The morning of New Year’s Eve 2010 I woke up super excited. I dreamt the night before I had won the lottery. I almost never played the lottery, so I bought $40 worth of tickets. The tickets were all duds. But New Year’s Eve 2010 was the day I first looked at online dating sites. It was the day I first saw Laura’s profile and knew instantly: “I have to meet this woman.”
Laura’s favorite story was how we met. Nothing made her happier than to hear what I did to meet her. Even though I wasn’t planning on dating just yet, I couldn’t stop thinking about Laura’s profile and somewhere inside I knew if I didn’t act immediately she would be gone (Laura said later she was about to take down her profile). There were 4 message options on the site, so I picked something like ‘let’s meet for a coffee’. She wrote back curtly that she only responded to site members (presumably so she could view their profiles first). I hadn’t bothered to join the site as I only wanted to meet her. So basically I created a profile and paid $50 to send another email that said: ‘Can you meet me for a coffee?’
I was sweating bullets waiting for a response. Then Laura wrote back, let’s meet at Fat Cat to play ping pong. I was delighted and horrified. My online profile had exaggerated my ping pong skills, knowing Laura liked the game. So I spent the weekend with the dining table pushed against the wall, practicing with a dinky kids ping pong set. I was weak with nerves and exhaustion by the time our date came round. Fortunately on the day, we were the perfect match, ducking and diving and generally missing the ball. We played every game in Fat Cat and then went off to dinner. As snow started to fall outside and the evening came to a close, Laura started to pull away. She didn’t know if she was ready to date, she said. I said I was in no rush either. I would wait. Laura’s eyes lit up. She was used to being chased and this was something new. She told me later my sang-froid pulled her forward and within a short while…well, you know the rest. I never told Laura my dream about the lottery. I had forgotten about it until this morning. But I really did win the lottery of love that day.