On the 18th of August I did something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I flew 600 miles to meet my long distance girlfriend of three years in person for the first time. Let me backtrack and explain the whole story!
One of the things that helped boost Club Penguin’s user base back when the game first started out was a partnership with the gaming website Miniclip. While Miniclip tends to make their own games and host them on their website, they also hosted Club Penguin, allowing players to play the game directly on Miniclip.com. This gave the game a huge popularity boost, in fact it’s how a lot of the game’s players that joined in 2006 discovered Club Penguin – including one of my real life friends. The game was #1 on Miniclip for months.
Miniclip used to operate a forum (a discussion board) where users of the Miniclip website could discuss Miniclip games as well as general things. There was a sub-forum just for Club Penguin discussion on the Miniclip Forums, however it was later decided that the Club Penguin players should have their own big forum instead of a small isolated section. Thus, Penguinforum was born. It was called MCCP by the users, short for MiniClip Club Penguin. The forum launched to the public on March 2, 2007.
You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this, and don’t worry, I’m getting there. I joined MCCP in June 2007 under the name iWaddle when I was 11 years old. I make mention of my age because you had to be 13 or older to join the forum due to the COPPA law. I decided to confess to being underage (a common occurrence on the forum) and was banned for a year until I turned 13, as I had just recently turned 12. In that time period I lurked the forums as a guest, heck in Spring 2008 I made a second account under a different alias, Coin Eater. Last year I remembered the password to the account and surprisingly it still existed after not being used for years.
Fast forward a year past my unban, to June 2009. A user named Kailey joined MCCP. (Side note: she doesn’t play Club Penguin really anymore but you’re still welcome to add her, her username is Penny44546)
Kailey and I became acquaintances during our time on MCCP. The forums shut down in 2012 due to inactivity, unfortunately. We spoke a little bit from time to time and followed each other on Twitter, but that was about it.
In Spring 2012 I was going through some tough times and Kailey saw my depressed tweets about it so she reached out to me to see if I was okay. Over the next few months we ended up texting each other a lot and I began to really like her. We were now close friends, so on August 6, 2012 I asked her to be my girlfriend. She said yes, and we’ve been together in a long distance/online relationship ever since!
Kailey and I almost met in December 2012 when she was visiting her older sister in New York, however unfortunately it didn’t work out. Not to worry though, we’re patient people.
Fast forward all the way to the end of July 2015, just one month ago. My third anniversary together with Kailey was approaching. I figured that it was as good as ever of a time to orchestrate a meetup, as rather than waiting for an opportunity to happen I figured I should make the opportunity myself. I spoke to my parents and asked if they would allow me to fly to Michigan to surprise and finally meet up with my girlfriend. They said yes, which I admit kind of surprised me. I went ahead and contacted her mother on Facebook to see if it was doable. It was! I went ahead and booked a flight. I was visiting from August 18th and flying home on the 22nd. I’d have loved to stay longer but for a first visit I didn’t want to overstay my welcome, plus if things didn’t go so well I wouldn’t want to be stranded – although I wasn’t ever worried about that happening.
Since it was a surprise visit Kailey was completely clueless about me flying to her. That day I simply told her that I had a doctor’s appointment at a doctor an hour away followed by an acupuncture appointment. I do really see a doctor that’s roughly an hour away every few months and she’s aware of that so nothing suspicious there. And I really do typically have acupuncture appointments on Tuesday afternoons so the little white lies bought me a few hours to cover up my absence while I was driven to the airport, flew on the plane, and was at the airport in Detroit collecting my luggage. I left for the airport around 11:30, arrived at 12:30 and was through security and waiting to board by 1:15.
There’s something fun and exciting about traveling alone and makes you feel pretty grown up. Which is kind of funny because I am a grown up. I don’t really know why, it’s just that there’s something fun about flying to a destination you’ve never been to before, even if it was “only” 600 miles away from home and a quick 75 minute flight. My flight departed New Jersey at 2:00, 10 minutes ahead of schedule (yay!) and landed around 3:15. It was raining in Detroit when we landed but by the time I left the airport it was sunny again.
By 4:00 PM I had picked up my suitcase from baggage claim and headed outside, waiting for Kailey and her mom to appear. Kailey was still clueless. She thought she was picking up her sister who lives in New York, as a few times a year she’ll visit her. Surprise, it was really me! I spotted her walking on the sidewalk with her mom, waved, and when she realised it was me she ran up and we hugged. I was never worried about things being awkward when Kailey and I met up, and luckily there wasn’t any. After the hugging I said hello to her mom, placed my luggage in their car, and hopped in. It was about a 40 minute drive back to their house, but it went by quick. Of course we held hands during the ride home. First time holding hands, woo. :P We actually compared our arms to see who’s paler, lol. It was a tie.
We arrived at their house and I quickly got settled in and also met her younger brother. First Kailey took a serious picture:
And then we took a not so serious picture, which took a few tries to do because I kept laughing.
There was no awkwardness or unsureness whatsoever between us. Seeing Kailey in person for the first time was like meeting up with with any old friend. We jumped right into things, simply picking up where our online conversations left off. We were comfortable, there was no uncertainty, nothing of that kind of all. It was great.
Kailey does have a cat, appropriately named Fluffy. I’m usually allergic to cats but I wasn’t to Fluffy so that made things a whole lot easier for me. Fluffy became jealous of me that first day I was there since usually she gets Kailey all to herself, and suddenly I, some new guy, is stealing her away. After the first day she warmed up to me and stopped acting weird, luckily.
Since it was around 5:00 in the afternoon by the time I arrived at Kailey’s house we just stuck around the house the rest of the day. I met her stepdad when he came home from work (he’s really sarcastic, I love it) and then we went for a little walk around the neighbourhood once I was unpacked and settled in. During the whole walk we held hands since we wanted to make up for lost time and because our time together was short. Plus, y’know, holding hands is nice and all.
Kailey lives right across the street from her old school as well as train tracks. (heck yes!) On the way back from our walk we went over to the soccer bleachers on the school property and sat down for a little bit, enjoying the weather. This is where we both had our first kiss. Not just with each other, either. We’ve both never kissed anyone else outside of family and pets so. I was just kind of like “I wanna kiss you”. I was unsure if she’d let me or not since I had literally been at her house less than two hours. How romantic, right? Heh. She was up to it. So we leaned in, kissed, and then kissed some more. I’ve always been nervous like “oh no I have no idea how to kiss someone, I’m probably terrible at it” but it’s really easy, almost like a natural instinct. After that finished our walk back to Kailey’s house when a train went by. Woohoo! While we were out on our walk Kailey’s older brother who lives in the area had arrived so I met him and his two kids. I ended up meeting his wife the next day. (or the day after that, I forget) It’s kind of funny how much happened in just a few hours. I met my girlfriend and her parents, we held hands and kissed for the first time, and now I’ve met some of her family!
We spent the rest of the night eating pizza and cuddling for the first time. We both love cuddling, honestly it’s all we did whenever we had some downtime.
That wraps up the first day (or rather, half day) together. The next day Fluffy was mostly warmed up to me. Here’s a picture of Fluffy chilling on my suitcase:
And another picture of me and Kailey together:
And another photo of Fluffy:
Wednesday afternoon we went to the movie theatre. We were going to see Paper Towns since we’re both fans of John Green but unfortunately it wasn’t screening anymore. We saw Trainwreck instead. No trains were in it…what a letdown! I thought the movie was okay but I didn’t care for it that much. Kailey and I snacked on popcorn the whole time. Here’s us outside the movie theatre after watching the movie:
That’s about it for Wednesday!
Here’s a picture Kailey took of me Thursday morning while I’m on the computer with Fluffy laying on the couch, watching me.
Speaking of the computer, one thing I honestly really enjoyed was how little of a time I spent on the computer while at Kailey’s house. When I’m here at home I often spend all day on it doing a whole bunch of nothing. Out in Michigan I was so busy having a good time that I only spent a little bit of time on the computer and was perfectly fine with that. I would spend about 30 minutes on it in the morning doing my daily website checkup while Kailey did hers and and then I’d check things very briefly later in the day or at night. It was nice to step away from the computer because I was having fun with other things.
One thing Kailey and I both love is books. On Thursday afternoon we went to the local Barnes and Noble for an hour, browsing and trying to decide what book each of us should get. She ended up getting No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz and I ended up getting Survive the Night by Danielle Vega.
After we decided what books we were getting we decided to make a little detour to the kids section…
…and I decided I would stack all the giant legos into one big tower.
I knocked it down before leaving.
Then we went over to the Thomas the Train setup, because why not, ya know? They don’t call me Trainman for nothing!
After that we paid for the books and went back home. We hung out the rest of the night. :)
And that’s when we took my favourite picture of us together:
My visit was going by very fast. Friday had already approached, my final full day in Michigan. Noooo! The two of us, her parents, and her older brother and his wife went out to eat lunch at PF Changs. Her brother and wife left after that and so the four of us went to a nearby park alongside Lake St. Clair.
We may or may not have done this. Don’t vandalise, kids.
At the park/lake we also went over to the playground was there. We rode the swings and such. Swings are the best.
After that fun adventure we went back home and had a fire in the backyard, went in the portable hot tub they have on the driveway, and then went in the pool. In that order. Yes, the pool was freezing because we went in the hot tub first. But we didn’t care. :p
It was now Friday night and we were beginning to get sad that I was flying home the next day, Saturday the 22nd. We both had the most amazing time together. We enjoyed all our time together, going on dates, driving around, and of course finally being able to kiss and cuddle.
Early Saturday afternoon we drove back to the Detroit airport. It was difficult to say goodbye, even if it isn’t for forever. The four days together went by so, so quick. Honestly, I had the time of my life visiting Kailey. Dealing with chronic fatigue since age 12 has made me miss out on being able to experience things during my teenage years since it’s kept me home so much. It felt, so, so, so good to feel normal for a few days, doing new things with someone you love.
Goodbye Michigan, and thanks for your hospitality. Word on the street is I may end up going back around the holidays. I really hope so! December has never felt so far away. UPDATE: I go back in the middle of November, my flight has already been booked! :D
Side note to the kiddies: never post personal information online and don’t meet up with strangers.