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Laura Hunt

Love in the Times of the Internet

Meg and Michael

Michael and I met in an impossible way only fate can explain. He was leaving a long marriage, searching for a soul mate. I had left an 18-year-marriage almost two years before, and after a long period of healing, introspection, and learning to love myself I had come to feel like a true goddess. I felt like someone all dressed up for a party with no party to go to. I had advertised on Yahoo Personals in October and was happily seeing someone and letting my ad lapse.

For some reason Yahoo posted my ad again in January. Meanwhile Michael woke in the night from a vivid dream about the flaming walls of the Stanford University Chapel. He felt it was a sign to reach out and pray for his soul mate. He went on-line and immediately found my ad, saw my photo, and was compelled to answer at 4 a.m.

I awoke that morning and was bewildered to find 52 answers in my Personals box. I started deleting the emails until I came to Michael's. The address indicated that he was from Palo Alto. "Hmmm," I thought "Palo Alto is awfully close -- both my part time jobs were there -- I should at least look at the email!" He said something simple about being a full time artist and a Pisces. I felt immediately compelled to write back, then and there, before deleting the rest of the 52 messages.

I told him I was intrigued and wanted to hear about him. At work I received a long letter in which he poured out his heart to me about why he was searching and what he was looking for. He attached a photo of himself with, of all things, a carton of eggs under his arm. Well, when I read his words and then saw his picture, I literally gasped out loud, and I knew at that moment I had to meet him.

I broke every rule in the book. I emailed him I wanted to meet him right away, gave him my cell phone number, and then went off to my second job. As soon as I had driven home to Redwood City and was pulling into my driveway, my cell beeped and I discovered he had left not one but two messages that day. He, too, felt drawn to meet me right away. I turned around and drove to Palo Alto to meet him at a Torrefazione coffee bar. I hardly even knew what I was doing. I drove like a woman with a mission.

When I walked up to the door, a little breathless from walking fast and from excitement, I saw him sitting in the window surrounded by golden light. I have never seen anything like it. I felt time stop in that certain way that leaves you unable to hear or think or see anything. He beamed at me when he saw me. I can't remember how I got a cup of tea and sat down next to him.

Within moments I was pouring my heart out, and he was pouring his out. We covered many parts of our 48 years. I remember later feeling foolish that I had babbled, which was not my style. I just remember as I sat looking at his gorgeous eyes and beautiful smile that I was already wishing he would kiss me. We hugged good-bye, said we would talk soon, and I walked away flushed and with heart pounding.

Please understand, I am not an impulsive, flighty woman who breaks careful rules about Internet dating. I was a bright, savvy, thoughtful woman -- yes, a hopeless romantic but not a reckless woman, especially as a mother of a nine year old! Nevertheless, I threw all my careful rules out the window in the face of this breathtaking man. I already had agreed to meet him the same day he wrote to me! He had my home and cell numbers, and I wrote to him as soon as I got home and told him I wanted to see him again. He wrote me back that night. Thank heavens, had felt all the same things. Within three days we told each other that we loved one another. We knew in our deepest hearts that we each had found our soul mates. One of my jobs was at the Palo Alto Clinic. Michael and I would meet under a beautiful big oak tree behind the clinic, hold each other, and kiss.

Five weeks later, Michael came to live with me and my beautiful son, Zachary. It was as if he had always been with us. Zachary and even my four picky cats immediately adored him. Now we also have the immense joy of working together photographing weddings, something we both love.

Both Michael and I had come to a place in our lives where we felt that we were basically happy, yet each of us felt a glimmer of longing for something more. Our lives have changed forever. We never thought it was possible to love like this. We have a true partnership full of passion, communication, joy, and so much love. Neither of us has any doubt that we will be together forever, twin flames, two halves of a geode.

Michael actually first asked me to marry him on the phone at 3 o’clock in the morning not quite two weeks after we met. He asked a few more times here and there, and we knew it would be. However, things got serious when we decided it was time to have a ring to show the world. We visited a friend in the jewelry design business. I timidly piped up that I really liked vintage in the face of the modern designs we were looking at. The woman got a sparkly beaming smile on her face and said, "I have a ring!" and produced a beautiful Art Deco vintage ring she had bought at an estate sale. We held the ring and it had a beautiful vibration to it. We knew it was the one. It only needed sizing.

We decided to go out to dinner the day we picked up the wedding band. Meanwhile, I teased Michael for a week that he couldn't really know for sure what my answer would be. I made a show of asking Zach, Michael's mom, and even each of the cats if they thought I should marry him. We chose a romantic French restaurant in Redwood City for the date. We got there a bit early and they had us sit on a Victorian bench in the entry way while we waited for our table. Before I knew it Michael was down on his knees then and there. Funny thing about it was that we knew why we were there, we knew it was coming, but neither of us had expected how emotional and profound it would be. We both cried, kissed, and put the beautiful ring on my finger.

We married under the oak tree where we met and kissed during the time I worked in the hospital. It is a beautiful spreading tree. The incredible minister of our church, which Zach and I discovered a year ago and which we joined as a family in June, married us. Members of our family played the music, and I walked down the path, escorted by Zachary, in my white Reeboks custom decorated with crystals and lace made for me by my wonderfully kooky and artistic mother-in-law. I looked at Michael, waiting for me at the tree, looked right into his shiny eyes, and I knew for certain -- I have come home.

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