UPDATE! We are now married, as of February 22, 2003. You are still welcome (in fact, encouraged) to peruse these pages and comment on what you see here, but please note that I will no longer be updating as frequently as in the past (What, only once a month instead of twice?!?) Please visit me over at my main journal, katlyn or at the community weddingplans. I hope to see you there!
On February 15th, 1999, two characters met in the online role-playing game Iconoclast in the midst of a bloody battle. Katlyn and Mandrake, as they were called, felt some spark of interest in each other and had their very first "date" the next night, Feb. 16th. Though he tried to take her to a yogurt shack, she wasn't having any of it, and they ended up having drinks and then a nice Italian dinner.
Eventually, Katlyn and Mandrake began to get to know each other as Nievita and John, the players behind the characters. They began talking about their lives Out Of Character (OOC) and John eventually asked her to give him a call. Initially she refused, not wanting to take a chance with making an online relationship more "real" than it needed to be. Well... she broke down on the night of June 5th, 1999 and gave him a call.
They talked for 7 hours straight, until her phone battery ran out.
Nievita's birthday was the following month, in July, and her best friend Kristania offered (threatened?) to fly John out to California as a birthday present. Nievita refused.
Then she thought better of it and flew him out herself in August of 1999.
The first week of meeting each other is better off not mentioned.
After John returned to Oregon they continued to roleplay together. Mandrake, John's character, had proposed to Katlyn on July 28th and they were planning an In Character (IC) wedding to take place on the MUD, Iconoclast. Their romantic lives as John and Nievita weren't going as well as the lives of their characters but eventually things smoothed out after the-first-visit-which-shall-not-be-mentioned.
Katlyn Aubry Emoraj and Mandrake Malkavian tied the knot on October 23rd, 1999. Shortly after, Iconoclast had a pwipe (all characters were destroyed) and they were lost forever into the blank cyber void.
John and Nievita remained, and they began to talk on the phone almost every night.
A second attempt at meeting happened around Christmas of '99 and this one went much better than the first. For the next year or so they saw each other only a few weeks out of every few months while John continued college in Oregon, studying Radio Broadcasting. The almost-nightly long distance phonecalls continued, financed by Nievita, and she still has the bills to prove it. Yes... one month she got a phone bill for $600. Yes... that's probably certifiably insane.
She found a discount 10-10 number and things got slightly better.
Sometime around Christmas 2000 they started talking more seriously about the future and their relationship. In May 2001, Nievita went to Oregon to meet John's family and had a wonderful time. John surprised her with a weekend at a Victorian Bed & Breakfast in Oceanside, Oregon (it had a fabulous claw-foot bathtub) and they had such a romantic and relaxing time being together that they decided to stay an additional night. The rest of the visit was spent such places as the Zoo in Portland and the Japanese Tea Gardens.
In the spring of 2001 John started making preparations to move to California after he finished school. He drove down several times to pass out his resume and after some time got a position near where Nievita grew up, San Luis Obispo county, at the radio station KGLW in Arroyo Grande. They continued to only see each other once a week (two and a half hour driving distance) and made the nightly phonecalls (this time, John paid for most of them). However, shortly after getting engaged in October, Nievita got a promotion with California State Parks which neccesitated a move closer to Monterey. Seeing this as an opportunity to be closer together, John moved with her to a tiny little house in Marina, CA, where they've been living ever since.
They both feel very comfortable with the thought of speaking vows of marriage to each other a second time, this time IRL (In Real Life) and under their real names, John and Nievita.