Tea Cup and the Tin Man

Kate Striano

Kate Striano

So, another Friday night and I was home alone. Okay, not completely alone. My faithful fur babies were at my side. I trundled into my office and firmly sat down with my hot cup of tea. This time would be different. Determinedly, I flipped open my laptop. Yes. There had been pings from the dating site I’d signed up on several grueling months ago. I paused before opening the site. It might be more fruitful to just bang my head on the wall.

Ok, let’s see what we have here. Fabulous. A trucker likes my photos and wants to have coffee as he’s passing through. Sigh. No. Next up is Mr. All-I-Take-is-Gym-Selfies. He wants to chat and send more of his special “Don’t I look awesome pics!” I muse that probably nobody will love him as much as he loves himself! Rolling my eyes at my schnauzer, I was taking a sip of tea when something caught my eye.

What do we have here? A couple of comments. All great. Seems Promising.

A message … “Hi, this is David. Just wanted to tell you I love your profile! You’re funny, honest, and really pretty.”

I look at my pups. What do think? He very cute and I love his profile. Why not?

“Hi David, I’m Kate. Thank you for your lovely compliments and you’re not so shabby yourself!”

I hit “like” on a couple of his pictures, noticing he has extremely icy, very intense blue eyes. He’s big, too! 6’3” Hello! He played football for Marshal. A West Virginia boy! That’s not too far away. This is getting better all the time! He rides a Harley, likes adventure, (I grin to myself. He has no idea what he’s in for!) and seems interesting and interested.

An hour later, I get a message saying, “Hey here’s my number. Let’s chat? Cool?”

Oh yeah it’s cool.

And it was very cool. Evidently, he was on a weekend away with friends doing some Halloween Haunted Asylum thing. But he wasn’t having much fun because we talked all weekend long. Go team Kate!

Later the next week, David calls and states he’s coming to town. My town. Five and a half hours drive time. He’ll head out if I’m okay with it. I was, because wow! This guy is going to hop in his vehicle, drive 51/2 hours, and stay in a hotel … just to meet me.

The day comes and I get ready. I make it sound easy but choosing what to wear baffled me. All the while, my mouth was dry from nerves. I’m doing a “Drink Water and Go Pee” dance. Really.


As I’m driving to the hotel, my doubts and fears kick in like a Hurricane-force wind! What if he doesn’t like me? What if he thinks I’m not as pretty as my pictures? Augh. Crap! What if HE doesn’t look like his pictures? What if he’s some creepy mountain guy?

I made it to the hotel and took a deep (dry mouth) breath. Ok, here we go ...annnnd … Jackpot.

He was even better in person … handsome, brilliant smile, great conversationalist … it was like we’d known each other in a past life.

Well, we spent the whole weekend together. We visited historic spots, museums, movies, and restaurants. The time flew by. No awkward moments. And then it was time for him to go. I just met him and yet… I was sad when David had to return home. I even got a bit misty eyed.

After that, we talked every day and every night. He came back every weekend until Thanksgiving.

That’s when I really went all in.

“David,” I said, “You’ve been coming here every weekend. I’m off work for four days so this time; I’ll come to your house … if I can bring my puppies? (If he had said no dogs, well, that’d be the deal breaker for me)

He simply said, ”Great!”

His home was like a picture on a postcard. I was dazzled. The scenery and views were beautiful. White tipped mountains and, the AIR! It was crisp and fresh. I can’t explain it but there’s a cinnamon scent in the air that you wish you could bottle and reserve for later. The four days went so fast. We just relished each other’s company and tried to hold every minute as special.

I confess. I cried and laughed all the way home. I missed him and then I’d laugh because I’d only just met him. How can I miss someone I’d so recently met?? But David even loved my dogs. Winning.

The next night, during our evening phone call, we began talking about how we missed each other and, with the holiday coming, how we could work out seeing each other in the most chaotic time of year. SIGH.

When I heard him say it, I thought, “Nooo. He did not? Wait. What?”

David said, “ Kate, would you ever consider moving here to West Virginia, and living with me?”

I had teased him about being heartless at times and nicknamed him “Tin Man.” I thought for a moment and it just came out.

“Yes! Yes, my Tin Man, I want to be with you and I would love to be in West Virginia.”

I’ve never looked back. I love it here. We had our first Christmas together in the mountains with our cozy fireplace and snuggled puppies at our side like a sappy Hallmark movie.

What I received that Christmas you can’t buy at a store or order online. (Although technically, I did, since I met him online.) I found the man I’ll love forever ... my Tin Man. As for David, he’s not heartless. He has a big, big heart. It was just taking a break, waiting on me to show up.

That was our first chapter but there are many more happy ones to be written here in Hurricane, WV.