So if anyone found my thoughts about the value of online friendship and social media to be somewhat in conflict with the post that immediately followed about our family's relative lack of electronic devices, you were correct. They were two sides of the same coin that I flip around regularly, and I started those posts at different times and for different reasons. (The second one I didn't even plan to talk about smartphones, that just kind of happened.)
In any case, this is one of those timely manner posts that needs to be dashed off before it gets away from me, and it relates directly to my post about virtual friendships.
I got to meet writer/blogger Jane Roper in real life on my recent trip to Boston.
|Photo by Alastair Moock (who was also a pleasure to meet).|
The circumstances were not ideal because we were both tired after an exhausting week, and the suspect in the marathon bombing case was caught just as I arrived so it was impossible not to put on the news for a bit. But I'm really glad I went.
I think I prattled on too much the way I do when I'm tired, I was looking quite rumpled after a week of living out of a suitcase, and I'm sure every inch of me smelled like varnish, but Jane was welcoming and sweet. She's tiny! Who knew? (Or I'm just huge.) And just as funny and smart as she is in her writing.
Which reminds me, if you like her blog and haven't read her book Double Time (just out in paperback) you really must. I laughed out loud to the point of probably annoying people in the airport when I was reading it. But it's also poignant, and provides a heartfelt look into the challenges of raising twins and her struggle with depression. (I also discovered she'll sign your copy if you're in her living room and ask nicely.)
I don't know if meeting virtual friends in real life may always work out so well, but I'm encouraged to try it again. I feel I could have happily talked to Jane for hours without any awkward lulls in the conversation because it felt like I already knew her. Which I guess I kind of already did. But to put facial expressions and gestures and a voice to a person whose writing I've followed for years was such a treat. I hope her next book is such a smash she has to go on tour and then has an excuse to visit Milwaukee. (Not as many Dunkin' Donuts here to choose from, but boy do we have some frozen custard worth sharing.)