A few days before that fateful day in 1996, I was fresh out of high school and killing some time exploring these new-fangled internets. Well, actually is was America Online (yeah, I know, I know. I was young, sue me).
Anyhow, I suddenly found myself chatting with "Pmalak12151970" through instant messages. It was no big deal to me, but he seemed like an OK guy. Before I knew it, I agreed to meet him for coffee that week. Yes, I had heard all the warnings. Somewhere in the back of my mind I worried he might be an 80 year old serial killer with a peg-leg, but this was seriously the most wild 'n crazy thing I had ever done, and I had decided I would do it. Luckily he was not a serial killer; just a stock broker from Hayward, exactly as described. We hit it off immediately.
I was comfortable talking with him right away, which is kind of a big deal for me! I was amazed by all the really important things we had in common such as a love of Saturday morning cartoons and a hatred for mayonnaise. And perhaps most importantly, we had a common experience of being stabbed in the finger with a pencil in the second grade. In fact, we both have a little piece of "lead" still in our fingers. How many people can say that? At that moment, we both knew it was meant to be.
All these years later, many things have changed: graduation, careers, marriage, house, 2 beautiful kids... but we have gone through all of it together, and we will continue to go through more as the years go on.
Happy anniversary, honey!