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I would like to, on my way to my honeymoon, raise a toast to Everything2.

It is via here I have meet my husband and forged a new life in another country. Without E2 even getting my engagement ring would have been difficult.

To begin I could rave about community and the warm fuzzy feelings but I do not think that is quite enough. So it is going to be thank-yous, in no particular order.

treehouse, an infrequent noder but who introduced me to the high school yard that is our beloved community.

To heppigirl and twd, for proving that meeting people off the internet is not completely insane.

To wertperch in the lead up to my trip to England.

Having mentioned the perch you can not forget the britnoders, whom without I would have had very little social life in my first months of living in old Blighty.

To tenminjoe who I meet in the first week here in London, and has been like fixture since then. His smile is one that is genuine and one I enjoy to see, even when I cried on him he was sweet and friendly.

tiefling, another britnoder, upon whom I burst into tears the first time I met him . Without whom I would have never built a snowman in the Dover Castle grounds nor taught the security guard at the National Portrait Gallery costume words and the gossip about various royals sexuality. I have so many funny stories about this lad and I getting out on the town, the funniest being meeting a noble prize winner and end up drunk with scientists attending the Royal Society.

Another britnoder close to my heart is a man with a voice of pure gold and the drinking capacity of a small army. Spiregrain, the man who took me to my first night at the proms and laced me into my corset waiting to get into Last night of the Proms. My first Christmas here in England was made special by the above two noders.

You will note the britnoders are featured heavily and that is because they are a funny and special bunch. One of the special ones is my very own internet stalker, wntrmute, one of the final gentlemen left on this earth. Also one of the strangest, mathematics being his passion and that makes my brain dribble out of my ears.

The Debutante and TheLady who have been supportive and the source of great giggles. I have had some very rough times in the past two years and these two have always been there for a chat and break.

Talking about support, you can not go past the ninjagirls, thank-you my leather clad friends, your advice was very good. Special thanks to princessloulou and her divine booyaa who have been very sweet, so we must get around for dinner soon!

Couples are very much part of E2, many have met here and others are long-standing relationships that have become institutions here. Heyoka and snarl are special in my heart and have been wonderful to chat about many things including hips, sticks and metal bits. Another wonderful couple are jodiek and ralphyk, although not seen here much more, are gems and jodiek gets big points just for being her.

Quick mentions to the following people for their support and advice on both nodding and sometimes personal stuff; rootbeer277, dannye, LauraElizabeth, Felttips, blackpawn, nora (who emailed me the pieces that we used in our wedding), scribe, doyle, Halspal, swap, grundoon, Chase and wiccanpiper. There are many more noders I could mention whom I have spoken to in real life and via messages but then the node would just get too big. There is just one other noder, I should thank.

To StrawberryFrog, my friend, my lover, my strength, my sunshine through the day, my home port and the love of my life. Without E2 we would have never met and this node would not have been written, thank-you.

Sitting in the car that day I felt happy; my hand resting on her leg, driving down Hwy. 7 toward her house. We would be meeting several of our friends later to partake in an evening of caravanning. Being young and in the suburbs we had little to entertain ourselves, so we gathered together and drove around just enjoying being together. That would all come later, but right then I was happy just being in her presence. In a few short hours our lives would be drastically different but for the moment we reveled in the pure joy of being with someone for whom we cared.

Turning off of the highway onto a local road, I realized neither of us had spoken for some time. I always felt awkward interrupting a silence, as if I was ruining the effect for someone, but I took a deep breathe and forced myself to speak. “You know,” I paused, searching for something to say that would be worth the effort it had taken to speak. Finding nothing I merely said, “I enjoy you”. Her reply was a simple smile in my direction, but it was more than enough for me. Over our time together we had grown accustom to the each others mannerisms; one of hers was a lack of ability-or willingness, I never decided which one-to express her feelings verbally. It didn't really bother me all that much, she expressed herself in other ways, it just took a bit more effort to interpret them. I felt contented with our small, but meaningful exchange and returned to our previous silence.

Soon there after we arrived at her home, a Pepto-Bismol pink house with a little white fence around it, we often referred to it as the “Barbie Dream House” just for its sheer likeness. Contained within was far from the ideal family; an ex-alcoholic mother, a father with chronic back problems, and a sister that did little with her life, excepting for drugs. She tells me it wasn't a bad life, they were all good people; it just got a bit overwhelming at times. As I exited my car I looked over and noticed that she had forgotten to lock her door. This was an odd occurrence for her; she always remembered. I thought little of it as I crossed to the other side of the car and locked her door for her. It struck me as odd but people occasionally forget things; it's just a fact of the human memory.

As I entered her front door I was swept in by the sea-like motion of an almost ancient Beagle and an aging Labrador. I greeted them as I did every time I entered, by attempting to pet them both at once so that neither would feel left out or neglected. As always though, the Beagle shied away as soon as I reached out to stroke his back. Something had occurred before her family had adopted the Beagle that made it weary of men. I was still a bit hurt by the dog's distrust of me, but I had grown used to it and no longer was too disappointed. The Lab however, had no trouble trusting me and so, as always, I spent a few minutes stroking his golden back and scratching his head.

From there we retreated to the basement to watch a movie we had both seen several times but still enjoyed. We sat down on her heavily worn, brown couch and starred blankly at the television. The couch wasn't heavily worn in the sense that it was falling apart, more in the sense that the brown patterns were missing in places from the number of times pant fabric had rubbed against it. We looked the average couple as we sat there viewing the film. My right arm was around her shoulders and my left hand rested on her left thigh; not too high though, just as much as we were both comfortable with. Approximately halfway through the movie we became slightly uninterested and began kissing. Our hands remained where they were originally stationed and we kept our tongues to ourselves. We had never been a very physical couple, but that never occurred to us until years later when we looked back at the time we spent together. As the movie ended so did our pseudo make-out session and we trekked backward through the entrance routine as we returned to my car.

It was now seven thirty and time to meet everyone else at the usual location. We used this particular friend's house as the meeting place because it was the most centralized for everyone. Our evening of caravanning went as it always did; we drove around plotting destructive behavior that would never be carried out, going to Wendy's drive through requesting only a few glasses of water and a lot of napkins, and discussing the trivial matters that seemed so important at that time in our lives. When this no longer entertained us we would park in a deserted parking lot and play hackysac in the pitch dark or cruise till we found a couple trying to have some private time in their back seat and do our best to scare them shitless.

Eventually we'd end up back at the friend's place where we'd either part ways to return to our respective homes or spend hours watching our favorite movies and consuming hundreds of Davanni's deep dish pizzas. This particular night I had noticed that she was rather aloof on the ride back to her place. As we pulled into her driveway I could tell something was wrong but I didn't know what it could be. We merely sat there in silence for a long while. After what seemed hours she looked up at me, tears filling her eyes and I suddenly knew exactly what she was going to say.

The weekend went pretty well. Friday I got off of work at about 1 then lifted and ran. I lounged on the futon for a while then went to partners for a few drinks. I started talking to this guy who used to play football for the local team back in the sixties. Since I had just finished playing I talked to him for a while and expressed my anger with the head coach not allowing me to return for my 5th year (a long story). Then I went to Flanigan's and hung out with Scott and Ricky. I called Tyson after a while and he said that he was at Sharkey's. I tried to talk Ricky into going, but he had us drop him off at a house. Scott and I went to Sharkey's and hung out for a while. It was kind of fun. We then went to a party for a while to watch the idiots play drunk ball. I went back at about 11:30 to sleep.

I woke up at 8am with a headache, so I ate some breakfast and watched TV until I convinced myself to go run and swim. On the way I talked to Jessica and she was telling me about the move down to Cincy. I then went back to watch even more TV. I talked to Mom, she was in Oklahoma watching the concrete canoe competition. Don't ask. She made some smart ass remark about when Jessica and I are in Cleveland to go sleep at Grandma's house where there are separate beds. The reason she said this was because I told my parents that Jessica may come home and dad suggested that we sleep in the same bed. I know that he doesn't care, but my parents know that the whole idea bothers Jessica's parents, so Mom doesn't like it. Jessica may not even come because there is an party at her apartment complex that saturday and she wants to meet people and doesn't want to drive a long way two weekends in a row.

I really want her to come, so I hope that she decides to, but I don't want to sound desperate. I go to Jake's 21st birthday party. They had some kegs, it was pretty fun. I go to work at about 11 and it ends up being a pretty slow night. Nothing of real consequence happened until Jake's 17 year old sister was passing out in her chair...yes, I let her into the bar. After work we went to Flanigan's to have a few drinks with some of the workers from Sharkey's. It was about 3am and Jessica had called earlier saying that she was driving Jenny back to Dayton that night and if she could stay with me. I was really excited. By this time I was pretty trashed so it was a good idea for her to drive anyway. We went back and messed around for a while and passed out.

The next day we hung around the apartment for a while, then we left to go to Cincy. When she was using my computer I happened to glance over at her mailbox and saw that there was an email entirely in spanish. This kind of bothers me, but I haven't said anything to her about it. She did not read it, but simply closed the browser. She spent last year in Spain and had a boyfriend over there for a while. I know that he was emailing her when we first started dating, but we never really talked about him. I may ask her about it but I don't know. I always tend to overthink stuff. Anyway we hung around her apartment for a while before I left around 9:30. She is still smoking, but I did not bring it up at all. I hate being the guy that quit smoking, and doesn't want his girlfriend to smoke. It really bothers me. I did enjoy smoking, and probably would if I started again, but I do not want to spend the money anymore and I want to quit while I am young. It might have something to do with the fact that we used to smoke together and now that I have quit I feel like a part of our relationship is gone. Part of it may be that when I see her smoking with other people, I know that that person used to be me. I don't know. I hate thinking about stupid shit all of the time, but I don't know how to stop. When I was talking to Bo, I was telling him about all of the stuff that I think about, and he said something prophetic:

"That's how people go crazy, man."

I know, and that bothers me and makes me think about even more stupid shit.

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