circa '99 or '00...probably '00.
My family bought our first computer in 1997. I was so excited because being a night owl, I knew I'd be up surfing the internet and just playing around on the computer. The first chatroom I ever joined was through ESPN because of my love for sports. Every night, I'd join in on the conversation for at least three hours (yes I had school in the morning and YES, my parents hated me staying up so late but I was always in school on time) with what was mainly a bunch of guys. It was never weird because they really only talked about sports and school (some of them were in high school and others were in college).
I met ChknPrnce in that chatroom. He was a really cool guy from Jersey and we instantly became e-friends. He was at least 10 years older than me but it didn't matter because we were just buddies. When I went off to college and we couldn't IM each other on the regular, he'd email me, I'd email him, and we kept up with each other's lives. We never saw pictures of each other but I described myself to him (the same as the pic you see in the profile but with permed hair) and described himself to me (Bahamian, 6'2" or 6'3", 210 lbs, brown skin, low hair cute, women said he was an average looking guy). He would tell me about work problems (too much work and not enough time to do it but well paid) and women problems (he had one friend in particular that he really liked and she liked him but they could never get on the same page) and in turn, I'd really just talk about college life in Mississippi.
After about three years, during an afternoon online convo (we'd spoken on the phone plenty of times by them, moreso when I was home) during summer vacation, I suggested we meet since he was coming into the city. I figured it was time that I meet my homie that I'd been talking to for years. He agreed and said he'd come by my house to pick me up and we could just hang out for a couple hours. I told him to park closer to the end of the block (so he wouldn't know which building I was coming from - I'm not crazy) and I'd meet him at his car. Once I got outside, I only saw one white, Ford Taurus (he told me he was in a white car) double parked and thought, "Hmmm, that's odd. It looks VERY old...I thought he was well-paid at his job." Some may call me bougie but I BEG OF YOU to believe that this was a red flag.
You do remember my physical description of ChknPrnce, don't you? Well, as I walked to the car, it was immediately clear to me that I'd been BAMBOOZLED. Walking toward the passenger door, I noticed old food cartoons and papers all in the back seat. DEAR GOD, I wonder can you SAVE ME?? As I open the car door, I pray for the best and brace for the worst. SHOCK, AWE, and MORTIFICATION get the best of me. This muthaeffa is all of 5'8", about 3oo lbs, and in need of a haircut. To top it all off, he has on a white t-shirt that is stained (who knows how long they'd been on the shirt or how long he'd had it ON). Oh GLORY!!
So, he asked me where I wanted to go and I told him that I came to tell him that something came up and I couldn't go anymore. So we drove around the block and he dropped me off at the corner of the block. I walked in the store and watched him drive off before I proceeded to go back in my building. Immediately, I got back on the internet and full of rage, I sent him an email. I told him that I couldn't believe that I'd been cool with someone for three years and he'd been lying for the entire time. I told him the reason that he couldn't get his love life together was not because they just weren't ready to be together but probably because he was lying about everything he was! I told him to never ever contact me again. After hitting "send," I blocked all his screennames. As far as I know, he never tried to reach out to me again.
That's my story of ChknPrnce...and no, it NEVER made me question my love for the internet or meeting people (maybe great friends now) from the internet.