[Note: the reason for this post is to pass on a link to an interesting essay about life, dating and marriage, but I found the need to first explain why I ever read this essay in the first place. If you are not interested in my explanation and prefer to just read the essay, click here and read it now…otherwise, read on and you will eventually find the link below.]
Like most people around my age, I have several email addresses on various email services including the grandfather of free mail on the internet, hotmail. I actually have two hotmail addresses and one of them is the very first email address I ever had (my dad helped me sign up for it sometime around 1997 when we had dial-up internet and a Dell computer with a whopping 1GB hard drive…coincidentally, my parents finally replaced that computer two years ago and that single event – my dad helping me set up an email account – over ten years ago was the only time that one of my parent’s helped me do anything related to computers, the internet or technology).
Nowadays – since gmail was created – I don’t check my hotmail accounts very often, but I still use one of them for bills and online orders; and since the other is my first email address I think I’m keeping it because of an emotional connection (plus it’s fun to look back in my inbox and see emails from when I was in high school…way back in the 90s). Even though I don’t really use either hotmail address much for actually writing emails, I still check them every couple of days just to make sure I don’t miss anything important. The way my hotmail email checking usually goes is something like this; I sign in to one of the accounts and delete my new junk mail (since that’s all I seem to get at either), then sign out so I can sign in to check the other one and do the same thing again (delete junk, then sign out).
The people at Microsoft—who did not originally create hotmail, but quickly bought it in 1997 when they realized how popular it would become—are brilliant because they traffic all hotmail users through the msn.com homepage, meaning all advertisements, features and other content they display will be seen by millions of people daily who did not even choose to visit their website, yet still could potentially end up spending significant online time on one of the sites that lives under the ever-expanding msn umbrella. The way companies like Microsoft have created inter-webbing connections and relationships between various companies and their websites – while making crazy dollar bills from naïve internet consumers like me in the process – is absolutely incredible.
I wouldn’t list msn.com on any of my lists of top or favorite websites, yet I still end up on the site a lot more often than I intend or even realize. The links from msn that I tend to click usually end up being articles from their “Dating & Personals” section. Now before you start thinking all sorts of ridiculous and untrue things about me, let me explain. I don’t actually click on a tab to the section with that name, but articles that happen to be from that section (although it’s unknown to me at the time) are often featured on the msn.com main page that I’m channeled through between my hotmail accounts, and normally the articles have catchy titles about things I can relate to or that at least sound interesting – something like “How to date on a tight budget” or “First-date faux pas” – and it probably doesn’t hurt that the title is usually next to a picture of an attractive girl that I’d like to date if given the chance (although anyone who knows me know that if I was ever “given the chance” to be in the same room as these girls, the chances of me actually talking to them are less than 3%). I know that I’m not the only one who reads these corny, yet often insightful articles. In fact, I’ve been in the middle of conversations with friends when one of us has actually used some of the advice (sometimes even quoting something from a “dating and relationships” articles from msn) and the other person called them out, and by doing this, admitting that they too had read the article.
Back to the reason for this post. I want to pass on a link to one of the articles from msn.com that I read this morning while checking my hotmail (I originally wrote this back in June, before I had started this blog, so it was actually not “this” morning, but I double-checked and the article is still online). It’s a bit different than the usual dating and relationship articles I have gotten sucked into reading, mostly because it doesn’t give a lot of advice, but is more of a personal essay about taking a chance on love and making it work. In that way, I guess it does offer advice to people in the dating world; it’s just not a blatantly obvious advice column (perhaps this is why I am feeling brave enough to admit that I read it and pass on the link to you). The essay is titled “Married at 24: Crazy in Love or Just Crazy?” and it’s written by a woman (Elissa Schappell) who is writing about her own life. It’s a witty and introspective account of unexpectedly meeting her future husband while living a carefree, young and single life in New York city and the also-unexpected struggles of marriage that followed. I don’t want to give anything away, but I want to share a one-line preview of Schappell’s essay in hopes that it might convince you to read it. Just hours after meeting her future husband on a train, she is struck by the thought “I am either going to marry this guy, or I’m going to kill him so no one else can have him.” How wonderfully beautiful (and scary) is that?
Okay, enough from me. Here’s a link to Elissa Schappell’s essay, “Married at 24: Crazy in Love or Just Crazy?” I’m prepared for your jokes if you think sharing something like this is funny, but at least read the essay before leaving a comment teasing me for having read it.