How We Met

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!”

The Three of Us

We look a little different today, huh?

Us Today

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!

 

Comments

  1. 1

    kelly says

    your story gives me hope. i’ve got two small kids (one 3.5, one 6 months) and am about to get divorced. i moved the kids from germany to get away from my husband whom i found out had been cheating on me for years. here in kentucky i can’t file for divorce for another month but i’ll be doing that a.s.a.p..

  2. 3

    Adrienne says

    I don’t believe in accidents or coinicidences, you were meant to be together and a relationship is always a work in progress. Thank you for sharing your story!

  3. 4

    Mel Meister says

    As far as I know, you’ve never told the complete story like this. I loved it! I went through my years of online dating and have some “tales” to tell about some of them. But I met my husband at work, not online.. I was his Team Lead! LOL! I don’t let him forget it either.

  4. 5

    Deb Praus says

    So fun to know the story and you tell it well. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your sweetie!

  5. 6

    Pat Hathaway says

    What a nice story! I’m so glad it worked out for the three of you. Happy Valentines Day!

  6. 7

    says

    What a beautiful story of love, family, and committment. You are one heck of a mom and Vince a great dad! Chad turned out well! What a cutie he is in that picture! Thanks Judy for sharing! Especially on Valentine’s Day!!

  7. 8

    says

    I am so glad to read such a not-to-be-believed story. You could not write this as fiction. It is so romantic, so very serendipitous and you are both so fortunate to have found each other. And how great for Chad too. Thank you, Judy. Everything happens for a reason.

  8. 11

    Natalie L says

    I’ve “heard” your story before and just like last time I’m struck by how good of a man Vince is and how happy I am that you found each other.

  9. 13

    Connie says

    My mouth dropped when you said Vince lived in Pascagoula. I lived there as a child up until 1972. Small world.

  10. 17

    Lisa E says

    I love the part where you say that Vince saved Chad. Not every great man is a great father, but every great father is a great man. Hug Vince for me! (Platonically, of course.)

  11. 19

    says

    Awww … thanks for sharing your story – I loved every word o it! And I love the happy middle. The story-to-date middle. :-) I had to LOL about your first date when it finally happened. Better Half and I went through a similar courtship. When we finally met in person, the restaurant he’d planned to take me to had gone out of business and we wound up at Taco Bell! His roommate (of that time) still gives him a hard time about it. And the next night we had dinner at McCormick & Schmidt. Maybe one of these days I too will be on 40 acres with chickens, a garden, fruit trees and a longarm. And Better Half. I can’t imagine life anywhere without him. <3

  12. 21

    Erin says

    Thanks for sharing, Judy! What a great story. I’m glad you and Vince were able to find each other and are living your version of happily ever after now!

  13. 25

    Penny J Holliday says

    Judy ~ Thank you so much for sharing “your story” especially on Valentines Day ! I do think it’s the most wonderful story & You and Vince look like you have matured beautifully!
    Penny

  14. 26

    Cindy FRom CA says

    I have been followoing your blog for several years and never heard/read the story of your courtship! What a great Valentine’s Tale! Truly, some things are meant to be!!

    Cindy

  15. 27

    Debi says

    lovely Judy – I had read somewhere that you met on the internet and didn’t know about the ex or anything so I have just about caught up – you do have a great life now don’t you :)

  16. 28

    Pat McG says

    I think you were both very brave to take that leap of faith and I’m sure Chad is thankful, too. Best friends and best spouses don, t always see eye to eye. Happy Valentine’s Day.

  17. 32

    Kathleen says

    You really should write a book but please don’t. I am sure there would be no blog if you were writing a book. I meet with your blog and a cup of coffee every morning. (That is every morning that you post.) You lead such an interesting life and are so generous to share your “happenings”. Thanks a bunch!!!
    Can’t wait for the chocolate cookie recipe

  18. 33

    Nann says

    LOL–the child is the one who has changed the most from the first photo to the second!
    Judy, I could not have imagined your story….I thought that Laquidara was an old Louisiana name….Being open to possibilities and making decisions based on the best information at the time, but tempered with faith that it will work out — and it did!

  19. 35

    Joan in NE says

    Isn’t it amazing how the 2nd time around can turn out? I hadn’t heard your story before, but things sure worked out for you guys. Thanks for sharing your story.

  20. 37

    June Piper-Brandon says

    I have to smile when I read your story, it’s so similar to my own – only my second didn’t work out but the third one did. Ryan turned into a great young man and Liam will too thanks to Skip. Life is good!! My second ex did to his third what he did to me and is now in Las Vegas chasing more women, sad thing is they fall for him. He should have a warning label on him. But, I’m in it for the long haul with Skip.

  21. 39

    Linda in TX says

    I have been reading your blog for years Judy and only recently realized that Chad had another dad somewhere. From your posts and the way you talked about how y’all lived I had always assumed first marriage, only child. Period. It says a lot for all three of you (and yes, particularly for Vince) that you have become such a strong and united family. Congratulations and keep on sharing! We love these stories!

  22. 41

    Allison Gougeon says

    Aww… Beautiful love story. I met my husband in a divorce group. He was one of the leaders. His three kids, my two , my crabby ex-husband…we’ve been married 13 of the best years. Love finds a way…

  23. 42

    says

    See, and That my dear Girl, is what fairy tales are made of! And yes, it IS a fairy tale because it starts out with ‘Once upon a time’ and ends with ‘they lived happily ever after’. Y’all were so cute back then, and you’re just as cute today!

  24. 44

    JayneCT says

    A wonderful marriage, a wonderful life in a spot you love and a wonderful neighbor a well.. A married son, a dil you like and a grandchild.
    Life is good

  25. 45

    Diana W, says

    I’ve read this story before but I still loved reading it again. It made my day. It was fate you and Vince being together. I’m glad you are so happy and have such a great life! Have a wonderful weekend.

  26. 46

    Robin Crittenden says

    I believe everything happens for a reason and that God is in control. You two were meant to be together. Sometimes we must go through things to appreciate what we have now. I really enjoy reading about the two of you. Keep it up and know you are blessed.

  27. 47

    Jackie says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’ve been reading your blog for some time and enjoy reading about your day with the chickens, quilting and life in general.

  28. 48

    says

    I loved reading this! I used to have a poster on my wall during my working days that had a list of 25 Keys to Happiness. Item #1 was Marry the Right Person! I don’t have any need to remember 2-25…

  29. 49

    Nancy Angerer says

    I love love stories! My husband and I met when we were 15 and going to rival high schools (we are 70 now). It was a party combining Christian clubs from both high schools. We were divided into 3 teams, and a couple from each team would participate in the games and represent their team. Ron and I were chosen for a game that required the guys to lay down on the ground and be covered with a sheet up to their chins. The girls stood at their feet and fed them a donut which was on a long string which was then attached to a yard stick. In between each bite we were to dump the donut into a bowl of Hershey chocolate that sat by their heads. Ron and I won, but he had chocolate in his, eyes, hair, ears, etc. Later after getting refreshments, I saw Ron standing alone and decided to find out his name. And as they say — “The rest is history.”

  30. 51

    Beth C. says

    Wow……very similar story to my own but just a few years later in 1998 & 1999. Was not looking & never dreamed there would be another marriage. I remember those chat rooms before the Internet became popular. Thanks for sharing.
    Beth in AL

  31. 53

    Chris says

    What a great story Judy! Isn’t it funny how we viewed relationships made via the Internet compared to now? A very good friend of mine met her husband on the Internet 13 years ago, they are still married and he is such a great guy! So happy for you and her!