"He Told Our Secrets Online!"

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Her Turn, continued

"Ryan and I met four years ago in an online chat room for music buffs. I had just graduated from college and was living with my parents. We e-mailed each other for a year before we met in person. 

"At first, I thought he wasn't my type. He was grungy, with three days' growth of beard. But I felt a spark. He was smart and playful -- a free spirit. We saw foreign films and listened to jazz. And though he was shy, he was more sensitive than the guys I'd grown up with, who cared only about their cars. 

"Do I Really Know Him?"

"I'm the older of two girls. My parents were born in Italy and are very old-fashioned. Dad worked in construction until he was laid off 10 years ago. Mother was home when we were little but started working part-time when Dad lost his job. But she still manages the whole household and prides herself on her immaculate home. She is a demanding woman. We were expected to do well in school, help around the house, and make a terrific tomato sauce. If we fell short, we'd get the silent treatment.

"Ryan says I worry too much about pleasing my parents. That's probably because he's never been close to his own mom and dad -- neither even came to our wedding. He also hates the fact that my sister drops over most nights to hang out. 

"Ryan is usually so private. That's another reason I'm so shell-shocked. I can't believe he feels more comfortable talking to strangers on his Web log than to me. And what if someone recognizes his screen name? We've never had secrets before. Now I wonder if I really know this man."

Continued on page 3:  His Turn


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