Saturday, August 21, 2010

Meeting Medway

I love Medway. We’ve been together for over eight months now. I would describe our relationship as very comfortable and fun and normal. We talk every single day. We laugh, we fight, we cry, we have fun. Since Christmas, we’ve grown very close, and I can say he’s become not just my boyfriend but my best friend. We share everything, we work hard to keep our communication open, and we both try very hard to laugh at ourselves and learn from our mistakes as our relationship grows.

Two weeks ago we experienced a huge moment in our relationship. What sets us apart from other couples is the Pacific ocean and the tiny fact that we hadn’t actually met in person before.

Sure, there’s webcam, and texting, and phone calls, and Facebook, and Twitter. All wonderful resources that we’ve made a daily part of our life together, all forms of communication that allow us to know each other intimately when we are physically separated by 14,000 odd kilometers.

But the fact of the matter is, I live in the United States and Medway lives in Australia. Which is how I came to be driving down eastbound I-94 early on a humid Monday morning, headed to Detroit to meet my boyfriend for the first time.

I was nervous. I was so nervous, actually. As I drove toward the McNamara/Delta Air terminal at Detroit-Metro, my stomach was knitting my insides together and my teeth literally started chattering. There were so many ways this meeting could go. I loved Medway. I cared about him, and I cared about what he thought about me.

Of course there’s the obvious fear—I’m picking up someone I’ve only known online. What if he isn’t who he says he is? What if he’s an axe murderer (a fear of my mother’s and, to be fair, a fear of his mother’s as well, that I would be a gold digger or an axe murderer)? It was something to consider, but after several months of getting to know him, and knowing other people who knew him and vouched for him, it was a consideration I set aside and didn’t put much worry into at the time.

But--what if he didn’t like me? What if we were about to spend the 10 most uncomfortable days of our lives together? Would he take one look at me and be disappointed? Or maybe at the end of the vacation, after living together, that’s the moment he would think, “no, she’s not the girl for me.”

I was scared.

When I saw him at the airport, waiting for me outside the pick-up area, there was a knitting frenzy in my stomach. I mean there must’ve been like three or four grandmothers in there, all racing for the fluffy scarf championship (it’s so fluffy I could DIE!). He was wearing a fedora and watched me as I walked toward him, and he gave me a smile and hugged me.

The two hour drive was a nice, slow ice breaker. I could feel myself relaxing as we talked and laughed. I blushed when he slid his hand in mine and grinned at me, and by the time we got home we were very comfortable with each other.

Ten days later, when I got home from Detroit after dropping him off at the airport, I wandered around my apartment. There was his half-finished drink on the nightstand. His deodorant still on the counter in the bathroom. The DVD we’d watched the night before was on the TV stand in the living room. My dog Taz sniffed around, looking up at me, looking for his Medway. I picked up a tee-shirt of his that he’d left for me.

It still smelled like him.

I burst into tears.

I’m the type of person who always expects the worst. I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I drove into Detroit trying to prepare myself with all the ways in which our meeting would go wrong.

But it was perfect. He was perfect. It was like he’d always been here. He fit in perfectly with my friends and with my family. We lived together like we’d always lived together. We were totally in sync. He took care of me when I was sick. He helped me around the house. We shopped together. We went to dinner together, we read together, we played cards together. I made him breakfast and he made me dinner. He said he loved my pets, and I knew he was genuine. And they loved him right back. We laughed and played and talked and went out and stayed in together. He is the kindest, sweetest, funniest, most amazing guy I’ve ever known, and I’m so lucky to have him in my life.

It was as though he’d always been a part of my life, and he was always going to be a part of my life, and when he had to leave it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through, and I feel like a huge part of me is missing when he’s gone.

I knew I loved him before we met, and now I love him more than ever.

18 comments:

Heidi Germanaus said...

Wow I really feel for you. My husband of 10 years and I met online in 1997. I lived in Detroit, he in Georgia. 6 months on the phone-he flew up-that was it. Bang-zoom...everything you said. Like we'd always been together.

When he had to go back after our week together, I sat in the Detroit airport parking lot bawling my eyes out for 40 minutes,unable to turn my key in the ignition. When I finally got my car on to Middlebelt road, our song (Everlong by the Foo Fighters) came on and I had to pull the car on to the shoulder and sob like a fool. But check it out...6 months later he moved to Detroit and we haven't looked back.

Hope this helps! :)

jennicki said...

Oh Heidi that really does make me feel better. Or less alone, at least! I did the EXACT same thing--I sat in my car at the Detroit airport and sobbed. I refused to leave the airport until he did, so I waited and cried and watched the planes take off until it was well past his departure time before I could work up the nerve to finally leave.

Natalia the Russian Spy said...

Oh shit. You've just reminded what it feels like to be in love. Fuck I'm sad and happy in equal measures. Those first few hours after your seperated are RAW.

Albion Love Den said...

I remember that leaving feeling only too well. The Tiger and I were mates for nearly a year, then girlfriend-boyfriend (pretty much engaged) when her visa ran out and she had to fly back to Japan.

That time apart was the Worst. 7 months. Ever. I can't even begin to explain all the terrible things we had to deal with in that time we were apart. But, as with any solid relationship, we stayed strong and now we're together forever and can't imagine our lives untwined with each other's. And now she has her permanent residency visa, it's all smooth sailing.

Hang in there.

Barnesm said...

Thats so sweet. I hope time speeds until you two can get together again.

Anonymous said...

From Abigail-
Dear Jenny,
Just hold the faith. Strength and fortitude I send your way.

Really living your life is such an exhilarating ride of ups and downs, isn't it?
You and Medders have so, so much going in your favour--youth--that young man is barely shaving, lol. So kidding there!
You have no children to worry about--there is a major biggie out of the way . if you moved here, eventually, you'd find work (that's not assumimg you'd want to, I simply can't imagine the situation for Medway in the US).
There is so much ahead of you, together. So much.
I really, really like someone in the US as well, and I can only say, for all of my "sensible advice" here , it goes out the window, doesn't it, when you're experiencing the rawness of the feelings; that's the human heart. But then you pick yourself up again. Gotta. You'll be fine , you and Medway :)
Chin up gal, love, strength and peace, Abigail xx

Virginia Little said...

Jenny,
I will personally GIVE you the money to fly to Australia if you promise to stay for a month minimum. That's all I have to say.
Medway is special and knows you are too. That only happens once in a liftime. No matter what happens if you go, you have to take that plunge...and I would be well pleased to help make that happen.
Seriously.

Love you both.

Ginny

Flinthart said...

Jen: read Ginny's comment. Then get yourself a passport.

And that is really all there is to say. You have a chance to change your life and do something special. It's in your court now: are you the person who can step up and take her life where she wants it -- or will you spend the rest of your life wishing you were that person?

Two people's lives hang in the balance on this. You owe it to both of them to do the right thing.

I've come to know you well over the years. I know what a difficult thing this is for you. But you should know this: I think you can do it.

wildstorm said...

Happily married for seven years, I met my husband in Las Vegas on a blind date through Match.com. I took him to the airport after three days and just bawled. He turned to look at me and I could see he was about to cry too. We married nine months later. I moved from California to Texas. Madly in love every since that day.

I wish you two the best!!

The Rhino said...

Jen,

I met the HLDW online wayyyy back in 1995 when that kind of thing was new and mostly frowned upon. She was NOT computer savvy and was only on AOL because one of the special needs kids that she was taking care of to earn money while she was in grad school was a budding geek. She was funny and I gave her my number, thinking, "what the hell". She thought I was insane. She eventually called, curious, and we talked for hours. That turned into regular calls. Then, as destiny will not be denied, I had to go to her city on business and we met in person for the first time and it was like coming home.

A year later, after several more trips back and forth, she moved in. 2 years later we were married.

This is coming from a man that thought he would NEVER be married. I am a self-centered, Type-A bastard that always told women, "I really enjoy my time with you but you will need to understand that my career comes first."

I got lucky.

Don't fuck this up. Make plans and go.

YsambartCourtin said...

Of course you are gold digger. And you struck solid Aussie Medway gold (tm) :)

Kat said...

Go for it, Jen. I'm with Dirk and Ginny - you never know until you take the leap. You've done everything the right way. Medway seems like a great guy and you are the happiest I have ever seen you.

Speaking as someone for whom the initial leap didn't work out, I don't regret taking it at all. It wasn't as big as another continent, but still a big leap for me. I know you can do it. :)

Fijufic said...

Wow...

That is a distance. You never know where you will find a soulmate...

chazfh said...

Jenn, I'm so glad that it's all worked out. & you guys had a lovely time together.

Just looking forward to you hitting our wonderful shores on the return leg!

Mayhem said...

Jenn: You know my situation; so let me just say this:

You don't know what's around the corner, take your chances when they present themselves, and don't be sitting there in 6 months wondering if you've left it too late.

I wish you both the very best.

Lou said...

It's such a heart warming story Jenn, it's utterly fantastic that you guys have found each other. I wish you both the very very best.

Paul Nicholas Boylan said...

Happy birthday, Jen!

And remember:

30 is the new 20; and

love is an illusion - but as illusions go, it is one of the best.

hughesy said...

Jen, will you just get over yourself and get on a plane? What the hell have you got to stay in the US for? (Apart from family - but that doesn't count). You've done all the good girl by the book shite, and you only get one go at life. This is your time. After food and shelter, it's love and belonging, and without it, you'll never thrive as a human being. All else springs from these basic needs being met.

What you describe is what love is -unselfconsciousness. That ease of being with another, like grownup siblings. Don't miss out Jen. Really, it's as rare as rocking horse droppings, and hey, over here, we have health care, and you are welcome to my tax dollar my dear.