This story is about a friend (who I'll call Fred) of my brother - a man I haven't seen for almost 40 years. He and my brother were best friends when they were growing up and have stayed friends through many moves and all the years in between.
They're both in the early 50s and Fred has lived, for most of his grown up life, in a small town in the mountains of British Columbia. It's a town where they have real winters and short summers. A place where hockey and curling and hunting and fishing and skidoos are king.
Recently, though, his life took a complete about face. He met a woman (I don't know her name so I'll call her Ethel) on the internet and they fell in love. Really. And how do I know this?
Because Fred, small mountain town Fred, left his job and his friends and moved to Israel (Israel!) for three years to be with Ethel. He couldn't work there, but neither of them cared. They were in love.
He arrived back in Canada two days before his passport expired. He's got a job in small town Alberta and I don't know - because I didn't have a chance to ask him - what the next step in this romance is. All I know is that it isn't over.
I think this happens way more often than it did even four or five years ago. I was in a cab a few weeks ago and the cab driver told me he fell in love on the internet and his wife - from a country halfway around the world - moved here and they've been married, very happily, for almost five years.
A friend of mine, a live downtown Vancouver friend, met a man on the internet. He lives not even in a small town but in the deepest of deep wilderness in the north of British Columbia. They corresponded, they met, they fell in love. He built her a office/studio on the house he was building in the wilderness and she moved up there and has lived there ever since.
Do you have stories of internet romances? Good ones? Bad ones? I'm inclined, now, to think that they probably have exactly the same success rate as in person romances do.