Much of that may have to do with living in a diverse city like New York. However, I think a greater part of it is due to the fact that we like meeting different kinds of people. We enjoy encountering those off-beat individuals who choose to follow different paths in life, who march to the beat of their own drum, and who could care less about what others really think of them. It's always with great love and enthusiasm that we embrace the weird, the wacky, and the wayward.
Appearances can often be deceiving. So, in hoping to move beyond the pale veneer of superficial impressions and scratch beneath the surface, we always make the effort to unearth the inner passions and interests that enthuse and invigorate people's lives.
Learning that the quiet dude down the street is actually a gay poet who loves Macs and hasn't used a Microsoft product in 10 years? Awesome! Finding out that the straight-laced banker yuppie in the pinstriped suit reads comic books, paints watercolors and tutors kids in his spare time? Cool! Discovering that the tattooed redhead with multiple piercings is a doctor who actually loves getting high, playing Scrabble and reading Tolstoy! Great!
In the coded "couples language" fortified by our years together, BossLady and I have several short-hand phrases that we employ when we meet someone that we think the other spouse will like. One of them is, "he's a total geek but he's OUR kind of geek." Another is, "she's weird but COOL weird." In fact, these are two of the highest compliments that we can give someone when meeting them for the first time.
BossLady and I tend not to judge books by their cover. We just like knowing that there's something real underneath. Most people are afraid to show their true personalities to other people. But I've always thought that life is too short for that sort of attitude. Fly your freak flag! Show your true colors! Give me something REAL to grab onto! Who cares what the fuck other people think?
In a way, that's what I like most about making friends in the blogosphere. The artifice and superficial bullshit are often stripped away, revealing the personalities that we might not otherwise reveal to strangers. It allows us to cut closer to the core and really get to know people better...what kinds of values they have, what their interests are, what they hold important in life or what cracks them up and tickles their funny bone. And as you go deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole, you learn something interesting---you learn that friendships made in the blogosphere ARE real. As Wood said the other day, "You know you already like each other. Meeting them in person just confirms it."
Speaking of Wood, I had the great pleasure of meeting up with her, Dutch and their daughter Juniper last weekend while they were in New York City. Regular readers know how much I love the Sweet Juniper family. So it's safe to say that few people were happier than I was to learn that they were coming here for a long weekend. Though we'd never met before, I'd often suspected that, should the opportunity arise, I'd get along with them both famously.
Since Wood was babysitting Juniper, Dutch and I made plans to meet on Saturday night. We decided to meet at Chibi's, a cool little downtown Japanese sake bar (owned, appropriately enough, by a Dutch ex-pat who named the place in honor of her French bulldog.) And needless to say, I had a great time hanging out with Dutch. Over a few carafes of cold sake, we spent hours talking about everything...blogging, parenting, careers, marriage, literature, childhoods. In many ways, I felt like we'd been friends for ages (which, in a way, we had been...via our blogs) and the encounter really felt more like catching up with an old friend that I hadn't seen in a really long time.
Sunday morning, the BossLady was unfortunately busy but Peanut and I got the chance to meet Wood and Juniper. Along with Dutch, we grabbed some coffee together in Tribeca. And as much as I had enjoyed meeting Dutch the night before, I also had a great time meeting Wood and Juniper. Though our time together was brief, it was heartwarming to see Peanut and Juniper getting along famously as well. The two of them spent most of their time together hugging, kissing and feeding each other. The cuteness was too much for words.
One day, many years in the future, when people ask them how they first met and became friends, maybe Peanut and Juniper will say, "Our parents met each other through their blogs."
And the two of them can look back and say that it all started right here...