Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blogging For Friends


The Boss and Annabel

Photo by toyfoto

Sometimes making friends is easy. When both parties to something potentially amicable are open and fearless, then striking up a friendship can be a breeze. Other times, the direction of the wind isn't so favorable.

The Boss has a propensity for close human interaction that I lack. Maybe that's the difference between 3 and 30. She is now building the relationships that I've been coasting on for decades. My best friends were all made during childhood--as a toddler at parties with the children of my parent's friends, then in elementary school, then high school, then college. Now the legacies of those years are scattered across the country. I keep in touch as best a phone-phobic person like myself can. But when I get together with those tried and true friends (with varying degrees of regularity), it's like old times.

Now, when I make an acquaintance, it seems I don't know how to bridge the divide between old times and new. I want a friendship with history even though I've not only forgotten how to make history happen, but I've lost track of the time it takes. I see other women in my mother's group become fast friends and I wonder why I'm not that close to any of them. Is it because I don't like to talk on the phone? Is it because I have nothing to say, anyway? Is it because I'm not fun, or am too opinionated, or because I think my shit doesn't stink? I mean, do I smell?

In the blogosphere, it's easier to get to know people. I put myself out there in posts and if someone reads my blog regularly, it's probably because there's something about me they can relate to. If I read their blog as well, a circle is formed. Without actual events shared in real life, history can evolve. And it has, in several cases. There are bloggers I've never met on the terrestrial plane but with whom I know I would love to hang out. It wouldn't be awkward. We already know too much about each other to waste time with filler. We'd get right to the good stuff.

I proved it last weekend when I went to visit Toyfoto with The Partner, The Boss, and Number Two in tow. I already knew the writer of Ittybits & Pieces to be smart, funny, talented and thoughtful. I've been reading her blog for almost two years now (can it really be that long?). When she invited us up, even her warnings about their incontinent dog didn't give me pause.

One would not have guessed that our feet never crossed paths before Saturday. Between our two families of four, we had plenty to do and plenty to talk about. Our husbands, even though they didn't have blogs on which to base the rapport, got along well. Our girls had the kind of fun that resulted in the kind of strife only two headstrong pre-schoolers can bring upon themselves. Our little boys either sat there being cute (mine) or toddled around being cute (hers).

With children and goats running amok amidst the fall foliage in one of my favorite corners of the northeast, I was relieved to find out that I can still make friends. And my thanks must go in part to the Internet*.

Photo by toyfoto

*which, by the way, Toyfoto's 102-year old grandfather-in-law helped invent.

8 comments:

toyfoto said...

Wow. Wow. I could just about link to this and say 'Ditto' over at the place where I tinker with my words.

What's odd to me, though? I've met other Internet friends with similar results, but I can't say I wasn't nerved up by each meeting.

I never once worried about meeting you, though. (I don't think I was over confident, either.) Which kind of makes me think that had we been been neighbors -- had we met at a mommy group instead of on the internet -- we might have actually found one of those fast friendships.

I'm going to thank my husband's grandfather, nonetheless, next time I see him.

Heather said...

I'm always jealous when I read about these meet-ups. No one wants to meet me!
;)

Sarah said...

Ok and what were you just fishing for a compliment - you not fun, too opinionated - HELLO - you are the most fun (ok and most opinionated) person I know!! Here is to very much missing you.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

This paragraph: Now, when I make an acquaintance, it seems I don't know how to bridge the divide between old times and new. I want a friendship with history even though I've not only forgotten how to make history happen, but I've lost track of the time it takes. I see other women in my mother's group become fast friends and I wonder why I'm not that close to any of them. Is it because I don't like to talk on the phone? Is it because I have nothing to say, anyway? Is it because I'm not fun, or am too opinionated, or because I think my shit doesn't stink? I mean, do I smell?

I could have written that word-for-word (actually, I don't think I would've said it as well, but I totally understand what you mean). Making friends since I've become a mom has been TOUGH and it has really made me question the kind of person I have become. Thankfully, my old friends seem to still love me, so I think that perhaps I am an acquired taste.

And, Toyfoto is awesome (as are you!). Glad you guys had such a great meet-up. I've had a few meetings with internet friends that have been as warm and comfortable.

Lauren said...

I love you. :) History or no history. And maybe it's because I'm phone-phobic too.

janflora said...

I had to comment because your words spoke so clearly to me. I have dear old friends whom I will always be close to but they don't even know I blog! And I have found myself opening up to other writers and bloggers far more easily than the other mommies I meet in person. Of course, I cannot guarantee that they would like me in person, but I think we might have a different kind of kinship, a whole other level. And, I'm phone-phobic too. What's up with that? I thought I was the only one!

Liz said...

I feel the same way, like the other commenters, about being awkward. My friends and I even started a group on Facebook called "the boldness initiative" to help us to reach out more! Both to stick up for ourselves and to push ourselves to engage in more real-life sociability.

Holly said...

I agree with this, I also find it kind of hard to make friends offline too. It's the going from "acquaintances" to "friends" which I struggle with the most.

I haven't met any fellow bloggers yet, but I would definitely like to, and I also don't feel like it would be awkward - so long as they were who their blogs claimed they were, and didn't turn out be axe murderers or anything!