August 28, 2006

Blogger meet-up

So what was it I am supposed to tell my kids about meeting strangers on the internet?

I tried to remember those safety rules as I drove home from campus today. It seemed to me I might have broken a few. Just a few days before, I had exchanged emails with a blogger who was planning a trip to Snowstorm region and I'd sent him directions to my house. I told him that I would be on campus all morning, and my two youngest kids would be home alone. I might have even said, "Don't worry, I will leave the house unlocked in case you get there ahead of me."

Luckily, he did not turn out to be an axe murderer.

We'd figured out through email and blogging that we had all kinds of things in common. And I had felt confident that anyone who had a Hawaiian nun in his background could not possibly be evil. I mean, what would be the chances?

And really, I had done an extensive background check. I had even talked to his fourth grade teacher.

So the blogger meet-up was more like running into a cousin I hadn't talked to in years. We jumped from topic to topic, talking about places and people we both knew, and what paths our lives had taken us to get us to where we were now. It was funny to see the parallels between our lives, and how we had come to some similar conclusions on a variety of issues.

And this blogger meet-up matched all the other blogger meet-ups I've had. Nothing about the blogger surprised me at all. I had not so much even talked to him on the phone, and yet he was exactly what his blog and emails had led me to imagine: smart, funny, articulate, warm. I am amazed once again at how well words can convey who a person is.

18 comments:

landismom said...

Well, I have to say if I was going to pick any blogger to tell that I was leaving my house unlocked, it would probably be Chip. I'm jealous of your meetup!

nancy said...

Some of me bestest friends, I met on the internet. Now you have a real life friend, not just a cyber-friend.

negativecapability said...

I wish I had more blogger meet-ups - and I wish I had actually gotten to sit down with you for a while last fall! The other person I have met is now a close real life friend. I think that it's hard not to like someone if you're compelled enough by their writing to follow their blog. I think I write more comments then blog entries, though :)

Chip said...

and think of the risks I was taking!! Driving off into the wilds of the Snowstorm region, down a country road...

It was great getting together, and I'm glad you went ahead even after talking to Fourth Grade Teacher! We'll have to do it again soon, cuz.

ppb said...

Well, of course it was awesome! Meeting you is always awesome!

cloudscome said...

Nice contrast; this with the post directly before. Relationships old and new, what it takes to really know someone.... connections. Who says we don't have them anymore?

Silver Creek Mom said...

Now I know we are setting a bad example for our kids butmost my friends now Ihave met through parenting boards and blogs. I even go away with a bunchof moms that I met on the INTERNET.

I can't imgine my life without them.

YourFireAnt said...

I am an outspoken laughstoomuch dotty poet lady who's probably a troublemaker too, and subversive, pleasure-loving, a good cook, likes to walk on the beach by candlelight, or sit by the fire and plot, get together with other like-minded individuals on trains going long distances, and who also lives in the place she was born. Want to meet up?

timna said...

As my kids see me meet bloggers (and I even took ben t. the time I met a blogger in an underground parking garage!), I'm wondering if the warnings might not be part of an earlier, or maybe more random (?), stage of internet use.

Some of my blog buddies and I seem to have gone through grad school and the dissertation and the job search together. That's a lot of day-to-day familiarity. I think I could leave my house unlocked for quite a few of my internet friends. Anybody stopping by?

Leslee said...

2 things.

1. I don't have a clue where my 4th grade teachers are today. How and why did you talk to them?

2. I thought everyone had to pose naked on your blog. Where the naked picture of Chip?

jo(e) said...

Leslee: The fourth grade teacher from the elementary school that Chip and I both attended is the mother of Kindergarten Friend, whom I wrote about in my last post. I happened to have dinner with her last Saturday. Of course, that was after I had already planned the blogger meet-up.

And the naked photo of Chip? It was bit chilly here yesterday so I figured that will wait until the next time I see him. Don't tell him though ....

Yankee, Transferred said...

Lucky, lucky both of you!

Leslee said...

Ah, that explains it. I just couldn't quite make the connection. Thanks.


I guess we can wait on the picture. Don't worry, I won't tell him anything.

jo(e) said...

Leslee: I was being all vague and mysterious because I wasn't sure I should reveal that Chip had grown up in my hometown -- but then he outed himself on his own blog ....

jo(e) said...

Negative Capability: You going to SLSA this year? Email me if you are ....

YourFireAnt: I'm afraid that if I met you we'd get drunk and do something that could get me kicked out of this community for good.

Timna: Hey, you took a real chance rooming with me when I was still a stranger you'd met at a virtual bar. I COULD HAVE MURDERED YOU IN YOUR SLEEP!

Linda (FM) said...

If we have a chance for a meet up, please call someone other than my fourth grade teacher for a background check. She was convinced my horrible handwriting was a certain indication of my lack of character.

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

I LOVE meeting my online friends!

The first time it happened I went to a conference in NY and was staying in a hotel in Queens. A friend I had never met in person invited me (ahead of time) to dinner at his girlfriend's parents in Manhattan. My husband made all the usual "you sure he's not an ax murderer?" comments as I was pulling away in the car. Nope. Not an ax murderer. I will admit that when I first met him (and all the other 'net friends I met at that conference)I just sat and stared for a long time. It was so, weird, meeting people with whom I had been corresponding for so long.

What to tell the kids? I have no idea.

Chip said...

uh-oh, I was afraid that might come up. I'll let Rob Helpy-Chalk go first...