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Monday, April 27, 2009

meeting a blog friend

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How long have you blogged?

Do you communicate with blog friends beyond the blogs - in email or online chats?

Would you meet up with a blog friend? Why or why not?

These were some of the questions a Communication PhD student asked in her research survey, which I had mentioned in my post about writing: supply & demand. I was among 20 blogger participants.

The survey was timely, because my dear blog friend Susan and I had planned to meet up the following weekend.

What if she's a pathological killer? Solution: we brought our body guard husbands along.

What if we feel awkward, or our body guards don't talk to each other? What if one or the other of us deems the other an utter dufus and we don't like each other as much in person? Then afterward it's all online politeness. Yuck.

But after hugs, walking through Ann Arbor and non-stop talking over dinner, all that is moot.

Why did I want to meet Susie? We had discovered so many things in common, it was just a matter of time before we would meet up. Our family histories (one example: I was a Hart and she has Harts in her family), we both have 5-acre-farms, chickens, similar worldview (including politics, religion or lack thereof, the earth and sustainability), musical and artistic taste, and too many more to list. We live in adjoining states, so it wasn't unreasonable to plan it.

The one photo I took was in a gallery where some blown glass chickens were begging to be photographed with Susan's reflection in the box window's glass. (Susan and Don found each other's blogs first because of chickens.) See how sweet she is (wish you could see her gorgeous blue eyes) - and warm, talented, smart, steady, common-sensical, a great cook (though I haven't verified that personally), a home arts specialist, a terrific mom and grandmom, an interesting and entertaining conversationalist (her voice is gentle with a subtle southern lilt), and maybe her best trait is her sense of humor. I'm so glad we've met, and no doubt we'll meet again. It will be our turn to drive to Ohio.

Oh, and our body guards cluck-clucked along with us hens.

68 comments:

*jean* said...

oo i think that's wonderful! i have a blog friend that i would love to meet, we have made a special bond over the last year and can't think of anything more special!! good for you both!

ds said...

How great that you were able to meet in person! Photograph is very cool also; well done! And it is extra-wonderful that the "body guards cluck-clucked right along with the hens." Doesn't get much better than that, does it?

m good said...

That is very cool to meet a blogging friend. I've been blogging for over a year now and always look forward to friends posting articles and checking out my site. Growing up during the time pen pals from other countries was so very special, I marvel how I've made blog friends around the world through this medium. Glad the two of you hit it off. :) M

CottageGirl said...

How great that 2 of my favorite people met! You both are so talented and articulate! I bet you had a great time!

I love the pic of Susan's reflection! Do you have one of the two of you or better yet the four of you?

Peter said...

I guess I must have met some 15 or 20 bloggers by now, some several times, mostly in Paris but also elsewhere! Only nice experiences! A new meeting planned very soon in the south of France (Menton) with four or five! I sincerely hope that you (with your body guard if you wish) will be one of the bloggers I will meet! (I'm sure you just MUST come back to Paris soon?) :-)

Drowsey Monkey said...

okay - first that photo is genius! And I want one of those chickens lol

I've blogged almost 2 years - never met a blogger but I can think of a few I'd like to.

I think if you're "yourself" online and others are as well then there's a good chance you'll like each other in real life.

I tried the dating online way back in the 90s and to be honest - meeting the guy in person rarely went well. But I'd take the opportunity to meet a few women bloggers I've gotten to know over the past 2 years - it's a different kind of get-together, different expectations, LOL

Glad you all had a good time!

kanmuri said...

It's funny that you would post about that because I met a blog friend last weekend as well. I have only been blogging for five months now and I've know him for maybe three months but there was an event in the city where he lives so we decided to meet there. It was a bit awkward at first but we soon got along very well. He is a university student and I a married woman, but yet our curiosity of other countries and cultures is the same. We had a great time; even my husband likes him! :D

California Girl said...

I think it would be fascinating to meet my regular fellow bloggers...you being one. I find myself following people of similar taste and interest although I'm equally drawn to people from other countries with interesting stories. I am pretty sure I would get along with alot of folk. A blogging convention would be cool. Everyone could agree to stay in certain hotels and meet at certain venues, etc.

VioletSky said...

I can just imagine the non-stop talking - and laughing! How great that you actually met up with each other (instead of just thinking about it).

J.G. said...

I've grown unexpectedly attached to my bloggy friends. Meeting in person would be fun, bodyguard schedules and geography permitting!

So glad you two hit it off in reality, as well.

Wrensong Farm said...

What fun!! I would love to have the opportunity to meet up with all if not most of my blogging friends!! Loved the pic of the glass chickens with Susan's reflection in the window box glass!

laura said...

Wow, how great--and that the husbands came along too! There are several bloggers I communicate with whom I would love to meet in person, without trepidation. So consider it fair warning, if I'm ever in Michigan ...

Sally's World said...

oh, this is great, i would love to meet a few of my blog friends...unfortunately there is a very large ocean in between us...maybe one day lol!!!

Susan said...

Hi Ruthie! Thanks for all those nice things you said about me! Now everyone's gonna think I'm a saint or sumpin'! ((rolls eyes)) I especially like that description of "home arts specialist". I think I'll start putting that on forms that I have to fill out, instead of "domestic goddess"!

I'm still floating on air after meeting my best bloggy friends. I love that picture and I bet my kids will, too. It makes me look a little ghostly. :)

My bodyguard asked me last evening if we had already planned our next rendezvous. hehe.

As for the southern lilt, you can take the girl out of the hills, but you can't take the hillbilly out of the girl!

Love ya, girl!

shicat said...

Hi Ruth, what a fun adventure. I'm sure you had a great day. I mean really, you already know the person and have had many conversations... My nephew and many friends have married people that they met online. Hey we were in Ann Arbor on Sunday?

Ruth said...

Jean, go for it! Like a blind date, I was a little nervous. But it was great fun.

Ruth said...

DS, it's never too late to discover new friends. This is such an interesting phenomenon - meeting people online. How the world has changed!

Ruth said...

m good, I will be curious to see the results of the survey done by this doctoral student. I have asked her to share them with me. I wonder if more will say they want to meet than don't?

Ruth said...

It's just a matter of time, Peter, before I get back to France. I have already planned to meet up with you if possible when that day comes. I think you've got the record of my blog friends having the most meet-ups - unless my sister Ginnie has beat you.

Ruth said...

Drowsey - wait, didn't you and Olga the traveling bra meet up??

Bob Johnson said...

Cool Ruth, I'd love to meet some of the people I've been blogging with the last almost 2 years, like you guys, a telescope in your back yard perhaps, I bet you guys have dark skies.

Ruth said...

Well that's wonderful, Kanmuri!

Ruth said...

California Girl, ok! Let's convene! Do you have any reason to visit Michigan - besides a blogger convention?

Ruth said...

Sanna, yes, the hours flew by, and as Susan told you at her blog, storms blackened the sky and we ran to our cars, cutting it a trifle short!

I'll be waiting for you to let us know when you're coming south. We can meet up with Cathy and Anet and anyone else who wants to, maybe Susie could make it back up here.

Ruth said...

J.G., the thing about online friends is you are drawn to each other around common interests - unlike friends you're thrown together with at work or school, who tend to be accidental. No wonder we get attached!

Ruth said...

Tammy, thanks so much, I love that picture too. As fun as it was to meet Susan and her hubby, it would be great to convene several!

Ruth said...

Please, Laura, I'd love it! It's a wonderful state, you know, and Don and I were thinking Saugatuck would be a nice place . . .

Ruth said...

Sally, if you get to the States, let us know where and when, maybe we can welcome you.

Ruth said...

Dear saintly, ghostly, hillbilly Susie, I don't say nottin that ain't so.

Love you too!

Ruth said...

You were, Cathy? We were there Saturday. I would love to meet you, it's just too close not to. We could go for tea at Crazy Wisdom or Indian lunch at Shalimar. Or one of the fairs or festivals. I'd love it!

Ruth said...

Bob, oh that would be so cooooool. You'd bring the scopes, right? We could first shoot out our neighbor's floodlight on his pole barn. Oops. Then it would be dark dark dark. How awesome would that be? And we wouldn't allow you to come in January - only summer months, ha!

Ruth said...

CottageGirl, I skipped you! So sorry! And after your lovely comment too.

How sweet you are, and no, can you believe it, we did not take pictures of the four of us, or two of us, or anything. This is it! We will do better next time.

Delphine said...

What a great thing to do, Ruth and Susan! Especialy as the real person turned out to be just as you had imagined--it isn't too often that that is the case! I am happy that all turned out good and that you will both meet again, so social networking does work! Well done!

Oliag said...

I am a bit jealous of the wonderful day you and Susan had!

There have been a few times when I have caught myself referring to something discussed or mentioned by "a friend" when I suddenly realized I only knew this person through the internet...it has made me stop and think about how I would describe this relationship...And yes, it would be fun but a little bit scary to meet some of the people I have met online... you would be one of those I would like to meet for sure! ...

On the other side...Some of the blogs I enjoy are photographed and written by much younger people and I doubt if they would enjoy a visit from someone of their mother's or age:)

alice said...

I'm so happy you both spent a good moment! I've met several bloggers (I'm one of Peter's "nice experiences" ;-)) , it's always interesting to put a face on a name or pseudo. Several American women among my meetings, just to tell you you MUST come in France again!

shoreacres said...

I've not met any fellow bloggers in person yet, but it will happen.
There are several I maintain regular contact with by telephone or email, and there has been some exchanging of Christmas gifts, flower seeds, plant cuttings, etc.

On another site where I blog regularly, there are whole groups of people who do things together - including hurricane relief and other projects. I'm very close to some people there, and would meet them without a second thought.

After a full year of almost daily exchanges, you get to know people fairly well. We know who's raising new chickens, who has a grandbaby on the way, who lost their job, who needs help getting over a lost love. We share gardening tips, recipes, and sometimes just socialize. This was the group that threw me a blog-warming when I started my WordPress blog a year ago. They brought virtual cinnamon twists, wine and cheese, etc. My mother thought we all were crazy. As she put it, "What good is a cinnamon roll you can't eat?"

Stiggy said...

I'd love to come over one day and see you and Don!

Maybe in a couple of years once my youngest is a bit older.

By the way Ruth, I'm loving your use of the border templates - they make a real difference to your photographic presentation!

:D

Butler and Bagman said...

Blogging is so addictive and commands so much of my time I don't have any left to spend with existing friends, let alone make new ones!

shicat said...

Hi Ruth, lets make a plan ... meet at the antique fair???? or anywhere in Ann Arbor,we would have a fun day. Let's see, Treasure Mart,walk to main street... or even Lansing Dave loves the record store there and is always looking for an excuse.He could shop and I could play. You would know the good places to visit there,I'm sure.

Ruth said...

Delphine, I was pretty sure there wasn't anything to worry about with Susan, and I was right.

Happy Birthday again a little late.

Ruth said...

Oliag, maybe we will start referring to our histories as BB: before-blogging and AB: after-blogging. Everything has changed, no?

And please, don't be an agist! Blogs are proof that people of all ages relate well to one another. It's one thing that's so cool, meeting people you wouldn't meet in your daily life. I would love to meet you too.

Ruth said...

Maybe that should be ageist?

Ruth said...

Wow, Linda, you demonstrate the depths of blogging - in many ways - that anyone can find if they look and try and take the time. As you said before, it is what we make of it.

Ruth said...

Ah thanks, Stiggy!

Yes yes yes, Don and I would love to meet you and Jo and your brood when you come. If we get across the pond we'll hope to see you too. I wonder which will happen first?

Ruth said...

Ahh, B & B, sad but true for some.

:D

Ruth said...

Cathy, I have a very few places I go to regularly, and I need new ones. What you listed - antique fair and Treasure Mart - are two I haven't seen, so yes, let's plan it while the weather is warm!

Annie said...

That's wonderful! I've met some people through the internet too but always at a public place at first.

I think you shouldn't give a wrong impression of yourself in the net or it could go wrong in real life too. Be yourself and the people you meet won't be disappointed.

PS. We have moved, up there and here:
http://aurora-erotica.blogspot.com/

rauf said...

oh such a pleasant meeting Ruth, you and Susan should say thanks to the chickens.
i have met only three blogger friends with some initial hesitation from the other side. It was pleasant experience. In India it is difficult and bloggers are normally afraid to meet.

Ruth said...

Annie, it's not always easy to be honest online. And we are careful what we reveal. What we choose to reveal, and what not, also says a lot about us.

I think also we sometimes develop different personae for different people/relationships. I am funnier and talk in silly voices with my daughter, but I avoid those voices when I talk with my son. They are both me, but I withhold certain traits with certain people.

I just reconnected with a blog friend after months, and I recognized that certain things re-awakened inside me as a result of her contacting me again. Things I had forgotten about since our last online talk.

Strange, no?

Ruth said...

rauf, so right about thanking the chickens. Yet another role for them.

You, Don and I will meet in Chennai one day. And then we will get on a train and see what we can see together. I wish it was next week. Well, then again I guess it's better to wait for December when it's cooler.

Merging Point said...

oh! that sounds interesting, Ruth. In chennai, you may have one more to meet you..lol

Babs-beetle said...

I would love to meet up with several people I've become friends with since blogging. Sadly only one of those lives in the UK so I don't think I'm likely to.

Lovely photo!

CottageGirl said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE PS22!!

Be one with the Fro said...

OOO that is uber exciting! Lucky you!!!!!

Ruth said...

Oh yes, Merging Point, if you too are in Chennai, I would be tickled to meet you . . . and Nautankey.

Ruth said...

Babs, there are things called airplanes, you know. And people do take vacations across ponds.

Ruth said...

CottageGirl, aren't they fantastic? Peter just introduced me, and I noticed many other videos of theirs at YouTube.

Ruth said...

Cool, huh, Tiffany??! :D

C.M. Jackson said...

ruth--

loving the vida la vida performance by PS 22--one of my favorite 'get it going' songs ;-) Watching those kids perform and the joy on their faces rekindles my belief in the power of music and the word.

I am entranced by your ability to capture the moment through your photos and prose all the while understanding the widgets and gadgets that exist in blogdom. You have a style that is all you and current. You are very cool and yet, you come from a time that didn't have all this technology and gadgets. Your kids and students must be very proud. You are an artist, your blogs a canvas--keep it coming.

best
c

Arti said...

Ruth,

That sounds like the ultimate of the blogging experience! Also, I think that the pre-requisite is a well established relationship through mutual visits of each other's blog and maybe emailing on top of that(?) A certain degree of trust too, I suppose. Thanks for sharing such a meaningful and fun episode with us!

Ruth said...

c, my son Peter has been sending me remarkable videos, and this is one of them. I'm grateful to know about them now. I agree, that song just lives.

Your kind words made my week! Thank you. Peter and Lesley laugh because they have blogs but don't post regularly, and their parents both do. But then again, their grandparents also play video games, and they're 80.

Enjoy that garden state spring.

Ruth said...

Yes, Arti, I've known some friends here in this space, and in theirs, for years, and I would meet up with them in a heartbeat.

Moi said...

So cool!!!!! I would love to meet up with a few of my blog-friends....i have even planned often...somehow it never clicks.....hopefully it will, someday..........:)

Ruth said...

Moi, you seem to get around, so it seems like it would work. But maybe you "get around" just when you would be meeting someone - in another place?

Ginnie said...

As you know, Ruth, I have had MANY blogger meet-ups over the last 4 years. I've had no bad experiences, per se, but I HAVE had a couple that left me feeling...disappointed?! Sometimes the reality is very different from the blogging world. But the ones I have met that were even better than my wildest expectations totally convinced me to keep meeting as many as possible! So I will! :) So glad you had a good experience!

Ruth said...

Boots, you are the queen of blogger meet-ups!

Jan said...

I've been blogging for over five months now. And I've yet to meet my blogging buddies. What's with me? I don't know.

We're great online buddies all. We quite enjoy our online interactions in the comment section, in twitter, in emails, in facebook and in chats.

Ah, it's time to take it to another level before the year ends then. Uh - oh. The likelihood of a friend being a pathological killer? Woohoo - that makes it more exciting then, doesn't it. ",)

Ruth said...

Hi, Jan, I don't think 5 months is long to blog without a meet-up. It's fun to meet through blogs - online - and it's the rare treat to meet in person. You'll know when it's time.