Applebee’s and some live wordplay to get her nerve up, but once she made her mind up it was all I could do to keep up with her. Later that night I chatted up a bored chick working the night shift at Taco Bell and at 2:30 in the morning I had her bent over the manager’s desk in the back room.

Tuesday I had to work all day in Richmond so it was a little iffy until I hit the Starbucks over on Willow Lawn and found a housewife online looking for any kind of a distraction. I invited her over for coffee figuring I’d plant a seed for some future date, but as soon as we exchanged pics she gave up her address. By six o’clock I was promising her I’d stay in touch and back on the road to Charlottesville where I was hoping to hook up with Elizabeth. I’d been seeing her online off and on since Sunday night. We’d exchanged pictures and we were still chatting it up so I knew it was just a matter of time, but she was still too busy or too nervous to commit. I knew if she decided to pull the trigger I had to be close to home.

Wednesday is a weird night in Charlottesville. There are places where you can have a good night out, but if you pick the wrong bar, you’re spending the evening drinking alone. I found a group of swingers online (albeit a small group in this town!) and Wednesday night is their night out, but they move from place to place so as not to arouse too much scrutiny. I checked my email and saw they were hitting the South Street Brewery. I invited Elizabeth to join me for a drink, but didn’t fill her in on the theme of the gathering.

She showed up right on time and was even cuter than the photo. My friends in the group all have the same middle name – Discreet – so it wasn’t like everybody jumped the poor kid. And know this – Elizabeth is a kid. A consenting adult at twenty-two, she’s still half my age. We had a few beers and sparred a few rounds on the subject of discipline again. This time though we mixed up the dialogue with some laughter and some high quality eye and body contact. I didn’t push her though and we ended the evening with a textbook perfect kiss when I walked her back to her car.

Thursday I got hit by the perfect storm of casual internet sex.

I’d been working a paralegal on the staff at UVA for about a month off and on. She didn’t know me and wasn’t aware of my reputation with the student body so I considered her a longer term proposition.

A colleague of my sister Jean had taken a position with IBM in Germany about a year ago. At first she spent a lot of time alone in her apartment and was begging everyone for email so Jean hooked us up via email. We’d struck up a VERY honest relationship as she grew more accustomed to living and loving there so she knew in some detail, my sexploits back here in Charlottesville.

Lastly, my childhood buddy, Eric was coming up from Richmond to stay with me for the night and had made arrangements for us to hit happy hour with some babes from Virginia Electronic Components, a customer of his.

I wound up having the paralegal for lunch, the girl from VEC for dinner and got a surprise call from the IBM chick when she hit town at 11:00 pm fresh in from the drive down from Dulles. By the time she hit my couch she was so worked up she could have slid across the kitchen floor. By six o’clock this morning she was on her way to Richmond. I think I’d managed to sleep about an hour so I crashed hard when she left, waking about noon.

I wasn’t on AOL thirty seconds when Elizabeth hit me.

PartyDiva: hey! where ya been?!
Roadrunnr: still shakin out the cobwebs honey
PartyDiva: need some help???

I reached for my package to see if it would protest but found my willy willing.

Roadrunnr: what’d you have in mind
PartyDiva: i can’t stop thinking about that kiss the other night. i could go for some more of that!!!

The kiss is a lost art. I couldn’t help but pat myself on the back. I kiss a woman as if it’s the only thing we’re going to do.

Roadrunnr: you want to meet for lunch
PartyDiva: how about I bring over a pizza and a six pack and we spend the afternoon hanging out
Roadrunnr: pepperoni for me. you pick the beer but make it a 12 pak

She just left at eleven, her perfect soccer player butt a warm shade of cranberry red. I’d give more details but I’m exhausted, a little drunk and I’m coaching a softball game on campus in the morning.

I’ll be back in a few days.

Posted in It's Just Sex, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Connecting TSC with chordomas: One mother’s story

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on August 26, 2006

It started insidiously enough with Katie wobbling on her bike as she rode down Main Street, was that a bump in the road or a lapse of concentration? Soon, however, she didn’t want to ride her bike at all. Her mother, Molly, a biologist by training and a confirmed optimist by personality, came out to see what the problem was and became concerned as she watched Katie struggle to get the bike started, hopping around in the road unable to get her balance. Immediately, worries sprang to mind of the brain surgery they had fought through just a year ago. Katie had been born with Tuberous Sclerosis, TSC, a rare genetic condition causing the formation of benign tumors throughout the body.

In Katie’s case she had tumors in her brain that caused epilepsy and, after all the epileptic drugs had stopped working, it was decided the neurologists should remove three superficial tumors from her brain. It had been a traumatic time with Katie bed bound for a week with electrodes attached to her brain; painful, scary and exhausting for the whole family. Katie had come through with her endless good humor, ready smile and strong fortitude rebounding her back to good health. But surely, not again, thought Molly. It just wasn’t fair.
Children’s Hospital ran extensive tests and came back with the terrible news. Katie had a rare chordoma of her spine. A large, cancerous, tumor that wrapped around the spinal column of her entire neck involving bone, nerves and muscles. Surgery was the only option but Katie would risk paralysis from the neck down or even death. If they did nothing the tumor would become more involved and she would lose her balance completely before becoming incapacitated and finally dying. There were no other options.
Molly researched thoroughly and asked questions, she consulted all the experts on TSC and the oncologists at Children’s Hospital. Was this part of the TSC? Absolutely not, she was assured, just a very unlucky coincidence.
How could so much be put on one child? It was so unfair. Surgery was scheduled with the doctors warning Katie all of the possible outcomes of the surgery. Bravely, Katie soldiered on. Surgery was scheduled with neurologists, oncologists and orthopedic surgeons taking their place in the operating room. At the same time, Molly was spending any free time researching on the internet, finally finding a trial that was being held to look at whether there was any connection between TSC and chordomas; it looked like there was. From this, Molly was able to find and reach out to the parents of other children who had suffered from both conditions and here in her moment of greatest need she gained her biggest support to help her through this traumatic time.

While her friends and neighbors knew of Katie’s difficulties and surgeries it was these new found parents who could completely relate to Molly as her daughter underwent the frightening surgery. These other parents, many thousands of miles away, whom she would never meet or even see, were her lifeline during those critical moments. Steve and Mary, Elaine, Stefan and Debbie emailed back and forth. Had Katie had the surgery yet? How were things going? Was she out of surgery yet? Was the surgery successful? Hope and prayers flying through cyber space to help and comfort the family in need.

The surgery was long and difficult, the tumor had wrapped around the nerves in her right arm as well and after 16 hours everyone in the operating room was exhausted and it was decided to close up Katie’s neck and have her come back in a couple of weeks to finish the surgery. Disappointingly Katie had to endure yet another operation to fuse all the bones in her neck because of the extent of the tumor. All the while, the other parents, in the U.K, Germany and Switzerland, were there at their computers supporting and comforting Katie and Molly, reaching out across the ocean to send their love and support.

Katie came through all the surgeries successfully with little more than a sore neck and a scar that is hidden beneath her thick shiny brown hair. A scar with stitch lines that will forever remind them of the strangers from far away lands, that they will never meet, who became friends and helped hold them together in their time of need. Strangers connected by the internet and bound together by their compassion and empathy for a distant child and her mother in need.

Posted in Health And Medicine, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Tell Us Your Story

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on August 26, 2006

Friends,

By taking the time to read this you’re becoming part of one of the most unique book writing projects ever created.

We are a team of six writers from the Philadelphia area, all from different walks of life, thrown together by Jonathan Maberry, award winning author of the chart-climbing new thriller Ghost Road Blues, to write and publish a non-fiction book. We’ve set out to write what will be the authoritative work on the subjects of love, sex, relationships, dating, business and community as they relate to the Internet. By collecting and sharing stories around the world, we’ll show you how the Internet has changed these worlds for some, while altogether opening them for the first time to others.

The Internet has affected every aspect of our lives. Perhaps the most profound change has been the way we connect with people. This transformation is here to stay – for better or worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness or in health. This book will explore how our relationships have evolved, the powerful psychology behind online relationships, and how to survive in the virtual jungle. The Internet can help you find true love – or it can be an avenue of temptation to cheat on your other half. It can open new communities for those isolated by age, infirmity, disability, illness or prejudice – or it can alienate you from the real people in the next room.

THE PROJECT:


Cyber Connections Cafe is the forum by which we collect stories and develop the book. The six of us meet regularly to discuss the stories. Our website is still under construction, but once it’s unveiled, you’ll be able to spy on us during our weekly meetings and catch a sneak peak at the book in the making. (We’ll keep you posted.)

SEND US YOUR STORY!

How has access to the internet changed the way you date, find friends, business partners, sex, or reach like-minded people across the street and across the globe for support and understanding?

Do you know someone who found the medical miracle they needed for their child or the soul mate they’d always been searching for?

We’re interested in your personal experiences and those of anyone you’d care to invite to contribute.

Funny, sad, scary, weird, hopeful and miraculous – together we’ll see it all.

DON’T POST TO THIS PAGE !

Choose a category from the sidebar to your right that best fits your story. You can add your story as a comment to any post on those pages. Periodically we will move a story from being a comment to being a new posts.

A couple of things –

We will change any names, dates or places that you might mention in your stories before making them part of the project.

This is not intended to be a forum for lashing out or hurting anyone.

While some of the tales may have racy content, please exercise good judgment in your contribution.

Stop back often to enter contests, check on our progress, and listen to us vent. We will keep you up to date as we progress closer to final publication. Feel free to provide links to your own site or blog. We’d love to help others build their buzz.

Thanks for taking the time. Now tell us your story!

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