Ten years ago, Claudia and I met for the first time.
Met face to face, I should say. We'd been meeting online for a few months at that point. We were both active on the same mailing list. One day I e-mailed her off list -- in all innocence -- to ask about a fine point of Turkish grammar. We started mailng back and forth and, well, one thing led to another.
At the time, I was living on the small Pacific Island of Saipan, where I was legal counsel to the Governor. By the autumn of 1997 I had been there almost seven (!) years. My boss had just lost his bid for re-election... partly because of the Asian economic crisis, partly for other reasons. The election was in early November. So in September, I made a reservation to go to Bali for two weeks. "If he wins," said I to myself, "it'll be my celebration trip; and if (as seems much more likely) he loses, it will be my consolation."
Claudia meanwhile was planning a trip to Nepal. Why not (I asked cunningly) turn it into a trip to Bali instead? We could meet in person, travel around together if we cared to. Bali was, after all, very nice...
Ahhh, so clever I was.
(Tip for scoundrels: do not meet a young woman in Bali, no matter how personable she may seem online. Because Bali is the most romantic damn place on Earth.)
Ten years. The first three years of that, I was all "ahh, she's just this German woman I see sometimes". Then there was sort of a... punctuated equilibrium, kind of a thing. After that things moved quickly. Radiated, if you like.
I want to take the boys to Bali someday. I think they'd like it a lot.
Happy anniversary, my dear.