Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Not-so-secret Admirer: Confessions of a Serial Friend

I found this little blurb among the notes I took last July at the writer's workshop I attended. I think I wrote it after the sessions had ended, and I was waiting to meet with the publishers agent to talk about my writing. Pretty sure I wrote this for my blog, but never posted it.
Do you ever meet someone or discover a blog and immediately develop a crush? Like all crushes, its mostly self serving. You'd like nothing more than to be associated with this person: to enter the inner circle of their friendship, to be a confidant, to skip all the awkward, slow moving get-togethers of early acquaintance. Their personality immediately appeals to you. Their nuanced sense of humor isn't lost. You want them to know how much you admire them without being creepy. You'd like to appear calm, cool and collected, but internally you're hopping up and down, bouncing into their field of vision, hoping to be noticed. You're already imagining all the things you have in common and all the experiences you're going to share. If only they knew you existed.
Can you relate?

This happens to me ALL the TIME. I think of myself as very discerning, with excellent taste in people. There's no question in my mind when I meet someone I click with and I think "JACKPOT!" Maybe it's actually just insecurity.

When I toured with the African Children's Choir (2004-2006), I was meeting new people all the time. I stayed with host families, four new households per week. There were some families I instantly bonded with, who I felt like I had known my whole life: the homeschooling family in Eagle River Alaska (Mom worked full time, Dad stayed at home with kids during the day; pre-teen boys showed me their extensive War Hammer miniatures collection, their dog even hugged me when we left). A professional potter and her husband outside of Toronto, Ontario, let me and a few of the choir members play with clay and fired a few pieces for us (don't remember what happened to those pieces...I can't imagine they lasted long on our bus. Wish I had them now). These were people who I hated to leave behind; I wanted more conversations around their dining room table, more family anecdotes about people I had just met a few hours ago. There was a comfort level and familiarity I don't quite know how to describe.

That same little light bulb of connection still blinks on above my head, just less frequently in person. In the blogging world (where my international travel now involves me sitting on my couch reading about other people's adventures), I find people with common interests. It's one great thing about the Internet: I can find a new blog every day written by someone I'd like to befriend. But then I wonder if my real-life friendships suffer because I'm preoccupied online, instead of planning coffee dates or writing love notes to my favorite people.

Regardless, finding writers, crafters, mothers, wives, professionals and tellers-of-funny-stories online inspires me. I'm really aware that this could make me sound pathetic and stalkerish. But I just want to say "thank you" to the people who make my life more creative, thougthful, and vibrant.


  1. I am totally with you on the friend crushes. And I love that it often translates into real life. Sometimes I talk to my blogger friends more frequently than my local friends, which is crazy but also kind of awesome because they get the writing obsession and I don't just sound like a pathetic online journaler to them. :)

  2. Don't forget about the taxidermist in Minot, North Dakota! Or maybe they weren't the instant bond kind. I can't remember. I do remember those great families that clicked so well. I'd wish I could stay there for months.