Step One: Be 13 years old. Set up an account on 104KRBE’s Cyberlove message board. Probably lie about your age, at least slightly.

Step Two: Go to the “Friend Seeking Friend” section.

Step Three: Initiate messaging with spacemanZERO. This is not instant messaging, it is message board messaging. Sloooow.  #oldschool

Step Four: Obviously you both talk about where you live, because it is late 90’s and Internet predators aren’t a thing yet. Realize you live fairly close to one another.

Step Five: Exchange phone numbers. Start talking. Discover his parents work at a Christian school.

Step Six: Tell your parents you met a boy on the Internet. Make sure to mention that his parents work at a Christian school. #sellingpoint

Step Seven: After talking for a while (you are 13, so “a while” is probably a matter of weeks), start making plans to meet. (Again, this is pre-To Catch A Predator.) On the day you plan to meet up (at the mall, of course), get interrupted by your dad’s important work call from Alaska so you can’t set up a time and place to meet.

Step Eight: Go to the mall with your friends anyway, because you are 13. You don’t need a reason to go to the mall.

Step Nine: Get super annoyed at your friends who ask you if EVERY guy in the entire mall is THE guy. How would you even know? You’ve never even seen a photo of him. You just know he said he is blonde.

Step Ten: Get hungry and go to the food court.

Step Eleven: Walk towards Arby’s and pass a brunette boy carrying a plate of pizza from Sbarro.

Step Twelve: Experience the strangest gut feeling that this brown-haired guy is THE guy.

Step Thirteen: Tell your friends. When they argue that the boy isn’t even blonde, tell them that you KNOW it is him and they should go ask if he knows a Kyla.

Step Fourteen: Order your Arby’s with your heart in your throat while pretending not to care.

Step Fifteen: Try not to freak out when they come back to tell you that you were right. It is him.

Step Sixteen: Nervously take your Arby’s over to his table, say hi, and share the very first meal of the thousands you will share over the next 21 years (and counting…).

Disclaimer: Don’t actually do any of this, it’ll probably get you abducted. 😆