On a Sunday evening last November, Patrick Moberg, 21, a website developer, was in the Union Square subway station in New York City. “Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed this girl,” he says.“She had bright blue shorts and dark blue tights and a flower in the back of her hair.” New York’s fun if you’re a guy — the city’s lousy with gorgeous women. But this one was different. She was his perfect girl.
When the number 5 train pulled into the station, the two got on. “I was enthralled,” he says. “I noticed details like her braided hair and that she was writing in a pad. I couldn’t shake the desire to talk to her.”
He considered giving chase, but there’s a fine line between blind love and stalking. He thought of plastering the station with posters. Then a brainstorm: the Internet. “It seemed less encroaching,” he says. “I didn’t want to puncture her comfort zone.”
That night, the world had a new website: nygirlofmydreams.com. On it, Patrick declared, “I Saw the Girl of My Dreams on the Subway Tonight.” He drew a picture of the girl etched in his mind, along with a portrait of himself with this disclaimer pointed at his head: “Not insane.”
The website spread virally, and soon he had thousands of leads. Some were cranks, and some were women offering themselves in case he struck out.
Two days later, he got an e-mail from someone claiming to know the girl. He even supplied a photo. It was her. She was an Australian interning at a magazine, and her name was Camille. And she wanted to meet too.
Their first meeting was awkward. And why not? It was set up by Good Morning America. Like the rest of the media, GMA saw a great love story and pounced. But being sucked into a media maelstrom isn’t necessarily conducive to a nascent love affair. “There was a lot of uncertainty on how to act around each other,” Patrick said. And in the back of Camille’s mind, a nagging thought: Who is this guy? The media circus eventually moved on, giving the two a chance to talk without a microphone present.
“Everything I found out about her was another wonderful thing,” says Patrick. She was smart, funny and a big personality, a nice fit for this shy guy. “And,” he continues quietly, “we’ve been hanging out together every day since.”
Thinking back, he sighs. “It’s amazing everything went without a hitch.”
Some people like to travel by train because it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of an airplane.
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