Love dot com – Part two

Back in Australia I chatted online a lot more to Tux, first venting about The Boy and as that wound scabbed over, about much more interesting things.  Online communication of personal history/feelings can be easier in a way – it is less threatening, less forced, gives you time to think about wording, and inspires confidences better than stilted conversations in pubs and clubs especially if you’re the shy reserved type.  At least that’s how it worked for us.

In a way it was a very old-fashioned kind of courtship.  Very formal and 1700s with all the letters [emails in this case].  Talking to each other at great length online and via email, and later by long, long telephone calls helped us both to gain trust and confidence in each other, develop a deep personal connection, be open with one another and get through all the emotional barriers and defences.  [Phew, some of those phone bills were massive – I had a AUD 900 monthly bill from Telstra and Tux was hit similarly hard.]  We were – and always have been – very good friends, very careful of each other, caring and sweet and open, and he made me laugh and laugh.  Being an intense introvert this was a big hit with me; and I made him laugh too. 

By November-December 2000 we were very good friends; in fact I was more than a little keen on him – you know, like like.  [By this time His Girl was long gone; he’d gone off her and after she had gotten him to help with her visa to Ireland she bolted down to Dublin and I don’t think they spoke to each other again.  I learnt later, much to my delight, that The Girl and The Boy had hooked up, and he’d done pretty much the same thing to her as he’d done to me and she was in bits.  Ahhh revenge can be sweet.  I never said I was a nice person and she had hurt Tuxedo’s feelings quite badly at one point.]

But despite my keenness, the last thing I wanted to do was declare intentions or get into another long distance-holiday “thing” that would go sour and send me for an emotional dive.  Besides, I valued Tux too much as a friend to fuck things up for a … well … fuck.   However.  However he made the move of asking if I’d come visit him for Christmas; have a real Northern Hemisphere, cold Christmas.  He’d even pay for the tickets; talk about a serious and generous offer.

I was torn.  I wanted to go, very much.  But again, I didn’t want to screw up a nice friendship.  And I said as much;  that I didn’t want to come over and have a fling, that I valued him too much.  That I wanted more, to be precise.  Turned out he felt the same.   And so we began a new phase of our relationship, moving from close friends to … more than close friends.  You know.  Professions of love and commitment and all that nauseatingly saccharine and sentimental stuff.

It was GORGEOUS.

And then sometime in early February he emailed an image of an engagement ring design, asking me what I thought about this?  Really, it was a masterful way of sussing out the situation; this is what he was thinking, would I consider going to that next level?  I could either jump up and down and squeal, or I could coolly reply that yes, it was pretty, and how was his day?

You bet I jumped up and down and squealed!  The most amazing, special and “this is meant” thing about that design was that it was exactly, precisely what I would have chosen and had been known to look wistfully at in the window of jeweller’s shops.  [Solitaire engagement ring with narrow rose gold band, platinum bezel/rub over setting with a good-sized round brilliant cut diamond.  Perfect…]

So there we were.  We had a few things to sort out, of course.  Who would move where.  When we would actually get engaged.  He had to meet my family.  Lots of visa applications.  For the next couple of months we were pretty busy with all that jazz, and even longer, more frequent, dreamier, lovey-dovey-er phone calls.

In May 2001 Tuxedo came out to Perth for a month to meet my family, and attend to some other matters.  It will not have escaped the reader’s notice that up to this point we hadn’t done more than HUG.  Sure, some of our phone calls had been, er, steamy, and we had no secrets, but certain aspects of our relationship remained purely theoretical.   We’d discussed this of course, and figured that if there were “issues” of compatibility we’d just work them out, rationally and logically.

That circumstance was soon remedied, so to speak, and we quickly found that physically we were extremely compatible.  To be honest, I had met/been with very few men whose libido and, er,  stamina, um, matched mine, so this was a really wonderful surprise!  WAHEY !!! 

[An unexpected side effect was that I could also sleep with him; I mean that in the totally literal sense.  I’ve always been an awful insomniac and had never, ever, ever been able to get a good night’s sleep with any of my boyfriends/lovers/buddies.  With Tuxedo I slept the sweetest sleep ever.  Awwwww.]

As I mentioned in a previous post, my family had no idea of our plans whatsoever. I’m pretty sure they’d given me up as a bad lot years ago [I WAS 30 after all].  Plus I’d always been very discreet and quiet about my various affairs/boyfriends so they didn’t know much about my “past” .  A few of my friends knew about Us, those who had heard about my lovely Northern Irish fella from the beginning and didn’t find the whole “internet relationship” thing freaky.

So Tuxedo met my folks; my big brothers liked him, and this was a minor miracle as they had notoriously hated the one or two blokes I’d brought home in the past.  My dad was bemused, but that’s his default setting.  Mum was just Mum; pessimistic and looking for trouble [remember her comment viz Tuxedo visiting; “oh don’t get your hopes up, he’ll just dump you”?].

So yeah, they got a slight shock when we told them.  Heh, it was pretty dramatic actually, we loved it.  And when Mum clocked The Ring she went jade green with envy.  SHE didn’t have such a nice engagement ring.  Ha.  [Mind you it IS gorgeous and I still gaze at it in admiration.  Mmm sparkly.]

From then on things moved pretty fast; visa applications, me packing up my flat and organising shipping, chucking work, yadda yadda.  I flew over to Belfast in early August 2001;  met Tuxedo’s family, who were lovely and accepting; I had a real Northern Hemisphere White Christmas [it snowed! Just for me!!]; arranged a wedding in about six weeks.

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