One of my favorite “meeting in real life” stories is about Michael (who, sadly, doesn’t keep a blog anymore, but whom I still get to ‘see’ on facebook). We had been blog buddies for about a year and a half when we discovered that we grew up in the same neighborhood. One day several years ago, Michael mentioned that he was heading ‘home’ from Alabama to visit his family. I asked him where ‘home’ was, and it turned out that it was exactly where I grew up (which is an easy car ride from where I live now). Anyway, we made plans to meet while he was there, and after about five minutes over our salads at Bertucci’s, he looked at me and said “I know this sounds weird, since we only just met, but I feel like we’ve been friends for years.” That’s because we HAD been friends for years, and we ended up spending the rest of the afternoon together when he invited me to come with him to meet his grandparents. It was lovely, and pretty much representative of the other online friends I’ve met in real life.
Topping the list of online friends I’d like to meet in person is CVRick. I interact with him practically every day on facebook (he doesn’t keep a blog that I’m aware of, though he keeps saying he’s going to start writing), and he came up in the class I’m taking as my primary argument when someone made the comment that one can’t be ‘real’ friends with someone whom one has never met in person. Everything I’ve experienced about Rick as an online friend tells me he’s smart, funny, insightful, and genuine, and I bet, much like Michael and I, we could be instantly comfortable with one another.
Another online friend I’m hoping to meet someday is Kwizgiver. Though she only lives in the next state over, it’s a big state, and there really is considerable geographical distance between us. At some point, though, I’m certain we will discover that circumstances will bring us to within reasonable proximity. When that happens (and it WILL happen), I’m looking forward to meeting this energetic, thoughtful, passionate teacher (who, I’m betting, is riotously funny).
I’m not sure this one actually counts, as we HAVE met in real life, but I would really, really love to be able to spend more time in J’s presence. We met a couple of years ago at a week-long writing workshop, and as soon as she walked into the room, J’s energy resonated with me. I heartily enjoyed her company that week and found myself seeking her feedback and perspective. I’m consistently struck by how often her writing leaves me stunned; it seems that we are sensitive to many of the same things at the same time. I know that I could find solace and sorority in her kitchen, and I often find myself wishing that we weren’t separated by almost half the country.
(and I know the prompt only asked for three, but one of my dearest wishes is that the last time I saw Gerry won’t be the last time I see Gerry.)