My Best Friend
I'm guessing there aren't too many 40 year old Moms who have a 30 year old British (straight) man as a best friend. LOL! Well, I do! Daniel and I met online in a chat room in November 1999. Now, I know that sounds weird, but it wasn't like a matchmaker site or anything like that. It was on the company website at www.wizards.com (incidentally the company and website I now work for, go figure!).
My husband has been a geek from WAY back and got me into Dungeons and Dragons when we were in highschool. It gave us geeks something to do on Friday nights and weekends and all summer, since we never went out and did the stuff cool kids did...like drinking and smoking and whatever else they may have been getting up to. Wizards of the Coast makes D&D as well as many other games, and they had a chatroom where we geeks could find other geeks from around the world and chat. In the 90s, we were all on dial-up still, and it was all still really new and cool. Well, I made a lot of friends in that chatroom. Two of which are my best friends on this planet. One is James in California, and the other is Daniel in England. I have never met James in person, though we've known each other for 10 years. I will someday. He's a great excuse to go to San Francisco! Daniel however is like a member of our family.
In fact he kind of is a member of the family. He happens to be my 8 yr old daughter, Zoe's godfather.
|Daniel and Zoe bonding from the beginning.|
He was sick of his life and dead end job the summer I was pregnant with Zoe, and we welcomed him to come stay with us as long as his visa would allow, and he ended up living with us for a couple of months to help when I was hot, pregnant and miserable, and also when we had a house full of kids and a newborn. He was truly a Godsend that year.
In fact, he's helped me through a lot of stressful near-nervous-breakdown moments over the years as a Mom to 4 girls. He may be thousands of miles away, but on a computer instant messenger, he's got a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.
He's visited here so many times I lost track. There have even been times I've had to "translate" for him like at McDonalds when people can't understand his Wiltshire accent. I have been there to Swindon in Wiltshire, England 3 times now. I am IN LOVE with England. I've been an anglophile since I was a kid and my sister lived in the UK and sent me things. It was like a magical place to a little kid with a big imagination.
|Daniel and Me at Stonehenge (Dear Hubby took the pic)|
It's always been kind of weird having people try to understand our friendship since it's so unusual. No, he's not my boy toy LOL, No he's not gay, he's British. LOL! He and my hubby are great friends too, and Zoe practically worships the ground he walks on. She calls him, "Uncle".
Zoe went with me on my second trip actually. She was 2 1/2. His family wanted to meet her. She got on great with him mum, but she was a little brat at his Nan and Grandad's house. That was a shame too, since his grandad has since passed on. She's still kind of a brat, but has much better manners when she's supposed to.
|Me, Zoe and Daniel at a mall that used to be a train factory.|
At that time, Daniel was with "Aunt Becca", but I have since had to explain Aunt Becca isn't with Uncle anymore,but she's still a great friend of the family. I *really* wish they lived closer. I adore these people!
|Daniel and Becca - (I totally want to be her when I grow up, she's so cool!)|
He's come close to getting hitched a couple times, but alas is still single, has a great govt job and his own house. It's hard to believe we've known each other so long. When we met, I was 29 and he was 19. Now he's 30 and I'm 40. Neither of us can quite get used to that idea.
It's been 3 years since we've been able to get together in person, but this August 28th, I will be waiting at the airport gate to welcome him back to Tennessee. We've never gone 3 years without seeing each other in person before, and these 3 years will have probably made quite a mark on both of us. I'm a lot heavier now than I was,.. by about 30 lbs UGH! And he's got gray hair now! And some laugh lines. Oh yeah I've got tons of silver streaks in my hair and wrinkles of my own. Still 30 and 40 are good ages to be I think. I sure don't feel old in any sense of the word. Funny how I thought turning 30 was so horrible at the time HAH!
He'll be staying here for 2 weeks, and I can't wait! He insists on sleeping on the couch so he doesn't displace any of the girls from their room when they need to get sleep for school. We won't have much money for doing anything big like Dollywood, but he has requested a day in the Smokies which I can certainly accommodate. He'll probably be challenged to games on the Wii by my kids every evening and weekend. He's a huge video game fanatic. We live closer to town now, and since he's British and they walk absolutely everywhere, he may take a few excursions to the stores. Or he may just lay around the house all day and relax. Apparently he *really* needed to get away from it all for awhile, and he's certainly always welcome here. He's family.