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Meeting real people in real life: an adventure in Virginia

Much like Heather yesterday, I have stolen away like a thief in the night to quick like a bunny post something so you know that a., I have arrived safely in the land of Virginia (but, although Heather promises I was supposed to be assigned a lover per the state motto at the border, I was NOT assigned a lover, so what is up with THAT, Virginia? Seriously? WHERE IS MY LOVER. I am not enjoying your state as I should be in this loverless fashion) and that b., we are having a grand adventure, as promised.

The train on the way here was overheated and very crowded (props to the lady who realized if she put the tray-table down in the seat next to her it looked like someone was sitting there so no one bothered her, CRAFTY) but didn’t seem to take that long, surprisingly, and I’m not dreading the trip home so much. (I really do like the train better than driving, overheating issues notwithstanding. Seriously, Amtrak, make your trains cooler than you think people would like; people can always put layers ON, but people cannot strip down on public transportation. Well, they shouldn’t, anyway.)

sj‘s husband picked me up at the train station with a most excellent sign. I told him I wanted him to meet me with a sign. He threatened to have the sign say…well, see below. My dad was all, “HE WOULDN’T DARE! HA HA!”

He dared.

I laughed SO HARD when I saw this. The people around me coming out of the station were all “THIS IS A CRAZY PERSON” and edged away from me. I didn’t even care. It was an excellent start to my vacation.

(Just in case you’re wondering, I got in the car, bitch. Also, I took this photo of him, and texted sj all, “DO YOU KNOW THIS MAN?” and she was like, “NO!” Hee!)

Then I arrived at sj’s house! And GIGANTIC HUGS WERE HAD! And her kids seem to love me, because I am a whiz with children and animals! So far I have learned I’m awesome, and have long hair, and am very good at naming stuffed animals (what, “Sir Poppington the Third” is an excellent stuffed animal name) but also that I am “too loud and kind of boring” so really, you take the good with the bad. The child that said that was VERY APOLOGETIC afterward and I wasn’t even upset because I am, actually, very loud, and somewhat tedious. So I gave him a hug and a kiss on the head and told him I was not angry because how could anyone be angry at him? And all was well. I’m very good at this childrening thing. (I did make the youngest one cry yesterday for a VERY LONG TIME and I felt terrible and I kept saying “I BROKE HER” because I totally think I did but today she told me she loved me again so I think we’re cool, yo. Also, I changed a diaper yesterday, with tag-team assistance from other children. Are you so proud of me? I seriously felt like I’d won an Academy Award. I haven’t changed a diaper since high school. WHEN I WAS BABYSITTING. I was not a teen mom. Stop thinking that right now. I did put it on backwards but luckily the diapering recipient was very compliant and was like, “eh, I’ll lift my legs up again, this weird lady’s WEIRD, but she means well, yo.”)

TOTALLY IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME!!!

TOTALLY IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME!!!

Then the next day, we thought Heather would arrive around 7-ish, so we were kicking back and doing a little reading and BAM, Heather ARRIVED, and YAY!!!

Now we were THREE! (Plus sj’s family, of course. I am not discounting them.)

Much chatting and laughter and such was had until very late and then we all slept and had many zzzzs.


ALL OF US IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME! If you felt a disturbance in the force around 5-ish last night eastern standard time, it’s because all the awesome was in the same collective place. The rest of the world must have felt unbalanced.

Later today, Laura will arrive, and we will have MORE of a hootenanny. Well, we’ll watch The Amazing Race and chat and eat dinner, but that’s a total hootenanny, right? RIGHT.

Oh, you totally want me to talk smack about the ladies, right? Now that I’ve met them in person?

OK, here’s the lowdown. Pull up a chair.

sj…man. That sj. Get close so I can whisper, because that’s what good gossipers do. Ready?

sj is the same as she has been for the past year and a half-ish that we’ve been talking online.

I KNOW! SHOCK! AWE!

She is awesome and funny and intelligent and snarky and wise and honest.

Oh, now the dirt on Heather.

You’re going to want to tell ALL your friends this one.

Ready?

HEATHER IS ALSO THE SAME AS THE PERSON I’VE GOTTEN TO KNOW ONLINE.

It’s true!

Heather is kind and giving and patient and wacky and intelligent and warm.

Here’s the thing, guys. Heather mentioned this in her post last night, and I can’t do anything but concur most wholeheartedly.

The people you meet online aren’t always the people they are when you meet their faces.

It’s easy to slip into an online persona when you’re someone who lives online, like a lot of us do. Some people even make that their goal; their blog ISN’T them, it’s a persona they’re putting forth. Nothing against that; it works for them. I’m completely down with that.

However, it’s the people who are the same people online as they are in real life that interest me. The ones that are brave, maybe confident, enough to be themselves both in words and in life; those are the people I’m drawn to. Because when you meet them, you’re not trying to reconcile that person with the persona you’ve gotten to know. You’ve already done the work. You’ve met them through email or their blog or Twitter; they’re that same person. You’re really just in the same airspace, hearing the words come out of their mouths with their tone and inflection, seeing the emotions cross their faces. It’s really kind of awesome, seeing that, being with them for that.

The people I’ve met in person have been the same as they are online; I don’t know if I’m interested in meeting people who aren’t. I like reality and I like honesty and I like people who aren’t afraid to be themselves, warts and all, and who accept that they might be a little broken, and put it out there for all to see, and potentially judge, with a jutted jaw and maybe a little fear in their eyes.

That’s where friendship is. It’s in the “take me as I am, please; here’s me, here’s all of me, and if you can’t take that, I’m sorry, I can’t be someone else for you.”

I don’t have to be someone else for Heather and sj; they don’t have to be someone else for me. This is just as it should be. I love them for that.

Time to go be social. Enough hiding with a laptop. Love your faces. Hope you’re having the best holiday weekend. More soon upon the arrival of the luminous Laura. *smooch*

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

33 responses to “Meeting real people in real life: an adventure in Virginia

  • becomingcliche

    Sitting at the table last night, I was amazed at how relaxed I felt. I already knew you. The awkward relationship building had already been done. Your faces, your words, your laughter were so familiar, like slipping on a favorite t-shirt. It’s the best.

    Like

  • NotAPunkRocker

    Yeah, I have lived in Virginia my entire life. The Lover thing is kind of overrated and unpredictable :-)

    Like

  • sj

    Gosh, I am all weepy again.

    No joke, I’ve been absolutely terrified for the last month. “They are going to get here and they are going to HATE ME because I am TERRIBLE in real life situations, they are going to go home and I will have NO FRIENDS ANYMORE.”

    [sigh]

    I’m still not entirely over it. Sad, yeah?

    Like

    • emuse

      sj

      I consider myself so socially awkward that I’m looking in to places to hide and never meet people again in real life.

      I so relate to this comment.

      Like

    • lucysfootball

      Goofball. I think we all have a little bit of that in us. I think that’s why we mesh so well.

      Promise, it’s not happening like that at all. PROMISE.

      Going downstairs in a second so I can see your lovely face. *smooch*

      Like

  • emuse

    I’m so glad you all are having such a nice time. Yay!

    Like

  • emmawolf

    OMG I love the sign!

    Like

  • Charleen

    I feel like I’m not the same online as I am in person… not because I try to project a persona, but because when I can hide behind a screen and keyboard, I can be MORE myself than I can face-to-face.

    Or maybe that’s just a lie I tell myself so I don’t feel like I’m lying to the internet about who I am. Who knows?

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      No, I get that. I totally get that. It’s sometimes easier to be yourself online. But – and I hope this is the case for you? – at first, I did the same thing. Then I realized my online persona WAS who I really was, and I’d been too scared to be my real self in real life – and screw it, I loved who I really was, I was going to let her out to play. And people LOVED her. My friends noticed how much happier and confident I was, and it was because I was actually able to be MYSELF.

      I hope it happens for you, too. (You’re not lying to the internet about who you are. I don’t think you are at all.)

      Like

      • Charleen

        I can do that for the most part with friends I’ve known forever, but even with them sometimes I’m a victim of my own awkwardness… I just know they won’t judge me for it because they’re used to it.

        But with new people? I’ve been living in Iowa for over three years now, and I’m still uncomfortable with most of my husband’s friends from work. Not because they’re not people I’d want to be friends with, but I just can’t turn that part of my brain off. It’s something I need to work on, I know. But it’s just SO much easier being a hermit!

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          It is easier to be a hermit. But lonelier!

          I know I can’t make myself socially interact sometimes…but I’m usually glad when I have. (USUALLY. Not always. Sometimes I just get the worst social anxiety. I can’t make it stop.)

          Like

  • Tom Davidson

    I don’t know who you are, but I was compelled to come here by the picture of my (surprisingly) bald younger brother holding a sign that said “Get in the car, bitch”. I enjoyed reading your account of your visit with my kin. I will stop writing now so that I don’t get labeled a douchecanoe by overstaying my visit to your blog.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I am an awesome human, Tom! You SHOULD know who I am!

      (I totally know who you are, vicariously. sj has nothing but good things to say; therefore, I like you already.)

      No douchecanoe labelling. Not even a little. Thank you so much for commenting, and I’m having the best time with your family. They’re wonderful. Stop by anytime! I don’t have snacks, but I could get some, if that was enticing at all?

      Like

  • ksbeth

    so funny, happy it went so well, and i love the sign so much )

    Like

  • bensbitterblog

    Where do I get a sign like that. I think that would come in really handy for some…situations.

    Like

  • Heather

    Aaawww…I’m so, so glad this is happening.

    Wish I could be there to experience it in person. You guys are the best.

    Like

  • Aussa Lorens

    Haha I love the sign. And I’m totally stealing that put-the-tray-down tip. Very tricksy.

    Like

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