How I Met My Hungry Husband
The year was 2005, the number 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 was “We belong together” by Mariah Carey. Lindsay Lohan was still an A-List celebrity and hip belts were in. It was my second year of University and I felt very alienated from everyone. All my school friends went to other Universities and we lost touch over the years. I honestly felt like I didn’t belong and was struggling to connect with people. I’ve always found it difficult to make friends, especially after moving to Cape Town from Durban at the age of 9, I never fully recovered from the culture shock of being in a different place and away from the known and familiar. Being shy also caused me problems, as people thought I was”aloof” or “stuck up”. I have always found solace on the Internet. As crazy as it sounds. I love series, movies, music, fashion and used to immerse myself in all the websites, forums and blogs that you would find in those early days. Talking to people online was much much easier than real life and that is how it all started.
There used to be this site called Rate Desi, the premise was pretty shallow and basic, people uploaded their pictures and you could “rate” them from 1 – 10. Beyond this awful main website was a forum, where the real people used to hang out. Back then you were who you said you were on the Internet. It was still dodgy but leagues away from the levels of today. If you were smart and had your wits about you, you could tell pretty quickly who was authentic or not. I made a few good friends on RD but was subsequently banned for something my friend did.
All of us banned folk then moved on to another forum called Apni Space (Friend Space), where we continued to chat about things that interested us, think of memes and twitter but in one continuous thread and no 140 character limit. There were silly topics and serious topics and the site resembled My Space. Because there were fewer users, we got to interact more with each other and you really got to know people. It was our own little online community.
Beyond the forum most people used to use MSN Chat – the old Hotmail application. There was no Skype, no FaceTime and no WhatsApp. My (now) husband first commented on my profile one day, then we kept on bumping into each other (figuratively of course) on the forum. He struck up a conversation and we’ve been talking non-stop since.
It should have been simple from there. Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy puts a ring on it and they live happily ever after. But it was a little bit more complicated than that. He lived in New York and I live in South Africa. In addition to the long distance, the time difference was a challenge too! Not to mention we were both studying at the time and had no idea how we could make it work. Fast forward to 2013, he finishes his double major and flies to Cape Town. You would think getting a visa to this country is easy, it was anything but. He could only get a 3 month visitors visa, enough time to meet the parents but then what?! He had to go back home and we literally had to fight to get him back. We even had to postpone our wedding because he didn’t get his visa in time (sorry fam!).
A few months later on the 31st January 2014, I married my soul mate. Looks like Mariah knew back in 2005, we do belong together.