I had Saturday, January 30th marked on my calendar for several weeks: we were going to the zoo at 10, a 40th birthday party around 3, a wedding reception at 7, and a “twitter meetup” at some point that evening. See the picture? Proof I don’t make this stuff up. And yes, I have itineraries for Saturdays.
When the temperatures were 20-something accompanied by freezing rain, however, the zoo plans were scrapped. Instead, I spent several hours on the phone or in the yard talking to neighbors about a possible lawsuit we’re filing against the city…but I probably shouldn’t write about that.
As the day progressed, I just didn’t feel like hanging out with a bunch of peeps from lawschool or peeps from our church. So, I skipped them and went to Manuel‘s to wait on these people:
And I wasn’t really sure why. Sure, it’s probably my favorite bar in Atlanta. The place where this happened and where I had my “I made it back alive from war” party in 2003, and where I spent countless Thursday nights after class in lawschool. But I’ve found myself doing more and more ditching of friends IRL to spend time with strangers whom I know from twitter or blogging. I did the same thing last time Dave came into town.
This actually bothered me yesterday enough to give it some thought. I don’t want to become one of those people whose friends are all online. I came up with a few hypotheses:
1) I like visiting with folks who are from out of town and will let me choose the venue.
2) Because most of these people are from out of town, I feel like I should work harder to schedule seeing them (even though there are plenty of folks I know well who live within the 20-something counties that are “metro Atlanta” whom I only see at weddings and funerals).
3) I like beer, and most of my online friends do, too (though a couple have given it up recently).
4) I like getting to know new people who are from different backgrounds, countries, professions, etc.
But more than those 4, I think it’s
5) I’m more honest online than I am in real life and, accordingly, enjoy hanging out with funny, interesting people who know a side of me I often keep concealed.
Which is ironic to normal people who don’t waste spend time reading and writing blogs. For instance, when I told my part-time assistant last year that I was going to Chicago to meet a bunch of blogging friends, she made a scrunched up “who just opened the diaper pail?” face and said something about how people lie when they’re online and put on airs and that I should expect to be disappointed. I tried to argue that I thought it was just the opposite–especially in the “parenting blogging” arena, because everyone’s got kids and is married or was married and has no real incentive to try and engage in puffery, but she wasn’t buying it.
Of course she was wrong.
But back to the “more honest online” bit: I wrote on here before I told anyone IRL about quitting my job, my dad’s cancer diagnosis, our unexpected pregnancy, the gender of the last 2 children, etc. And then there are those stories from childhood involving public excretion.
So why stand up a bunch of folks I’ve known 10 years for avatars I’ve known 10 months?
Because Clay, Katie, Apryl, Ali, and Janet are way more attractive in person than they are on Twitter. Especially after 8 beers. I mean, have you seen Clay?
Let me see, how did you word it on his blog a few entries back?
@Jett, Exactly. Glad to see you “get it.”
“Which is ironic to normal people who don’t [waste] spend time reading and writing blogs.” No kidding. I still don’t know why I’m doing this. Be good to the IRL friends, too. They deserve you. 🙂
.-= Chris´s last blog ..The Dangerous Post About Religion =-.
@Chris, Thanks, I think. Keep it up…I like your observations on Mormons.
I’m one of those jackasses who prefers their online friends. Of course, Clay and Apryl are both IRL and online friends and uh…I still prefer them.
I’ve given this a lot of thought over the years and I think it’s because in real life, it can take months or even years to know certain things about someone (esp other parents) and in the blog world, chances are, I already know that you swear a lot and have a penchant for the F word, hate your MIL/stepmother with a fiery passion, that you lost your virginity in the back of a VW bug when you were 16, that you wish you were having more (or less) (or better) sex, that you feel guilty for yelling at your kid the other day and that when company is coming over, you gather up all the crap around the house in a blanket and drag it into the garage.
I just don’t have the inclination to spend a year of Wednesdays having weekly playdates with a woman and her kid so I can know less about her than I do from my online friends in a couple months of reading their blog and tweets.
I do value my IRL friends a lot but I just really, really enjoy my online friends.
Loved meeting you & your wife (AKA NOT Lisa) last Saturday! Hope we can all do it again soonish.
@Janet, Jackass. Me too!
So we have a lawyer who is not always honest in the flesh, but who needs a secret outlet for his shameful, unprofessional addiction to telling the truth. Right?
.-= headbang8´s last blog ..Photo Friday: Distant =-.
@headbang8, “Not always honest” is harsh. I just conceal things. Not the same, dude.
I love Manuel’s. That is where my wife and I met. It was a total set up by some friends. She knew about it and they tricked me into going. Glad I did. It has worked out well for the last 9years and two kids.
@clint, Indeed, it did! I think I’ve been there over 50 times since 1999. Even the meatloaf is good.
That’s the first time I’ve stayed out until 3:30 in the morning in years. What I found interesting is that to a certain extent, I think we all do and say things online that we wouldn’t in real life. It was great for me to get to know you guys beyond the avatar and see what great and fun people you are. I expect we’ll be doing this again sooner than later. When it warms up, we’ll go pee on some buildings together.
Btw, thanks for getting the commie hunters after me.
.-= MayoPie´s last blog ..The day Jerry Springer came to my backyard =-.
@mayopie, I would love that.
“And then there are those stories from childhood involving public excretion.”
I think you’ve chosen your team.
@JD, I think I have, too. It wasn’t all that hard to do.
Excellent meet up, excellent meat loaf, and excellent embarassment calling your wife by a name that was not hers. We must do this again. Well, the first two at least.
I think another reason is that you can choose who you want to talk to or hang out with when they are people you’ve met online, so you’re more likely to find people that you can get along with well. With something like law school, you may have a few people that you like, but there may also be a lot of douchebags who you don’t give two shits about, but they’re going to be there, too, because it’s a group from law school.
.-= Avitable´s last blog ..Sarah Palin emails Rush Limbaugh =-.
@avitable, Ha! There is some truth to that.
No need to explain! I am just way awesome, and very few things in life could be more amazing than hanging out with me when I’m in town. It’s all perfectly understandable. Nobody would judge you for that.
.-= Dave2´s last blog ..Monestary… =-.
@Dave2, And nobody should.
I would have thought that the reason you like online weirdos is that lawyers and Christians suck. No brainer.
.-= A Free Man´s last blog ..King Solomon, he never lived round here =-.
@free man, I must be the exception to the rule, then.
hahah. Lisa. I’m still laughing at that..weeks later….
(and twitter friends who aren’t from out of town and who didn’t drink beer that night were still fun. heh)
.-= alimartell´s last blog ..I Guess I’m…A Bad Nut? =-.
@alimartell, They were? I don’t remember.