Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Secret First Meeting of Mr. Fob and Radon Spaceman

Ten years ago today, I met the man who would later become my husband. I don't remember talking to him at all, and we certainly didn't flirt--we were both married to other people at the time, he was fully closeted, and I was only halfway out--but we did, technically, meet.

It was the summer of 2008. My wife and I were in the process of moving from Seattle, Washington, to Davis, California, so logically we spent a month in Utah. She and I were both active bloggers at the time--she went by FoxyJ and I went by Mr. Fob, because this was before using your real name on the internet was cool--and we had a number of blog friends we saw in real life only rarely, as well as several we'd never met. To remedy both problems, we occasionally held blog parties where we invited these random strangers to meet us in person and eat food together. Considering that a large number of our blog followers knew of us because we'd been featured in a news article about gay Mormon bloggers in mixed-orientation marriages, which made us rather unpopular among conservative Mormons and liberal gay people alike, I suppose we're lucky none of the potluck food was poisoned.

One of the blog friends who came to the party we threw that summer at Kiwanis Park in Provo went by the blogonym Kristeee (you'll never guess what her real name is). She had been following both mine and Foxy's blogs since 2006, which I would learn much later was not long after she'd gotten married--in 2005. Her husband, whom I will call Radon Spaceman because it wouldn't be right for him to have a real name when none of the rest of us do, had told her before they got married that he was attracted to men but wanted to marry her anyway because, you know, Mormonism, so when Kristeee came across FoxyJ's blog through mutual blog friends, then learned that Foxy and I were living the same story much more publicly, she grabbed a bowl of popcorn and got comfy. I didn't know any of this at the time--as far as I knew, Kristeee was just some random Mormon mommy blogger who happened upon our blogs and thought we were cool.

So Kristeee came to our blog party and she dragged Radon Spaceman along. I remember meeting them. I remember talking to her a bit, since she was the one I knew online. I'm pretty sure I noticed that her husband was attractive; they would have had a seven-month-old baby with them, and I have a soft spot for men with small children as well as for very Mormon-looking men, so he would have checked off both of those boxes for me. At the time, though, I wouldn't have done anything more than notice a guy was attractive, and if anything that would have made me less likely to talk to him because I'd have felt intimidated. For his part, he was aloof. He was very Mormon (in beliefs as well as looks) and very closeted, and didn't know what to make of this strange guy who was openly gay while still in a committed, monogamous, straight marriage.

Kristeee, Baby K, and Radon Spaceman circa 2008.

It was probably for the best that we didn't connect at the time. I had a habit of forming friendships with guys, then wishing it could be something more, and I definitely didn't need any more of that anxiety at the time. Now that Radon Spaceman and I are happily married, I'm glad there's no question that our relationship started after our previous marriages were over. It was, in fact, another four and a half years before we met again, this time through OKCupid. At that point we only vaguely remembered having met each other previously, but I did have the advantage of going into that first date with the recommendation of Kristeee, who correctly guessed that Radon Spaceman and I would get along well.

FoxyJ and I with other fobulous blog friends at that 2008 blog party.

My one regret? We have no photo of us meeting that first time. I have other photos from the blog party, but none of Kristeee or Radon Spaceman. So the moral of the story is this: Always take photos with every random stranger you meet. You never know when you'll end up marrying them.

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