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.