On my list of things to do in Chicago was to meet Adrienne From The Comments Section Who Doesn’t Have A Blog. She’s been cracking me up for months now with her witty rejoinders and I’ve been trying to get her to start her own blog but she’s been way too busy doing responsible things like saving her community school which doesn’t leave time for writing about what she ate for lunch and sharing it with the global Internet community.
I called her Friday afternoon to discuss plans for Saturday and had that brief panicky feeling that she’d say, “Who are you and why are you calling me?” but the first thing out of her mouth was, “You have an accent!” which cracks me up when people tell me that because a) I’m Southern and it’s buried in my genetic code; b) I don’t think I have that strong of one; and c) HAVE YOU HEARD PEOPLE FROM CHICAAAHHHGO?
She drove downtown in the morning and met Momologuer and me at the Starbucks in our hotel lobby and we immediately bonded over our love for all things carbohydrate.
She ordered the “lemon loaf” which I thought was interesting because I’d always called it pound cake and I wondered if Midwesterners didn’t eat pound cake or if I had just been calling it by the wrong name every time I ordered it. I didn’t ask her to expound upon the difference because a) I didn’t want her to think I was weird and didn’t know one pastry from another, and b) I hadn’t had sufficient coffee at that time of the morning and couldn’t put two coherent words together.
Adrienne was so much fun to be with and I instantly felt at ease as we sat back and talked about anything and everything, and when I say everything, I mean it because I think at some point we were actually talking about funerals and really, isn’t that what you always wanted to discuss when you meet a random stranger for the first time?
I think, though, what I enjoyed most about our all too brief time together was listening to her laugh. You can tell a lot about a person by how they laugh, and Adrienne has a wonderful laugh that’s loud, frequent, and full of joy. I love to laugh and have someone with whom to laugh, so you can imagine how happy I was to sit and make merry and how sad I was when her parking meter expired and she had to skeddadle and get back to her family in the suburbs. I came away from our time together feeling so blessed by the friendships I’ve made through this weird little hobby called blogging and renewed in my desire to meet as many of my blogpeeps as I can.
The second “stranger” I met this weekend was not someone from the blog, but an online friendship that I formed over two years ago. I met Kate on a community message board talking about a tv show that we both enjoyed, and though our interest in spending time obsessing about fictional characters faded after about six months, our relationship continued through Facebook and then Twitter.
We made general “If you’re ever in North Carolina/Chicago…” sort of plans to get together, but this past weekend I had a specific time and location. Kate works in theatre (she’s an executive director) and she had secured tickets for us to see a play based on the works of Noel Coward at her theatre in the suburbs of Chicago. I was a little nervous about going to the play because most of the plays I go to involve poor costuming (I never said I was crafty), whispered cues from the side of the stage and children pausing their lines mid-speech to wave to their mother and I wasn’t quite sure I’d be cultured enough for the Chicago scene. Remember, I’m the one that eats at the Pik-N-Pig.
As our train approached the station where she was going to pick us up, I hoped that we would get along as well in person as we did online, and I was beyond thrilled when our personalities clicked immediately (it helped that we first went out to eat and discovered that we shared a love of brown food). I loved Kate’s energy, her wit, her pet phrase “Oh, My-lanta!”, and her incredible generosity. I realized I sounded stalkerish when I asked about her sister, her ex-boyfriend, and her penchant for purses (I have a weird habit of remembering the most obscure details which makes me a great Trivial Pursuit teammate but also can make me appear to be in need of a restraining order), but she took it all in stride and didn’t call 911 to have me arrested. By the end of the evening, we were fast friends and making plans to go to Vegas for her birthday, and we spent most of Sunday texting each other in search of handbags.
So what did I learn at the end of the day? I learned that just because you haven’t met someone doesn’t mean they’re a stranger, that you never stop making friends, that life is always big enough to accommodate new ones, and that people from Chicago really talk funny.
Have a nice day.