I used to log onto a half dozen BBS’s to check and see if I had any messages waiting for me there. Sometimes, if another user was already logged in, I’d have to wait my turn and call back later. If I sent a message to someone, I might have to wait a few days for a reply as one BBS would dial another BBS which would later dial yet another BBS till the message leapfrogged to wherever it was going.

Unless a message was local…

One day, after attending a Christmas part for all the local BBS users (Yes, I actually met my computer buddies face to face!) I came home on my lunch break to find a message that said “I was wondering how a person on the computer would ask another person if they are seeing anyone else without being too pushy… if you have an answer, let me know.”

I was intrigued. In those days, there were very few female BBS users. There were about thirty people at the party, and I’d met several guys. I remembered one really quiet one who stood behind his married friend, depending on his wingman to hold up the conversation.

It was signed “Nomad”. The BBS I was on was called “Nomad’s Land”.

I replied something like “I do date sometimes, but there is no one I’m seeing steadily.”

When I got home from work, there was another message. “So, let’s say a certain SysOp was to ask a certain user out on a date. What do you think the answer would be… and if yes, where would he take her that would most please her?”

I started typing back, but was immediately chatted. This is not where a chat window pops up on your screen; this is where your computer is taken over, and you are in chat whether you like it or not. The only way out would be to disconnect from the BBS.

So I chatted with him.

And he took me to Denny’s, then to The Hitch to listen to Michael. (Only those familiar with Cheyenne Wyoming will get that…)

And we’ve been married sixteen years now.

This post was written in response to the Write On Edge prompt:

I wrote the other day about social media and it’s role in our lives as writers, so I thought it would be fitting that we explore our earliest memories of being online for this week’s RemembeRED prompt.

Many of us remember life before the internet.

We wrote letters instead of emails, used encyclopedias instead of Google, and went to parties that weren’t of the Twitter variety.

For this week’s prompt, we want you to recall those early memories of being online.

But, I’m not letting you off that easy…there are two catches.

Please do not use the phrase “I remember…”

Also? No laundry lists. Try to focus on one small memory and share that with us. Tell us how it impacted your life and what it meant for you.

Write about your experience in 600 words or less and come back on Tuesday, September 13th to link up.

Happy Remembering!

The shortlink for this post is http://wp.me/p1rMYd-8p