by Scott Alden for HowAboutWe
Some couples are lucky enough to have an amazing "how we met" story for the grandkids. Some couples, like Rachel and Keith, are even luckier -- they have an amazing "how we met" story that you really shouldn't tell the grandkids. At least until they're older.
Rachel was working as an artist's model in Chicago when she first "met" Keith online. On Facebook. Through an application called "Are You Interested?," actually.
"It was basically a cruising deal," Rachel explained via email (Facebook, actually). "You could look through pictures of the other people using the application and tell them you think they're cute. So every time I logged on to Facebook - it would tell me that a bunch people thought I was cute, and I could say 'I think you're cute too' and then we could be pen pals. So I was pen pals with all these dudes from all over the world... and then this guy who was also from Chicago tapped me - and he was SOOOOO cute, so I told him, and we became pen pals, and eventually friends on Facebook. So odd, right?"
Not half as odd as what happened next.
Rachel was known in the Chicago art scene as a particularly creative model. She often would tell stories through a succession of poses, injecting emotional and narrative content in a way that artists really responded to. So, when a painter friend of hers was seeking models for a particularly daring project, he naturally thought of Rachel.
The idea was that the model, in way, become the brush. The artist had set up paint-soaked sponges on one wall of his studio and canvass on the other. Models were asked to press their nude bodies against the sponges, cover themselves with paint, and make full-body impressions of themselves on the canvass. To, Rachel, it sounded like a blast. But there was a catch -- the artist was looking for couples.
"I said, 'Well, I'm not dating anyone I'd want to do this with... but I am talking to this super hot dude on facebook - should I ask him on a blind date to do this?" Rachel gleefully recalled, "I floated the idea to Keith and he was all in!"
Imagine: It's your first date with someone with whom you only spoken via Facebook and you're left alone in a room together, expected to disrobe completely, before you've even kissed or held hands. A lot of people would be mortified, but Rachel and Keith, while super-nervous about it, embraced the awkwardness completely and went for it. They covered themselves in paint and slammed themselves into the canvass, laughing the whole time, and, at one point, body checking each other into the sponges to get better paint coverage.
Remember, this was their first date. According to Rachel, it actually helped the two of them to get past the jitters:
"I think most of the time one person or the other on a first date (or second or third) is guarding something - we both really surrendered to the experience and that's what made it so amazing - neither of us said 'This is too weird - I have to go' OR 'If you want to go because this is too weird for you, that's ok.' We were both letting ourselves enjoy this completely odd experience and trusting that if the other person needed it to stop or change, they would make that happen for themselves."
Sound like a strong foundation for a lasting relationship? Well... Rachel and Keith are engaged to be married this summer.
Chalk one up for dating outside the box.
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