Johanna is my wonderful fiancée. We’ve been together just over three years and will be tying the knot next April. She has been one of the greatest influences in my life and there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not thankful for her. I’m exceedingly happy and truly lucky to get to share this upcoming trip with her.
If you had told me three years ago that I would both find the love of my life and be headed on a European vacation to pick up my dream car with her, I’d have said you were crazy. Now, if you would have told me I’d meet this dream woman while playing World of Warcraft, I’d have just laughed at you.
But it’s true.
I met my fiancée playing World of Warcraft.
My what times we live in…
The story of how we met is a tale of generosity. A simple act of kindness that snowballed into a life-altering whirlwind. I’m not a very cosmic frou-frou sort of person, but I do believe in one thing: Life finds ways of paying you back that are unique and often extraordinary. Or, if you prefer the carrot and stick: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
OK, back to the story: Johanna was busy farming for her epic flying mount nearly three and a half years ago with some fellow members of our guild. For those of you who have never had the “pleasure” of buying a mount in World of Warcraft just know that they are incredibly expensive and often take weeks to earn enough money to buy. At the time, our guild was such a large and loosely affiliated collection of friends that I actually had no idea who she was or really anything about her. To say she was a friend of a friend was probably a stretch.
However, being a software engineer fresh out of college, I did know one thing: How to grind massive amounts of XP and Gold for great justice. Such skillz (yes, with a ‘z’) earned me such an embarrassment of riches that I didn’t even think twice when I came across her in a field of monsters, slowing trying to earn the money for her epic flyer.
I offered to help her buy the flyer immediately, and after some persuasion she accepted. After taking flight for the first time, she was about as happy as anyone I’ve ever come across. I knew I had made her night, but I didn’t think much of it, other than the usual surprise that girls do exist on the internet. And yet, as any relatively lonely guy will tell you, it was rather interesting to find a girl to spend some time with, if only digitally.
Over the next few weeks we found ourselves grouping together more and more — running dungeons, fighting in PvP, and generally enjoying each other’s company. Time spent chatting in game soon turned to time spent chatting on AIM during the day, and eventually turned into nightly chats on Skype. Without really knowing it, we were forging a truly solid and terrific friendship with one another.
As these things sometimes do, the conversations got more flirty over time. It was not long before we were nervously exchanging pictures of one another and making tentative plans to meet in person. As luck would have it, she had a trip to see a friend in Monterey, CA planned for Memorial Day weekend. We decided we would piggy back on the trip and meet in person at my apartment in Cupertino.
To say we were both nervous wrecks is an understatement.
The day finally arrived. I scurried about my apartment for hours getting ready, finished the prep work for dinner so I could make us a nice stir fry from scratch (always important to show the ladies you can cook), and flung the door wide when she arrived.
We both stared at each other for a brief moment, a bit afraid of what the other would think — “Does he/she like me? Do I look good enough? What if he’s/she’s a total freak?”. Finally, I opened my mouth, said, “Hello, beautiful!” and gave her a huge hug.
The rest, as they say, is history.