Falling in Love with Howard

As I mentioned before, Howard and I met on silverdaddies (A gay dating website). Something interesting was, Howard was not looking for a son, and I was not looking for a daddy, but we found each other on that website…

Howard said he contacted the web master, and they told him I was the one who sent the first message on October 6th, 2010 (Yes, ten years ago, today). I couldn’t remember what I said, but it was most probably just showing my sympathy, as he mentioned in his profile that he lost his partner in 1987, and had been alone since then. He then wanted to do video chat with me. After exchanging several emails, I finally got him on Skype.

The first time Howard’s face appeared on Skype, I thought “oh my god, he is so cute!”. Howard thought I was handsome too, and he especially loved my neck, as it was long and I looked like a swan… To be honest, I had never been proud of my long neck, and that really flattered me. After chatting for a while, he paused, and seemed to be a little nervous. Then he started speaking, with his signature “trembling voice”, “Yi, listen, I am seriously looking for a life partner, and I want you to be the one…” I was stunned, because my expectation was just having another online friend, but I didn’t want to make him disappointed, so I replied “We can try and see what happens…”

And from that day, we talked every single day for four years until I moved to Provincetown. An interesting story was, one day (my night time), he wasn’t on Skype, and didn’t answer my phone calls either. I also didn’t get any emails from him telling me he would not be available for chatting. I was panicked, fearing that he might be laying on the floor unconscious, I called several of his neighbors and even the Provincetown police, hoping someone could go and check on him… He finally called me an hour later, and it turned out that Gerry (his best friend who had dementia and Howard was taking care of him) had a medical emergency, and he left his cell phone at home…

After chatting for a few months on Skype, Howard asked me to apply for a U.S. visa and visit him in Provincetown. To my surprise, I got the visa without any issues. I guess it was because I already travelled to Europe so many times, and I even had a few long term work and resident permit of Sweden. Three days after I got the visa, my boss (from Ericsson) asked me if I had a valid U.S. visa. I said yes, and asked him why. He said my company was launching a global program to encourage innovations, and they wanted to send me to Palo Alto, California, to participate in a workshop, and then I would be assigned as the representative of the program in our Beijing office. When I told Howard I would be travelling to California in about two weeks, he was very excited. When he talked to his friend Kathy (Fair) about my trip, she convinced him to fly to California to meet me there. His flight arrived in San Francisco about an hour before mine, and he was trying to find the terminal that I would be arriving at. He saw a guy in uniform coming out of the terminal, and asked whether he knew if the flight from Beijing was at the same terminal. That guy answered, “Yes, I’m pretty sure that flight arrived in this terminal, as I was the pilot…” The funny thing was, when I saw Howard in person for the first time, my first impression was “Oh my! He is so short…” And Howard’s first impression about me was “God, he is a giant!” (Howard was 5’4″, and I’m 5’9″)

Our first date was great, and we fell in love since then. There were a couple of interesting stories to share. As I had travel allowance from my company, I paid all the costs except for Howard’s airfare. When I paid for our drinks in a coffee shop, a young Indian cashier, who looked pretty gay, gave Howard a real dirty look. He probably thought older guys should always pay the bills… The workshop only lasted two days. On the third day, my colleagues wanted me to visit our office in San Jose. One of them volunteered to be my driver, and when I asked him if he could take “my friend” Howard too, he agreed. On our way, he got on the nerve and asked “How, did you guys, eh, meet each other?” “We just met online and became friends…” I answered. I could see the strange look on that guy’s face…

Two months after this trip, I made my first trip to Provincetown. Howard couldn’t drive (because of a phobia), so he had his friend David Nawoj to take us home. I fell in love with Provincetown immediately. Since then, I visited Howard three times a year in Provincetown, until we started the immigration process. During one of the trips, Howard took me to the bike trail. We stopped at one point, and he used some stones to make two heart shapes on the sand. He pointed to the clouds in the sky and said “Yi, when I first came to Provincetown, I thought one day, I would be living here. And trust me, one day, you will be living here too. Provincetown has the magic, and she has chosen you.” And Howard was right, Provincetown does have the magic, and I’m still living here…

This was how we fell in love with each other. I’ll talk about the immigration process in another post.


1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s