A bit of a different story for this week, since one of my anniversaries was on November 5th—the anniversary of our “wedding celebration.” That is, the original wedding date, even though we eloped months before. In my last post I mentioned that I met my husband, Jordan, online. It’s hard to meet people anymore, especially when you’re a geek with anxiety issues, so online dating definitely has its perks for people like us. As common sense tells us, there is some level of danger when you actually meet someone online. You can never be quite sure who they really are, and meeting in personal can be a scary event.
When we first started dating, I was working in the wine shop at the local Renaissance Faire. It was my third season there and I had finally come around to liking the job. Or, more so, some of the people with which I worked. After having my heart broken by pursuing someone who just wasn’t right for me, I decided to give online dating a try and find someone who would love me despite my aggressive, sometimes neurotic mentality. Within a short time I met this man online who seemed to be a good fit for me. His name was Jordan. He was quite handsome and had a dog in his profile picture, which, I have always admitted, was why I noticed him so quickly. Yes, the family dog—an Akita named Finn, as I later learned.
(Sadly, Finn the dog passed away just last year. He will always be remembered as a part of the reason why Jordan and I met.)
In messaging with Jordan, I liked that he didn’t seem to be possessive and didn’t send weird, creepy messages like so many other guys, as if that ever is a way to attract a mate. He seemed normal, or at least normal for us geeks, and we shared a lot of interests.
When it came time for our first actual date, I decided to take him to the Renaissance Faire where I worked. He liked history, and I knew plenty of security there…just in case. I knew I was supposed to be nervous, but I just wasn’t, or at least, not the way one normally would be. I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t like him, which is understandable considering my dislike of new people and my social anxiety. It would be a long day if we didn’t get along, and I hoped that it wouldn’t be awkward and uncomfortable.
I waited in the wine shop for Jordan to arrive. All of the employees, and especially my boss who was my best friend at the time, were excited to meet my date. They wanted it to work out—many of them saw how much more pleasant I was when I was interested in the previous man I pursued, and they definitely liked happy Jen over grouchy Jen. When I saw Jordan enter the wine shop, he was exactly as he looked in his picture, though maybe a year or so older. My mother, who also worked in the shop, rushed over to introduce herself, as did the rest of the employees. I joked with him that he was meeting more people in my life on our first date than anyone else ever had over their lifetime.
As we headed to the gate, Jordan was instructed to escort me “properly” through the gate, my hand on his. It was chivalry and romance weekend—not a weekend I ever would have picked, but the only weekend I could get off work. I told him that I needed to buy something first thing and headed straight for the shop that sold pirate flags. I had regretted not buying a Blackbeard flag the year before and figured that would give us a little tour of the grounds. We sat and talked a few times, watched the falconer’s presentation, and enjoyed fruit smoothies. It was incredibly hot that day and I never do well in the heat, yet I managed to hold it together and not pass out. We watched the living chess match and sided with the bad guys for the final joust. Then, it was time for him to go home.
I missed him already.
After that, Jordan would come to visit me every week. He would bring his PS4 and show me the games he was playing. We would watch movies and stream TV shows. As faire season went on, I was often tired during his visits and would fall asleep. He would watch me nap, hopefully realizing how lucky he was to have me in his life, just as I knew I was lucky to have him in mine.
When Christmas came that year, he had told me he got me an expensive gift. We had only been officially dating since August, so I had not expected anything fancy. The day he arrived for Christmas, I was late getting home because I was stuck with my boss doing stuff for work. Jordan was not happy. He had what appeared to be a large, wrapped painting—my Christmas gift. Fortunately, I already knew what to get him, and it was perfect considering he had to wait in the car for me to come home: a key to my apartment. When we exchanged our gifts, we were both happily surprised. Me more than him. Though I knew the key was a big gesture for most people, I didn’t feel that it was a great gift. Not compared to the present he gave me.
Jordan had a friend who was an artist. He had already brought me a small poster of Michael Myers from one of his friend’s paintings. However, the painting I received for Christmas was extremely special. It was painted specifically for me. During one of Jordan’s visits, we were discussing the Assassin’s Creed games. He knew I loved Edward Kenway, the pirate from Assassin’s Creed IV, but I happened to mention that my favorite was Connor, the Iroquois from Assassin’s Creed III. And there he was: Connor, fighting an English red coat in the snow. The piece of art created specifically for me. Jordan said he originally asked his friend to paint Edward, but changed it after our discussion. Luckily, the friend hadn’t started painting yet. Not only did he actually listen to what I said, he gave me a unique gift that no one else has. That no one else will ever have. At least, not the original.
That was when I knew I wanted to marry him.
We got engaged the following March and eloped two years to the day of our first date, becoming officially husband and wife on August 16, 2017. We married in the park close to our house, outside among nature. We had our wedding reception as scheduled on November 5, 2017 in the same park.
I don’t know about Jordan, but I still love him now as much as I did back then.