It’s the second day of Gen Con 2015 (Friday). For the better part of the morning, the two of us had been playing and doing well in a tournament for the game, Marvel Legendary. Joey sits down at the assigned table for round three and there is a lovely gentleman there already. He is meticulously fanning out the starting hands and checking the board setup for the 40 minute round we are about to play. He introduces himself as Ben, and we shake hands. The three other players sit down, and we begin the round. This was Joey’s first gaming tournament ever, and Ben was already versed in how it worked. Joey had also just learned the game a few weeks prior to this event. We play without issue and have lots of fun. Joey wins the round! After the game, the two of them very diligently return the board to it’s original starting state, and move to the waiting area for our next rounds.
Ben, being the brave soul he is, approaches Joey and strikes up a conversation with her and her mother who had also attended the convention, but wasn’t in the tourney. Ben and Joey through the course of the “Getting to Know You” conversation discover they are both into computer programming/development. Momlady realizes that while they are not speaking a flirty language, the two of them are connecting on a level she feels it necessary to wander off, but keeps in Joey’s line of site to perform the thumbs up with a hopeful face. She also alerts Joey’s sister (Toni) and brother-in-law (Joe), who were also in the tournament, and the three of them observe as Joey and Ben seem to really hit it off. The rest of the tournament goes well. Ben ends up placing 11th and Joey 22nd. (One bad round!) They continue talking and Joey is barely trying to contain her enthusiasm to Ben’s interest. Ben bravely asks her to dinner and they agree to go the following night to dinner.
The following day (Saturday), Joey, who had not packed anything appropriate for a date, rushes to the mall adjacent to the con and purchases a nice shirt and jacket for dinner. The two meet at the arranged time and go to Dick’s Last Resort. Hilarity ensues at dinner, and the two of them order enough food for eight people. Ben learns Joey’s entire life story in about an hour and gives details about himself as well. They then head over to the Upper Deck VIP Party at the Hard Rock Cafe and enjoy drinks with other gaming nerds excited to see what’s coming out at the next Gen Con. Momlady, Toni, and Joe are off a bit from where Ben and Joey are talking with a few other people. They keep giving Joey the thumbs up and super enthusiastic faces. Much to Joey’s relief, Ben did not see any of that. Joey walks Ben back to his hotel, and they part ways for the evening. But not until they have agreed to have dinner again.
Sunday rolls around and Joey picks Ben up at the hotel. They head to Famous Dave’s and close the place down. Talking, eating, and thoroughly enjoying each other’s company. On the way back to the hotel, Ben asks Joey if she would be interested in more than just meeting at Gen Con. She replies with a firm yes, but very plainly tells Ben that if they decide to be in for the long haul and he wants a family, that it will be complicated. Ben does not run for the hills! (Thank God!) He accepts that and the two of them begin long distance communications between Missouri and Indiana.
A few weeks later, Joey comes to visit Ben and it turns out to be the weekend of his grandparents’ anniversary, as well as his brother’s birthday. So, since turnabout is fair play, Joey gets to meet Ben’s entire family then. He had previously met her entire family at Gen Con. The rest is history!