Thoughts on people who got married for a reality TV show from someone who also got married for a reality TV show, many moons ago.
I admit that Netflix’s insanely popular show, where participants isolate in “pods” and go on “dates” with other contestants they do not see and decide whether to marry them, is a guilty pleasure for me. At my age, having been married and divorced to someone whom *I* married for an early 90s docushow, I have mixed feelings about the “Love Is Blind” experiment.
In my case, I had met my future spouse online back in 1993. Those were the days when you had to be a bit of a tech geek to even know how to get online, just before America Online (AOL) and their ubiquitous CDs made it easier for average people with no or little computer experience to log on. I started out on Prodigy right after graduating from college in 1990. My boyfriend at the time was a skate punk into computer programming, and I followed him into what was called “cyberspace.” Prodigy was cool. It was text-based and had a message board much like Yahoo forums in the early 2000s, and rudimentary email.
I don’t remember how we ended up on The Sierra Network (TSN), but TSN was a whole level up from Prodigy. There was a multi-user dimension called “Larryland”, based on a computer game called “Leisure Suit Larry.” You could create a cartoon avatar and dress it up with jewelry and cute outfits — much like video games offer, but with less sophisticated graphics.
I met Scott in one of the Larryland chatrooms. His name was “Stag”, based on his initials. He commented on my virtual earrings, and we chatted nearly every night for a month after that. Back in 1993 when we met, there was no wifi. Digital cameras were rare. We had to send photos through “snail mail.” In October 1993, he sent me a ticket to visit him while he was housesitting at his dad’s big house in Pacific Palisades. I ended up moving cross country to be with him. We had been living together in a cute little trailer overlooking the Pacific Ocean in California for a little over a year when we saw an ad for “couples that met online“ for a major TV show.
Back in the mid-90s, that wasn’t the easiest thing to find. Just for a lark, we decided to apply. As it turned out, they were looking…