I have many friends I know only from the Internet, but I have never met one in person…until now.  Sure, years ago I had met dozens of pen-pals: people who I painstakingly hand wrote letters to and sent via the U.S Postal Service way back before there was an Internet.  For some reason meeting an Internet friend is a different animal.  A little over a year ago I befriended Becky Hambox via twitter & fell instantly in-like.  We both have personal blogs, so for the past 13 months we have read each other’s updates and dutifully left supportive and /or humorous comments.  Our Internet relationship bled over to email where we exchanged more banter and delved deeper into each other’s life stories.  

Becky was coming to Seattle for a week to be a part of an Improv. Festival, so this gave us an opportunity to meet in person.  I picked her up at the airport and was not nervous in the slightest.  I already knew her in near every sense except in the flesh.  I had a gut feeling we would get along like a house on fire and I was right.  When she hopped into the passenger seat I felt more like she was my sister and not someone I was meeting physically for the first time.

I took Becky to my home to meet the family, who also shared an instant fondness.  I could tell my toddler was a fan, because he kept bringing her his precious rubber balls and presenting them as gifts; soon she was surrounded by every last one.

When she & I went out for drinks to have an unencumbered conversation, I realized the difference between an Internet friend and a real life pal:  In the middle of a description of my childhood, I wanted to hyperlink to a complimentary post that would help with the back story or instantly upload a photo of my first pet.  While she was talking, I wanted to refer back to related, previous posts to help fill in the blanks.  More than once we each referenced previous blog entries and then expounded upon what we could not say to the Internet, but only in private in that darkly lit, near-empty downtown bar.

We compared our eerily similar birth order: we were both the youngest child by such a large margin, that we spent much of our formative years as the only child in the house, thus the duality of having the “youngest child syndrome” combined with the “only child complex”.  Our siblings even had similar names.  We also bonded over our tragic parental losses, love for diet orange soda and the Archie McPhee Novelty Store.

It was an absolute delight meeting Becky in 3-D Technicolor and getting to experience her brilliant humor, broad intellect & and balls-out enthusiasm for EVERYTHING.  I am proud to call her my Real Life Friend.  


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11 Comments on “REAL LIFE FRIEND”

  1. beanie Says:

    It is so cool to meet online friends. Pictures just don’t always do them justice…. but you do know them pretty well before you meet. In most cases, people have been exactly as I expected… some were even better!

  2. Desirée Says:

    That’s just awesome! I want to meet some online people as well! I did actually meet a fellow D’Lander once, but… well… it wasn’t really that great. But nevertheless, it’s fantastic what was once such taboo now has become almost commonplace – love it! And love the pictures 😉

  3. meredith Says:

    IRL FTW!!!
    haha, I’ve met a few blog friends now living in T.O. and not being diaryland exclusive has made it easier to find neato peeps, and man, it’s so fun to meet IRL.
    And better, still, to yell “IRL IRL IRL” the whole time!

    I feel like we know a lot from people’s blogs, you can get a real good sense of them. I’m constantly referencing blog friends’ lives and stories. I love it. So much.

  4. Marzipan Says:

    Aw, I like stories of friendship like that!

  5. Becky Says:

    Hooray! The plus side of knowing each other from our internet lives is that we could occasionally short-hand stories (“then I went to Sequoia, and you know the rest” kind of things)

    Oh, man. So much fun. I miss you already!

  6. Kim Says:

    That is awesome… I wish I could meet my internet friends in the same fashion!! I feel the same way about them (& you!) That sounds like fun.

  7. Eleanor Says:

    Every single one of my internet friends whom I have met in person has turned out to be just as wonderful offline as on. I can now count on all ten fingers people I have befriended online first and then met IRL who did not disappoint in the least. Some were D-landers, some were Xangans, and one I met by chance in an unlikely goth chat room who has turned out to be one of my dearest friends. I am still hoping that we can give each other real hugs when I head out to Victoria in the not-too-distant future.

  8. LJ Says:

    I got started blogging by googling my own name. I found someone with my name and began reading her blog. After a few weeks of reading, commenting, and getting to know her I ventured an email, and it turned out that she lived just around the corner from me in my very own city. This lead me to meeting her. It was a thrill and a fast friendship. Blogging can be the coolest community to be involved in.

  9. Mindy Says:

    I talked to this guy online for 3 1/2 years as just online buddies, chatting and emailing, pouring our hearts our and cracking each other up. We were such good online friends, we decided to finally meet, since we only lived an hour and a half apart. 6 years later, we’re married. 🙂 Hooray for internet friendships!

  10. eliashuckleberry Says:

    how very cool! things have come a long way since the traditional penpal.

  11. beanie Says:

    the link you are looking for to back up your diary is on the “gold member resources” page… click on the link on the left sidebar from any dland page…

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