Yesterday I was congratulating a friend on her upcoming wedding. She and her intended met online and formed a wonderful relationship. I commented that my daughter had a similar experience 8 years ago.
My daughter was 22 at the time and living at home, going to school. My baby, my stay at home girl. Sometime in early summer we noticed that she was virtually living on the computer. If she wasn't at work then you could find her parked in front of the computer (somewhat like what I do now). Of course I asked what was up and she said she had found a gaming site (card games) where you could partner up with other people all over the world and she was making friends and enjoying it. Her speech became peppered with what so and so from China thought and what the new thing was in India, bah, blah. All good.
One morning, my husband got up for work at 5:30 and daughter was still assuming the position in front of the computer, still in her work clothes from the night before! She hadn't walked away from that screen for 9 hours. This became a routine and then, suddenly a web cam appeared on top of our monitor, hmmm. "What's up", I asked? "Nothing, what?" I started questioning her friends who wouldn't tell me but they did get all squirmy. I was considering the bamboo water torture when she finally (with the support of her girl friends) told me what was up. She had met Mr. Wonderful. Yes, online and he lived in Holland! Specifically, Amsterdam. And further, she was planning to get on a plane and go there for a visit for several weeks....ALONE! Are you freaking kidding me? Amsterdam, the land of legalized SIN! My little girl alone with a total stranger in Amsterdam? Oh Double HELL NO! This is the same kid who didn't even like sleep overs because she would rather be home!
Of course we talked calmly, then progressed to battle skirmishes. "But I'm over 18!". "And I still feed you and provide a roof over your head". "You can't stop me, I'm buying my own ticket." "And I recall taking your temperature and bringing you juice just weeks ago!". STANDOFF! Even her friends were nervous and didn't like the idea.
I cracked a little and agreed to meet him (give him the evil eye) on the web cam. Well, I did, but the lighting at his end was bad and I still felt like he was surely a 50 year old, creepy rapist and was going to sell my baby into white slavery in Indonesia or something. Then someone else walked into the room, it was his Mother. She and his dad had just come back from dinner. She and I met and chatted. Yes, she had some of the same feelings that I did about these kids. She was...me, just a mom, concerned about her child making crazy decisions.
Eventually we all agreed that Edo would come here for a visit and stay with us. He arrived, we met, he stayed for several weeks. We all loved him immediately, he fit right in even though he is a crazy foreigner. One year later, I got to meet his mom, Coby, when she arrived at my house 2 weeks prior to their wedding. We became fast friends on the spot. We all had the best 2 weeks with the families intermingling.
Happy 7th Anniversary to Jenn and Edo!
There are, however, differences in how Europeans live as compared to Americans but I'll save those observations for another post.