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Jeanine Lister and William McCann Jr. met online in September 2011 through a dating site.
They had both been in long and short term relationships, but were looking for the “right” person to build a relationship with.
They spent 10 days trading emails. Some containing the standard early relationship kind of information, while others contained what some may consider quirky, random thoughts, where they would finish each other’s sentence or line of thinking.
They finally met for the first time at Barnes and Noble in Lexington and both knew the instant connection they felt online was as strong in person. The date progressed from the book store to Home Depot and Halloween Express.
He said she’s like Halloween. She said he’s like Christmas.
They banter. They quip. They throw out lines from plays, poetry and movies.
It didn’t take long for the couple to decide they wanted to share a home, which as been named Rocksford after the many rocks found on their Corinth farm.
McCann is an instructor at Bluegrass Community Technical College in Lexington. He also stays busy with the Kentucky Playwrights Association, a non-profit group for playwrights and actors that he founded. He grew up in Fayette County on a farm. He’s lived in the area most of his life, except for a few years spent in Washington, D.C. He holds degrees in theatre from the University of Kentucky and in education from the University of Virginia.
Lister was raised in Oxford, Connecticut with horses and lots of room to roam. She was involved with the Future Farmer’s of America in high school. She earned a certification in architectural drafting, got married and moved to Arizona for a year but longed to get back to the country. She ended up moving to Lexington and worked with horses for several years.
A kid who got in trouble for drawing horses in the margins of her school papers, Lister now likes to spend her time watching wildlife and writing a blog called the Rocksford Record.
“Living in the country speaks to my soul; people are down to earth and friendly, the wildlife is amazing and it’s where I belong. Now that I have Bill, life is really good,” she said.
The pair have added author to their list of accomplishments after deciding to turn their Internet dating journey into a book called “He Said, She Said: Conversations In Internet Dating,” which chronicles the first 10 days they talked online.
“I re-read our emails one day and thought, ‘hey, they are funny.’”
She showed them to McCann and he thought they were more than funny. He thought they might inspire others.
“There’s some advice at the beginning and at the end, but mostly it is just our shared emails,” McCann said.
Their journey to each other had twists and turns, but both agree they wouldn’t trade the experience.
“I met some strange people but that was part of the attraction,” McCann said.
“It took me three years to find Bill and I met some of the oddest characters, no one dangerous, but some just different,” she said.
The self-published book was published in October. It’s available online through Kindle, at the Morris Book Shop and Wild Fig, both in Lexington and locally at Grant County Drugs.
In the first few days of availability, they had sold nearly a dozen copies.
“Everyone has to start somewhere,” he said.
The couple agrees that no matter how two people meet, if the relationship is going to work, they both must be honest.
While they both enjoy history and politics, he’s more politically active than she is.
“I met a lady who was too conservative. She said we could get past it, but that was important to me so I didn’t think we could get past it,” McCann said.
“We’re not perfectly matched. He doesn’t like animals and I do. You just have to work at it,” she said. “You can’t remake yourself to find someone.”
The love of books and writing is probably one of the biggest interests they share.
Lister is working on a historical novel set in New England. McCann has had a reading for “Boats Against The Current,” a play he wrote and is hoping to have produced.
“There are all sorts of books online or in the library that are filled with advice, some good and some off the all, but ours is just a dialogue. It’s our path and that’s what everyone has to find,” McCann said.