A woman whose tweet celebrating her marriage to the man behind a famous Twitter account went viral had planned to make her account private before the happy news went national.
Victoria Carlin so enjoyed tweets from Jonathan O’Brien that she ended up marrying the man who created them, and she posted a before and after picture on Twitter shortly after returning from a honeymoon without the internet.
Victoria first tweeted about Jonathan O’Brien’s work back in November 2012, saying: “Well I’m in love with whoever is managing the @WstonesOxfordSt account. Be still my actual beating heart.”
On Monday, she tweeted pictures showing what a difference four years makes. Her tweet went viral ironically, just before she had planned to make her Twitter account private.
The tweet that first got her interest: “While there are now millions of books, the first 150 were obviously the best. No, wait…that’s Pokémon. #pokemonfacts.”
Victoria, a former cabaret and circus artist, had been dared by a friend to get a date “with the Waterstones Oxford Street guy”, and eventually walked in with a box of doughnuts and bravely asked him out on a date.
Jonathan told The Times: “At first I thought it was a little odd but then I realized I had doughnuts which went a long way to alleviating my worries.”
“When we first met in 2012, I didn’t used to tell people how we met because it was quite strange,” Victoria told in an interview. “Everything’s changed now with Tinder and everything that’s it just so normal. People don’t think it’s really a thing.”
The couple married on July 8, and while their meeting was mentioned in the speeches, their friends were so au fait with the story for it not to play a more prominent part in the day beyond an Instagram hashtag.
“We came back from honeymoon on Saturday and I just thought I’d pop out a little tweet: ironically, just before I was going to make my account private,” Victoria said.
“I just thought I’d pop out a little tweet: ironically, just before I was going to make my account private.”
The reaction to her tweet initially shocked her, she said, but the lack of recent good news helped her understand why people got so excited.
“It’s been really overwhelming. I got a bit panicky at first. Jonathan’s had stuff gone viral before, and I’ve had shows that have been really successful, but that wasn’t about people.
“But so many of our friends were saying, ‘Look. This is a really lovely story, and things aren’t great, and it’s really important to have’.”
It was completely surreal to come back from a honeymoon without the internet to Twitter mentions going wild, she said, and Victoria’s mum is now happily printing out stories about the couple.
“Jonathan thinks it’s absolutely hilarious,” said Victoria. “I think he’s a bit gutted I put it up instead of him given all the new followers I’ve got.”
Waterstones’ Oxford Street branch drew thousands of fans to its Twitter account on the basis of Jonathan’s funny and surreal tweeting. The store has since closed, and consolidated its efforts on its new Totten ham Court Road store, whose social media manager has since tweeted a hopeful request for love.