Hansen: Modern love story features dating website and 2 talking cows - Omaha.com
Published Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 12:30 am / Updated at 4:15 pm
Hansen: Modern love story features dating website and 2 talking cows

They met on a dating website whose cable TV commercial stars two talking cows.

They social networked and instant messaged and felt digitally connected before they ever actually laid eyes on one another.

This morning, they crawled out of bed hours before dawn and climbed into two high-tech garbage trucks. They picked up northeast Nebraska's junk and dreamed they will one day run a sustainable farm that runs on solar power.

Thor and Casey Meyer of Snyder, Neb., are living a thoroughly modern love story.

Technology didn't kill romance, at least not this one. Technology made it possible.

“It almost didn't happen,” says Thor, who threw the javelin at UNL and got a graduate degree and once almost moved to Los Angeles, before taking up residence on the plot of land where his family homesteaded in the late 1800s.

“I just kind of wrote him off as, whatever, fine, there are other fish in the sea,” says Casey, who played college softball in Las Vegas and grew up in the Denver suburbs and once romanticized about living like Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Momaha: 14 thoughtful Valentine's Day gestures

“And then somehow this email pops up, and it says, let's talk. ... ”

The story begins, as so many relationships do now, on the great and wondrous matchmaker known as the Internet.

Both Thor and Casey signed up for a dating website called FarmersOnly.com which, as the name and TV ads imply, is geared toward farmers and other residents of rural America. The website's tag line: “City folks just don't get it!”

Now, Thor was not exactly a farmer when he signed up — he had a film degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was weighing whether to go to graduate school or move to Los Angeles, where the predominant crop is smog.

And Casey, well, she lived in a sprawling metro area crammed with 2.7 million people and known for its traffic jams.

Listen: Musical valentines strike a loving chord throughout Millard West

Denver isn't exactly Deshler, cowgirl.

FarmersOnly, the brainchild of a Cleveland public relations executive named Jerry Miller, now boasts about 300,000 members, including a fair number of city slickers who yearn for country life.

“You have your people on the site who are into riding horses, people who are into organic farming, people who embrace the ag lifestyle even if they live in the city,” Miller says.

That fit both Thor, who grew up on a farm, and Casey, who did landscaping work after college and loved visiting her grandparents' small town. Plus the price was right: $17.95 per month on the site, every third month free and no other fees, which they both found cheaper and more hassle-free than bigger sites such as Match.com.

But neither had much luck trolling FarmersOnly. Thor struggled through a couple of boring dates. Casey made friends but found no romance.

In December 2009, she saw a profile picture of “a cute guy” and sent him a message. No response. She sent another the day of the Super Bowl in 2010. No response. Months passed.

Thor, who had stopped paying for his account, decided to check it just once more. He saw the messages from Casey that he'd never received. He hemmed and hawed and wrote her back.

One email led to many Internet chats, and after a couple of months, they found themselves making plans to meet between Denver and Lincoln on July 3, 2010.

People who claim that old-school romance is dead, that Casey and Thor's generation (and mine) killed it somewhere between text messaging and Twitter, should pay attention to what happened next.

They both drove nearly four hours to Lake McConaughy. They sat on a picnic blanket. They ate red-white-and-blue popcorn that Thor packed special. They “ooohed” and “aaahed” at the fireworks. They talked until midnight, even though both had to drive the four hours home.

Columnists Michael Kelly, Erin Grace and Matthew Hansen write about people, places and events around Omaha in their new blog, From the Notebook.

And at some point, after a romantic rain started pitter-pattering on the car roof, Thor decided to ask.

May I kiss you good night?

“If you wanna get metaphorical, there were fireworks,” Thor says about that first date.

Casey laughs and groans.

Three months later, when Casey was back in Denver, she got a letter — actual snail mail — from Thor. It was a love poem, in iambic pentameter. That, Casey says, was the moment she knew.

“I still have it pinned on my wall,” she says.

Says Thor, a bit proudly: “It wasn't some damn limerick.”

Last February, after Casey moved to Lincoln and they moved together back to a Meyer family farmhouse near Snyder, Thor popped another key question.

They got married in a small, family only ceremony last summer.

Happily ever after has included some trade-offs. Both husband and wife clock in at 5 a.m. at Waste Connections, a Fremont-based trash company. Casey drives a route that takes her as far north as Leigh and Clarkson. Thor mostly drives in Fremont.

It's not a dream job, but they are saving up money so Casey can become a personal trainer and so Thor can realize his dream of running his own farm.

He plans to cut some hay for his dad, a farmer in the area, this year. She plans to grow a garden. Together, they will fix up the century-old farmhouse.

And on clear spring nights, the film student and the Denver girl who met online will climb onto the farmhouse roof in the middle of nowhere. They will lie on their backs. They will not stare at a computer. They will stare up, at the stars.

Even city folk can understand that.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1064, matthew.hansen@owh.com, twitter.com/redcloud_scribe

Contact the writer: Matthew Hansen

matthew.hansen@owh.com    |   402-444-1064    |  

Matthew Hansen is a metro columnist who writes roughly three columns a week focusing on all things Omaha.

8% of alcohol sellers checked in Omaha area last week sold booze to minors
OPS bus, SUV collide; no students onboard at the time
Waitress who served alcohol to teen before fatal crash gets jail time, probation
Lori Jenkins, charged as accessory in 4 murders, waives speedy trial
Iowa State servers hacked, nearly 30,000 SSNs at risk
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
2nd District House race: After 8 terms, Lee Terry knows how D.C. works — and doesn't
Bellevue man is killed at Minnesota dance hall after South Sudanese basketball tourney
Spring corn planting still sputters in Nebraska, Iowa, other key states
Nebraska banking and finance director to retire
19-year-old killed in one-vehicle crash at 72nd & Shirley
Gov. Heineman vetoes bill to ease restrictions on nurse practitioners
U.S. Senate race: State Auditor Mike Foley defends Shane Osborn against ad campaign
Public defender to represent Nikko Jenkins in sentencing
Mid-America Center on track for lower operating loss
Bluffs City Council approves dozens of new numbered street lights
National Law Enforcement Memorial Week set for May
Ted Cruz backs Pete Ricketts' campaign for governor
Omahan charged with 5th-offense DUI after street race causes rollover
2 blocks of Grover Street closed
Safety board report blames pilot error in 2013 crash that killed UNO student, passenger
Omaha man accused in shooting ordered held on $75,000 bail
2 men charged with conspiracy to distribute meth held on $1 million bail each
La Vista plans meeting on sales tax proposal, 84th Street redevelopment
6-mile stretch of Highway 75 is the road not taken
< >
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Breaking Brad: Even Chuck Hassebrook's throwing mud!
The Nebraska campaigns have turned so ugly, Democrat Chuck Hassebrook lobbed unfounded accusations at an imaginary opponent.
Breaking Brad: Kraft wiener recall is business opportunity for TD Ameritrade Park
Instead of returning the wieners, TD Ameritrade Park is calling them "cheese dogs" and charging double.
Breaking Brad: Photos with the Easter Bunny are so 2010
In a sign of the times, most kids ran out of patience waiting for a photo with the Easter Bunny at the mall, just snapped a selfie and went home.
Kelly: 70 years after a deadly D-Day rehearsal, Omahan, WWII vet will return to Europe
A World War II veteran from Omaha will return this week to Europe to commemorate a tragedy in the run-up to D-Day.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Tokyo Sushi
$5 for $10 or $10 for $20 toward All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Purchase
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »