The story of my first (AOL) boyfriend

The story of my first (AOL) boyfriend

It was like a real first boyfriend. But not.

I was 12 + had never had a BF... time was ticking.

So instead of procuring one at a middle school dance for which the MO was to awkwardly line-up in hopes to be asked to slow-dance at arm's length distance, Hurrica123 and I met via an AOL chatroom; actually, a friend met him first and we were both chatting with him at the same time. Their friendship fizzled but not ours.

Rather than having an IRL middle school relationship sustained by obscure handwritten notes written in milky pens, I had a digital BF whom I had long AIM convos with after school. And instead of awkwardly going to my BF's basketball games, well, I observed how Hurrica123 changed and updated his profile info on a daily basis - or surprised me with new, alternate screennames like Hurrica7474. 

We discussed our pet names, TV shows + video games. He lived in Indiana and although he never expressed romantic interest in me, he to me was 100% my boyfriend. 

It felt wrong - I remember thinking that he could be a serial killer! It was 1997 and although catfishing wasn't yet a word, online predators were around. But then again, he seemed so normal.

We lived miles apart. We weren’t going to bump into one another in the mall by chance. Since meeting in person wasn’t plausible, Hurrica123 suggested we have a phone convo.

Nothing can prepare you for it: when your parent's fax line rings and you’re finally about to come voice-to-voice, with the person you’ve only known through super-slow internet connection chats. 

"Hello?" - it was the voice of a pre-pubescent boy. 

"Hi," I responded. I got scared, hung up and blocked him. In the following days, I anxiously waited for the police to show up; they never did. Hurrica kept creating screen names attempting to contact me again, and I kept blocking him until I decided to make a new screen name for myself. I shut off the ringer on the fax line, set it to fax after two rings and lit a candle, praying that my parents wouldn't notice until it fizzled out. 

Luckily for all of us, Hurrica turned out to be just a bored, scared kid like I was. Honesty, it wasn't so bad. Children often brush shoulders with danger, and when I think about what the other kids were doing, I was an angel. The first girl in my grade to sprout boobs had an 18-year old boyfriend named Coco - he worked at both the Johnny Rockets and Sweet Factory at the mall. We were 12.  

In conclusion, Hurrica123 was my first, and thankfully last, AOL boyfriend. AND also, in general, my first boyfriend.

Parents, you are welcome.


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