Monday, September 20, 2010

Looking for love in all the right places

I spent a lovely weekend reconnecting with old friends and meeting a new one.

Well, "meeting" in the sense that we had never actually met in person, because the truth is, we both felt like we already knew each other.  Back when I was a baby blogger and learning my way around the blogging community, I started reading Lisa's blog, PoliTits (at that time, she blogged under the moniker "DCup") which was linked on Lemon Gloria, my high school friend's blog.  I thought the name "PoliTits" was hilarious, and soon discovered that in addition to being of my political ilk (read:  a big ol' bleeding heart like me), DCup/Lisa was funny and warm and smart and a terrific writer.  And it wasn't just a political blog -- she wrote with heart and humor and raw honesty about her family.  I was a new mom at the time and whenever I experienced a crisis of confidence about my mothering skills, I appreciated her wry wisdom and advice, and her reasonable approach to dealing with children (she's a proponent of Benign Neglect, a refreshing antidote to the type of helicopter parenting that seems to be the prevailing approach among my peers).

So I mustered up the courage to leave her some comments on her blog, and she was always gracious in responding, and soon she started leaving me comments, and then we would email about various things from time to time, and then we were Facebook buddies, and before I knew it, I had a true friend, albeit one I had never actually laid eyes on.

She lives just outside of Atlanta, so when Kathleen and I planned our trip to Atlanta, I got in touch with Lisa to see about meeting for coffee.  We settled on a Starbucks halfway between us.  As I pulled into the parking lot Saturday morning, I noticed a woman walking up the sidewalk and recognized her immediately and she recognized me immediately and we waved and it was like meeting up with an old friend that I just hadn't seen in a long time, rather than one I had never met.

There was none of that initial awkwardness that might come from a first date.  We sat down and immediately started talking about her kids and my kids and writing and marriage and politics, and we knew each others' back stories (mostly).  And she's as cool as I thought she would be.  Easy to talk to, generous of spirit, intelligent.  It was similar to the experience I had meeting Anne last year -- just hanging out and catching up with an old friend.  There was no bullshit about it.

This crazy blogging community is a funny thing.  I get the sense that for many people, the ease of interacting online fosters a certain wariness about face-to-face interaction.  You can be anyone you want to be if you're limiting your contact with people to that which is made through the ether, when you are simply sitting in front of your computer, in the comfort and safety of your own home or office.

And so can everyone else.  Meaning that cyber-friendships can be, and often are, between people who have utterly misrepresented themselves, whether in their physical appearance or their life circumstances or whatever.

But nonetheless, my blogging friendships are very real and very important to me, and at least in my experience, the people I have befriended are exceedingly honest about who and what they are.  And I care about them.  When I see a Facebook status update by Moosie or Suz -- neither of whom I have ever met -- I am as interested as I am in those posted by my IRL friends.

Plus, as Lisa noted on her blog yesterday, life is to be lived.  Take chances.  Reach out and connect with people, regardless of the medium.  It's worth it.


  1. Awwww! Wendy it was so nice to finally meet you in person. I had such a good time. I feel like I know you, Jason and the kids and yet there were things to discover.

    I hope we'll get together again when you come back to Atlanta. Until then, rock on. You've got the mom thing aced. Trust me.

  2. Aww! thanks for the shout-out! I completely agree with you. I've now met 3 or 4 online friends in real life and consider them all my real friends--maybe more so than some of my IRL friends whom I've known for a long time. I think it also has to do with the fact that you gravitate towards people on blogs and twitter that you have a lot in common with. You can more easily fade out of an online relationship that isn't going anywhere or isn't positive--so you're left with the cream of the crop!

    I can't wait to meet you. :)