in real life

As I was saying, we just got home from a grand trip out to California to visit my sister and mother. I hope to share a bit more about the trip soon, but as Jen went and wrote some lovely things on her blog, I wanted to share a bit about our Monday-night visit, too.

Because, you see, I got to meet Jen (of one plus two), someone who I have long admired (or perhaps hero-worshipped) from afar. Since I won’t be able to go to BlogHer, where Jen and other fine bloggy folks will be gathering next month, and since Jen will be moving to Belize in a few short months, I felt compelled to make the effort to stalk Jen in person while I had the chance. Happily, she was open to being stalked, and even invited us over for dinner.

Jen is just as warm and beautiful and down-to-earth and magnificent as you might gather from reading her blog. And M and J were equally wonderful and charming. But I got to learn more than that. Jen is also a damn fine cook, and served up some tasty gnocchi with home-made pesto, some fantabulously delicious oven-roasted vegetables, and garlic bread made from bread that she baked herself. The littler diners were served a classic grilled cheese dinner (crust removed upon request) and a big bowl of strawberries. (Phoebe may have eaten more than a few strawberries.)

Phoebe and M, frightfully cute together.

Ten o’clock rolled around before we noticed, with our little ones romping and cavorting around us, up well past their bed-times. We stayed later than we’d planned, caught up in comfortable conversations, sitting on the living room floor. We talked about life and work: kids and travel and family, friends and blogging and bloggy friends, non-profits and language and disaster recovery. And a dozen other topics that I can’t even recall.

This was the first time I have met someone in person who I’d previously only known online. It wasn’t at all awkward, though. Instead, it felt like we were old friends, just picking up the conversation where we’d left off last. Even though, before this meeting, I could have passed Jen on the street without ever recognizing her.

I’ve thought quite a bit recently about the distinction people sometimes make between online friends and real-life friends. I’ve realized that the distinction is remarkably fuzzy, because the people behind the blogs I read are unquestionably real people. The joys and pains and tidbits they live and share are real, and they affect me in real ways. Through our conversations, the friendships become real.

Of course, it’s hard to beat the pleasure of getting together with friends in person. Especially when there is real food involved. (So I hope to meet more of you out there, too. I might even cook.)

14 responses to “in real life

  1. it’s been interesting making “friends” this way, and it’s one of the reasons that i am going to blogher – i want to put faces to the people inside the computer.

  2. adorable!

    wish I could have sat on the living room floor with the both of you!

  3. Lovely! For me the cool thing about making friends this way is that I am frightfully far away from nearly everyone I’ve “met” through blogging, but online that doesn’t matter! Although I do hope I can someday meet at least some of my online friends “in real life”. :)

  4. i so wish i were going to blogher. there are so many friends who i’ve never seen IRL. how wonderful you were able to meet one.

    and the girls are too cute!!!!

  5. I’ve never met a bloggy friend in person before, and I’m kind of terrified to. I’m not sure why this is, exactly, because it seems that people’s personalities come across pretty well on their blogs, so if you like someone on her blog, it should follow that you would get along in person, right? Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough!

    I’m glad you had a good trip. Welcome back!

  6. Cool – let me know next time you’re in Tasmania! We’ll catch up.

  7. I’m not going to BlogHer either, but if you want to say hi in person sometime, that would be marvy ;o)

  8. ah sister, you summed it up so lovely. we were saying today how great it would be if we could have called and invited you over for dinner tonight, it seemed so effortless and perfect and hard to imagine that you are all the way across the country.

  9. ps. that bread was a total fluke, lest i get the image of actually being some sort of baker.

  10. Envy. I envy you and I envy Jen.

    BTW, how cute are those two girls? Check out the ballerina slippers and ruffle socks.

  11. Sounds so lovely. The girls are just gorgeous together.

  12. i’m so jealous and happy for you!!

    the pics are adorable.
    and Gracie has that same exact dress. it’s one of my absolute favorites of all of her things. she’s outgrown it & i’m so bummed.

    anyway…sounds fabulous!

  13. I love that you two got together and fully expect to hang out sometime in person with you…you always have a place to stay in DC!

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