I had the pleasure today of meeting one of my favorite bloggers and reader of mine, Gwen Hartley. She has a fantastic website TheHartleyHooligans which chronicles her life as a mother and wife. It is both funny and touching.
She has been a supporter of my writing and over the past year we’ve developed an online friendship. In a weird coincidence, one of my other readers who I’m close with, Mary, is good friends with Gwen’s best friend. Anyway, Gwen and her husband Scott live outside Wichita, which I have been told is in Kansas.
In the past, I’ve really only met a few readers. One took me out for night of jazz, one became my amazing girlfriend, and another met us out for drinks in Atlanta. Other than that, I haven’t been totally convinced of the rest of you are real people. I’m not sure the wall is a wall except when I touch it, though. I’m that kind of asshole.
I am thrilled, however, when I get to meet other bloggers or readers. While it isn’t always appropriate or smart to mix online life and real life, there are definitely opportunities for connection. For example, this fall I am going to BlogHer and AimingLow’s Non-Con where I can hang out with people who are like me – in desperate need of approval from strangers online.
The idea of connecting with you in person is very exciting. Obviously I’m not tweeting out my address or phone number, and I only travel with security escort, but if you’d like to meet at a public place in a wide open area with lots of witnesses, I’m game. I’ll need a credit report in advance (anything below a 720 is going to result in a cancellation – I have standards), and also an emergency contact number. My bodyguard Spurt is known to put a beat down on a man or woman he thinks may be a threat.
He tends to think all people are threats, and, you know, better safe than sorry. Spurt – what a hilarious name. He’s a goof!
I will most likely bring my dog, as I did today with Gwen, Scott, and their two little ones, Claire and Lola. She will not bite, but may pass wind while seated in your lap should you misbehave. I will then look at you, point at your face and shake my head side to side in a shaming posture. You will cry.
So, let’s hang out! Oh, and you’ll cover travel expenses. I like HoJos.