In the spring of 2003, two new profiles appeared on the online dating scene:
Kerry: In April, 2003, I moved to New York City. My friends told me that everyone in New York does online dating, so I figured I would give it a try. I put up a profile and e-mails started pouring into my inbox - and let me tell you, I seem to be very attractive to 50 year old men living in San Francisco. I decided that I needed to take matters into my own hands, and sent a "collect call" to a certain man whose profile intrigued me.
Kevin: I had been online dating for about two weeks when I got an email from Kerry. Her dating profile didn't tell me a lot about her but I could tell from her picture that she was cute and from a few subsequent emails that she was smart. I invited her out for drinks--carefully timed to allow me to ask her to dinner if it went well. When I got there she was just as cute as her picture, and very nice, but she was also very nervous. The conversation was going really well and the alcohol seemed to be easing her nervousness, so I invited her to dinner at a restaurant across the street.
Kerry: Kevin made me nervous. He was really cute. I hadn't been on a date in a really long time. Which is why it really confused me when, after dinner, a friend of his called and Kevin told him to meet us for a drink. This either meant that things were going really well, and he wanted to introduce me to his friends, or this was going really poorly, and he wanted an escape route. But I was having a good time, so I didn't really care.
Kevin: It seemed like a good idea at the time... Anyway, we kept dating. In late June, Kerry surprised me by agreeing to meet me in Southeast Asia for two weeks in August. This either meant that things were going really well, and she felt comfortable enough to travel together already, or this was going really poorly, and she wanted an escape route via Laos. But she came back to New York with me and the following April we moved in together.
Kerry: International travel has ended up being very important to our relationship. We went to Paris together. And then scuba diving in Belize. In April, we went to Japan to visit Kevin's sister, who is living there. It rained for the first three days of our trip, but everything was still beautiful—it was cherry blossom time, and Tokyo was covered with little white petals that looked almost like fresh snow. Finally the rain cleared up and the sun came out. Kevin convinced me to take a detour through a park. We were walking through the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, when Kevin pulled me aside, into a little pagoda, looking out over a pond framed by flowering trees.
Kevin: We sat for a bit, soaking in the view. Finally I asked Kerry how she thought our relationship was going. She answered "Good, and you?" with enough fear in her voice that I knew she was wondering if I was about to deliver bad news. I took time to reassure her that I was very happy too. Once she seemed relaxed again, I asked her how she felt about making a longer commitment. "What do you mean?" she asked, finally walking right into the plan. For months I had been staying up late at night, instant messaging with my sister in Japan while be both poured over hundreds of diamonds on the Blue Nile website. For weeks, I had been hiding the finished ring from her. And throughout the entire Japan trip, I was nervously clutching my satchel, praying that I wouldn't lose it or have it stolen while I waited for an opportunity. Now that the opportunity had finally arrived, I pulled the ring box out of my satchel, opened it and said "I mean for the rest of our lives."
Kerry: Somehow I managed to say yes through my tears. Today we're still writing the rest of our story together.