In my narrow vision, I saw bloggers as random individuals around the globe (specifically in cities; surely rural folks didn't blog) sitting in solitude bashing out words for their own amusement, mental therapy or income. And I was comfortable stepping into this role of "blogger" because I rather like my solitude and love bashing out words for all of the reasons listed above.
What I never imagined was how sending my thoughts out into cyberspace would metamorphose into being part of a community; a small society of individuals who share some commonality with me, even if it's just another blog we both enjoy. And to my surprise and delight, I've discovered that my personal community has it's own little neighborhoods; the artists, the real writers, the comics, the expats, the environmentalists, the healers, AND the real world neighbors!
It was two of these real world neighbors I had lunch with on Friday.
In the past month, Cyndy of 110Penned, the OptomistPessimist and I discovered that we three live within an hour of each other. The flurry of emails began, always ending with "we must get together for lunch". And so we did. Last Friday we met for lunch in a town pretty much in the center of our respective locations.
So what was this experience like for me?
First of all, I was nervous. The trepidations that OP wrote about in this post started to come up for me. What if they were disappointed? What if they didn't like me or I laughed too loud or said something stupid..... Ahh yes, the gremlins were out in full force Friday morning.
Feeling like Mama Bear since I chose the restaurant and made the reservations, I arrived early. Thirty minutes early to be exact. I wanted to see the table - was it in a good spot? Would there be room for laptops? Could we stay as long as we wanted without the waitress giving us the evil eye. And what about the wine and beer list??
At 12:30 I looked at my watch. Where were they? Why were we not already in full hug mode? Then OP texted sayingconstruction was holding her up, and Cyndy phoned to say she overshot the location and would be there in a few minutes. So there we sat - the gremlins and I.
I took out my current art journal and wrote the first three paragraphs of this post while waiting.
Then suddenly I looked up and there was Cyndy! We hugged like old friends (which we were, really, old pen pal friends) and the next minute OP had arrived and there were more hugs and the chatter began.
We are all so very very smart (or really committed to our food). Prior to arriving, we had each checked out the menu online and knew what we wanted to order so no valuable talk time was wasted on that. I never felt awkward or nervous or had one self-conscious moment. I did have reservations about having a glass of wine in the middle of the day, but after OP ordered her Boddington's Pub Ale, no more reservations.And we talked. We talked about family and work and the iPhone and Cyndy's Mac and everything it seems, except our blogs. The topic certainly came up and we covered it bit, but mostly we talked about ourselves. It was as if we were hungry for knowledge of our sister bloggers. We had a fascinating discussion on the origin of our respective kids names and with 8 kids among us, that took awhile.
OP let me
We each bemoaned our respective lack of toys - Cyndy and I want an iPhone, OP and I want a Mac, OP and Cyndy want an SLR camera. But I declared that since Cyndy has theMac, OP the iPhone and I the Nikon D60, we make a complete package!
And, of course I took pictures. Not as many I as thought I would since I didn't want to lose precious getting-to-know-each-other time on snapping pics.
Here is Cyndy with her Mac taken with OP's iPhone
It was over SO fast.
My "blogging blinders" have been forever ripped from my eyes. Some bloggers are just like me - normal, hardworking ladies with a real life and real dreams, family obligations, a good sense of humor, kid worries, strong opinions, hungry creativity and above all, a need to write about all of it.