Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Separated At Birth

I don't know how many of you, my friends in the computer, have actually met people after conversing with them via blogs and/or e-mails.

Me? I've met a handful of the people with whom I've become friendly with in this odd, barely socially acceptable way: Beth and Dana this spring, followed by Gerah and her family and then by Ariella, who's become a demi-neighbor (remember I live out with the liquid propane tanks and the septic tanks and a well for our water source, so anyone within an hour drive is a 'neighbor') as well as a real life friend.

There are still several I've yet to meet, yet feel sure I will, at some point. You know who you are. Yes, you do.

But there's some, if you blog, who you feel as thought you share a similar history and you just completely click with them.

Teri and I seem to be in that category. We've been blog friends for about a year and a half. We've been e-mailing rather regularly for a bit less than that. The similarities are somewhat frightening: Our views of ourselves, the age range of our kids, our taste in an assortment of things, even the nickname of one of her daughters and my son, to touch on a few very superficial, non-personal ones. I get her jokes and obscure references. For an oddball like myself, do you know how rare that is? We joke that we are twins, each evil. True, she has a fondness for camping, but there is a strong strain of that running through 1/2 of my family, so she comes by it honestly.

Given that, it was with great trepidation and sheer delight that we laid our plans to meet. Trepidation on my part, because, well, what if she met me and thought, "Eh. Pity. She seemed like someone I'd really like, but in person, she's got the personality of a rubber door stop." And then I'd lose my friend, which would make me sad, sad, sad. Hey, it's happened. I converse much more easily in writing. In person, my mouth disconnects and the oddest, stupidest things come out.

One example: Her husband, C, and I are just getting acquainted, chatting a bit as Teri attends to her kids. He'd been a bit leery about meeting someone his wife had only become acquainted with online. C asks me the easy and innocuous question, "How old is your daughter?" I answer, "Um, 5... No! 4! NO! 3!" The poor guy looks a bit uneasily at me and says, "So...which is it?" I'm sure he thought I had rented the kids and hadn't thought to get my story straight. That's just me under social pressure. A disaster. Fortunately, he's the forgiving sort and had the guts to continue the conversation and things went better after that.

So? What did we do for our afternoon together? Actually it was only supposed to be about 2 hours, as they were headed home, just detouring to hook up with us and, as we kept reminding our kids, it was a school night. We decided to visit an Oktoberfest in a small town and meet in the local park, by the jungle gym, figuring that who ever got there first, could hang with the kids being easily entertained, then we could wander around the festival and have a bit of a chat.

The weather was absolutely amazing. Warmish, brightly sunny, most of the trees in high color, nice fresh breeze, no eau-de-cow wafting around. Playground not crowded, in fact, I was rather surprised to find that the expected hoards of festival goers were not at all in evidence, only a few tents were up and they looked like they'd been abandoned. But, we could hear a polka band near by, probably on the other side of the big church. So, we got acquainted, let the kids run and slide and such, and then wandered off to find sustenance. We sort of succeeded, in that the festival, which consisted of a beer tent with only about 20 people and a polka band playing tunes from The Sound of Music, a couple of those giant inflatable kid slides, a gold fish toss booth and, to C's relief, a brat stand. Fortunately, there was also an ice cream and cheese shop in the block and the kids were all rewarded with ice cream.

We pronounced the whole festival as 'lame', shrugged and wandered back to the park with our ice-cream-smeared brood. 2 hours were up. Then 2+1/2 hours. Then C had the brilliant suggestion of getting some dinner from the only fast food place in the town and bringing it back to the park. We then decided that, as we needed to pick up Charles's mom, we should grab dinner and caravan back to our place for a bite and a sup and a bit of beer. Which worked out splendidly for us, although Molly-dog was disappointed to not get to go out and jump and pee all over our guests, being kept safely in her crate.

Finally, we faced the facts that the sun was almost down and, despite our best efforts to deny it, it was still a school night, and waved them off down the road.

So, what is our Teri like?

-Completely lovely.
-She twinkles even when discussing something serious.
-She is one of the most easy people to talk to I've come across.
-She's got lovely dark brown hair and big brown eyes.
-She laughs lots and lots.
-If you were both taking the same class, you'd try to sit next to her, even if you didn't know her.
-She has a sly sense of humor.

And best of all? They want to get together again! Ain't the internet grand?



Blogger brooksba said...

So wonderful. I am happy that you two met and had a great time. It's always terrific when you do bond as well in person as through correspondence. I hope there are many more adventures and meetings between you and Teri.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Beth- And you, me, Teri and Dana

4:28 PM  
Blogger listmaker said...

I'm so glad you both had a great time.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

"We sort of succeeded, in that the festival, which consisted of a beer tent with only about 20 people and a polka band playing tunes from The Sound of Music, a couple of those giant inflatable kid slides, a gold fish toss booth and, to C's relief, a brat stand. Fortunately, there was also an ice cream and cheese shop in the block and the kids were all rewarded with ice cream."

Lame? That sounds perfect. Beer and brats and uncrowded so you don't have to stand in line forever to get to the beer.

Very cool that you got to meet Teri and her hubby and kids. I've only met two of my blog friends, but both were just as delightful in person as they are online.

Can't wait to meet you! 2007, right?

8:08 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

That's awesome! I love meeting BlogFriends in RealLife. I've had mixed results, but overall, I would definitely give a thumbs up to it.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Yay! Internet friends can turn into some of the best friends, I've found.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Good heavens! I'm blushing!

As I recall, my kids were the ones who were ice-cream-smeared. Yours have either mastered the art of eating neatly, or have much more proactive parents when it comes to the wiping-of-faces than mine do.

I was giddy all the way home. We had a great time!

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Christie said...

Who'd a thunk it? Our Madame Piffle is a social butterfly in disguise?

Glad you had fun. Still waiting 'til we get to spend endless hours trapped in the back row of a CME conference acting like fools!

10:00 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Very cool! I'm glad that you met an online friend and transformed it into real life! That will probably never happen with me stuck way in the Great White North of Canada! I only know a few Canadians who blog.
Blogging sure puts us in touch with people we'd never have been without the internet!

8:53 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Listie- I'm still smiling.

Rozanne- Ok, yes, except we were hoping the fest would entertain the kids, the 2 giant blow-up slides required tokens (no obvious token booths, thank goodness) Plus we couldn't sit in the beer tent with the kids. Thank goodness for the delights of the playground. Here's hoping for 2007! I'll certainly keep you posted!

Cagey- I think it's a tribute to the honesty in our collective blogs.

Jamie- You said it!

Teri- Mwa! Don't blush, you're wonderful and deserve to hear it. (How could you have missed the ice cream smeared over both my kid's faces? I did get much of it wiped off with the large wad of napkins, but that was later in the game.

Christie- I assure it's all an act! We will definitely do a CME link-up! Just need to find one that works...

Ruth- Let me introduce you to the lovely Karen (Karen's Home on the Blog--on my blogroll). She's lovely and lives in Ontario...somewhere). You'll find them local bloggers, become chummy and meet them in no time! Plus, people travel!

9:14 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Yay! Teri sounds just like I imagine her. Just like you were like I imagined you. And you were not at all shy or scary with blurting out strange ages for your kids.

I can't wait to come back to Madison and see you again and Teri as well. That would so rock. Or maybe you convince your office that you need to make a house call to Minnesota. It's reasonable, right?

10:58 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dana- Teri would definitely fit in with a Dana-Beth-Diana reunion.

9:05 PM  

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