When your blog intersects with real life

by singlemomseeking on October 23, 2008

I know it has happened to many of you: you’ve “met” a blogger online, and then realize that you live in the same neck of the woods.

So, why not meet for real, in the flesh?

Has it happened to you?

That’s how I met Jim, a.k.a. Depot Dad.

He started to read my blog this year. By email, we realized that we live just an hour away from each other.

So, one evening — without telling me, sneaky! — he showed up a friend’s book reading. He explained: he’d read on my blog that I might be there. (Guys, I do NOT suggest doing this. If it hadn’t been Jim, I would have been creeped out.)

Jim and I have gone to a few book readings since then — where Jim has flirted away with my friends. (Hey, can’t I take you anywhere?)

He is a big flirt, and I mean that as the best compliment.

But no one knew that a few months into our friendship, Jim would be diagnosed with skin cancer. And that it would have traveled to his lymph nodes.

~~~

Last weekend, after Jim got back from the hospital, I made some food; then, M and I got into the car to go meet him and his kids, with dinner.

On the way there, I explained to M that Jim just had surgery — and now he has a kind of a hole in his head. I wanted to tell her because I thought she might be nervous when she saw him. But she seemed fascinated.

“How did they make a hole in his head without hurting his brain?” she wanted to know.

“The doctors were very careful,” I tried to explain.

As it turns out, Jim’s friend had just finished shaving his head when we arrived. When M saw Jim, she was unfazed.

Jim is a well-meaning, kind, soft-spoken dad — with such sweet kids! — and that’s whom M saw. (Me, too!)

Please, if you haven’t said “hi” to Depot Dad yet, drop by. He’s one strong trooper, and he’s going to be fine. (More than fine.) You’ll see what I mean.

~~~
I’m curious: have you ever “met” anyone online AND… offline?

I know that A Bright Future, The Exception, and Crazy Computer Dad — met through blogging (through this very blog, I think?). They had a real life adventure this month.

I’d love to know:

Have you ever befriended a blogger on online… and then met him/her in person?

We all form ideas about what blogger is like, based on his/her posts.

But what is he/she like in reality?

If you’ve met a blogger in the flesh, were you surprised?

~~~

The most common thing people tell me when I meet them in person is: “I thought you’d be taller!” (Do I come across that BIG in my blog. Jeesh. I hope I don’t have a big ego, like another blogger out there, no names mentioned! Just teasing A!)

Photo taken last weekend with Jim, me, and the kids. We were in the Halloween section at a candy store, making scary faces. Jim wins!

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

gail October 23, 2008 at 6:15 pm

fun to read this, Rachel. I laughed when you said the, “I thought you’d be taller!” remark because I get that ALL the time!

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GLSD October 23, 2008 at 6:25 pm

i haven’t met any of the bloggers i read, but look forward to meeting some in person someday :) that’s funny that people think you’re taller lol. hope jim is doing better!

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Amy Nathan October 23, 2008 at 7:12 pm

It’s kind of like online dating because we get to represent ourselves however we want on our blogs or websites.

Two years ago I met a great woman online…in a class. She is one of my best friends now, has come to visit me with her kids several times. Sometimes we forget how we met, or that it was only 2 years ago. We feel like we’ve been friends forever.

But lots of people, frankly, are not people you’d meet in real life AND THERE’S A REASON!

Glad you made a friend – and he is lucky to have you and M in his life.

Amy Nathan´s last blog post…Like sands through the hourglass

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Eathan October 23, 2008 at 7:30 pm

I’ve had the chance to meet a couple bloggers. About 1/2 of them are exaclty like their blogs. I love that. Their personality is what gives me the connection.

The other few are the exact opposite of their blog. I guess everyone has their expectations of who you think they are.

I love the idea of meeting people that you connect with. Life is about relationships. A good life is built on great relationships.

It sounds like you and Jim were destined to meet and become friends. You’re a great friend, Rachel

Eathan´s last blog post…Liquid Sex

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Kevin October 23, 2008 at 7:58 pm

I’ve met several runners who also blog at races…..Its always nice to see others who struggle as much as I do. Funny thing is, they always notice me first. Usually, I’m one of the only black guys at a race, so I guess I’m not hard to find.

Kevin´s last blog post…Joe the plumber? How about Noah the tractor driver

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Crazy Computer Dad October 23, 2008 at 8:08 pm

Well, I’ve met three bloggers that I did not know before blogging. There are several I would like to meet. So far I find that if I like the person’s writing and what they write about, I’m probably going to really like them in person. I have also found that I connect with some of these people through emails and then phone calls first and everything just seems to flow. When I finally meet them in person, it is like I am meeting with someone I have been friends with for a long time.

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laurakim October 23, 2008 at 8:13 pm

With the bulk of the bloggers I interact with being across the ocean – its a bit tricky to set up coffee dates ;)

So unfortunately as yet I havent met any – apart obviously from my friends who blog!

laurakim´s last blog post…Politics and stuff

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Leah October 23, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Great question SMS! I actually met another mama blogger whose blog I fell in love with. She is no longer posting to it, but if anyone wants to check it out, it’s called Beyond the Map:
http://www.beyondthemap.blogspot.com/

We had an amazing time. She was visiting some family in my area and we spent several hours together with our kiddos. It was so cool because it was like hanging out with a friend you have known for a long time. There’s no awkwardness because you already know so much about each other.

I miss her (and her blog) a lot. This reminds me…I need to get back in touch with her the old fashioned way :)

Leah´s last blog post…He called me a “milf.”

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T October 23, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Aw. I love Jim. He totally rocks my socks.

I did meet Just A Man’s Journey a while back. And then he went MIA. Hmmm? Coincidence? Nah! I think he’s happily dating someone seriously now. What a great guy.

It is funny to meet a fellow blogger in person. It feels like you already know them so well. I hope to meet with you all someday. Anyone want to come to Texas?? :)

T´s last blog post…The Truffle Theory

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Legal Editor Mom October 24, 2008 at 5:45 am

This is a bit off the topic but I don’t think I ever told you—you bear a strong resemblance to my favorite barista at my neighborhood Starbucks. Since she sees us all the time and always talks to us when we go in, one day I finally told her that she looks a lot like my friend Rachel in California. She’s really nice and super sweet, and with the resemblance, no wonder I like her so much! I’ll have to take her picture one day and send it to you.
LEM

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Kelly October 24, 2008 at 7:57 am

The only time I’ve actually met another blogger was when I went to Dragoncon in Atlanta, and a livejournal friend was there too. She was very nice, and pretty close to what I had imagined.

I also dated a guy for 3 years that I met online. Neither of us were bloggers at the time, we just met through various boards and chat rooms. We fell in love before we ever met! Obviously it didn’t work out, but we are still friends.

One more thing – last year I got a random email from a guy who’d found me on MySpace, and it turned out we lived about a mile away from each other! We went out on a few dates, but I ultimately decided that although he was very sweet, there was no spark on my end. Good thing, because he turned out to be a huge liar (long story)! So, he was as sweet in person as he was in emails, but it was all BS.

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liz October 24, 2008 at 8:08 am

I did meet CrazyComputerDad through this very blog! I thought it might be awkward when he and I first met, but it totally wasn’t. I knew so much about him through his writing and emails that it was like hanging out with an old friend.

And then through CCD I met The Exception – on his return trip to DC we got together with her. She and I work about a mile from each other and had lunch yesterday! I anticipate many more of those in the future, because that was some tasty Thai we had.

In my limited experience, I am not surprised at how conversations flow, or how easy it is to talk to a fellow blogger in person. But I do think it’s always interseting to hear their voice or see them for the first time. Often, especially when they don’t have pictures of themselves on their blog, it’s different than the mental picture I’ve created.

liz´s last blog post…Blog Blast for Education: Round 2

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The Exception October 24, 2008 at 8:08 am

It is interesting to meet those that read the blog. I am not sure if my posts reflect the person that I am to the extent that each of theirs does for them. Crazy computer Dad is really that great of a dad and is a wonderful friend who can talk about anything everything. A Bright Future has adorable kids, a fabulous smile, paints wonderful pictures with her stories, and is so much fun. And mama Llama could write a book!! I mean, there is no way to describe this lady and capture her better than she does in her own words on her site – and yet that is just scratching the surface.

There are others from the blog world I am hoping to meet at some point some how. If the writer allows us to see into their soul through their posts, connections are made and a friendship takes root. When a person posts honestly and from their heart… well, I only hope that the few that I have met enjoyed meeting as much as I did!

The Exception´s last blog post…KMAB Classes Begin

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The Exception October 24, 2008 at 8:12 am

And now the right “post” should appear!!

The Exception´s last blog post…Teaching Partnership – A Blog Blast for Education

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Leslie October 24, 2008 at 10:27 am

I do have an online group I’m tight with and have mini-festivuses with over the years – they were just like I’d imagined it’s been so fun. But I haven’t met any other bloggers but I bet that would be a bit strange since everyone is so honest and open about stuff they may not share otherwise. And a little cool to put the real person with the blog.

Very cool you got to visit Jim…and hilarious about the flirting! I pictured him a bit shy :)

Leslie´s last blog post…Pick me up.

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Lance October 24, 2008 at 10:29 am

How tall are you, exactly?

Lance´s last blog post…I Met My Girlfriend On Match.com

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singlemomseeking October 24, 2008 at 11:02 am

Lance: I’m only 5′ 2.”

(No teasing, okay?)

Leslie: Jim is quite shy. But even the shyest among us can flirt, apparently.

Eathan: Blogging anonymously must make it difficult to meet people in person, yes?

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SS+1 October 24, 2008 at 12:20 pm

I’ve yet to meet other bloggers in the flesh, but I’ve spoken with a couple of the telephone. Seeing as I’m in the Midwest, it just so happened the two bloggers I spoke with were from the west coast. One was not what I had expected, and the other was exactly what I had expected.

SS+1´s last blog post…Thinking Happy Thoughts

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Vinomom October 24, 2008 at 12:23 pm

I personally LOVE the anonyminity of blogging. I have told my friends and family that I blog but they have no idea where to find me. (and none of them have probably read a blog anyways) I like that I can talk shit about friends when I’m pissy, or about my BF,family etc without repercussions.

But then again, I’m new to blogging, so if I continue and reltaionships grow over the years, it’s quite possible I’d reconsider.

Vinomom´s last blog post…The Socially Retarded (we all know one)

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Kitkat4real (SOLO dot MOM) October 24, 2008 at 12:47 pm

I met up with a fellow single mom blogger (http://www.desperatelyseekingsanity.com/) Heather a few months ago and we have become friends, getting together for lunch occasionally to catch up. I think its a great idea to mix your real life in with your virtual one.

Great blog btw… and Jim I consider a dear friend, but I have only talked to him online and on the phone… wish I was just an hour away!

Kitkat4real (SOLO dot MOM)´s last blog post…Females are Finicky

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NappyKitchen October 26, 2008 at 12:38 am

I have yet to meet another blogger in the flesh, but I’m sure it will be quite exciting when it happens.

Oh yeah, SMS, I’m 5’2″ also. And yes, I pegged you for at least 5′ 7″ lol

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judy October 26, 2008 at 9:32 am

I still don’t ‘get’ blogging so I guess it’s not for me.

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Sonya October 26, 2008 at 12:49 pm

I haven’t met any bloggers, as I’m still relatively new to the whole blogging scene, but I have met other moms from my babycenter.com birth board. I’ve lost touch with some over the course of the divorce but I still do keep in touch with most of them. One even got married in September and we were all invited to the wedding. =) It’s always nice finding other people to relate to…and I’ve been lucky enough to have met some very dear friends online!

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Sonya October 26, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Whoops. I had the wrong link on there to my blog. Sorry. =( See, I am new!

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wandamd October 27, 2008 at 6:47 am

I’ve not met anyone from blogging but did end up falling for someone that I was forced to get to know online. We’d met the last day of a work conference and I was in networking mode thus had no idea when we chatted for a hour that i’d just met someone freakin’ wonderful! He emailed me the following week and this sparked a e-mance that has evolved into something hot and serious! I echo what many have said here…if you like how someone writes and if they can truely express themselves through email they will probably be someone you are attracted to in person.

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PT-LawMom October 29, 2008 at 2:04 pm

I have an online birth board and many of the moms worldwide and across the US have met up. I took my three month-old and flew several hundred miles to stay at the house of one of the ladies. Some might call me weird. I think I’m just trusting/friendly. I have been blogging anonymously for about two years now, but have started to be more open about my location lately. I recently met up with two local law school bloggers and will hopefully be meeting up with the lovely Ms. T for some fun next week when I’m in her neck of the woods. I may also get a chance to meet another Mom in Law School while I’m up there. I am all about networking and think it is awesome to get the opportunity to meet people you may not otherwise get to know.

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PT-LawMom October 29, 2008 at 2:06 pm

P.S. I am very real and honest on my blog and I like to believe that others are too. I don’t think people are too surprised when they meet me in person but perhaps they are. Never thought to ask. Most of the bloggers I have met are pretty much as I expected them to be.

PT-LawMom´s last blog post…Weekly MILP Roundup #69

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