(photo removed til Dana sends me one she took...yes, I hated it that much)
I was in the middle of doing dishes about 4pm on Monday, the phone rang, and it was Dana. They were here! Already! For some reason, I wasn't expecting them til 6pm, so I was a little unprepared, even though I've had several weeks to prepare. After we talked over each other for a few minutes trying to decide what to do - meet at the hotel, meet at McDonalds, come to my house - we decided that I would come to the hotel and they would come out to me in the parking lot. Then she and I would go 'somewhere'.
Why are these situations so...well, not exactly uncomfortable, but...yeah, uncomfortable? Do we hug, even though we don't really know each other, only each other's words? I'm not good at meeting people under the best of circumstances, either getting diarrhea of the mouth or not having any words at all, rarely an in-between conversationalist. And I have a bad habit of jumping into the middle of someone's sentence to insert my own comment before I forget about it, thus throwing the other person off script. Or I throw in a bunch of "me, too's!", or "you, too?"s. And what about a little gift? All the posts I've read about other blogger friends meeting talk about how they shared little trinkets with each other. I didn't have time to even go to the dollar store and get a snow globe with 'Ringgold, Georgia' on it, or an ashtray/spoon rest/shot glass with a Georgia peach on it!
Well, I hurriedly dealt with the dishes, made sure Conner (who I had been with all afternoon and who spends the night on Monday since he doesn't have school on Tuesday) knew that I was leaving and would be back soon and that Pawpaw would be here with him. Remembering at the last minute that I had forgotten to put a month worth of trash and clutter from the inside of my small Nisson into the trunk, I dealt with that and was on my way for the fifteen minute drive to the hotel.
There they were, standing at the door when I pulled into the parking lot in front of room 107. Looking just like the few photos of them on Dana's blog! It was then that I remembered the crack going across my windshield. Darn, I should have told her about that so she wouldn't think...well, I don't know what I didn't want her to think. We introduced ourselves, Joe thanked me for some of the emails I had sent to Dana during a rough patch, and I admired and petted Beau (who is adorable!).
Right away we decided to take photos, in case Joe was asleep when we came back. So, the photo above. Joe took a couple with my camera, a couple with theirs. And I hope to hell that their's turns out better, because I hate this one! Seriously, I know it's not that important, but what the hell was I thinking? Did I forget that this would be splashed across multiple screens out there in blogland? Where is my makeup? Where is the clip that's supposed to hold my bangs back? Oh, and that puckery smile, like I ate a lemon or dill pickle? I broke a chip off a front tooth last week, and was trying to not show it. Plus, Joe took forever to take the picture, as evidenced by Dana's grin...she finally told him that her cheeks were hurting from holding the smile!
So, to sum up the visit so far, they're waiting to meet a blogger friend in the parking lot of a hotel, and up drive's a stranger with a cracked tooth and a cracked windshield, no makeup and a month past a haircut. All that's missing is the bag of boiled peanuts.
Dana and I hop in my car and I drive her around Ringgold. Which took about five minutes. We ended up back at McDonalds, which is right in front of her hotel. After boring the cashier to tears with our confusion at the types of coffee drinks they had, we both got an iced mocha coffee and took our seats.
And talked. And talked. And talked over each other. And said a lot of "me, too!"s, and "you, too?"s. I won't reveal any of Dana's secrets here, but suffice it to say that the hour and a half flew by. And just when we were getting to the comfortable talk instead of the frantic talk, it was time to go. Dana had to go take some pills and get to bed ... (or so she said). I drove her to the hotel, a hug goodbye seemed natural, and neither of us were really ready to end the evening, but...end it we did. After saying our goodbyes, saying we'd keep in touch, she went to the door, and her key didn't work. Knocking to get Joe to open it for her, they waved the final goodbyes and I drove away, realizing as I looked at my watch that it was only 7pm.
How would I sum up the visit? Way too short! A lot in common and similar views on a lot of things. I think next time - and I'm sure there will be a next time if they go back to Florida - we will go somewhere other than McDonalds (the coffee was terrible and the lights too bright), and we won't talk so fast or rush so much and just relax and enjoy. In hindsight, I'm reminded of those speed dating things where you only have x number of minutes to get acquainted, so you say as much as you can about yourself in that time period. Next time we'll have laid the groundwork, and can just get on with building a long distance friendship that now has a firmer foundation. I heard a term the other day in regard to social networking that I thought rang so true, something about it lacking 'genuine interaction'. I think we now have that.
Now, I can't wait to hear what Dana has to say about our visit as soon as she gets her internet service! (And I can't wait to see what happens with my spacing here, because every time I do preview it has no spacing for paragraphs.)
6 years ago