I first discovered forums on a magazine website. The first one I went to was a surprising world, to say the least. A world of discussion and exchange and drama and hissy fits and playground shenanigans with all the fights and bitch slapping one is wont to find in a girl's playground. What fun it was to watch. Until you get sick of it and move on. Before I moved on however I met she who would eventually be known as Running Goddess, an expat Montrealer who became a really good online friend. Then when she came to town, we met and became really good real friends.
"Wow", I thought, "And here I've been told all these innernet people are crazed serial killers!"
Who knows perhaps she's just waiting for the right moment all these years later.
I moved on to other forums, which for some reason were always filled with women and the same griping and bitching and drama. These places seem to be tailor made for drama queens, who gravitate to them in droves. And yet I hit it off with several people, among them ChooChoo, who I have yet to meet - Scandinavia is a long long hop away. Besides, it's cold there. I don't do cold if I can help it at all. And who knows, they might get a freak snowstorm in the middle of summer. You never know! However, we have been talking for about 4-5 years now at least a few times a week. I think it's safe to say she's not a psycho killer bitch (though she does have a psycho bitch boss - but that's not my story to tell.).
On yet another forum (or was it the same) I met Purple Goddess (yeah, I seem to have a thing for goddesses, being a frog you'd think princesses, but nope, I set my sights higher). She hails from Oz (or Australia if you're a stickler for detail) and when we went to Melbourne we called her. And were promptly invited to dinner. Our friend loaned us his cell phone "in case you have to leave really quick and need a lift". Of course he wasn't taking into account that it would be hard to wait for a lift in case of serial killer psychosis as he lived 3/4 of an hour away. Details! We hit it off splendidly. And when we returned to Oz several years later, PG and Furry (her husband, don't ask) loaned us their house by the sea for a week. That, people is above and beyond the call of innerwebz friendship.
Closer to home, a couple of years ago we went to Texas to see a friend in the Dallas area. I called Geewits and we met up with her for dinner. By this time I was pretty sure she wouldn't be an ax-wielding serial killer, I had the statistics on my side. And indeed she wasn't. A touch of insanity perhaps, but if you read her blog you know that. Geewit's brain is like god. It works in mysterious ways. Her blog is exactly like the woman I met, lovable, warm and quirky. Plus she has that southern accent.
Geez, this is getting long. Who knew. And I haven't even reached the point of this post yet...
Later on, back in Quebec, I got an email from XUP inviting me to spend the weekend in Ottawa because Violet Sky was in town for the tulip festival (the wet and frigid festival it should've been called this year). I had already met Violet Sky in Toronto and had a great meal with her, and was thrilled to see her again. Toss XUP into the mix and add a dash of Alison, and you have a helluva Friday evening. Imagine it: wine and cheese and four middle aged women. Middle aged women have years of stuff to bitch about and it was a wonderful time. Add an Ottawa bloggers breakfast to the mix along with the wet and frigid festival and you have the makings of a great weekend.
And now, finally, I've gotten to the point of my post (Yes! See I can do it if I try!). Because last night I met Paula, a wonderful illustrator who hails from Texas (and who let me know of some great places to go when we went there), and lives in, of all places, Montreal. The things love will make you do. She and her husband invited us to go sailing yesterday evening.
Yeah, I know - me... a boat. Doesn't bode well. But unlike the pedal boat, no bailing out was needed on this vessel. It was a wonderful evening, even when the boat was pretty much over on its side (now that, my friends is beyond cool). 'Twas not quite as thrilling as jumping out of an airplane for my 40th birthday, but it was way way up there. The water slapping the sides of the boat, the sunset, the birds, the other sailboats. I love love loved it. As did Mr. Jazz. I could've stayed out there forever.
And so once more a wonderful meeting of minds. No serial killers to be found. Nary a one. I'm beginning to think that it's all an urban legend.
It's great meeting people you know you'll like, and pretty much already know through their blogs and behind the scenes emails. I'll leave you with a few pics of the evening.