Cupid often strikes when you least expect it, and where you are least looking for it; sometimes when you least want it. Nothing can stop him though…not time, nor distance, nor age, nor even gender. Cupid seems to have a special affinity for SingSnap and its members, and is determined to bring SingSnappers together in ways that its builders never imagined.
I asked two lovebird Snappers to take us on their journey from two singles to married couple. Sheila and Jay graciously answered my questions and through their answers, I saw genuine love and affection. Though their love began in the digital world, it was and is no less real than those who made their love connection in person.
Sheila is from West Virgina, USA, and Jay from Kentucky, USA. Sheila, terribly hurt in past relationships, was really very shy and uninterested in talking to any men at all. She and her girlfriends would hang out in one of the SingSnap chat rooms each Friday night. Crush, as it was called was a popular hang out for several early Snappers (the Cat included). Sheila says, “There were guys there too, but I ignored them, except for Jay, mostly because he would not let me ignore him”.
They first met when Sheila was in a contest and was asked to go out and find someone to sing with that they had never duetted before. She was looking for someone to sing “Jackson” with and ran across a profile pic of a reverse smiley face with its tongue sticking out. Being as shy as she was, she liked the idea of picking a profile pic that was not a real person, so she couldn’t be accused of choosing someone based on looks.
Jay was a self-admitted “flirt and bad boy”, and was also a member of the Crush group. Says Jay, ” I used to pick on her a lot because she was quiet and a bit shy and I, obviously, was not. I was determined to make her talk to me so I would repeatedly type her name in all caps until she responded. Yes, I flirted like a 10 year-old”.
Sheila and Jay started talking daily in the summer of 2009, and met in person in December of that year. Jay was travelling and realized he was very close to where she lived, so phoned her up out of the blue to ask if it was ok to stop in. Sheila remembers, “My only awkwardness was being afraid that he would look at me and go “OH HECK NO” ha ha”.
As in all online relationships, distance was of course the biggest hurdle to overcome, but it wasn’t the only one. Sheila had two sons from a previous marriage and she wanted to ensure that transitioning Jay into their lives was done in the healthiest possible way for everyone.
Jay made the move to West Virginia with the blessing of Sheila’s two sons who were both introducing him as their “stepdad” 2 years before the wedding. Jay says, “If I didn’t know before then, I realized at that point that I was definitely son-approved.” Sheila adds, “They had to know that Jay was adding to our lives and not taking anything away. Needless to say, when Cliff took the microphone at the wedding and spoke for him and his brother, and thanked Jay for coming into their lives and for making their mom happy again, I am pretty sure everyone there cried”.
Jay proposed on December 9, 2012 near a statue at Dollywood. Ever since the previous year when he had seen how her eyes filled with wonder from all the lights and sights, he knew that he wanted to propose there. Friend, Katrice (another SingSnapper) secretly filmed as Jay got down on one knee, the old-fashioned way and asked “Are you ready to spend the rest of your life with me?” Jay says he is not one to cause a scene, but he did this in front of thousands of people near the entrance, just before the park closed. People stopped and watched and awwww’d and applauded. Through her tears, Sheila nodded and “squeaked out” a yes.
As with all weddings, preparations didn’t go quite as expected, but best friend and matron of honor, Chanda and several other SingSnap friends who were there to attend or be a part of the wedding really stepped up and helped the couple through the wonderful, but stressful day. ” About Chanda, Jay says, “I’m pretty sure Chanda would have stabbed anyone that tried to mess up anything for Sheila. She really went out of her way to make sure everything went as planned. She did pre-maturely toss out the cake though, but I’m not bitter…….not bitter at all!” *smirk face* “We said “kitchen”, Chanda, not “pitch it!” Sheila adds, “There are so many things that she did, and thought of that I have yet to be able to sit down and write her a proper thank you note”.
So many SingSnap friends attended and were part of the wedding as MC, KJ, and more. “At the end of the night, we looked around, and other than my children, the ONLY people who were still there….were my Snap friends This was a true SingSnap wedding, and I do not tolerate anyone telling me that online friends are not “real” friends because my online friends, some of whom I had never met until that day, did not ever fail me for one second on this important day”, declares Sheila. Jay agrees, “Anyone who ever refers to people you meet online as “just online friends” or “just someone you know from online” is sadly mistaken. My wife and one of our absolute best friends are people I met on SingSnap.”
As for life since the wedding, Jay says, “We lived together for nearly 3 years before the wedding so we knew what to expect from each other by that point. If anything has changed, I think it’s that I feel even closer to her now and love her even more……..more each day. I’m in it for the long-haul!” As for Sheila, she says, “It is a deeper connection. I don’t know if it is because we made a commitment and now it is not so easy just to say, I am done with this and walk away or because someone loves you enough to promise that no matter what happens, they will be there, but it is different and I can’t help but have a huge smile on my face when he looks at me and says ‘I love my wife'”.
The Screeching Cat wants to wish all couples a safe, happy and love-filled Valentine’s Day today, and much love and happiness every day. To Sheila and Jay, thank you for sharing your journey with us, and many blessings to you both.