One of my favorite things about blogging has been that is has given me the opportunity to meet some really wonderful people. Most of the relationships formed through the blog are digitized, of course, but every once in a while, at the confluence of magic and determination, my readers and/or fellow bloggers get a chance to meet in person.
I have become sisters with Khadijah, who sought me out when I was living in Adenta in 2010. I’ve had a chance to sit down to dinner with Sia from Sierra Leone on a visit to Maryland last year. Although I have never met Mia in person, she and I text or call on a regular basis. (I have unofficially adopted her as my little sister. You can only imagine the sorts of conversations we have.) Nana Ama and I have a wonderful offline relationship that is approaching its 8th year! And then there is Misty, whom I have wanted to meet in person for AGES. This Monday, the opportunity finally came.
Misty is a mom of 5 (not to be confused with MX5, who lives in Atlanta with me) and runs a blog called From the Old Country. As a fellow “Mommy Blogger”, and mother of more than the acceptable 2.5 kids (especially if you’re a Black woman) we have a lot in common. We’re Christians (although she is certainly more devout than I), we’re stay at home moms who delve into some sort of enterprise, and we both share a love for travel and the exotic. She and her family used to live in England and relocated back to the States late last year, if I’m not mistaken. Anyway, the moment she landed on American soil, we have been plotting ways to meet each other in person. This Monday, the chance finally presented itself.
Misty and her brood were passing through Atlanta during a three day road trip. I cleared my busy schedule – which usually consists of doing laundry and yet more laundry – to make sure that I was available at a moment’s notice. She was staying downtown, and suggested we meet at Imagine It! Children’s Museum. I’d never been to Imagine It! so I steadied myself for a double dose of adventure. A new friend and a new venue all in one go. Whew! Misty had not yet gotten there when I arrived.
“I’d like to buy a ticket for admission, please,” I said to the bored cashier in a fitted neon green shirt.
“How many kids and how many adults?”
“Just one adult.”
“We don’t sell tickets to just adults,” she sneered.
“Huh? Why not?”
“You have to have a child with you to gain entry,” she said simply. There was a quality in the way she said it though. I couldn’t put my finger on it immediately. And then I got it.
It had never occurred to me that my children were the only reason I have been granted access into certain establishments. I sat and waited for Misty to arrive, which she did, just a few minutes later.
“You’re a lot shorter than I thought you’d be,” she quipped.
“I’m the same height as you! 5’4” and a half.”
Misty is actually 5’5”, but she didn’t rub my shortcomings in my face.
“You lost a bunch of weight,” I said, looking her over. Two years ago we’d challenged each other to a weight loss battle. Clearly, she’d won. She was a svelte size 8. I’m still a size 18.
“I stopped drinking soy milk.”
“Really? I STARTED drinking soy milk. It’s supposed to be healthier… or so I thought.”
Misty peered at me through her glasses.
“Nope. Just drink 2% milk! The weight will drop right off.”
I’ve been drinking 2% for 13 years.
This is what happens when Mommy Bloggers meet. We talk about diets. We talk about our kids. We talk about our husbands/partners. We talk about all the stuff we talk about online. However, when all the talking was done, we got a chance to play.
Misty is an excellent playmate.
We played Dress Up.
We played How to use a rotary phone circa 1968.
We played How to make eye contact in the 21st Century (a skill many people have lost since most of our relationships are digital these days.)
And then when the playing was done, and she and I and her lovely kids had had our fill of laughter, it was time to go. But not before she had presented me with gifts.
She sounded so apologetic. I was horrified… and ashamed. She had put a lot of thought into meeting me. Come all the way across 5 states with just as many kids and presented ME with a gift. I had shown up empty handed. I so like blue, but even if I didn’t, what right would I have to say that it was not a favorite color of mine?
“Wow, Misty. Thanks! When did you go to Japan?” How had I missed that?
“I didn’t. My friend (or sister) did. She brought it back.”
“Ah. I see.”
“And I have something else for you,” she added. “Some chocolate covered cookies. I just hope they didn’t melt on the drive up here.”
I looked at her and smiled an impish grin. When has anyone ever known me to complain about the condition of chocolate covered anything?
We retrieved the cookies from her car, hugged one another and waved goodbye. They were going to Atlantic Station to have lunch with a relative. Misty asked me for directions to get there. I told her it was the next exit up.
“We’re going to Union Station, right?”
“No,” I replied. “Atlantic Station.”
“How do I get there?”
“Girl, I dunno! Ask the OnStar lady!”
She pressed the button and steadily called her command.
“Naw girl! ATLANTIC Station.”
We both giggled and looked at each other knowingly.
“You kids take care of your mom,” I called as she pulled away from the curb.
The older ones nodded and smiled and I walked back to my car, feeling very complete.
Remember when forming relationships online used to be considered really creepy and taboo? Maybe you’re not a blogger, but have you have had an impacting online experience? Go ahead and share ↓ 🙂