As you may have seen in yesterday's mailbag, @duskvamp and I, after meeting on Giant Bomb and dating internationally for 3 years, are moving in together and getting engaged. A lot of the GB forum frequenters already know our story, so I'll cut out the details and just share how involved the staff has been in our relationship.
We met at the start of 2011, and began talking seriously about dating that summer. Before I met Dawn for the first time in February 2012, I asked for the GB crew to maybe send me a brief video clip saying Happy Valentine's Day or something for her. As they usually do when provided the opportunity to do something fun and dumb, they went above and beyond. Dave, Drew, and Vinny took the lead and sent me this song:
I spent a few weeks in England and Wales with her, and we celebrated Valentine's Day together. DuskVamp wrote a blog about it.
Obviously, things went well, and we really appreciated how much effort they put into something so trivial. We rewarded them in pizza:
You can see Dave talk around what they did for us, and Vinny get real uncomfortable that he was going to discuss it publicly, probably worried they'd get more requests. Since it's been a long time, Dave's gone, and Vinny and the staff are in different offices and different situations now, I figured it's safe to share.
That summer, it was her turn to visit, and we spent the whole Summer together in Chicago. Again, a blog described our adventures.
We went back and forth like this the following year as well. February 2013 I spent in Wales and Spain with DuskVamp, and last summer she spent with me and we went on a cross-country roadtrip from Chicago to San Francisco. Along the way, we stopped at the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Canyon, Old Faithful, Las Vegas, Mount Rushmore, Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and finally San Francisco for the 4th of July. We had set up plans to stop by and visit the crew, see the offices, and drop off a mailbag while we were in town... but literally the day we arrived, tragedy struck Giant Bomb. As you all likely know, that's when we lost Ryan Davis. Rorie apologized that we were probably unable to visit the offices, and that they didn't know what they'd be doing the whole week. We understood completely and started making plans to see other sites. That night we had dinner and watched TANG together. In the end, the staff decided to meet up and record a memorial Bombcast. Since they were in the office, they invited us to stop by afterwords, which we begrudgingly accepted. While we waited for them to finish recording, we got food and bought some flowers for the office. You can actually hear Rorie receiving texts from me at some point in the podcast. It was really uncomfortable having to meet all of the crew literally minutes after they ended that podcast. We actually met Vinny, Brad, and Jeff in the podcast recording studio, they hadn't even left the room. Seeing how they looked after recording the toughest podcast of their lives was really upsetting, but I think having us come in was a welcome distraction and a way to segue back into their daily lives. They all treated us graciously, and discussed the site and our relationship, and we wound up going for drinks with Rorie at a nearby bar for a short time, with Drew and Brad stopping by on their way home. The timing could have been better, and it was horrible to experience things the way we did right after Ryan's passing, but it was a meaningful milestone in our relationship to see the company that helped us get together. They opened our mailbag the next day, and you can see our flowers alongside the dozens of others that came in from game companies in town.
Finally, just last month I went to Italy with DuskVamp, and finally proposed. We both knew it was inevitable, and we had found someone we were completely comfortable with and wanted to spend the rest of our lives with. It's still maddening to think that I met the love of my life on a video game website, on the first forums I ever interacted with (mainly because I was unemployed at the time and desperate for distractions). In the time since, we've dabbled in creating relationship podcasts, played tons of games, watched a lot of Netflix and Quick Looks, and we've seen the world together. We're just about to close on a condo together, her Green Card is basically sorted, and we're looking around for a cat to name Vinny...
Giant Bomb has changed. We've changed. But this website will always be an important foundation of our relationship, as odd as that is. It's not a traditional story, but it's ours, and I like it just fine.
Thanks for reading, and feel free to share your Giant Bomb Social Links in the comments. I'd like to hear more stories like mine!