Wednesday, June 17, 2015

And Ten Years Ago...

...I met my best friend.  On the internet.

(This is us analyzing some minute detail of a movie.)

And, actually, I owe my friendship with her to Combat! too.  Remember how I started taking German class, where I fell for Cowboy, because of C!?  I first found DKoren's blog because of it.  On the night of June 14, running into the wee hours of June 15, 2005, I was off work, but Cowboy was working.  (We worked third shift back then, and I had Tuesday and Wednesday off every week, and he had either one or the other, so I always had one night off with Cowboy, and one night off by myself.)  We had no kids yet, and I seem to have run out of things to do, but wasn't ready to start my weekly movie marathon.  I remember I was bopping around LiveJournal, searching for bloggers who listed things I'm interested in as their interests too.  I searched for Combat! and found a few vaguely interesting blogs.  Then I searched for Vic Morrow.  And I found a blog by a person who loved not just C! and Vic, but so so so so many of the same movies and actors and TV shows as I did.  I left a comment on one post, then another and another and another... and she started replying to them.  And over the course of two hours, we exchanged comments, first on her blog and then on mine, and then on both simultaneously as we went back through each others' archives and found more and more posts about things we were both interested in.

That continued for probably a week, until one night one of us suggested that instead of conversing by trading blog comments, maybe we should exchange email addresses.  We did.  We've been exchanging email messages ever since -- generally at least one a day, though sometimes we get busy or tired or whatever.  If I don't get at least one message from her sometime during the day, the day feels wrong.  Some days it's just a tiny message of a couple sentences.  Sometimes it's page after page.

(This is us whenever we meet up at the airport for a visit.)
(Except we're not actually muscly, handsome guys.  But aside
from that tiny detail, it's us.)

At some point, we started instant messaging too.  Until Sam was born, we IMed just about every evening, from 8 to 9pm, when I had to get ready for work.  On my nights off, we'd watch movies or old TV shows together -- start them simultaneously on our individual TV sets, thousands of miles apart, and then IM during it and share thoughts and reactions, etc.  We still do this, and in fact, we watched the Russell Crowe version of Robin Hood together last night.

As we started to go from blogging buddies to email pals to internet friends, I developed "mentionitis."  I couldn't stop throwing her into conversations.  "My blog friend Deborah says this.  My blog friend Deborah likes that.  My blog friend Deborah got a story published."  I'm an ISFJ, and we make friends very, very slowly.  Achingly slowly.  It can take me years to go from saying "I hang out with that person sometimes" to "that person is my friend."  Generally, I pop a qualifying adjective onto the word "friend" for a very long time -- these girls are my 4-H friends.  That guy is my work friend.  This is my blogging friend.  For about a year, I referred to DKoren as either my blog friend or my writing mentor -- and she's still both!  But eventually, I dropped the adjective, and called her my friend.  And then one of my best friends.  And now, my absolute best friend.  (Okay, yes, I've just been switching out the adjectives, I guess.)

But about a year after we met online, we did something audacious.  We met in person.

(This is us, having each others' backs as usual.)

In fact, DKoren flew out to Wisconsin and spent three or four days with us.  We'd both participated in NaNoWriMo the previous November -- my first time through, her... I dunno, fourth?  I mentioned that I called her my writing mentor -- I still do.  I've learned more about writing from her than any class or book I've ever taken or read.  She encouraged me to finish off my first novel and then use Nano to start my next, and so I did.  When she came to visit, we exchanged our Nano novels and read them over the course of one long night.  And we watched a bunch of movies together too -- I remember The Sheik, but I know we watched others too.  And likely some Combat!  And we realized that... we needed more.  So we met up again a few months later, at a C! fan get-together.  And the next year, I flew out to visit her, 7 1/2 months pregnant and all.  All told, we've gotten together 7 times, and will continue to do so whenever we're able.

So happy friendaversary a few days late, my absolute best friend!  Here's to the next ten years of sharing silly adventures, movies, writing discussions, revelations, flashes of insight, story collaborations, and tiny details of our lives that we can't get through the day without sharing.  You're the Tonto to my John Reid, the Doc to my Wyatt.  I don't know where I'd be without you.  I love you!

(This is what happens when we get together in person,
which is why we have to limit ourselves to once a year or so.
The world can't handle that much awesome us on a regular basis.
Also, replacing chandeliers you shoot down gets expensive.)

18 comments:

  1. Oh, another lovely story of how you met someone! Aren't blogging friends the best kind of friends? :-) Your frienship sound very beautiful, and I hope you get to meet up many more times yet. :-D

    Funny, I feel the same way too, with my bestie, Emma. If we don't exchange a few words either through e-mails, Pinterest, blogs, Goodreads or whatever, the day just seems rather empty. :-P And oh, yes, mentioning the lost-distance friend in conversations with people - happens all. the. time.

    I hope I'll be able to say I met Emma 7 times one day. Haha. :-)

    Great post! I love the way you tell stories. :-) And happy, happy friend-anniversary!

    ~ Naomi

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    1. Naomi, yes, there's something about blogging that helps you just connect on a very close, personal level, isn't there? I hope you and Emma can meet up many, many times in the future! I love reading your posts and chuckling about how much fun you have together in spirit, even if you're miles apart physically.

      In August, I hope to remember to blog about how I met my other best friend in college :-)

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  2. TG is a great person to know and friend and a sterling help in writing (so are you, come to that!) I called her my Charlotte (as in "Web") ... "It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both."

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    1. Janet, that's very cute! Except for how you just called my bestest friend a spider. Um, not so cute. Lol!

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    2. Awwww, thanks TEC4!! C! has brought so many of us together, hasn't it!

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  3. That's delightful. I'm so glad you found one another!

    I met my best friend online as well, through our mutual love of Lord of the Rings. We had a lot of the same values and beliefs, discovered we live in the same state, and... it's been... 15 years now? I see her about once a month, if at all possible. We're lucky to only live about a hundred miles apart.

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    1. Charity, thanks! We're quite delighted with each other.

      I used to live about a 3-hour drive from my other best friend, and we would get together once a month. If DKoren and I only lived a hundred miles apart, we would have sleepovers every weekend. Happy, happy you!

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  4. I love this. Plus the pics and commentary below the are perfect! Happy friendaversary to you both!

    I have yet to actually meet any of my online friends in person. But I still hope to one day! Life just hasn't created the right moment yet. (Also, I'm pretty sure I'm an isfj as well and I (having not done much research into it yet) never realized how much I qualify my friendships! Such as "online" friend, "blogging" friend, "work" friend, "ex-coworker" friend. Clearly I should do some more research into this. Now I'm intrigued! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kara! The pics are just so very us. (The guys hugging, btw, are Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner, who play our respective favorite Avengers.)

      You know, Virginia's not that big a state. One of these years we're gonna have to both go to the National Book Fair in DC and meet up there.

      As for ISFJness, I wouldn't be surprised if you were. Check out Charity's Funky MBTI in Fiction Tumblr site if you haven't already -- one of the ways I solidified that yes, I'm an ISFJ was by reading her descriptions of ISFJ characters, and going, "Yup, that's me. Oh, so me. That's very me. Yeah, I do that." Hee!

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  5. Thanks, Hamlette! Those pics and captions are hilarious, and yeah, so us, and so true. I can't believe it's been ten years already! That flew by... but at the same time, there has been so much change and growth in there too. Special thanks to Vic and the gang, for making such an extraordinarily good show.

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    1. Ten years sounds long, but it hasn't felt long. And at the same time, it's hard to remember a time when I wasn't emailing you daily and consulting you about story titles and sharing fangirly feelings over everything from C! to the Avengers to TBOTFA.

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  6. This is the kind of post that just makes you warmly fuzzy inside XD

    This is great! I gotta say, I love seeing the two of you interact around the blogosphere. You're adorable!:D

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    1. Well, Olivia, we don't MEAN to be adorable. We're just having a lot of fun!

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  7. How cool! I've always aspired to have a blogging buddy like that.

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    1. Lois, I hope you find one some day! They are a rare and precious gift.

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  8. That's so cool! I LOVE all the pictures you used to illustrate--especially the Lone Ranger/Tonto one :) Isn't it just super when you have a real, real friend like that?
    I actually met my best friend in kindergarten, then I moved about 1200 miles away at the end of second grade, but we've exchanged letters ever since and we are STILL best friends--thank God. It's awesome.

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    1. Jessica, that's so cool you've had the same bestie since kindergarten! I have two other best friends that I've known since I was 12, and I thought that was a long time!

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