I wouldn’t consider myself a risk-taker.
Sure, I’ve traveled to third-world countries without getting the appropriate shots and moved to Chicago without even visiting the city. (I am an Aries!)
But in general, I tend to live between the lines. I don’t paddle out if the waves are overhead and I wouldn’t walk my dogs in the middle of the night.
And to get me to go out on a date with someone I’ve never met before falls into that category.
Here’s what happened: Back in November 2013, I confessed to a friend that I was divorced. It wasn’t something I liked to broadcast. In fact, only a handful of people knew that my marriage was over.
I didn’t tell anyone for a variety of reasons, one of which was not wanting to get set up.
Which is exactly what happened.
My friend sent me over a link to the Facebook page of a guy he had known for a couple of years.
“Single,” he wrote.
“Who is he?”
“He’s a professor at UH, works with us on the wetland project, he does aquaculture mostly.”
“Nice?” I asked. Because that’s really, really important to me.
“Nice,” my friend responded. “And hunky.”
“I seriously don’t care about hunky.” (True.)
After a few back-and-forths — and then a serendipitous assignment on aquaculture — I decided I’d email this guy my friend was raving about.
My attitude was this: “If he’s nice and he’s active and he’s not an idiot or a misogynist or a downer or crazy or an asshole, I’m open.”
So I emailed him about the story. He wrote back the next morning, his message full of useful information. I appreciated his quick and comprehensive response. We became Facebook friends and, a month later, he emailed me this line about that story I was supposed to write: “I’m happy to help, too, and maybe we can meet up sometime in person to discuss.”
We agreed to meet on Dec. 14, 2013 in the early morning to surf at Queen’s — and to talk about aquaculture.
We surfed. And we did talk. But not just about aquaculture.
We wound up talking for six hours at Rainbow Drive-In. And before he got home, he texted me about surfing the next morning, too.
We saw each other every single day from that point on. And six months to the day we met, we were married.
And all it took was an email to a stranger.
I’ve looked back on my exchange with our mutual friend who set us up and I always laugh when I read the message he sent me, begging me not taking on this guy’s last name if we ever got married. (And this was before I had even sent that first email.) “Cat Fox,” he said, was just too much.
And yet, here we are, a year after we met on that fateful morning at the beach, and I’m officially — and legally and happily — a Fox.
It’s still so unbelievable to me that our lives intersected last year, that we were both single at the same time, that we would both instantly like each other so much that in six months we made our relationship legal.
It just seems so surreal.
I barely knew the guy at first. (I won’t lie, I did Google him, but not much showed up.) And I’ve never really been the type to just meet someone like that — at 5 a.m. in Waikīkī, no less.
Yet, that departure from the way I usually operate proved to be the best decision of my life.
I met my husband, my best friend. I’m part of an awesome, supportive family. And my two dogs have another sister. Life couldn’t be better or more complete.
I’m still not going to paddle out in high-advisory surf or move to Syria. (There’s no good reason there.) But maybe, sometimes, every once in awhile, I might shake things up, do something that’s out of my ordinary.
Because you just never know what amazing turn your life might take.