(cue Miss Pac-Man music)
Hammertime was 27 years old and had just taken command of an Air Cavalry Troop stationed on the South Korean DMZ. It was quite an honor to be selected, as he took the position about a year ahead when a captain is typically selected for the job, and was exactly the job he was looking for. The job stress was high – a mission to respond to any DMZ contingency with no notice, at any time. The unit was the most visible in the division, with direct contact with the division commander and United Nations forces a weekly occurrence. However, Hammertime has a stress-tolerance curve that is well above average – he makes more stress for himself when he doesn’t have enough! That wasn’t necessary in this job, so he was pretty darn happy.
Miss Hammer was finishing her teacher certification up with some student teaching near Sacramento. She had worked hard for six years to get her teaching degree and certification, while juggling that with the care and support of her son, whom she had while still a teenage high school student. She recognized that her son needed a positive father figure, but wasn’t willing to settle just to have someone around. While her work was important, her son was the most important person in her life, and she wasn’t willing to change that for anything or anyone.
Romantically, she had little success in recent years. She knew better than to look for Mr. Right in bars, but even sources of supposedly ‘good’ men fell short. Hammertime had given up even attempting romance for some time, so poor had his experience been in recent years. While both had really hoped to find a partner at church, but to no avail.
So what was it that prompted Hammertime? He had come to the point in his life where he was content to serve his country and to serve God. In fact, he had only weeks before told his best friend that if he never had another date, he wouldn’t mind at all. It was late one night after working on the flight line, and on a whim that can only be described as providential, he surfed to “The Christian Matchmaker”, and went through the process of filling out a profile. After all, what else is there to do on a Friday night at 0100 only seven miles from the DMZ?
The Matchmaker is very clear in its guidance to those who would attempt to find a match. First, if you don’t post a picture, you don’t get mail. Second, if you are male, you MUS write many women to get mail back. It clearly says – “If you want mail, you must send out mail first.” Hammertime neither put up a picture nor sent out mail. He wasn’t looking for love – he just liked filling out the profile, I guess.
Miss Hammer had been on the Christian Matchmaker for a little while, but had never initiated an email conversation. For whatever reason, that night she did a search for a match – one that was to be within 50 miles of her current location. She also wasn’t interested in anyone who didn’t have a picture up.
Let us paint a very clear picture – Hammertime puts up no picture and sends no mail, thus statistically condemning himself to no contacts during his seven day trial period – and he’s in Korea. Miss Hammer does a search for a match within 50 miles, has never initiated an email, and doesn’t want to see matches without photos.
It may be easy to theorize about the not totally unreasonable aspects – that Hammertime’s profile was cleverly written, that Miss Hammer was enthralled with his mind and spirit, that their interests were similar enough to turn up as a match, and that Miss Hammer’s charm was sufficient to overcome Hammertime’s aversion to single moms (see Jerry McGuire for why – it involves shoplifting). The truth of any of those is debatable, but what still had to be overcome was how a man 4,000 miles away turned up in a search within a 50-mile radius?
The answer is this – the Matchmaker system bases its search upon zip code. The zip code for APO AP addresses (what servicemembers in the Asian theatre use for a mailing address) reflects as San Francisco, CA, well within the 50 mile radius of Miss Hammer.
Coincidences all? We think not. We’re not sappy enough to say it’s a “Match Made in Heaven” TM, but it sure looks like it so far. The second half of the story will be titled, “The Covenant”.