It’s a funny story . . I’ve probably told it here before but . . we met on the internet! It was an accident. We weren’t in any dating rooms and we weren’t trying to meet anyone. I can’t even remember what I was doing but I think I was having trouble with my printer and I had found some online group where you could ask questions. I asked the question about my printer and got several responses. Apparently back then I was much more guarded with information because I used my screen name and not my real name. My screen name was “Cabotine” which is the perfume I wore then and still wear. Vince was one of the people who answered my printer question (or whatever question it was).
Several weeks later, I was in a chat room type place. We were both on some old service called “Delphi”. It wasn’t even Windows . . just a black screen where everyone’s screen name showed up. Vince, being Italian, had remembered “Cabotine”, and thinking I might be Italian, he began chatting with me. He told me that he had been one of the ones who made a suggestion about my printer issues and asked if it was resolved. I really don’t remember what all happened but we chatted a few times over the next few weeks. I wouldn’t give him my email address until after several months and then we had this long discussion about how neither of us were wanting to be involved in a relationship . . especially an online relationship. He lived in GA, a couple of hours from Atlanta, and I lived in the southwest corner of Louisiana. This was all in late 1994 or early 1995.
We kept emailing back and forth and finally I got brave enough to give him my phone number at work. After we had talked enough that I felt safe, I gave him my home number.
Around Easter of 1995, we planned to meet in real life. He sent me airline tickets. I was to fly to Atlanta and he would pick me up at the airport and take me to his house. Then I got scared and cancelled. We tried again in early summer and again, I got scared and cancelled. My mother kept telling me she was sure he would kill me . . why else would he meet someone on the internet and send them a plane ticket?
Vince coming to Louisiana to see me was out of the question. I either had to go to where he was, which I was too scared to do, or we had to meet at a neutral location. We decided that meeting at Navarre Beach, FL would be halfway for both of us, we would drive so we would each have our own cars and could leave at any time. We would stay in a motel and we would each have our own room and if we didn’t like each other . . no questions asked . . we were free to go. (Not to ruin the ending but we did like each other!)
I have to think hard to even remember that trip. We still laugh because the first night, he took me to Taco Bell for dinner. I think we were both too nervous to eat. I tell him that I should have known right then that he was a tightwad but he reminds me that he took me to a very nice steakhouse the next night.
The trip to Florida was towards the end of summer, 1995. We saw each other as often as we could. We both had jobs and I had Chad, was 7 at the time. Vince traveled a lot with his job and he managed to make lots of trips to Baton Rouge, Austin, San Antonio, Houston and plan them for the weekends Chad was with his dad . . and I would drive and meet Vince in those locations. I went to Georgia a few times but once it looked like things might work out for us, Vince moved to Pascagoula, MS with his job. It was much closer for me but he didn’t like the job or the location so he didn’t stay there long. From Pascagoula, he moved to Kentucky.
We talked about getting married but my ex and I shared joint custody of Chad and I knew that short of a miracle (which is about what happened), I’d never get permission to leave Louisiana with Chad, and I wasn’t going anywhere without him. We knew that if Vince moved to Louisiana, it would create a whole lot of chaos and we weren’t willing to live always watching our backs so . . we just kept seeing each other as often as we could, which we were lucky if it was once every 2 or 3 months.
Finally, an incident happened and my attorney advised me to take Chad and get out of town for a while. (I wasn’t in trouble with the law or anything like that!) Vince told me to come there but I told him I didn’t feel safe staying in a hotel and if I stayed at his house with Chad, and we weren’t married, I could have custody issues so Vince said . . “When you get here, we’ll get married!”
We look a little different today, huh?
That is exactly what we did! No planning . . no notice . . just grab a few clothes and hit the road. This is what one looks like when she has driven 14 hours straight, including through the night, arrives in KY about 10 a.m. and goes to the Justice of the Peace and gets married! Chad had his doubts about all this!
Chad and I did go back to Louisiana for a couple of months to get the custody issues worked out and then we moved to Kentucky where Vince was living. It hasn’t always been easy. Chad is an only child. He was spoiled. There had been a little bit of brainwashing about what a horrible person Vince was. I’m sure I went through no more than most divorced moms go through but it surely made a not so easy situation even more difficult.
Chad would not be the man he is today if it had not been for Vince’s intervention. I was too easy . . trying to give him everything because I felt bad about the divorce. Chad knew how to work me to get what he wanted. Vince put up with a lot, always trying to do what he felt was right but also knowing that I was very protective of Chad. I’ll always be grateful for Vince’s love, discipline and guidance with Chad.
We still have our differences, but we’ve both learned which buttons are not worth pushing. Life is good . . and you all know how happy we are every day. Neither of us can imagine what life would be like without the other. Vince would probably be living in a city, without chickens, shopping every day and going out to eat every night. I don’t even want to think about what would have happened to me but you can bet I wouldn’t be living in the woods on the 45 acres I’d always dreamed of having, with pet chickens following me around, a big garden, a longarm quilting machine in the perfect sewing room . . just doing what I love all day.
Yes, life is very good around here!