Origin Story

Ten years ago today, 9/25/06, I first started talking to some girl I met on the internet. We were both members of a small writing forum called Liberty Hall, where you would write one story per week after looking at a writing prompt, and spend the rest of the week critiquing other stories (and having your story critiqued)–culminating in an anonymous vote for “best story” of the week.

It was a nice little community, and a great place to practice the craft of writing fiction.

I was living in St. Augustine, Florida, in a little apartment right downtown, a block or two away from the college I was attending at the time.  She lived in downtown Salt Lake City.

It Starts

One week in mid September, Liberty Hall’s admin decided to have a “worst story” contest, just for fun. Not to get too far into a kind of “you had to be there” story, the forum also had fake money that you earned for posting (or something). You could send and receive this forum-specific currency with other members.

I’m not sure how it happened, but Beth started bribing people with this fake money to say her worst story was the BEST worst story for the weekly vote. I don’t remember who reached out to who first, but I *think* it was me via private message, to help her bribe the other members.

She is a trouble maker, and I am an instigator, so we started scheming.


Soon after we started chatting over Gchat (Google Chat) about our bribing, writing, and other interesting stuff (where do you live, what do you do, etc).

Due to the magic of Google keeping all your chats, forever (if you allow it), I can actually read our first conversation, and see the date and the time.


I am really interested in keeping track of dates. I dunno why, but it’s something I always make note of.

The day we first started chatting.

The day I first flew out to visit her in November, 2006.

The day we arrived home in Salt Lake together when I moved in, after driving from FL to UT in April 2007.

The day we got married.

Beth says I’m only allowed to celebrate one anniversary, and so we celebrate getting married every October.

But this September 25th is a bit special, and so we’ll head out tonight for a nice dinner together.

Ten years ago I started chatting with Beth, and we never really looked back. I flew to Salt Lake to visit her November 2006, after chatting with her for 12+ hours a day, EVERY day (basically). I canceled my flight home twice and stayed until New Years. Since I couldn’t leave in the middle of a semester, I didn’t move in with her until April 2007, but we planned it that December.

At 33 years old, 10 years is almost 1/3 of my life. It’s a big deal to me. That I get to share my life with my most favorite person–that’s just the best thing.

When I went back this morning and read our first conversation, this part made me laugh and laugh:



Just look at these kids: