A kind commenter recently noted that only a nutter would travel halfway around the world to meet peoples from the interwebs. This statement is not devoid of fact. But the truth of the matter is that this was not my nutter-interwebs cherry. Oh noes. I’ve done it before. The nuttiness runs deep in this one.
Once, a long time ago, when the interwebs was but a baby, DOS based in fact, and I was in my early years of university, I bribed* my nerd boy mate to give me the university computer room** password and teach me this new fangled magic. He acquiesced, as nerd boys of that by-gone era*** did when confronted with boobs…*ahem*…I mean bribes, and showed me what to do to access the chat rooms.
In those days of yore, before my mother made me go on a secretarial course (“Just in case”), I could only type in the eagle manner: hover and strike – two fingers, and slowly. I was also clearly the only girl on the webs. Well, apart from that frikkin’ scary chick from Yugoslavia.
Boys could not believe I was woman and blasted me with a million questions ‘only a girl could answer’. Like ‘can socks be worn with sandals’ and ‘why do you go to the bathroom in packs’ and stuff.
Ultimately, it was accepted that I wasn’t Richard from the lab messing with them. And I was welcomed. And I started to become addicted. This voodoo was good. You could talk to people, like, from other countries! And stuff! In real time! O.M.G!! (AND they were ALL BOYS!)
Being of Dutch heritage, I was particularly pleased to come across a guy in the Netherlands. We chatted and ‘pinged’ each other and he was kind not to mock my major slowness in the typage department. His ‘handle’ was cute, but let’s call him Jackson for now.
I found myself leaving clubs earlier and accidentally popping by the lab to chat to Jackson. And leaving at dawn. It was bad. Even the other comp’ room guy trapped in an endless game of early WoW wasn’t there as often as I was.
But then my nerd boy mate left varsity****. And I was CUT OFF. I offered to snail mail Jackson, and he agreed.
Cue 4 years of sweet, handwritten letters, a little flirty, but mostly pretty tame. I was planning to finish varsity and travel, and we joked about finally meeting.
And when I eventually arrived in London, Jackson offered to pay for a ferry ticket to Holland. I hummed and hawed. But in the end, I thought how cool it would be to meet this dorky guy I’d known for ages. So I said yes.
He lived on one side of Holland. The ferry arrived on the other. He drove the whole way across his country to meet me.
And the moment I gave him a hug, and got in his car, I knew it was a horrible, horrible mistake.
After the obligatory small talk, he had absolutely nothing to say. So I jabbered on for the whole 3 hour car journey. The whole of the first day. And most of the first evening.
And then it got worse.
He had a one bedroom apartment and a tiny couch. I assumed I was sleeping on the latter. But he insisted I take the bed. I politely accepted. And when it was time for snoozage, instead of heading for the couch, he got in next to me.
Cue MASSIVE awkwardness. I said something frantic and garbled about the exhausting trip, brightly said ‘night night’, and pretended to fall instantly asleep, my body as stiff as a board.
I thought I’d winged it. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. In the middle of the night, a cold, clammy, inquisitive hand lurched over to my side of the bed and tried to stroke me. *aaaggghhhhhhhgggghhhh*. It was like the Blob. I turned over and away from him as far as I could get, still pretending politely (eejit) to be asleep. I practically levitated off the side of the bed until I could bounce out the next morning and marvel at the beautiful day.
Somehow I made it through the day and the car trip back to the ferry…and we never wrote again.
But I did get to see a field of windmills, which was cool.
Nutter to do it again? Jeeeeebers. I think so. Maybe I need to see someone. Any psychomalogalists out there?
*well, I flashed cleavage.
** one huge room, 6 huge pooters, lotsa nerd boys. Sum total of University computerage.
***no major pr0n yet available for freeeee.
****dropped out to become a dot com genius. Or arrested for peddling porn. Or something.
*image from here