It was 2000. I was twenty years old and had just started my second year at the local university. It was a grey and rainy fall and I was in a bit of a funk. I liked my program, but was missing many of my friends who were going to school out of town. I remember chatting with my mom about wanting to go see a show, but not wanting to go alone. She encouraged me to go anyway. Convinced, I threw my raincoat on and hopped on the subway to the venue. The rain must have kept people away; I waited in a short line and got a great seat inside. The opener, a local band I was somewhat famillar with put on a good performance. Then the headliners, who I'd heard a lot about, but whose music was new to me, went on. By the time their set was over I was kicking myself for not brining any extra money to buy their CD. They'd been awesome.
I spent the next week or so browsing their webpage and some fanpages, and checking out articles about them online. There was one fanpage that stood out from most of the others and I decided to email the webmaster some of the articles I'd found. She responded back thanking me for the links I'd sent her, and from there we started emailing back and forth.
First we just chatted about the band, how we'd found out about them, the shows we'd seen., etc. but soon we started sharing more about our day to day lives. It happened gradually, but within a month or so we were exchaging emails daily. In fact, her emails became the highlight of my days. By Christmas I was beginning to realize just how much I liked this girl.
This was a somewhat terrifying prospect.
I liked a girl.
I hadn't dated much in highschool. There were never really any guys that interested me. I never recognized that walking to the far end of the school to be more likely to pass the cute girl a year ahead of me might be a sign of, well, anything. (Not that I ever mentioned this habit to anyone.) It seemed perfectly reasonable to have pictures of the actresses I liked ripped out magazines and pinned on the bulliten board in my room. And my brother and sister were just as big Ani DiFranco fans as I was. ;)
The band made an announcement that they were going to do a handful of shows around my city. Jen said she was considering coming up for them and I asked if she'd be willing to car pool since I wanted to go but didn't drive. She was. It was snowing the afternoon that I took the Greyhound bus to London, Ontario to meet Jen for the first of the four shows we had plans to see. I got off the bus, walked into the station, and picked her out from the handful of people there right away.